Celebrating 30 years of moving people

As Genesis BCW India celebrates its pearl (30th) anniversary, we speak to the founding chairperson of BCW India Group, Prema Sagar, on the agency's journey, most memorable campaigns, and more

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 4, 2022 6:24 PM  | 6 min read
Prema Sagar

Prema Sagar needs no introduction. An entrepreneur. An ideas person. A pioneer. A passionately creative person. And is often referred to as the 'doyen of Indian PR'. Sagar has led Genesis BCW since she founded it 30 years ago. In the three decades of operation, the agnecy, under her stable leadership, has pushed boundaries and moved people using curiosity, vision, drive and integrity, to invent new and integrated communications products and services to meet evolving client needs.

The team of e4m PR & Corp Comm reached out to her as she celebrated the agency's pearl anniversary with her BCW family and she graciously agreed to a candid conversation.

 

Excerpts from the interview:


Congratulations on completing 30 years. Tell us about the journey.

When I look back, I can’t believe that it’s been 30 years already. I was running my printing press with my brother and we had THE Park Hotels as one of our clients. A meeting with Priya Paul on increasing the visibility of the hotel led to a unique series of events called ‘Going Public at THE Park’. I didn’t realise then that what we did was called public relations. Another chance encounter led to me decide to go to London to study at the Frank Jefkins Institute of Public Relations. When I came back, I decided to start Genesis PR. We were three people and we had three clients. Little by little, we grew, expanding to the West and the South, getting more people and clients. As the industry landscape evolved, so did our offerings. We added public affairs, content, digital, analytics and more.

Today, we are one of the leading public relations and integrated communication firms in India and are spread across practices and business divisions, with clients and teams across a range of industries.

From the beginning, we saw our role not just as a company but as evangelists for the industry. This was manifested in two ways — nurturing talent and developing avenues for the industry to collaborate. For the former, we built the School of Learning and a supportive value-based culture. The result is that today we don’t just have leaders within the organisation but industry stalwarts who took their first steps in the industry with us. It’s gratifying to see Genesis alumni in high positions in India and across the world.

In terms of collaboration, we helped found Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI) as well as Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI) and both are doing a great service in bringing visibility as well as respect for the industry. I am especially proud of how they brought the industry together during the pandemic.

Ultimately, the 30 years journey isn’t mine alone. It is a collective journey of all those who have been associated with us in any big or small way.

 

Can you recall some of the most memorable campaigns that have created a considerable impact?

It’s tough to single out campaigns from a 30 years’ body of work but the Indo-British Partnership launch, which happened with the royal ship docking at Mumbai, the interesting launch of the show ‘Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin’, the cola pesticide crisis, the mid-level sedan segment launch of Daewoo’s Cielo — these are just some examples that come to mind.

 

What, in your opinion, are the global PR practices that you would like to see implemented in India?

As a leading public relations and integrated communications firm and as part of a large global network, we offer our clients a cross-section of services and solutions, some that are unique to our market and others that are adapted from global practices. Having said that, there are two areas where I feel we should do more.

I see a lot of conversation happening in the area of measurement. I do think we need to share some of the learnings from global developments on measurement with our clients so that there is an overall better understanding of the value of our work.

The second area where the global teams are doing more is technology. I would love to see more and more technology-driven solutions being created and used in India, whether it is the use of emerging technologies like AI/AR/VR and the Metaverse or in the way that we use data and analytics.

 

In the last three decades, Genesis has had a number of 'firsts' to its name, including the first to develop proprietary tools for reputation management, the first to create and put into practice service quality measurement and, more recently, the first to develop the one-of-its-kind Live! Newsroom. What next is in the pipeline?

We have always tried to anticipate the evolving needs of our clients. In all the examples you shared here, that is what we have been doing and that is what we are continuing to do even now. In the last few years, for instance, we were hearing our clients talk about purpose. They were seeing their stakeholders respond better to companies that were true to their purpose. Seeing that need, we partnered with White Kettle Consulting, a leading CSR consulting firm, to develop a unique offering called CSP+ (Corporate Social Purpose). CSP+ helps companies align their purpose with their strategy to create long-term values and profitability through engagement with all stakeholders (employees, customers, communities, government and civil society). I can quite confidently say that the comprehensive framework we have developed for this is unparalleled and is another first.

Another area that has become quite critical is employee communications and advocacy. The pandemic really hit home the need for focussing on this. In October, BCW launched a study called Expectations at Work, which highlights some of the key concerns employees have.

 

Where do you see India's PR industry in the next five years?

I see it as evolving even more, both in terms of its width of services as well as the depth of counsel. The world of communications is a dynamic one and there are rapid changes happening every week and every month, so five years is a long time. But I do see developments in digital technology and the policy environment being at the forefront of these changes. What I am confident in is the growing maturity of our industry in being able to not just adapt to the changes but also be ahead of them and give clients the strategic advice they need.

 

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Importance of digital PR in brand promotion

At e4m PR and Corp Comm 40under40 Summit, experts speak about various nuances of public relations when it comes to dealing with online audiences

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 6, 2023 11:51 AM   |   5 min read

PR summit

Public relations is one of the important tools to reach audiences and build credibility amongst them using a variety of tactics. Brands put forward their narrative and bank on it to grow their business across horizons. At the recently held e4m PR and Corp Comm 40under40 Summit, a panel of experts discussed the importance of digital PR in brand promotion. The experts spoke about various nuances of public relations when it comes to dealing with online audiences

The panel had Anand Prakash, Senior Group Head, Adfactors PR, Akanksha Jain, Head- Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Bharatpe; Kritika Padhy, Account Director, 80 dB communications; Bhawna Gupta, Director, Client Relations, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. The session was moderated by Ruhail Amin, Sr. Editor BW Businessworld & Exchange4media.

Starting the conversation about the cluttered space of online PR and how they are cutting through the clutter, Prakash of Adfactors said, “Digital PR has made the work of PR easier. One can do a scientific outreach, you can do more earned media. Comparing to marketing, where you can not only promise, here you can actually deliver.  There are a lot of platforms where you can go to map what kind of conversation is happening around the industry, and around the client. You can do good Google analytics, where the conversation tonality and the keywords are present with the statistics. 

“You might have a different perception about your brand because you are working in a company XYZ as a corp com person or a CEO but when you go and do research on the analytics, you will find a different reason for not having that kind of positioning that you deserve or you feel,” he said while speaking about the factor that can make the brand ahead of the clutter.

When asked about the challenges faced while executive PR through digital means, Jain of BharatPe said, “When it comes to challenges, there are a whole bunch of them, one being, you have two there are a lot of players out there, how do you differentiate yourself, how do you get the attention of your audience. Hence, it's important when a brand is trying to think through, its digital PR strategy to understand what it or what its audience would consume.”

“You have to also use multiple form factors in terms of content, it's not like one certain form factor works across channels. For example, YouTube does really well for our set of audience because they consume YouTube. But for a certain set of audience where your consumers are more regional, a Sharechat might do really well. Also the same set of content will not do well across channels as I said so for an employer brand, we are really leveraging LinkedIn and we're getting great traction out there but it may not do well for Twitter.”

Speaking on the importance of digital PR, Padhy of 80db Communications, said, “With the limited amount of space that traditional media offers us, now brands are focused on their target audience. If they have the right impressive element available to them, it is definitely easy to reach out to your target audience. It is very important to be sure of the type of information and the narrative that we are reaching out to the audience with.”

When asked about can brands do “out of box” things with digital PR, Gupta of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, said, “The out of box thing is all about where your consumer is, so what is the consumer consuming, how often they can see, what is the behavioral pattern. It all boils under this. So if you have your data analysis in place and you know the behavior of your consumer, you know what the consumption pattern is, you can curate your communication. What are we PR people doing, we're actually solving a communication problem, that's the Baseline. When we know the problem and we know where our consumer is, we can curate it. To answer the question of out-of-the-box, it all boils down to the fact of which tools, that you're using. I think this is where your creativity comes.”

When asked about how one can tackle crisis and what measure to to be taken in consideration, Jain said, “I think, in crisis, it's important to choose the words you want to fight and let go of some of the battles. There will be a lot of things that could come your way, which as a brand you should not say anything about, you should look at the long-term goal and the long-term vision that you have for the brand. Whatever is really damaging the reputation you will have to protect it with numbers, protect it with facts and I think that's how it works well.” Prakash and Padhy also spoke on similar lines when they said that brands should choose their battles and let go of some. 

Gupta on the other hand said, “Do not hide anything, the bigger the brand, the more is the pull. It becomes very imperative that you know your messaging, you know the situation, you know the story and you come out and talk to them. It becomes imperative that you tell your story, narrate it, engage with the customer. There's no hiding behind it. I rightly agree with what panelists said, you choose your words. Sometimes staying silent helps, sometimes saying less is more. But facing the realities always helps.”

 

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‘It is imperative that on-the-job training is given to young professionals’

A panel session at the recently-held e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 2022 Summit delved into the topic of how to make the young generation industry ready

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 6, 2023 7:03 AM   |   5 min read

PR comm

According to a 2021 estimate by the CIA World Factbook, India's median age is 28 years and it is gauged that by 2026, 64.8 per cent of India’s population would be in the working age of 15-64 years (as per an article by peoplematters.in). Indian millennials, currently straddling a number of about 400 million, are undoubtedly, one of the world's largest cohorts. It is their talent, flair and aptitude that will take the country forward. But for that to happen, it is imperative that these millennials and more so, the generation after them – the Gen Z – are offered and provided with apt guidance from an early age.

“How to make the youth industry ready?” was the topics that was deliberated upon at one of the  sessions of the e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 Summit 2022. The panel was composed of Ayushi Arora, CEO and founder, Media Corridor; Madhvi Chaudhary, PR manager, Media Mic, and Nehha Gupta, AVP, Value360Communication, along with moderator Shrabasti Mallik, exchange4media.

Initiating the conversation, Mallik mentioned how experts have noticed a gap between education and the ever-evolving PR industry requirements. Sharing her views on how this gap can be addressed, Gupta said, “When it comes to education and the ever-evolving pr practices and the dynamics of this industry, the core point to address here is that many of us get a lot of industry 'gyaan' during our college time from industry leaders who come and give us pointers on what pr is and the pr tools that we are supposed to use. But when we actually come into the field, we are all clueless. We do not know how to resonate with the theory and the practical. So, it's very important to have an amalgamation of theory and practical. It is also imperative that on-the-job training is given to young professionals because I honestly believe that in communication, learning-on-the-job has nothing to do with theory. My suggestion is that if education institutes collaborate with industry bodies like PRCAI, it will help them revisit the curriculum and course content. That way, we will have smarter youth who will bring in more professionalism, which, in turn, will also address the business literacy and business etiquette.”

Agreeing with Gupta, Chaudhary added, “Post pandemic, the world has changed drastically. There has been digital transformation in almost every sector, and PR is no less. Adding to it, the lack of academic curriculum to keep pace with the changing industry had widened this gap. Even premium universities who have societies and communities built for every other mainstream field, be it consultancy, campus placements, marketing or advertising, they have nothing for PR. It is not promoted as a strong-foot mainstream field, which is sad to know. But I really feel this wide gap can be addressed if we, as PR professionals and youngsters, invest in self-learning and constant upskilling. Universities should really start exploring other ideas of engineering their curriculum. There should be internship-based curriculum where students can work on real-time industry projects and get to know what their planning to step into.”

Speaking from the perspective of the founder an CEO of a PR firm, Arora, first, admitted the existence of the gap. “That's definite,” she attested and added that the reason for its existence is because of the ever-evolving nature of the industry. “And it will always be. You can't, therefore change the foundation ground of what PR is. The theoretical knowledge that the institutes are imparting, you cannot change that. However, what can be done, in my opinion, is that you can redefine it – by running sessions with industry experts. Invite them to have in-person sessions with your students so they get the knowledge of an outside agency expert coming and talking to these future young, vibrant professionals on what lies on the other side of the table, because the students have not seen the world; they are only studying about it. So, the foundation ground is set. Second, I truly feel that there should be an exchange programme. That is one. Second, I truly feel that there should be an exchange programme. Imagine that you have a PGDM course in PR. Give three months of that to an agency you get to work with. They certify you further. So, when you are completing your course, you are just not ready, you are an industry-ready professional. When you are meeting somebody for an interview tomorrow, you don't just say that you graduated from a certain institute or college, you say that 'I already have a trainee experience; I was a professional while I was being educated',” Arora pointed out and elucidated the reason behind her opinion. “I come from a journalism background and completed my journalism education from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media. We did not have books. None. No theoretical knowledge. It was completely practical. We were asked to go out on the field, figure out a new story and come back. So when I was joined a media house, I did not say that I just about completed my education. I showed them the case studies that I worked on and the stories I have reported. Similarly, in PR, say when I am interviewing somebody, I would love it if they tell me that they have worked on an certain client with a certain agency and this is what they brought to the table. That just adds more starts to the resume,” she elaborated.

While there is no denying that it is the youth that will usher India into a new era, the onus of preparing that same vibrant and tenacious youth for the industry lies with academic institutions.

To know more, please watch the entire session in the video shared here.

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What brands expect from media and PR

At the PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 Summit, a panel of industry experts shared insights on how media, public relations, and corporate communication fulfill the brand's purpose

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 3, 2023 12:31 PM   |   3 min read

PR comm

The PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 Summit saw an interesting discussion between Rohit Bansal, Reliance Group Head of Communication, Reliance Industries Limited, and Ruhail Amin, Editor, Businessworld, and exchange4media on how public relations, media, and corporate communication are interconnected.

Before beginning the conversation, Amin shared how Bansal after experiencing some golden years in journalism entered corporate communication.

Bansal was requested to elaborate more on how Public Relations which was on the fringe, entered gradually into the corporate ecosystem and how it defines the inside story of the corporate and public relation world. Taking forward the conversation Bansal mentioned how he started his career back in 1992 with Times of India and further associated with Career 18, Zee Business, and Financial Express. He said that a decade or two back, it was easier to get the contacts of the ministers, secretaries, or principal secretaries, but today journalists have to go through media agencies, and corporate communication teams at the field levels and the headquarters to finally talk to the CXO. Besides following the structured way of communication, a journalist could also follow the disintermediation process to get the quotes in the stipulated time.

Further focusing more on the factors the brand must look into before hiring any agency, Bansal said, “It is just like what requires for any individual to be in the team, they have to show up, they have to be available at the time when we require them. To meet what brand demands, agencies must think like brands and entrepreneurs.” However, it is hard to find the kind of involvement the brand expects from media agencies. He also mentioned how a crisis can be converted into an opportunity that could differentiate brands in the market. Talking more in the discourse of what kind of environment Reliance industries has built over the years to communicate with the external world, Bansal said, “In Reliance industries, we have the most senior person working who runs his own agency, we have opted the hybrid mode which is more solution oriented.”

Discussing more what Founding Partner, First Partner, Atul Ahluwalia, mentioned in the panel discussion about how PR and media both are given the same connotation and judged on the same parameters ignoring the fact that the PR is more business-oriented, Ruhail requested Bansal to elaborate how media is no more remain confined and have started impacting brands and business in the current scenario. Bansal clearly stated that there is no difference between media, business, and brand custodianship. Also, brands must take the charge of their custodianship.

He also mentioned that there is a lot of proliferation dealing with media and journalists and how the brands would be dealing with the new AI-based concepts like ChatGPT. Before closing the conversation, Ruhail requested Bansal to elaborate on what Bansal mentioned earlier that people should be deserving before they talk about the seat at the high table, Bansal, said, “How actively brands are performing to meet the audience demands stands them out in the clutter of market and specify them as a deserving brand.”

Before closing the conversation Bansal explained how pushing a brand narrative not only helps brands in maintaining credibility in the market but also humanise the goal the brands try to achieve through the concept of Public relation. Bansal also elaborated on the ideal equation that the journalist and PR must maintain while covering stories. The story must be covered in a way that should state a balanced narrative and a clear representation of the facts shared by the brands.

The content in this section is curated by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback kindly write to karan.bhatia@exchange4media.com.

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Obsession with the customer is the new normal: Atul Raja

At e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 under 40 Summit Atul Raja, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Wadhwani Foundation, delivered a keynote address

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 7:27 PM   |   5 min read

pR

At the e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 under 40 Summit, Atul Raja, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Wadhwani Foundation, delivered a keynote address on the ‘The Changing Face of Marketing in an Increasingly Digital World’, wherein he delved into the ever evolving marketing and communications industries as more interactions, transactions and everything in between move into a digital setting.

“There have been two defining shifts. The first is the strategic shift from brand-centricity to customer centricity, which is almost complete. Given that the pandemic has changed the rest of the world, why won’t it change marketing? And point two is the corollary of point one, in that obsession with the customer is the new normal now,” he said.

Taking these as the two jumping off points, Raja proceeded to lay down ten points which he said were involved with the transforming nature of marketing thanks to increased digitization during and post the pandemic.

“Firstly, the very economics of marketing has changed. Even smaller players can enter what I call the advertising dogfight,” he said adding, “I'm not saying that bigger players with deep pockets don't still have an advantage, but they no longer have a decisive advantage, and it's a more level playing field. So from a marketing perspective, a higher spend may no longer translate into a higher ROI.”

Secondly, Raja noted that inbound marketing has taken center stage, and with the media landscape virtually exploding, the number of footfalls coming into all platforms of these organizations is following suit. “These are the footfalls that have done a lot of research and are very pre-purchase savvy. Inherent to this is a tectonic shift from brand push to brand pull. When I started my career, we used to concentrate on pushing what we want to say through ads in different media, but today we have to put out what the consumers want to hear, and so inbound is changing the face of communications.”

Thirdly, Raja said that content has taken pre-eminence over creatives. “At the time of my induction into the advertising field, first we used to conceptualize creatives with our ad agencies and the content used to come in as an afterthought and that too has reversed today. Some brands are very content driven, like Zomato, which has a million and a half followers on Twitter and two million on Facebook. You'd think a brand like that would be concentrating on getting footfalls to their app, so how are they getting so much traction on their social media channels? It’s because they use so much humour and local cultural cues. I think content plays a big role in Zomato’s size.”

“Fourthly and critically, Data has come into marketing in a big way, and it is helping marketing in smart decisions, and if you look at scenario based marketing it is helping in measuring the ROI on your marketing in a very scientific manner,” said Raja, noting that recently, AB InBev said their sales have gone up by 80% by using the data of their 2.5 billion customers, while Nike is snapping up tech companies, as examples of how brands are harnessing the power of data.

The fifth point, Raja said, was that customers are increasingly promiscuous in their brand relationships. “Be it a manufacturer or a retailer or any other organization, their marketing departments are finding it very hard to find what will ensure consumer stickiness. I think brand and customer loyalty are going to be the bane of marketing in the future and will be very hard to figure out,” he said.

Another aspect is ad blindness. “50 per cent of internet users are averse to any kind of pop-ups. When AT&T introduced the very first ad banner back in 1994, the CTR (Click-through Rate) was 44 per cent, while today a CTR of 0.5 is considered very healthy. So marketers are going to have to figure out whether it is still worth spending on pop-ups and what are the alternatives,” noted Raja.

Seventh was the very changing nature of consumer engagement, with Raja observing, earlier, the typical marketing funnel had a wide base at the bottom, and that used to be called the considered set. He said, “It was where we attacked consumers first, then went down another level and attacked them again, and then reached the apex of the funnel where there are two three brands left and you would endeavor to be one of them. But now there is no considered set and the consumer starts by having only two or three brands so it becomes a channel to hit them directly and be on their list because there is no second opportunity.” 

Point number eight was the clutter and how brands could manage to avoid it. “I personally feel that to avoid clutter is to become part of the clutter. High frequency is high engagement. In six months’ time, I must have done 600 creatives. There used to be a time when we gave front page solus ad on TOI and a back page premium ad on HT, and we thought we were done for the quarter, but that's no longer the case,” said Raja, adding that today you needed a creative factory to leave any kind of impression on a consumer in a crowded market place.

“Then with digital media exploding today, I feel becoming human has become paramount. Today consumers are looking at brand values and that the values are those that they want to associate with. It's no longer just about functional features, and this digital explosion is bringing the human side of the brands to the fore,” said Raja.

And finally, “360 degree view of the consumer is paramount today. You have to dissect your consumer and understand them and what they want from every side and angle. It's all about deep consumer intelligence and insights, because if you don't understand your consumer, they will move out of your value chain very soon,” concluded Raja.    

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Knowing others is wisdom but knowing yourself is enlightenment: Pooja Pathak

At e4m 40under40 summit, co-founder and director of Media Mantra spoke about manifesting self-affirming professionals to strengthen organisation’s success

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 3:59 PM   |   4 min read

Pooja Pathak

While addressing the audience at the 4th edition of the annual e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 under 40 Summit and Awards 2022, Pooja Pathak, co-founder and director of Media Mantra spoke on the topic ‘manifesting self-affirming professionals to strengthen organisation’s success’.   

According to Pathak, the topic needs to be prioritised today because we live in a time when mental breakthroughs are as important as physical ailments, and emotional stress is as important as physical problems.

In her keynote address, she also acknowledged the resilience with which the PR industry has bounced back. “In 2023, we are even set to create a further disruption and the years to come we are all set to pave a further path which is full of disruption and creativity.”

She stated that the communication industry's young talent has adapted to new trends like never before, and she believes that the diversification and innovation that they bring with them is creating new and emerging content in the PR industry.

She said that today at e4m 40 under 40 summit industry is celebrating the emerging and the powerful leaders of tomorrow. “As we celebrate their win we also put them in a position of power in which we are also leading and affirming that we take the industry to the next height by only creating positive mindsets and a positive frame of mind.”  

She stated that as we cultivate this positive mindset, it will be a delight to see millennials blend the text of their lives with the context of the PR ideology, and that when you blend the text and the context, you get a life with a dedicated purpose.

“It leads to a life which will have a stronger organization vision. It will lead to overall success of the organization. The Millennials have a huge responsibility to ensure that such conversations stay relevant and they should be discussed on and off.” 

Pathak believes that we should all practise mindfulness. Mindfulness is something that only resonates when despite being successful and having a large bank balance, feel that there is something missing in life, and that is the true way to begin becoming mindful, and once you become mindful, it also helps you achieve your life's purpose.

Pathak spoke about her theory called AAASK and shared some recommendations on how you can become mindful. She said the first is the person should be able to associate with any holistic activities so that means you can practice mindfulness by meditating by undertaking Yoga, or different ways and avenues that you can relate with and resonate with is what you should practice.  The second is you have to alter certain habits of how we perceive things and how we form habits. 

The third A is to ask and self-talk. She stated that we prefer spending time with others to spending time with ourselves, so we know a lot about others but very little about ourselves. As a result, it is critical to accept ourselves and explore some self-talk, which is a fantastic idea. Even if you get to know something new about yourself, it's a fantastic phenomenon that will work brilliantly for everyone.

The next is stillness. We love schedules and sometimes when we don't have plans and we go on Instagram and feel like everyone else has plans, we get fomo, but that's not the case because sometimes no plan is the best plan, so create that stillness for yourself, create that time for yourself where you're not doing anything but still doing a lot for yourself. 

The last letter is K, which stands for keep your thoughts filtered but prioritise what you are thinking. When we are sitting still and have a lot of thoughts running through our minds, we don't know how to prioritise and our mind just keeps on having multiple things and multiple visions at one point in time, so it is important to think whether you run the day or the day runs you.

“It definitely assists you in developing a great curriculum for your life, as well as developing a very relevant and solution-oriented frame of mind, which is very important and self-affirming,” said Pathak. “Knowing others is wisdom but knowing yourself is enlightenment,” she concluded.  

 

The content in this section is curated by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback kindly write to karan.bhatia@exchange4media.com.

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‘PR industry will have to create frequent pieces of engaging content that can be online’

At e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 2022 summit, Sanjeev Handa, Sr. Vice President and Head of PR & Communications, Maruti Suzuki Ltd, shared trends in PR and communication industry

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 3:15 PM   |   3 min read

Sanjeev handa

At the e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 2022 summit, Sanjeev Handa, Sr. Vice President and Head of PR & Communications, Maruti Suzuki Ltd, spoke in-depth about how millennials and GenZ play a crucial role for a brand. He also spoke about the evolving trends in the PR and corporate communication industry. Handa delivered a keynote address.

Emphasizing on the importance of adapting and evolving to the new trends which revolve around Gen Y, Sanjeev Handa said, “For the past two extraordinary and challenging years that we have faced, we have transcended from the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. The world as we knew to us is fast transitioning into BANI world, which is very ‘Brittle’ as people are more ‘Anxious’, systems and processes are ‘Non-linear’ and situation of the ground is ‘Incomprehensible’ (BANI).”

“Therefore we need to learn to be more resilient, attentive, adaptive and transparent. The world is changing and the customer is adapting to the change. The needs and desires are also fast evolving.”

Talking about millennials in detail, Handa said, “One of the most significant changes we are seeing in the marketing and PR circles is the impact of the Y generation. Millennials are the largest percentage in a workforce and are shaping digital face of communication at several spaces. They are fast in embracing in new technology such as Instagram, Snapchat, etc and are using them to connect with the audiences in more authentic and engaging ways. This is leading to the shift away from traditional one-way communication strategies towards the need to two-way and interactive communications strategies.”  

“The future of communication therefore needs to be carefully constructed with thoughtful content that engages readers and deliver information quickly and very concisely. Long features, click bait articles and paywalls will be shunned by future audience. PR industry will have to place more effort in placing and creating frequent pieces of engaging content that can be driven out online rather than through long case studies or feature-led articles in publications and dailies.”

Describing the importance of technology and the need to create an impact via content, Handa explains, “We better understand the new generation needs, wants and desires. We would need to embrace new technologies and formats. Therefore creating a system to deliver content digitally to masses and audiences will be the most effective way for promoting the reputation of brands. Primarily through blogging and supported by social media strategies this will result in audiences being offered with snackable content. This will be of huge impact.”

 

The content in this section is curated by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback kindly write to karan.bhatia@exchange4media.com.

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Intellectual capital is the new wealth of organizations: Dr Navneet Anand

In his keynote address at the e4m PR & Corp Comm’s 40 Under 40 Summit, Dr Anand, Founder & Director, GreyMatters Communications talks about his own experiences in the communications profession

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 2:59 PM   |   2 min read

Dr Navneet Anand

The world of PR and Corp Comm has evolved a lot over the years. It has become an integral part of a support system for brands. At the e4m PR & Corp Comm’s 40 Under 40 Summit, Dr Navneet Anand, Founder & Director, GreyMatters Communications & Consulting gave a keynote address and talked about the integrity and intricacies of being in the communications profession.

Through examples of his own experiences and how he began his journey in GreyMatters, he explained the challenges that come along in this profession and how you find meaning in what you do.

Anand talks about intellectual capital and how it is an extremely important part of the PR and Corp Comm industry. “The intellectual capital is the new wealth of organizations. There are many who look down upon our industry as something which is frivolous. We do come across many people questioning the integrity, the methodology, the ideas, and the campaigns. They think we only go to journalists, pay some money, and then come back and make merry with our partners (clients). That's not true."

"This gentleman called Carl Eric created a theory of knowledge capital, in which he spoke about customer capital, structural capital, and human capital. We have to realize that we are the human capital. It is our capital, our competence, our knowledge, our pride and our ideation, which will make organizations grow.”

He cited examples from his youth, his political campaigns and associations with companies like DuPont, which have shaped GreyMatters and brought in them a sense of integrity, confidence and pride for the communications profession.

Lastly, he says, “As millennials, you must understand, where we come from: starting with the classical PR, which was more people to people, personalized, defined audiences to conventional PR organization to organization and media-centric. And now today, in contemporary PR where your audiences are diverse, they want to communicate with the brand directly and so on and so forth. You have a huge challenge in front of you.”

The content in this section is curated by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback kindly write to karan.bhatia@exchange4media.com.

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