e4m PR & Corp Comm Communication Bridge: 'Content is King & core messaging is important'
Panellists Sonia Huria, Sameer Bajaj, Rajiv Chhibber and Tuhina Pandey discussed how communicators have been enabling a new narrative in a re-imaged world.
Exchange4media saw communication leaders from different spheres in the much-awaited webinar held on 11th June 2020 on the topic, “Unlock 1: How communicator can enable a new narrative in a re-imaged world".
Thought leaders from the communication fraternity, namely, Sonia Huria, Head - Corporate Marketing, Communications & Sustainability, Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd.; Sameer Bajaj, Director - Corporate Communications and External Affairs - South Asia, Discovery; Dr Rajiv Chhibber, VP External Affairs, Sahajanand Medical Technologies; and Tuhina Pandey, Communications Leader for India and South Asia, IBM graced the dais of the webinar. The panel was moderated by Ruhail Amin, Senior Editor at exchange4media group.
“Businesses have got re-strategised and everyone is looking at re-aligning and re-imagining business spaces”, said Amin, setting the tone for the webinar. The moderator quizzed the panellists about enabling new narratives as far as brand strategy is concerned. Bajaj responded, “This is the toughest time anyone has seen ever since WWII. Businesses have no choice now but to adapt to this norm. They have to lead the way to ensure it's cohesive". He added, “We need to ensure that the entire internal team is updated. The role of communicators becomes more niche and distinguished".
Responding to the same question, Huria said, “The role of communicators has become more important and we are sitting on the right side of the table. This as a medium internal and external needs to be balanced across all channels".
Pandey added, “In the lockdown, what went up was communication. The response and agility of the human spirit to the crisis has been phenomenal. Scope of communication has increased. There has not been another time when the government has communicated so much. The re-focus on purpose, health, people, shared agenda has become eminent".
On being asked about the rise of new mediums and re-alignment of mediums in COVID, Huria initiated by saying, “Given the fact that we had to quickly adapt, digital medium always existed but now people have taken to it immediately. The immersion is seamless and doesn't seem like a problem".
Chhibber added, “A company like ours, our clientele is not the last man. It's the doctor. For us, the mediums were pretty simple, either it was a direct call or through social platforms". Talking about the challenges, Dr Chhibber said, “As a medical device company, we're not allowed to display products. Another challenge was that the cardio vascular specialists were shifted as COVID doctors. We had to really devise a strategy. These doctors also wanted some kind of connect on a regular basis. We came up with virtual resource centres".
The moderator then asked about the role of technology in today’s times, to which Huria replied, “COVID has taught us technology-enabled solutions. The opportunities have been unlocked using digital and increased our listening capacity.”
Pandey also went on to talk about why the role of communicators have become more relevant: “We all as communicators need to worry more about the audience. Put that filter right on top. Stay relevant because lots of formats have shut, stay close to business”.
Concluding the session, Amin asked for the panellist's views on learnings on COVID from the communication-strategy viewpoint. Bajaj replied,” We're trying to become screen agnostic. Whether it be digital, TV, OTT, we'll give it to you the way you want it. We're changing as per the scenario.”
Huria also presented her concluding views: “Engagement is key. You need to come up with different ways to engage the consumer. The core product, purpose needs to be the same but the message can be altered.”
"Adapt with agility and speed. Content is king and the core messaging is important. We're talking through screens but the values remain the same", concluded Pandey.
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