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EIKONA Connect: PR Industry readies India Inc. for Bharat

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EIKONA Connect:  PR Industry readies India Inc. for Bharat and Eikona, the Neutral, Earned Media Planning, Audit & Advisory Service, jointly bring to you an info graphic fortnightly series called EIKONA connect. This series will focus on quick interesting nuggets of  PR / Earned Media Trends and dynamics faced by the Professionals of Corporate Communications & PR Firms. The objective is to create and inculcate informed opinion about PR and aid towards Scientific Decision Making Process.  

Indian Business sense is headed towards Bharat – India’s smaller cities and towns. To stimulate product and brand demand in these markets, what advertising has not been able to deliver, our good old Samaritan, PR or Earned Media has been delivering big time and how!

Indian PR Industry Professionals, over the last few years, have been, every effectively, helping Businesses create Corporate and Product Brand presence within the lower tiers of the Indian market strata. Not only that, in certain markets and specifically for certain product categories, it is the only form of stimuli to trigger demand.

The chart below illustrates the above point:

If you look at the average of Top 15 Industry verticals (by PR Volume in Print), it is clear that Brand News visibility in publications from metros have kind of reached a saturation point. Some quick observations:

•     Brand News Coverage in Metros witnessed a drop of 11% in Jan – Dec 2014 over same period in 2013. Jan-September 2015 has already witnessed a drop of 9%. It is estimated to drop to 10-12% by Dec 2015

•     News Coverage in Tier 1 & 2 markets witnessed a drastic increase of around 21% each in 2014

•     The growth trend in these lower Tiers continue in 2015 as well. It is estimated to witness a growth of 34% by December 2015.

What does this mean for Indian PR Industry and the Clients?

a) For Corporates and their Brands, the gateway to Bharat is through PR

b)Indian PR Industry is demonstrating amazing examples of Specialization. This includes their adaptability to generate the required Content customization that will suit the palate of Regional/Language Media

c)  PR Firms, especially the small time ones, are doing a great job. Some of them have shown amazing skill sets when they created content by weaving the client brand’s saliency with that of the region’s local culture, belief, festivals, etc. Not only that, some of these PR Firms are ensuring fortification of the brand by creating and establishing its presence basis:

a.  Corporate Presence or Thought Leadership

b. Traction for Human Resource

c.   CSR & Sustainability

d. Marketing Initiatives

e.  Triggering traction for future Product Distribution and Supply Chain Management

d)CEO and other CXOs have realized that advertising will not help them and their brands’ connect with Bharat through conventional forms of communication, like Advertising. They have realized that the importance of relating with the public (target audience) in their future cash cow markets is only through PR or Earned Media.

Our PR Industry has many unique abilities which other forms of Communication Tools can never deliver. PR has been delivering it silently. Yet, wonder why CXOs don’t speak about the use and effectiveness of this tool in Marketing Summits and also in their interviews with Newspapers and TV Channels! It will be a great day to see a brave heart CXO come out in the open and break the silence.

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.