IPRCCA 2018 Jury Meet: Experts discuss trending communication strategies

At the India Public Relations & Corporate Communications Awards 2018 (IPRCCA) Jury Meet, experts deliberated on various aspects of the industry & best practices that define good public relations

e4m by Apeksha Mishra
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 8:32 AM

While advertising is saying you are good, PR is about getting others to say you are good. Be it a local trader or a CEO of a giant MNC, a strong communication strategy is the heart of your company. With the explosion of media and technology around us, the need of integrating a strategic PR plan into a brand’s marketing efforts has grown manifold in recent years. Recognising the contribution and success of PR consultancies and Corporate Communications in the industry, exchange4media hosted the jury meet of India PR and Corporate Communications Awards, 2018 (IPRCCA) at Shangri-La Hotel, Delhi on Monday.

This year Dr Pragnya Ram, Group Executive President, Corporate Communications & CSR, Aditya Birla Group chaired the jury. The other Jury members were - Nitin Thakur, Director, Brand & Communications, Max India Ltd; Aman Dhall, Head of Corporate Communications, PolicyBazaar; Madhavan Narayanan, Senior Editor, Writer, Consultant & Commentator; Nandini Chatterjee, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, PwC; Ruchika Mehta, Corporate Director, Communications & PR, The Park Hotels; Shravani Dang, Vice President Global Group Head- Corporate Communications & Marketing, Avantha; Sattvik Mishra, Co-Founder & CEO, Scoop Whoop; Neerja Jha, Head Corporate Communications, HDFC Bank; Dimple Kapur, Head, Corporate Communications, Piramal; Chiranjeet Singh Arora, CO-CEO, Kinetic; Rameet Arora, COO & Head of Digital, HT Digital; and Sudhakar Rao, Director, Branding, ICFAI Group.

At the jury meet held on Monday, some of the admired minds in the country spent an entire day scouring submissions of integrated campaign, crisis management, CSR, Public sector, social & digital media, technology and everything in between to pick worthy winners across all categories of IPRCCA. The jury deliberated on choosing winners across three broad categories – Campaign, Product & Promotion and Corporate & Public. As some of the best of experiences in the field of communication came together, they shared with the team at exchange4media some valuable insights on forms of PR storytelling, campaign pitch, use of multimedia, outreach, execution and business results. To sum it up, all we need to know about the trending communication strategies in the 21st century.

We started off the meet with jury chair, Dr Ram who believes that at the core of a successful PR strategy, it should reflect a direct business connect to be worthy of winning the title. She said, “It’s a failure for the brand if its communication strategies are not resonating the business issue out there in the market.” What we understand is, at the end a well-planned PR is an integral part of any company’s management processes and image enhancing methods. Lauding the standard of overall quality of submissions Dr Ram said, “We looked at the submissions in terms of vision, communication strategy, the impact, their outreach, the kind of organisation they represented & the RoI of the entire campaign.” The rigor, clarity and transparency of the evaluation process turned out to be a very enjoyable exercise for jury chair Dr Ram.

Shravani Dang, VP, Group Head- Corporate Communications & Marketing, Avantha believes how being on the jury, brings along huge responsibility, a platform to see great work, innovative thinking and also where the industry is at present. We understand, it’s crucial to see the concepts, what the industry is thinking like and more importantly where people are taking it. Appreciating certain domains, she said, “I am particularly impressed by the kind of things people are doing using pop culture, cult and by taking social messages and advocacy into peoples’ lives.”

What we observe is that, PR strategies which represent facts are more informative than just being imagery were highly appreciated by the jury. A communication plan with a social media component, being high on social cause or public policy and driving business in the end were some of the key factors the jury resorted to in the meet. Speaking on the key criteria Nandini Chatterjee, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, PwC said, “The key criteria here was the business outcome, what it is that companies are doing. In short, how have the PR campaigns impacted business today.” She believes IPRCCA is a great platform where companies can share their creative bent of mind behind the PR campaigns and as to how it is creating an impact in the market. Speaking of social media, few members of the jury were of the opinion that in today’s day and age, a brand can clearly draw a relation between usage of social media and sales at the firm.

Madhavan Narayanan, Senior Editor, Writer, Consultant & Commentator is of the view that social media, digital media have brought in a new perspective in the market. He says, “Internal communication, CSR etc. have made it more variegated, going beyond the conventional approaches and outreach techniques.” With several years of experience in journalism Madhavan brings in the factor of social relevance to the discussion. Hence, according to him, the business of PR is not just the old fashioned way of branding but a more social way of doing business.  

To summarise, what we observed is that apart from the guidelines mentioned, the core elements that jury focussed on while combing through the entries included executions, positioning as a policy campaign, multimedia, thought behind campaign, market segmentation and clear business results.

The India PR & Corporate Communications Awards 2018 will be held on December 13 at The Leela, Ambience Mall, Gurugram. For more details, click here: https://e4mevents.com/iprcca-2018/

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