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Penn Schoen Berland, Puretech form alliance

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Penn Schoen Berland, Puretech form alliance

Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), part of Y&R Brands and WPP, and Puretech Internet have entered into a strategic alliance to provide clients with ‘360 degree persuasion solutions’. 360 degree persuasion involves integrating stakeholders and platforms with the communication rather than just integrating mediums.

This development comes close on the heels of PSB’s alliance with VIA Health Media in June 2012.

Speaking to exchange4media, Ashwani Singla, MD and CEO, South Asia, Penn Schoen Berland said that PSB had identified two-three areas that it thought were areas of concern for CEOs. The first is public perception, which fundamentally is driven by media. Second is regulation, which is about establishing a dialogue between business and the government. Third is valuation, which is how the stock is perceived.

Digital is a shifting landscape, which is rapidly changing the format of how people engage and source information – the source of influence or persuasion.

“While we are platform-agnostic, we don’t own any particular platform. We felt digital was an important medium that we could not ignore; therefore, we have joined hands with Puretech Internet as our online image management partner. My model of doing this is that you don’t have to always invent everything yourself, neither do you have to create everything in-house in terms of capability,” Singla added.

For Prashant Deorah, MD, Puretech Internet, the partnership with PSB is about giving a better value proposition to clients, where there is a strong synergy and match between research-based communication, online technology and online conversations that give a wider and a more holistic spectrum for the client to give them a sense of where they stand, how they are perceived and how corrective actions can be taken to provide the kind of image that they expect to project.

Commenting on why this alliance was important, Singla remarked that digital is a lot more about implementation as much it is about strategy. “The alliance becomes pivotal to us because a single company cannot in-house all the capabilities required for digital strategy, you need expertise. Puretech has the capabilities in web, application and tools development. They have search marketing and search optimisation capabilities, social media marketing capabilities, and they can help us integrate mobile into the net. Thus, I am able to provide an online image management solution rather than a bloggers’ outreach programme or an online press distribution service. So you go from an integrated ecosystem of digital influence.”

All this will be driven by what Singla terms as “the science of persuasion”. Elaborating on how persuasion could be woven into clients’ communication strategy, he explained, “Persuasion is a more dynamic word that describes intent rather than influence. One needs to look at all the sources of persuasion that a person might have.”

Going forward, PSB will be launching its Mumbai office in August. The company will be also launching its capital markets offering next month.

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