Research, reading & data analysis play an important role in the prevailing market

Shashank Sethi, Director- Corporate Communications & Marketing, Droom Technology, speaks to us about featuring on e4m PR and Corporate Communications 40 under 40 list and the latest industry trends

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Updated: Jan 5, 2021 9:06 AM
In a conversation with Shashank Sethi

As Digital transcends into our daily regime, being technologically sound and adept becomes mandatory. Communications professionals have been upskilling themselves to adapt to the changing scenarios. One such professional is Shashank Sethi who made it in the second list of the ‘e4m PR and Corporate Communications 40 under 40’ list. He is currently working as Director- Corporate Communications and Marketing at Droom Technology which is an AI and data science-driven online transactional platform, which offers new-age experience in buying & selling used & new automobiles in India and other emerging markets.

Having honed his skills with Value 360 Communications as Manager-PR and Client Servicing, he joined Droom Technology as Director- Corporate Communications and Marketing. With a decade of experience working in the industry, Sethi is an accomplished communications expert with a well-rounded experience record in the communication industry including Journalism, PR, and Marketing.

We caught up with Shashank Sethi in our latest episode of ‘e4m Next Gen Series’ to talk more about the latest trends, key skills required in the prevailing market, technological adaptations, future plans and more.

Edited Excerpts:-

How do you feel about being a part of this elite list?

Thanks to exchange4media as after chaos in 2020, this came as a piece of good news. I feel extremely delighted to be one of the faces on the e4m PR and Corporate Communications 40 under 40 list. Along with pleasure, this also comes with a responsibility to contribute more to the communications industry.

What are the key skills required for the communications industry in the prevailing market?

According to me, research, reading, and data analysis play an important role. And not to forget about the need for good content which comes with a strong backbone of research, lots of reading, and data analysis.

How do you feel being on the other side of the table? What changes did you notice during your role at the agency and the client’s side?

I started my career as a journalist but soon shifted to the PR industry. I am thankful to my mentors at Value 360 Communications as they gave me immense opportunities to explore. This helped me to understand the brand gene very well in the perception of the communication channel. Now as it is more Mark Comm agencies have mushroomed up, I understand that it is necessary now to wear a marketing hat while doing PR.

What changes has the Client-Agency relationship undergone during the past 10 months?

In these 10 months, the relationship has become better, as you spend more cycles with each other. The PR channels in this pandemic played a big role. Each side collaborated and worked, and we got great campaigns this year.

Are the communications professional technologically sound and adept to survive in the changed scenario?

I think yes, as the last five years the digital adoption has been on a large side. We have to see every opportunity from the 360 perceptive and also include digital ideas. So, we as communications professionals are using digital tools and platforms to understand and reach out to the audience. Big Data and AI are playing a key role in our digital transformation.

What are the two trends that you will give a thumbs up and a thumbs down for the industry for the times to come?

Every PR professional in current times needs to think about topical and viral content so thumbs up for digital content. The second is big data analytics which is the future. Well, thumbs down to the disappearance of digital agencies and corporate communication functions in the coming years. We will have more integrated and marcomm agencies in the near future.

How did you convert a challenge into an opportunity?

I think the biggest challenge was the initial 21 days of lockdown in March. But we came with the idea of a germ shield celebrating the real heroes in this pandemic. So, we created a CSR campaign where we worked for the people working in the pandemic amidst the lockdown and away from their families. It was a challenge for me to step out during the lockdown but it was my responsibility as a member of the society and as a corporate communications head.

What message do you want to give your juniors and colleagues in the PR and Corp Comm. industry?

My message to budding PR professionals is to be passionate about your work. Whatever you are doing, do proper research and data analysis and reach out to seniors for support and guidance. 

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