Why 2019 is going to be the year of new beginnings for Communications: Sonia Huria

Guest Column: Head - Corporate Marketing, Communications & Sustainability, Viacom18 says data will also revolutionise the way we look at communications

Sonia Huria

India is gearing up for its General Elections and as communications takes centre-stage in this socio-political environment, globally I believe the industry itself is gearing up for a revolution in 2019. This revolution will be catalysed by co-joining marketing and PR, bringing in a much-debated holistic approach to communications. 

For starters, cause-led communications will drive consumer connect. Coming from an industry that gives voice to messages, the media and entertainment sector will lead cause-led communication and in turn connect brands with consumers. At Viacom18, we are leveraging the media industry’s soft power to bring in behaviour change. A cause-led initiative on sanitation, the show ‘Navrangi Re!’ will make viewers relate to everyday life conundrums that a community with limited sanitation facility faces. We believe that cause-led communication when combined with power-packed entertainment can create an impact that reverberates with consumers. 

Stories will be in the driver seat. Story-telling has been the driving force in PR industry but as marketing and PR merge, the larger communications industry will also be driven by stories. As communicators, sometimes our biggest challenge could be to communicate with our internal audience. Stories that reflect real-life will be a trendsetter for 2019 to lead internal communications. For instance, we recently concluded an internal communications campaign called ‘Socialpedia’ wherein everyday life scenarios were taken and converted into a playbook that could guide employees to use the freedom of expression responsibly online. 

Data will also revolutionise the way we look at communications. While social listening for business has already been in practice, data will also impact the way we communicate our propositions. Selecting and identifying communication tools, customising messaging and strategic engagement with consumers will be driven by communications. Consumer relations already depend heavily on data, communications too will follow suit in 2019.

While none of us owns a crystal ball to see what actually will happen in 2019, one thing is certain, there is an incredible rapid change expected in the communications industry.

(The author is Head - Corporate Marketing, Communications & Sustainability, Viacom18 )

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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