The post-lunch sessions of the third Annual Corporate Communications meet saw eminent speakers from the world of corporate communications speak on topics like leadership and global trends that have an impact on the business of corporate communication.
The first session post-lunch was a panel discussion that included speakers like S Narendra, CEO, Media Business Consultants; Gita Piramal, Corporate Communication Director, The Smart Manager; and Kavita Ghatge, Vice President-Corporate Communication, Siemens, and was moderated by Nandita Lakshmanan, Founder and CEO, The Practice Strategic Communications India Pvt. Ltd. The second session had Yusuf Hatia, Vice President, Fleishman Hillard Inc., giving his inputs on the global trends affecting corporate communications’ practices and practitioners. Hatia also gave his views on the ways to thrive in the changing business environment and ensure better effectiveness.
Starting off the first session after lunch, Piramal said that leaders in the field of corporate communications require effective training on crisis management, and that it was very important for them to be in good terms with the media, while keeping them in the loop was crucial.
On the other hand, Ghatge discussed how the press had changed over a period of time. “The nature of press some years ago was passive, but if you look at it today, you will find that today they are eager to break more news than before.” He further explained that the leaders from the industry should grab this opportunity and concentrate on discussing topics that would interest our readers. Commenting on the importance of having communication strategists as business leaders, Ghatge said, “Communication strategists are very few in the industry, and barring them, the rest are all followers and implementers.”
Ghatge further stressed on the need for leaders to be strategist thinkers, and not implementers. “Planning your future in advance enables you to understand, absorb and then implement strategy in an appropriate manner,” she said. Talking about the key dimensions in the leadership aspect of the business, she said that it was imperative for the leaders to have a bird’s eye view on their business operations, understand its people’s sensitivity, instill trust, and thereby build confidence in the management team about one’s own leadership abilities.
Narendra talked about how difficult it was for leaders from the corporate communication industry to deal with small companies and highlight their work to the media. He further made his point about the emergence of business journalism, and the need for leaders to have a complete array of knowledge backed by good business sense. Narendra pointed out that ordinary people had a pre-conceived mindset that took them away from the helm of the business, and that it was a challenge for the industry leaders to change such a mind set.
Lauding the Indian global presence in sectors like IT, BPO and IPOs, Hatia, in his presentation on ‘Global Trends’, said that Indian companies were now more interested in how they project themselves globally, which was a good sign. Giving his suggestions on reaching the global level, Hatia said that companies should look beyond relationships and press releases. The key points that he identified and stressed upon were the importance of embracing the digital technology, building global campaigns, consulting digital experts, and looking for partnerships not only at the national level, but also at the international level.