Digital media will drive the narration; keep an eye on it: Paresh Chaudhry
Chaudhry, Group President, Corporate Brand Custodian at Adani Group talks about dealing with the corona crisis, leveraging the digital approach, charting the future of communication and more
Turbulent times like these have time and again proven the importance of corporate communications for firms to tide over such situations. Professionals have been putting in all their expertise to help in such times of emergency.
Paresh Chaudhry is one such credible names that can be counted. With three-decade-long expertise in marketing, brand management & communications and reputation management spanning across multiple industries with blue chipped companies, Chaudhry has always proven that communication is his forte. A complete hands-on experience across key global markets has helped him set benchmarks in brand management in global corporate communication functions.
e4m interacted with Paresh Chaudhry, Group President, Corporate Brand Custodian at Adani Group regarding the corona crisis, the digital approach, the future of communication and more.
How is the Adani Group dealing with the coronavirus crisis? What are your views on the current scenario?
The uncertain and immeasurable implications of the COVID-19 crisis will set a new world order. Economies, large and small, have been put through unprecedented tests of curbing the pandemic and maintaining momentum in public life. While governments in India both at the Centre and states have led this battle from the front, the Adani Group has supported the endeavours with great aplomb. Being one of the largest infrastructure players and a responsible corporate, the group's critical businesses stood united in India's fight against COVID-19 by ensuring seamless delivery of essentials to Indian homes.
The Group through its CSR arm, Adani Foundation has contributed Rs 122 crore to PM Cares and multiple state relief funds across India. Additionally, ventilators, PPEs kits, N-95 masks have been distributed at necessary associations working at the grass-root level. Further close to 21,000 labourers and people in the rural communities are given meals each day. We also partnered with the local corporation in delivering essentials across the city. All-round relief work has been put in place in line with the group's brand philosophy of Growth with Goodness wherein we drive growth by infusing goodness in communities.
What is the kind of emphasis being given to digital? What are the digital strategies or campaigns being run during these times?
Digital communication was anyway becoming the way of life, a reality that has accelerated amid the COVID19 crisis.
Amid the lockdown in India which is our primary market, people have been spending more time on digital media. Thus, with an internal study and ideation, the brand launched the #GoodnessNeverStops campaign on key social media platforms. The key communication of the campaign revolved around the fact that while India stays home to safeguard its health, hundreds of people such as healthcare workers, police, social workers and more, along with the employees of Adani Group involved in providing essential services like electricity, gas and logistics, are battling on the frontlines to ensure goodness for all. With the digital audience spending quality time on social media, Adani Group released hard-hitting brand videos to capture their screens and hearts, such as one on Adani Group’s fight against COVID-19. This particular video highlighted all the relief work done by the group, awareness videos of taking precautions, saluting the frontline warriors and paying homage to the first responders to the call of the duty. Thought leadership articles and posts aligned to the key message put out by the senior leadership led by the Chairman, Gautam Adani further amplified the narratives garnering warm sentiments from different stakeholders.
Unsurprisingly, this message of humanity resonated instantly with the masses and was carried out under the #GoodnessNeverStops campaign, which is an extension of our brand philosophy, Growth with Goodness.https://www.facebook.com/AdaniOnline/videos/554558162132918/
Subsequently, our PR engagements were also active, our key pillars were community welfare, nation-building and business continuity, this was all done through earned media. From television, media to top national and regional publications and thought leadership platforms such as LinkedIn etc. The key messaging across platforms complemented each other seamlessly.
Some of the most performing content bits from the campaign, #GoodnessNeverStops:
- Adani Group | Throwback - #StayHomeStaySafe
- Adani Group | The Quarantine Challenges
- Instagram Grid by Adani Employees
- Saluting frontline warriors
We salute the work force and the frontline warriors for their unwavering support. They are stepping out each day so that we don't have to. Our sincere gratitude to these torchbearers of goodness who are fighting for a future filled with hope.#GoodnessNeverStops #COVID19India pic.twitter.com/Uozj5CEW9S— Adani Group (@AdaniOnline) April 17, 2020
How corporate communication manages internal and external communications and stakeholders?
We have a predefined SOP which is updated yearly. SOP lays the strong foundation of formulating strategies for the group and its businesses. Internally, we have identified SPOCs for intelligence gathering basis which we identify the requirement and provide necessary solutions. Throughout the procedure, my team gets in touch with the business SPOC, agencies, and some concerned individuals in businesses. For external communication, all the group related information is prepared as per the requirement after which it is vetted by the business or anyone who’s is responsible for the information development, after this information is meticulously released in the media. We have identified important matrix through which we plan out yearly, quarterly, monthly activities which is aligned in the reputation dashboard. At the end of every month, the output is reviewed through the dashboard which reflects our standings.
What according to you is the future of communication in the post COVID world?
Going forward, brand communications is going to play a very important role because what the world needs today is citizen communication. Global brands that are able to move above consumer communication are the ones which will remain relevant. Sustainability and social impacts are going to take centre stage with the rise of global warming. Digital PR will be used like never before. There is going to be budget cuts in advertisement spending, hence brand and its partners will have to work it out with shoe-string budgets and yet be more creative.
To sum it up, brand communication needs to follow the following points to maintain their share of voice and repute.
- The communications need to be focused basis the customer needs
- Convey rooted narrative from the leader’s perspective
- Take measured and watchful approach in the times of crisis communication
- Don’t force your brand communications into unnecessary platforms to make it more enticing
- Digital media will drive the narration, keep an eye on it
- Community program communication will be important for key messaging
- Communication has to be transparent
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