‘Data insights lend credibility to story & allow audience to visualise it’

In today’s edition of ‘PR Outlook for 2022’ series, Chetan Mahajan, Founder and CEO, The Mavericks, says data visualisation has become a key differentiator in bringing rationality to a storyteller

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: May 31, 2022 11:19 AM  | 4 min read

The ‘PR Outlook for 2022’ showcases industry stalwarts sharing their views on the shift in the industry towards digitalisation and AI, the transition, current trends, the future of the PR industry, and more. 

For today’s conversation, we spoke to Chetan Mahajan, Founder and CEO, The Mavericks, who talks about how data visualisation has become a key differentiator in bringing rationality for a storyteller.


According to you, what are some of the upcoming trends in the PR industry? What are some of the opportunities and challenges you faced so far in 2022? 

PR is a perfect blend of crafting brand stories that will resonate with, influence, and impact the stakeholders and earning an organic and authentic source to share these stories making them far more credible than paid publicity. The number of sources has become diverse and niche. What a news story in The Times Of India could achieve five years ago needs 5x the effort and 20x the number of sources today as the audience got dispersed. This challenge got further accentuated with COVID, changing the dynamics of PR forever. I see three strong trends emerging in the new world order. 

  1. A clearly articulated purpose and positioning statement is a must before we even start telling any stories. Any communication that doesn’t hit the bullseye is not worth wasting time on. The story must be rational, emotional, contextual, and authentic for it to leave any meaningful influence on the audience. As simple as it may sound, most companies don’t have a well-articulated purpose and positioning, or it is not comprehended as intended by even the internal stakeholders. I see more and more organisations starting with the why? Instead of what and how?
  2. Once the story is ready, building an integrated dissemination strategy allows us to deliver the maximum impact and reach a significant portion of the audience. Blending PR with social media, digital, influencer, and content marketing is imperative. It requires multi-skilled individuals and diverse teams with magical collaboration to adapt the stories to different formats with a well-planned, proactive, and reactive dissemination and response strategy.
  3. Data visualisation from a storyteller's lens is becoming a key differentiator in bringing rationality to an otherwise ordinarily complete story. Data insights not just lend credibility to the story; it allows the audience to visualise it, making it far more memorable and impactful. 

The challenge lies in not adapting to the game's new rules and the opportunity to stay two steps ahead of your clients and competition. 

Almost every organisation heavily leverages the digital medium for industrial activities. How do you see the clients focusing on data customisation?

Most corporates hesitate to allow Marcom teams to access the core data generated across multiple touchpoints. This data is used only for strategic guidance. A few organisations have started to leverage select data to share solid trends and actionable insights. We build an in-house team of researchers and data scientists to help our clients achieve this. 

The PR and Communications industry is now making its way in the age of podcasts. What are the advantages that the professionals can garner from the same?

Podcasts have a conversational format, not causal but informal, like a dinner table conversation. Podcasts, particularly the organic ones, offer the same value as a print story, except it is informal, authentic, loaded with emotions, and served in a format that’s in vogue and is convenient. One can multitask while consuming a podcast (like listening to it while driving), unlike a print story that needs 100% attention. 

How do you foresee the future of the PR industry with the use of Artificial Intelligence?

In my opinion, AI can offer great value in insights to understand the trends that one can ride, the context that one can leverage, and the dissemination channel mix to suit the budgets to maximise the bang for our buck. Predictive analytics, as and when it matures for our industry, can significantly change the dynamics of PR. A few things that the marketers and CEOs don’t appreciate about PR are the uncertainty associated with organic stories, and that reputation builds with one credible story at a time. Unlike paid publicity, organic stories lack any guarantee of time and precision. AI can change this for good. 


The content in this section is curated by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback kindly write to karan.bhatia@exchanhge4media.com.

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