'Compassion keeps PR & comms industry fuelled in the current unprecedented times'

The panellists Udit Pathak, Madhukar Kumar and Prasidha Menon shared that they have moved their focus from being competitive and deadline-centric entities to compassionate teams

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: May 3, 2021 8:51 AM  | 2 min read
e4m PR and Corp Comm 30 under 30 Summit

As the Covid situation gets grimmer in India, impacting more lives than ever, the PR industry is focussing on greater solidarity and empathetic actions to keep the motivations of their teams and partners up. A panel of experts speaking at the e4m PR and Corp Comm 30 under 30 Summit highlighted that they have moved their focus from being competitive and deadline-centric entities to compassionate teams that deeply care about the whole industry. 

Moderated by Karan Bhatia and Ruhail Amin from exchange4media Group, on the panel were Media Mantra Director Udit Pathak, Grey Cell Public Relations Founder & Chief Strategist Madhukar Kumar, and Optum Director - Marketing Prasidha Menon. 

Pathak pointed out that the industry was always empathetic towards its employees and partners, however, the current situation has made them more relaxed about the work and clients too are more understanding than ever. 

He said, “Empathy shouldn’t be restricted to this pandemic or any particular situation. As an industry and organization, we have always been very empathetic. However, this moment requires more actions to be taken to make employees feel comfortable. And we have clients supporting this. Just this morning, a client called and asked me to go slow about their campaign. On the other hand, we too have told our clients that we might not be able to give as extensive coverage as we did earlier and they only have been supportive.” 

Menon agreed with Pathak as she shared that the key has been spreading out work and prioritising campaigns with those centered around the pandemic, resources, and mental health awareness taking center stage. 

Kumar highlighted that the need of the moment right now is to take care of the teams, their well being, and support them. “We have cancelled our daily meetings, have eased out on deadlines & targets, and have created a policy wherein any of our employees can take leaves anytime with no salary deductions and no questions asked.” 

All of them pressed on the importance of constantly checking up on team members and their families, calling on sick teammates to take an update on their health and creating a pressure-free environment. 

Pathak also shared that some of the industry members are also in the process of getting together and creating support groups that can help in assisting critical patients from the industry with life-saving equipment like oxygen concentrators. Kumar too emphasized the need for larger industry collaboration on creating isolation facilities and medical help for PR practitioners. 

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