Integration done well & delivered right increases the reach & RoI: Xavier Prabhu
Xavier Prabhu, Founder & Managing Director, PRHUB Integrated Marketing Communication talks about the role of integrated marketing for Indian brands, future of PR and media relations for GenZ & more
The rise of integrated agencies has caused a big paradigm shift in the communication industry. The rising involvement of millennials and GenZ in the industry is impressive. It also brings a great number of challenges and issues for the PR industry.
Xavier Prabhu, Founder & Managing Director, PRHUB Integrated Marketing Communication Pvt. Ltd., is an industry veteran and has been in the industry for 25 years. He is the founder of PRHUB, which delivers integrated communication mandates with in-house specialized teams in design, social and digital, content development & marketing, online & digital; PR in addition to traditional media relations and influencer engagement.
Exchange4media had an interaction with Xavier Prabhu, about his journey in the PR industry, the role of integrated marketing for Indian brands, the future of PR and media relations for Gen Z professionals, leadership issues and the greatest challenges in the PR, Branding and Communication industry
How has been your journey in the industry? What have been your key learnings working across industries and sectors?
The journey has been a very fulfilling one with multiple key learnings along the way. Always have a plan B. Count the chickens not even immediately after they hatch but much after they hatch. Take your own prescription. Be passionate. And lastly, be yourself.
What have been the digital transformations in the communications industry?
Digital today is an integral part of any PR and communication plan and campaign. The way we look at it in PRHUB and are trying to build expertise is how do we fuse digital into everything that we do for our clients? How do we leverage the power of digital to amplify and deliver client key messages and how do we use it to showcase clear RoI for client investments (a major challenge with traditional media coverage driven measurement approaches).
Why has the need of integrated communications agencies popped up in the current scenario?
The need for integrated communication partners in the recent past is due to four factors. First is the PR, social and digital interplay. PR is a key source of credible and interesting content for social, and together, PR and social influence search and support paid spends. Content is at the core of everything and it is no longer just text - it is images, infographics, videos and more.
Second, the consumer today can easily switch between different mediums and platforms and consume content on the go anytime, anywhere. Their attention spans have shrunk and the clutter is even higher. So if the brand does not get its message right or isn't consistent or visible across, there is a real danger it will lose out.
Third, when integration is done well and delivered right, it significantly increases the reach &RoI.
And fourth, most start-ups and growth firms have lean teams, for whom it is easier to deal with one firm. Also, accountability is much higher if one agency drives multiple facets.
Has the PR industry lost its essence in the bid to win the maximum number of likes and page views?
The number of likes is of no relevance and impact except for the trivial purpose of vanity. Chasing likes and views of single-minded has its own negatives. You accumulate irrelevant people on your assets/pages/handles which is not good. They are one inactive and second when active will put off your real, core audience since there is nothing common between them. The real ones will feel left out and go inactive or exit. Which is really bad. On a pragmatic note, across all social platforms, some amount of froth is natural. So am only talking of irrelevant likes beyond a threshold.
What technological disruptions will the communications industry witness in the new decade?
PR cannot be in isolation to what is happening in the broader business. Big data, analytics, digital, AR, VR, usage of tools, hyper-personalization etc. will become more pervasive and important.
What is the future of PR and media relations for Gen Z professionals?
Gen-Z is more tech-savvy and entrepreneurial than even millennials with different social habits than millennials. They are the always-on generation and traditional marketing does not work with them. They will impact the industry in many ways. And the industry also needs them to do the digital and technology leap it needs to in order to stay relevant. But retaining and motivating them will be challenging and our models and approaches need to change and will change.
What are the greatest challenges to the PR, Branding and Communication industry?
The one specific to India is commoditization. The more clients think it is easy to move from A to B to C, we lose negotiating power and long tenancy, which hurts both as the quality of work on both sides will suffer as depth and consistency goes off the table.
Next is technology adaption. We are quite slow and behind the curve already.
And finally, there are unrealistic expectations of talent. Expecting high double-digit growth annually is just illogical. But foresee this to continue as there is no one agency or client who can bell this cat.
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