'Local forms of communication need to be revived'

At the recently held IPRCCC, a panel of industry stalwarts shared insights on the topic ‘The power of communication in social sector’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Apr 14, 2022 12:31 PM  | 3 min read

The seventh session of IPRCCC 2021 brought together industry stalwarts who discussed and shared insights on the significance of communications. The experts elaborated on the topic “The Power of Communications in social sector”. The panelists involved leaders Girish Balachandran, Managing Partner, On Purpose; Shivalika Malik, Associate Director – Corporate Communications, PepsiCo India; Sonal Choithani, Chief Communication Officer, Aluminium and Power, Vedanta Limited; and Neeta Linz, DGM – Corporate Communications & CSR, LG Electronics India. The session was moderated by Ruchika Jha.

The discussion started with the panelists talking about how social sector and the communications industry came together in the hour of need to make a difference to which Balachandran said, “I think social sector has done some heavy lifting in terms of providing the kind of support that sometimes the government or the private sectors are not able to. The communications industry has helped take their message to those who have the funds to support within communities to mobilise people and then also to convey right message to the government about what needs to be done. While the social sector has really been at the front line along with public health workers, the communications industry had a huge role in taking their message whether it is of behaviour change or taking the voices to other stakeholders and help them to be able to understand  the reality on the ground and take some action.”

Talking about some of the causes that communication industry supports in trying times, Malik elucidated, “There are plethora of causes that one can actually pick up in a country like India. Be it Covid or no Covid, corporates, companies, people (individuals as well) are now becoming more and more responsible about picking up a cause for being socially responsible. During Covid, PepsiCo India along with its NGO partners ensured in the first phase that millions of meals were given despite the fact that there was migration issue at that point of time. In the second phase, it was all about oxygen concentrators, masks, vaccination awareness etc. It is all about the cause that you pick you are passionate about. So pick up the cause and go for it.”

Linz further addressed the importance of communication during pandemic and how in the course of time people, NGOs talked about the significance of the social causes done and promoted. She also said that people have used innovative ideas digitally to pass on information to the public about latest information and protocols. “At LG Electronics, we created a video highlighting that how one should maintain Covid protocols and not to pull out the string as the pandemic is still  there,” she noted.

Choithani explained the expectations of brands from the agencies while working for the social sector. “One would like to move from a very output based approach to an outcome based approach to lead the campaign. At some point as PR professionals, we will have to come up with some sort of metrics to determine whether campaigns were successful or not. Finally, I think the time is right to explore other means of creative communications in areas like we offer. The local communication forms which are perhaps dying, need to be revived. The local art and culture can absolutely be leveraged in many states . All of those an absolutely be explored innovatively and that should be something that agencies and communicators can leverage,” she added.

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