IPRCCC: In 2020, PR champions will take centre stage in communication: Avinash Kaul

Avinash Kaul, CEO Network18 and MD A+E Network, delivered a keynote address on PR 2.0 and the road ahead for the next year

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 21, 2019 10:18 AM
Avinash Kaul

“PR and news go hand in hand in many ways,” said Avinash Kaul, CEO, Network18 and MD A+E Network, during a keynote session on PR 2.0 and the road ahead for 2020 at exchange4media’s India PR Corporate Communication Conference 2019 (IPRCCC) in New Delhi on Friday.

Kaul began the session with his insights on content travel - what it means and how do we make content travel. He spoke about the effective usage of headlines for a clickbait effect to increase the number of readers.

It is very difficult to separate PR from marketing, he said. “At one point it was just enough for a client to have a marketing budget. There was a marketing and brand manager whose job was to work with sales. This was an era when they weren’t too many competitors around and there was enough virgin territory in the market for you to go and conquer. The KRAs were simple that you need 10 per cent of the market share in a particular category and this would go up to 15 or 20 per cent. Hence in some ways, the marketing and sales objectives merged. Now in every product category we have at least 20 to 30 competitors. You also have the advent of social media and digital platforms where the lines are blurring between what marketing and PR does.”

He further added that seen from a CEO’s prism there are a lot more communication challenges than just in brand marketing. “It is not just about how many products you sell. A CEO today is also talking to prospective employees, he is also talking to his board of directors and people who have lent him the money, to all the ancillary industries that feed particular industry, and to the regulators. So the role and definition of what marketing used to be about selling more brands has radically altered. Today we all realised that is no longer sufficient just to have something known as brand marketing, but it is affecting the overall corporate marketing which is at the centre of all the challenges.”

Citing Maggie as an example, Kaul said it wasn’t just a challenge for Maggie but for Nestle as well and also a challenge for the entire organisation. It is a challenge on any statement that the CEO is making and so the spectrum is a cost for a while and this is something that PR has been doing.

In 2020 and beyond, PR champions can take the centre stage in communication, he said. “There are new frontiers like social and digital and the ones going to control those frontiers are those who have the ability to understand the nuances of everything that the corporate stands for.”

Speaking about the rise of content marketing, Kaul shared that the creative agencies focused on the 30 seconds ads and media agencies are buying that 30-second ads. There's a white space for content marketing and it is waiting for the content specialist to come to the front, and take centre stage in this new era of content marketing and that is a journey PR 2.0 can have.”

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