The head of Percept Group’s PR agency Percept Profile, Ajay Sharma, has left
the agency to spearhead a ‘through-the-line’ approach to PR with Image Matters or ‘imatters’, set to launch mid-November 2005.
Sharma had joined Percept in August 2004. He said that the prime reason for his move was to explore the concept of ‘through-the-line’ communication in
“Presently in India, there is much happening for PR solutions, marketing solutions, advertising solutions and so on. Even when someone is speaking
about integrated marketing, necessarily it is one brand director speaking to
a cross-section of people, who are experts in specific fields, and then
drawing out a plan to achieve the brand objective,” said Sharma.
The plan of action for the new agency is to acquire a creative hot shop that
would allow it to provide clients with complete solutions for their brands.
Within the week, the agency will tie up international investors, added Sharma.
‘imatters’ has already identified the sectors to drive its growth. Sharma informed that at present the new style of working would be of use to sectors like healthcare communication, destination marketing, professional service firms and so on, where even on the international scene, PR had graduated to become through-the-line, utilising conventional and new media.
The new entity will begin with offices across Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore. People have been identified for the various branches, and most details are already in place.
He explained that through-the-line brings in a change in perspective: “You have someone sitting on the other side of the table, looking at a holistic approach and then advising a plan and solutions.”
Asked if he sees space for such a concept to exist given that PR itself is still growing in India, he said, “PR still isn’t able to provide end-to-end solutions but it has been booming in India for the last year. We must not ignore the speed at which these disciplines have grown in the country – even when it comes to media training. From that point of view, this is the apt time to bring in through-the-line in India.”
The agency has already roped in some clients, like Arunachal Pradesh, which is to be promoted as a tourism and investment destination, EMA partners, a head hunting firm, and IMI mobile, a value added service provider.