Content & storytelling to become central in communications industry: Prateek Chatterjee

Chatterjee, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Comms & Marketing at NIIT Ltd talks about his overall journey in the industry, importance of reputation management, forecast for 2020 and more.

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Updated: Jan 27, 2020 1:05 PM

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Prateek Chatterjee

Prateek Chatterjee, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Communications & Marketing at NIIT Ltd was among the 100 people included in the “Top 100 Influential Game Changers” list of e4m.  Chatterjee is an expert in public relations, reputation management and corporate marketing. He has been associated with NIIT for 12 years now and has diversified experience across sectors, including IT, education, real estate, hospitality and others.

 One of the senior leaders of the industry, Chatterjee has demonstrated expertise of formulating & executing the communications strategy for multiple stakeholder outreach on critical deal related announcements.

 exchange4media caught up with Prateek Chatterjee who shared with us his journey in the communication sector, the importance of reputation management, forecast for 2020 and more.

 Edited Excerpts:

 How have been your initial days in the corporate communication industry? What were your key learnings?

 I have had the good fortune of learning from the best in my initial days in communications. My journey into the comms sector started with Perfect Relations, South Asia’s largest PR agency back then. Working alongside some of the stalwarts in the industry, including its founder Dilip Cherian, gave me a ringside perspective of the importance of reputation management up close.

For me, it’s been quite a journey from then on. During my next stint at real estate major Ansal Properties, I was instrumental in transforming the 40-year old brand identity of the organisation into a more vibrant and younger avatar– Ansal API. Currently, I am working with NIIT Limited, a global leader in skills & talent development as Sr. Vice President, Corporate Communications & Marketing. Spending over 20 years in the industry, I have built expertise in PR, Corporate Marketing, Social Media outreach, Digital Media comms, Brand Ambassador communication & Brand management. I thank everybody who has helped shape me into the communications professional that I am today with utmost gratitude and humility.

 How quintessential has reputation management become in today’s times?

I would say in today’s Digital age, Reputation is the new currency! It’s actually everything. Before a prospect becomes your customer, he discovers all about you online. And the image you have created online can be a make or break your reputation. In that sense, PR becomes critical, as only through this intervention can one create a positive digital footprint with high credibility.

Therefore having a robust Reputation Management strategy in place is now an imperative and not an afterthought any longer.

What has been the key feature of NIIT that distinguishes it from the other companies working in the same domain?

 NIIT has been known as a company whose reputation has been built on PR, and I have been fortunate in driving this now for over the last 12 years with the organization. At NIIT, it has always been our endeavour to stay ahead of the curve, having pioneered IT training for India in the early 80s to now leading the Digital Transformation movement by building Future Ready Talent for the industry. And corporate communications has always been the means to get the message out there in the public domain for the organization.

 What are the trends that will outline the year 2020 in the communication sector?

 2020 will see very exciting times for the Communications sector.   I see whole new frontiers waiting to be discovered and explored. With content and storytelling becoming central to all experiences and show stoppers being replaced by thumb stoppers in today’s scroll frenzy generation, the Comms industry is sitting on an inflection point like never before.

 One of the major trends includes the blurring of lines between PR and Marketing. This is changing the traditional communications mix of PESO – Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned media. Among these, there is a whole lot of action taking place in the last two quadrants. Companies are becoming their own news creators and broadcasters, to connect more deeply with communities and also fight challenges of fake news to build a positive reputation. The actual test, however, will be to upskill and reskill oneself to remain as relevant in the changing new order.

 Where will the advancements in technology lead the industry in the year 2020?

There has been a lot of talk about AI and tech in PR and how it will take centre stage in Communications. I for one am a strong believer of leveraging data to build strong consumer insights. But then how we use these insights to develop a meaningful communications strategy, will be the real Holy Grail. That is where human intuition will play a pivotal role. Therefore sound strategy backed by strong data-driven insights will increasingly be the way forward.

 What are your future plans?

To be open to new possibilities which help create value.  The field of communications is a fast-evolving space and I look forward to continuing to be a learner of this massively exciting space, which helps connect people and brands.

 

 

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