IPRCCA 2011: Industry salutes PR and Corp Comm practitioners

Dr Pragnya Ram was conferred the Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural IPRCC Awards 2011. Hanmer MSL’s Sunil Gautam was declared PR Professional of the Year, Roma Balwani of Mahindra was adjudged Corporate Communication Professional of the Year. PR Agency of the Year was Blue Lotus PR.

Gopal Sathe 17-March-2011

IPRCCA 2011: Industry salutes PR and Corp Comm practitioners

The public relations and corporate communication industry got together to applaud the achievements of their own at the first ever Indian PR and Corporate Communication Awards (IPRCCA) 2011. The Awards were presented by CVB News Service, while Ad Factors PR is the co-sponsor. Eikona is the measurement partner, while insights have been provided by Penn Schoen Berland. Academic partner was ISB&M School of Communication.

Industry veteran Dr Pragnya Ram was conferred the Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. Sunil Gautam of Hanmer MSL was declared PR Professional of the Year. Corporate Communication Professional of the Year Award went to Roma Balwani of Mahindra.

Blue Lotus PR was adjudged PR Agency of the Year. In a bid to encourage young talent in this field, the Young Achievers Award has been instituted and the inaugural award went to Mamta Kalra Juneja of Emami Group.

Along with the winners there were Honorary Mentions in each award category. A complete list of the Award winners is as follows:

Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr Pragnya Ram

PR Professional of the Year – Sunil Gautam, Hanmer MSL

Corporate Communication Professional of the Year:
Roma Balwani, Senior Vice President & Head Corporate Communications, Mahindra & Mahindra
Abhijit Sarkar, Head - Corporate Communications, Sahara India Pariwar

PR Agency of the Year – Blue Lotus PR

Young Achievers Award – Mamta Kalra Juneja, Emami Group

Best Use of Public Relations by Private Sector Entity – Corporate:
Winner: Sobha Developers
Honorary Mention: Loginworks Softwares – Promotion of TaskTrek, an internal communication solution

Best Use of Public Relations by Private Sector Entity – Agency:
Winner: Hanmer MSL – Campaign: Embassy of France (Bonjour India)
Honorary Mention: Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick – Smile Campaign (P&G)

Best Use of Public Relations for a Social Cause – Corporate:
Winner: Coca-Cola – Partnership with UN Habitat for improved access to water and sanitation
Honorary Mention: Bharti – Satya Bharti School Programme

Best Use of Public Relations for a Social Cause – Agency:
Winner: Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick – Save the Children, India
Honorary Mention: Communicators India – Empowering women through public relations programmes

Best Use of Public Relations in the Financial Services Sector – Agency:
Winner: LinOpinion – Arcil Arms
Honorary Mention: IPAN Hill Knowlton – Max New York Life Insurance – Igenius

Best Use of PR in the Entertainment, Sports and Lifestyle Sector – Corporate / Entity:
Winner: NIIT Ltd – Chess through NIIT’s brand ambassador Vishwanathan Anand
Honorary Mention: Titan – Define the Brand Identity

Best Use of PR in the Entertainment, Sports and Lifestyle Sector – Agency:
Winner: PR Pundit – Kingdom of Dreams
Honorary Mention: Percept PR – Sunburn Goa 2010; and Zzebra PR – Rugby India

Out-of-the-Box PR Idea:
Winner: Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick – Women Against Lazy Stubble
Honorary Mention: Sahara India Pariwar – Sahara Pune Warriors – Name and logo unveiling

Best Use of Corporate Communications in an Organisation:
Winner: Kotak Mahindra Group
Honorary Mention: NTPC – Campaign of NTPC’s internal communication strategy

Best Use of Public Relations by Deploying Social Media:
Winner: Phonethics – Nissan Micra
Honorary Mention: Perfect Relations – TED India ‘The Brain Spa’

Best Continuous PR Campaign (campaign lasting minimum 3 years):
Winner: Perfect Relations –Saffolalife Study
Honorary Mention: Hanmer MSL India – ElectroMech Material Handling Systems Pvt Ltd

Eikona Best Use of Media/Marketing/Consumer Data for PR Planning/Strategy:
Winner: Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick – Women Against Lazy Stubble
Honorary Mention: Airtel Mobitude – World’s first mobile phone Trend Study

Winner Speak
Reacting to his agency picking up more than one award, Atul Ahluwalia, President India, Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick, said, “This award means a lot to me, because as a company we have a vision to be the best. The award rewards excellence and provides an important validation to the PR industry. Our company is the most awarded company, with 10 major awards last year, including the Cannes award we shared with BBDO and Mediacom, and many more. It’s important for the legacy of the company, and so it’s very good that the first Indian awards have also validated us.”

He further said, “To be honest, we were expecting the awards to come to us though I was still a little overwhelmed, because our campaigns have been very successful and received recognition the world over. Most important, we have received a good response. Good sales means a good job, creativity is important, but not the only factor in a good campaign.”

Commenting on the IPRCC Awards, he said, “I’m very glad that exchange4media has instituted these Awards, because they will drive others and inspire them. This will cause a push for quality and the feeling I see is that everyone wants to come here next year and win, so this will drive creativity.”

Prateek Chatterjee, Head - Corporate Communications, NIIT, remarked, “NIIT’s association with chessmaster Vishwanathan Anand spans over a decade now, and what we feel is that chess is important in shaping young minds. For us, this Award is a further endorsement of that message, and recognition of the value we provide.
While I had not expected to win the Award when I walked in, we were hopeful and expectant, and we’re happy with the recognition. I want to extend my congratulations to exchange4media for having started these Awards. They help highlight the importance of PR and corporate communications, and I hope that they will continue and inspire people.”

Reacting to being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Dr Pragnya Ram, Group Executive President, Corporate Communications & CSR, Aditya Birla Group, said, “I feel really great about receiving this Award, because I think it’s a great recognition which validates communications and the importance of PR strategies.”

“I’m really happy to have received this Award, particularly now. I have just stepped down after 11 years, after the best year for Hanmer. For me, this award is recognition of the industry that we are in,” said Sunil Gautam, Chairman-Founder Hanmer MSL. He added, “I am very happy about this, because as an industry we have been missing proper recognition. This is the first such award and it will bring in a lot of enthusiasm and inspire people.”

Gautam further said, “This is a hallelujah time for companies in the industry, it gives people something to look forward to, and to give young people something that they can work towards. As an industry, we have made a lot of progress and I firmly believe that recognition like this will help.”

For Roma Balwani, Senior Vice President and Head Corporate Communications, Mahindra & Mahindra, “This Award is a wonderful milestone in a journey that started many years ago, when I was a marketing professional for Aptech. My CEO at the time, Ganesh Natarajan, offered me a change in career, and I said I was not cut out for this, that I was not qualified, and besides, I was too blunt and candid. But he told me that he wanted exactly that quality, and that is what has helped me through all these years.”

She added, “Despite being on the jury, I didn’t know that there was this category until the Chairman of the Jury told me about it, and then I had to recuse my position on the jury, so it was completely unexpected for me, and I was a little nervous when I left the room, and very heartened, when I learned the decision.”

Speaking on the IPRCC Awards, Balwani remarked, “Awards like this one are very important because they create awareness of the PR profession. It inspires young professionals and helps them see that this is a mainstream career. Today, highly qualified young people with MBAs and post graduate degrees are entering into mass communication and it is a focused career. The award celebrates and benchmarks excellence, which is very important because in the past PR has not had the right image. Today, it is not just about media relations, but about leveraging strategy as well, which is a change that I have seen come into the profession over the last ten years, so now that we have made some progress it is important to celebrate it as well.”
 

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TCS appoints Vivek Padiyar as Head of Corporate Communications

Prior to his new role, Padiyar worked as VP Technology at Weber Shandwick.

exchange4media News Service 3 days ago

VivekPadiyar

Vivek Padiyar, Former VP of Technology, Weber Shandwick, has joined TCS as Head of Corporate Communications.

Before joining Weber Shandwick, Padiyar was working at Perfect Relations as Director and Practice Head, Technology, he has also been associated with Text 100 and Edelman.

Padiyar is an alumnus of Xavier Institute of Communications and the Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics. TCS is one of the largest Indian companies by market capitalisation and is now placed among the most valuable IT services brands worldwide, with business in 46 countries.

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Oppo appoints Nitin Yadav to lead its Public Relations division in South Asia

Prior to joining Oppo, Yadav served stints at Huawei Technologies and Vivo

Ruhail Amin 27-September-2018

Nitin Yadav, former Public Relations Manager at Huawei Technologies and Manager, Press Relations and Corporate Affairs, Vivo has joined Oppo Mobiles to lead its Public Relations in South Asia.

Both Oppo and Vivo have lately been in the news for their big media spends. According to some reports, the two Chinese Smartphone manufacturers allocated a combined sum of Rs 2200 crore for their marketing spends in 2017 alone. Both players are competing to have a dominant position in the smartphone market.

Yadav’s role also assumes significance since Xiaomi has emerged as a tough competitor to Oppo and has captured significant market share in the last one year. 
Oppo had 5.6% smartphone share in the first quarter of 2018, down from 9.9% share during a year earlier period, according to Counterpoint research. Xiaomi maintained its lead in Q1 with 31.1% market share, followed by Samsung (26.2%) and Vivo (5.8%).
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MSL India appoints Shirley D’Costa as Digital Practice Lead, West

D’Costa will be responsible for driving the growth and adoption of the digital communication in the region

exchange4media News Service 17-September-2018

MSL, Publicis Groupe's strategic communications and engagement firm, has appointed Shirley D'Costa as its Digital Practice Lead for the western region.

D’Costa will be responsible for driving the growth and adoption of the digital communication in the region and will report to Tushar Bajaj, Senior Vice President, National Digital Head. She will also work with the teams in Mumbai and Pune to add value to their existing clientele and create additional opportunities for MSL Digital.

Talking about her new role, D’Costa said, "Build a good team, do great work, deliver on clients business; quite simply that's the agenda for me. There is a great level of foresight, and drive towards delivering on integrated business solutions, and it is the right time to be a part of the force. Growing a team that builds stronger brands through digital is what excites me, and I'm looking forward to doing that here."

DCosta has been in the industry for over a decade and has worked across creative agencies and digital startups. In the past, she was associated with 22feet Tribal Worldwide as Business Lead, Mumbai. DCosta was one of the first few employees there. She was eventually responsible for a team of 70, leading work on brands such as Axe, RedBull and L'Oreal Consumer Products
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FleishmanHillard India appoints Rafi Khan as Head of its North Operations

Khan has both in-house and agency experience across India

Ruhail Amin 23-August-2018

FleishmanHillard India has appointed Rafi Khan as Head of its North India operations.

Khan has more than 20 years of experience across sectors and industries and is highly regarded by clients and former colleagues alike. He previously served as executive vice president, Weber Shandwick India and before that was first CEO of Cohn & Wolfe India. Khan has worked with companies including Etisalat, American Express, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, Hilton Worldwide, Lufthansa Airlines, Sensodyne, Xerox and The Oberoi Group, and has both in-house and agency experience across India.

Confirming the development to exchange4media, Khan said, “My role will be handle operations in the north. Last year has been extremely good for the company and I hope to carry the momentum forward.”
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Lenovo looking for new PR partner in India

The tech company has already started reviewing some agencies but nothing has been finalized till now.

exchange4media News Service 03-August-2018

According to recent reports, Lenovo is looking for a new PR agency for its Asian markets—India, China and Singapore.

Reports also stated that the tech company has already started reviewing new agencies but nothing has been finalized until now. In India Lenovo’s last AOR was Text 100.

It must be mentioned that last month, Lenovo appointed Bhaskar Choudhuri as its new APAC CMO to head the marketing team in Asia Pacific.

In his new role, Choudhuri reports to Ken Wong, President of Lenovo Asia Pacific and is tasked with expanding Lenovo’s brand footprint in the Asia Pacific region. This includes driving sales for PCs, tablets and smart devices across diverse markets covering Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Taiwan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
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Deepa Jayaraman steps down as COO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Deepa Jayaraman, who has over 17 years of experience, spent more than 12 years at Hill+Knowlton in various leadership roles.

Ruhail Amin 02-August-2018

Deepa Jayaraman has stepped down as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hill+Knowlton Strategies. The development has been confirmed to exchange4media by highly reliable sources.

Jayaraman, who has over 17 years of experience, spent more than 12 years at Hill+Knowlton in various leadership roles. 

She started her career with Red Ants as a Graduate Management Trainee and later joined Perfect Relations as Image Manager in 2003. After serving a four-year stint at Perfect Relations, Jayaraman moved to IPAN Hill+ Knowlton Strategies and joined as General Manger. She was promoted to the role of Vice President Hill+Knowlton Strategies in 2015 and then appointed as Chief Operating Officer, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, in 2016.

Having completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Business Analytics (PGDBA) from Asian Institute of Communication and Research (AICAR), Jayaraman has worked for reputed clients such as Microsoft, Intel, HSBC, Wipro Technologies among others. Here next move is not yet known.
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Traditional way of public relations is dead: Nitin Mantri, President PRCAI

As President of the Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI), Nitin Mantri, Group CEO of AvianWE has a new vision for the apex body

Ruhail Amin 27-July-2018

In an era where years of building efforts can get undone with a single tweet, the role of the public relations agencies has become more critical than ever. No longer are public relations firms’ merely dispensing press statements and invites, they are now lending strategic direction and solutions to ensure brands stay strong at all times.

As President of the Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI), an association of the country’s reputed communications and PR firms, Nitin Mantri, Group CEO of AvianWE has a new vision for the apex body.

In an interview with exchange4media, Mantri spoke about the efforts made by PRCAI in this direction and the trends which will redefine the communications and public relations domain in the next few years.

Can you tell us about the new initiatives undertaken by PRCAI in the last one year?

We have been doing three things consistently over the last two years—first we are regularly doing a survey about the PR industry and we are evolving that every year. In the first year, the survey covered only PR agencies, in the second year we covered PR agencies and Corporate Communications professionals. This is the third year of the survey and we are going to add media professionals and CXOs so that we get different perspectives about what people think of the industry.

The second initiative was to bring all of us closer to the core community of young professionals in the agency circuit. So, we started an inter-consultancy cricket tournament and we have completed two editions of that already. The third thing that we are trying to do is to grow the profession, and therefore address the talent crunch. We have started conducting round-tables in smaller markets. We are also collaborating with institutions to get more people who are aware of this profession.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the PR agencies today?

I think the first is talent and it is getting more complicated because of the way the industry is evolving. This will continue to remain a challenge until we and our clients together elevate ourselves, so that we can bring in more revenue and bigger retainers in order to pay enough to get good talent.

The second big challenge is the fact that the traditional way of public relations is dead. Today integration is important. The way the industry is evolving; our clients have changed too. We have to talk to the CMO today; we have never done that in the past. We have to talk to a public-policy head today. A lot of things are changing today within the client's side, and to address that we have different teams now. Did you ever think five years back that a PR firm will have a creative director or a design team? Never!

Today we have designers, we have creative people and we have media planners, so there is a cultural shift also going on. The evolution of the PR industry is a big shift and if you don’t respond quickly in time, we are going to lose the battle. The third piece really is how do we manage this whole shift and make ourselves more relevant to a different group like CXOs etc and how relevant are we to the new media.

Talking about media platforms, is traditional still important for PR agencies?

I think the uniqueness about India is that traditional media is not dead. It’s growing, though at a smaller rate, at least the English media; but yes the regional media is alive and thriving right now. We are a complex country and a huge pocket of population in tier 2, 3 and 4 markets is consuming regional media in a big way. Having said that, I think it is a matter of time when they will also be on smartphones and reading content online.

What according to you will be the three big trends that will redefine the PR industry in the coming few years?

I think we will definitely do more integrated work and more visual and multimedia work. Secondly we will as organizations change to become more inclusive of creative people, designers and planners. Most importantly technology is going to play a big role in the way we do things and influencer marketing will be a big piece of that.
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PRCAI Elects New Exec. Committee, Nitin Mantri Re-elected President

Atul Sharma, Chief Operating Officer, GBM, has been elected as Vice-President while Aman Gupta, Managing Director, SPAG Asia, has been re-elected as Secretary, PRCAI.

exchange4media News Service 05-May-2018

The Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI) has elected new executive committee. Nitin Mantri, Group CEO, AvianWE, has been re-elected as President. Mantri has been President of the committee since April 2015. Atul Sharma, Chief Operating Officer, GBM, has been elected as Vice-President and Aman Gupta, Managing Director, SPAG Asia, has been re-elected as Secretary. The tenure for the elected members is two years (2018 - ’20).
The elected regional chapter chairpersons are: Samir Kapur, Adfactors (North), Sheena Sharma, GBM (South), Girish Huria, Ketchum Sampark (West), and Khurshid Ahmed, Advantage Service Patna (East).
Commenting on being re-elected as President PRCAI, Mantri said, “It’s an honour to be re-elected as President for a second term. I am looking forward to working with Atul, Aman and our new chapter chairpersons. We will continue to set high professional standards, improve the public perception of public relations, and help our member firms grow and prosper through global learning, best practices and reach.”
The PRCAI is a trade organisation that represents India’s communications sector. It is the summit body for official communications and public relations practices in India. It was formed in October 2001 to grow, represent and support India’s public relations consultancy sector. It also provides a forum for government, public bodies, industry associations, trade and others to confer with public relations consultants as a body. It is an internationally recognised organisation that offers official membership to all PR practitioners who abide by the basic criteria devised by the association.
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Seraphim Introduces Tailored Strategic Communications Consultancy in India

The company is spearheaded by Sunanda Rao-Erdem, Founder& CEO, who draws her expertise in the field of media and journalism, through decades of experience as a communications consultant and editor in India and Europe.

exchange4media News Service 02-April-2018

Seraphim
Boutique communications firm, Seraphim Communications (Seraphim), has set up its first office in New Delhi, India, with its extensive service offerings in the field of strategic communications. The specialized firm begins its operations today with international clients in the field of education, pharma, defence, consumer goods and broadcasting.

The company is spearheaded by Founder & CEO Sunanda Rao-Erdem, who draws upon her expertise in the field of media and journalism developed after decades of experience as a communications consultant and editor in India and Europe. Prior to this venture, Sunanda led the New Delhi operations of a German strategic communications consultancy, CNC Communications and Network, which is part of the French conglomerate, Publicis Groupe.

Sunanda shares, “This is an exciting time for us, especially when businesses are exposed to such a dynamic communications landscape. Through years of experience in serving international clients based on their communications requirements in India, ranging from corporate positioning to crisis management, we are strong advocators of strategic communications in the Indian PR space.”

From its first office situated in South Delhi, Seraphim offers a wide range of service offerings: corporate communications, brand communications, public & corporate affairs, crisis communications, digital communications, analysis & reporting, in addition to media & crisis training. Decades of experience gathered by its senior consultants is based on a solid foundation of honesty, credibility, hard-work and efficiency.

“It is our endeavor to balance our offerings – building on a foundation of traditional PR and media relations activities on one hand, and engaging the new age tactics such as simulated trainings and social media tools on the other. We also bring in expertise to introduce internationally set guidelines in the field of PR and communications such as the Barcelona Principles. That is why our clients and stakeholders trust us to care of their holistic communication requirements. We pride ourselves in the fact that clients think of us as advisors or even an extension of their internal corporate communications teams,” Sunanda added.
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WE Communications to merge with Avian Media

There was a market buzz since 2016 that Avian Media was WE’s preferred choice for an India expansion

exchange4media News Service 27-March-2018

WE Communications (WE) today announced a strategic investment in award-winning Indian integrated consultancy, Avian Media, and its sister public affairs consultancy, Chase. WE Communications India will merge with Avian and will now be called Avian WE. Chase will remain a separate consultancy owned by Avian WE and will retain its name.

“By joining forces with Avian Media, another like-minded independent, we can continue to put our clients at the center of everything we do. Our investment immediately extends the client capabilities we offer and creates opportunities for future services expansion, supercharging our regional and global network,” said Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO of WE Communications.

Waggener Zorkin said that Avian WE will continue to focus on sectors like tech, healthcare and consumer ( WE's strengths) as well as continue to work with Avian's exisiting client base.

Key senior management in Avian WE includes Manash Neog who continues to lead the public affairs subsidiary Chase, while Neha Mehrotra will now run Avian WE PR nationally. Carolyn Camoens, who will continue as WE’s senior vice president of Southeast Asia, based in Mumbai said that the two teams go well together and there is no conflict or overlap or redundancy in the respective company portfolios.

The combined agency boasts over 160 employees. “We are excited about this partnership. Both entities share a common entrepreneurial culture and a philosophy of working in partnership with our clients to build long-term relationships, and a culture that places great emphasis on our people. I am very excited about what we can achieve together,” said Executive Chairman, Nikhil Khanna, Avian Media.

In addition to expanding its regional and global footprint, WE is also growing its signature intellectual capital, Brands in Motion, to include India. Brands in Motion examines the movement of sectors and brands inspired by, or driven by, technology. “The merger between Avian into WE represents a huge opportunity for us to accelerate our expansion into new sectors and markets within the region. With the increased scale of the combined business, we can deepen our specialist capabilities, particularly in the areas of our power sectors Technology, Health, and Consumer and provide our team with greater development opportunities,” said co-managing Partner and Group CEO of Avian WE India, Nitin Mantri.

Providing both corporate and brand positioning counsel and public affairs capabilities through its subsidiary Chase, the award-winning consultancy specialises in delivering integrated campaigns to serve both foreign brands and India’s most innovative global and local brands. Avian WE clients in India include Airbnb, Airbus, Bloomberg, Dell, MasterCard, Qualcomm, Sony and TripAdvisor.
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