PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40: Responsible behaviour key in communication, say experts

Priti Setia, Group Head Technology, Adfactors PR, & RJ Arpana Gandhi took part in a session on how communication could enable a more sensitive approach towards gender issues

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 20, 2019 9:40 AM
PR 40 Under 40

The second panel discussion at exchange4media’s first ‘e4m PR and Corp Comm 40 Under 40’ meet was all about what role communication plays in sensitising people about the issues at hand and addressing the key challenges which need attention. Priti Setia, Group Head Technology, Adfactor PR, and RJ Arpana Gandhi took part in a session to share their views. The session was moderated by Ruhail Amin, Sr. Editor BW Businessworld & Executive Editor BW Applause. 

The panel was about how communication could enable a more sensitive approach to the way we look at gender. Amin began the session asking the speakers if they thought communication had a major role in sensitising people about creating socially responsible behaviour, especially regarding issues about women safety and gender diversity.

Setia shared that communication for a long time has been that platform and medium not only for people to express their voices, but also put out their opinions. “It's also called a platform where you can challenge the status quo and point out if anything has gone in the wrong direction.” 

Also, regarding communication for countries like India and specific topics like gender diversity or gender gap, Setia shared a point from an UN General study which says that it's only gender gap, which is contributing 19% to the cost of the GDP. “Imagine an economic development reform, a country like India is looking at, if we want to really liberate women to a level where they have equal representation. We have a great opportunity. And from a communication point of view, mass communications, there are so many ways we can communicate - there’s movie, radio, digital platforms, mainstream but more than that, each one of us can express ourselves on the social platforms that were using today.” 

Gandhi, an RJ by profession, who communicates with audiences on a large scale spoke about how important it is to push to bring a certain kind of change in the way society perceives women especially. 

 Gandhi mentioned, “There are a number of ways through which we can communicate but there are very few things from where we can get feedback.”

 In the context of the #MeToo movement, she said that it's time we speak up about men's empowerment rather than talking about women empowerment. She also said that this is the right time to teach our boys what is right and what is wrong and also to women. “It should start from our schooling and before that the best place to communicate is from our homes,” shared Gandhi.  

Speaking about #MeToo, Amin said it felt that this was the beginning of a new movement but later on we saw some fake cases as well. He asked if about the responsibility involved in taking part in such movements.

 Setia responded that the responsibility today is to form opinions which are socially, culturally aspirationally and morally so strong that we have credibility. “If today celebrities are talking about something, which is jibberish enough and does not have any relation and it is taking you in a negative direction, that's a negative influence. I think as part of responsibility, we need to balance social context. We need to balance our cultural context in our conversation and make sure that everything is sustainable in a positive direction. And I think that's the responsibility to take up.”

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