Participating in PR Lions Category at Cannes? Here's what the jurors are looking for...

Valerie Pinto, CEO of Weber Shandwick India, and Ishteyaque Amjad, VP, Public affairs and communications, Coca-Cola, India and South West Asia, are both on the jury for PR Lions this year

e4m by Neeta Nair & Christina Moniz
Updated: Aug 22, 2019 2:00 PM

In Part 2 of the series on the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity jurors from India we talk to Valerie Pinto, CEO of Weber Shandwick India and Ishteyaque Amjad, VP, Public affairs and communications, Coca-Cola, India and South West Asia, who are both on the jury for PR Lions this year. Pinto is on the jury for the second time, while this is a first for Amjad. 
Valerie Pinto, CEO of Weber Shandwick India - Juror- PR Lions

In the PR Lions, apart from looking at things like insights, the purpose behind the
campaign and the results, we are also looking at something different from the strategy
point of view. With every awards event every year, we keep challenging the normal..
Last year, we looked at factors like credibility and purpose, but this year we are going
deeper to find out how application has impacted results. So we will look at the
method in which the entire ecosystem and the stakeholders have been used to deliver

We have now moved beyond numbers – digital impressions or media articles. We are
now looking at how you engage the entire ecosystem to deliver an outcome, which is
a business result. So when you look at a lot of the entries that we are judging, they
may have used old tools but now are delivering a far bigger impact or result, not
limited to just one medium or channel. It is about using influencers and communities
differently. It’s about using your own employees differently and even involving
government bodies to bring a campaign to life. That’s the differentiation we are
seeing in the industry.

Ishteyaque Amjad, VP, Public affairs and communications, Coca-Cola, India and South West Asia - Juror- PR Lions

Personally, the biggest parameter is the impact that a particular campaign can have. And
that impact can be trendsetting, social, emotional, it can be larger than life or aspirational. That to me is a very important aspect of any campaign. Thus, I feel last year’s Savlon Healthy Hands
Chalk Sticks campaign stood out, because it is such a fundamental campaign.

When we were growing up, PR was very straitjacket, simple, and more relationship based. All of a sudden there is a complete leapfrogging of ideas, mediums, vehicles and issues. They are touching sensitive subjects which were never talked about before. Take the example of the film Padman. It was made on a subject which was considered taboo and look how much publicity it got. We can take pride in it because the more you talk about a subject like that, the more you can help solve the problem. So, I think the PR revolution in India has been extraordinary.

People say that Indian entries lack presentation skills, I would both agree and disagree. I have started judging the entries and some of our presentations are world-class. Typically we are a communication-oriented society, so we communicate well. However, we are not a society which packages this communication well. That’s a fact, that is who we are as a country. For example, look at the way a 5000 year old monument in India is packaged and projected to tourists versus a 100 year old cathedral in Europe. It’s probably also the problem of abundance. We have everything in abundance--- issues as well as campaigns. But I think we are slowly getting there, our presentations have improved significantly.

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