Right now most of the media agencies have the same business model, and also the media service brands are facing a perception problem, wherein they have not grown in the last 10 years in terms of how they have been perceived. Media teams need to bring back on-ground learning to their strategic thinking. There is need to make the thinking process more relevant and with an ear to the ground.
Divya Radhakrishnan is President, TME and Rediffusion Y&R Public Relations. Her responsibilities include running the two verticals of Media and Public Relations for the Rediffusion Y&R Group.
Prior to this role, Radhakrishnan was National Head Buying at TME. She had joined the group in 2003 to head the Tata AoR, which was formed to handle media services for 23 companies of the Tata Group. In September 2008, she was elevated to the role of President TME, wherein she has been successfully establishing thought leadership for TME with a new way of delivering message to the consumer. In July 2009, she was assigned the additional responsibility of heading the Public Relations practice of the group due to synergies in the platforms of both the practices.
With over two decades’ experience, Radhakrishnan has worked for brands including Colgate Palmolive, Parle Products, Tata Tea, Hewlett Packard, and Garnier Laboratories, among others.
Radhakrishnan started her career with Dacunha Associates as a media trainee to rise to the position of Media Manager before she left to join her assignment at Publicis, where she spent 12 years, heading the media function of the agency. She has led teams across offices on strategic media directions, integrated media knowledge, and the consumer perspective on all brands and developing international tools to Indian context.
Radhakrishnan has a Diploma in Management Studies and 21 years of work experience – which she believes is an infinite degree tutored by all those who she had worked with. She is also an active member of various industry bodies such as Media Forum in India (part of the Advertising Agencies Association of India), Vice-Chairperson of the Radio Technical Committee of the Media Research Users Council and an executive member of the Indian Newspaper Society - Advertising Agencies Association of India joint committee, and jury member for national and international advertising awards.
In this interview with exchange4media’s Pallavi Goorha Kashyup, Radhakrishnan describes TME’s journey over the years, the emerging trends in the Indian media industry and her dual role of media agency and PR agency head.
Q. Being in the position that you are in, do you think you’ve had the opportunity to address some of these problems at a larger level?
I often say that TME is the only media agency to have in-house capability in creative, public relations, CRM, out of home, retail designing. This gives us the ability to transcend thought processes to arrive at solutions that are beyond the strategic thinking and implementation capabilities of a regular media agency. Once you have positioned yourself on the larger space of contact, then all contact formats come under the purview of this entity. Hence, there is always the scope of expanding.
Also, in our way of thinking at the Rediffusion Y&R Group, our tool-kit – ‘Playdo’ – positions creating of conversation neighbourhoods much ahead in the process and hence, this will determine the content that will be created for communication. End-result being that media companies move up the value chain, and thus, recognition and rewards follow.