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The task ahead for PR and Corp Comm is going to be huge: B Thiagarajan, Blue Star

At the IPRCCCA 2021, Thiagarajan, MD, Blue Star, spoke about the challenges the PR and Corporate Communications professionals faced during the Covid pandemic

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Apr 11, 2022 8:46 AM  | 3 min read
B Thiagarajan, Bluestar

At the 12th edition of the India Public Relations and Corporate Communications Conference and Awards (IPRCCCA) on Friday, B Thiagarajan, Managing Director, Blue Star, spoke about the challenges the PR and Corporate Communications professionals faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. While delivering the keynote address, Thiagarajan said that the complex nature of the business in the PR industry is changing post-pandemic as the past 2 years had been really challenging ones.

Thiagarajan, a business leader, had handled PR and corporate communications PR and corporate communications for several years. “This particular award is for the year when the work carried out by all of you during the pandemic and the challenges the businesses faced, must be kept in mind that it was a very difficult period in the lives of others. In the context of the business environment, it was a challenging year for one to communicate”, he said.

“For example, if it is a poor business performance or business that got derailed due to the pandemic, or certain product developments and allowances that were delayed, in that context, to be communicating and keeping stakeholders engaged was indeed challenging”, he added.

Thiagarajan further added that we have war at this time and in the coming days many more challenges will happen. “Actually, the task ahead for PR and corporate communication is going to be huge,” he added. He also pointed out that PR also has a fine line between marketing. For quite a few organizations, reporting is done to the CEO or to the CMO. “I recognize that there is a fine dividing line between these two roles. But my question is if the recognition for PR professionals is adequate in the country? 

He raised another point with regard to the money spent on marketing saying, “It is measured as a percentage of revenue and the investment that is going into PR and corporate communication, is miniscule. Compared with many other countries, India spends much less on PR and corporate communication, this is one area we all should collectively work”.

He also shared that the next part of the challenge is connected with the interpretations and misinterpretations. “Communication, whether it is internal or external, while the intent is to communicate something but what is finally written is not in your control. Interestingly, the other part is the communication attempt that you do, quite often it may not get published as well.

“The blame for something which is not written or that is wrongly written you cannot pass on the accountability to a particular publication or a television channel and you remain accountable. That is something that is part of your job, this also must be appreciated.” He said that PR should be treated with more dignity. “I'm not saying it is not happening but the ‘PR type’ taboo that should be removed.”

Sharing a piece of advice, Thiagarajan emphasized that CEOs should spend more time with their PR teams. “I realize that the time the CEO spent with the corporate communication team it's not adequate. I often feel guilty that the time spent with the manufacturing or the marketing team is much higher than the PR team”, he added.

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