Top Story

Home >> PR-Watch >> Article

Public Relations and the rising debate over its credibility

18-March-2011
Font Size   16
Public Relations and the rising debate over its credibility

If Public Relations could be measured in an effective way, would it be a more recognised industry? It certainly does put a question mark on one’s willingness to call PR industry credible and respected. The reason is obvious –not just clients but PR professionals themselves are not confident of their own effort, and that it is making a difference.

Jaideep Shergill, CEO, Hanmer MSL, felt, “There is no budget for measurement. It is time we sat down to invest. You can’t do measurement without spending money. I still know there is a large group here which would disagreebut the times are changing with social media. PR industry doesn’t know how to measure. It is not going to get us anywhere.”

According to Radhika Shapoorjee, President, IPAN Hill & Knowlton, to give the industry its due it needs to build credibility for itself. “The single most important factor is to build credibility and it is very unfortunate to know that we are not credible. It is a challenge that we get stuck in marketing. We have to set the parameters of evaluation. We have to answer questions like - Are we thinking of the goals we need to set up? Do we have discussion with our clients? Or is it only about buzz we create? How ready is PR industry? That is what we have to ask ourselves and to the clients also.”

Discussing PR’s evolution and reach, Seema Gupta, Assistant Professor – Marketing, IIM-Bangalore, said, “The word Publicity has been replaced by Public Relations. I have seen evolution happened. Earlier, it was to keep media at bay but gradually, it evolved into writing and gradually morphed into government relations and so on. To my mind, economy is growing, activation is big and we no longer can afford to be not transparent. I really see the industry to be at a rising point but what is the next big step? It is strategy, sitting and discussing what will work in its favour.”

“I have spoken to the head of communications, majority of them highlighted reputation as the most important aspect. Here lies an opportunity to be the custodian of the corporate brand,” she added.

The discussion took an interesting turn when the panelists were asked if the industry was officially official and what could be done by the consultancies to have measurement in place.

Amith Prabhu, Director – Corporate Communications, Vivaki India, was the first one to react and said, “Yes we are official. Appointing a specialist to specifically manage your reputation says it all. People are these days taking it as career and we form all kind of entities that makes PR a serious business.”

Shapoorjee opined, “Agency actually understands the brand’s business and then clients feel their importance. We need to learn lot better from the advertising industry to have PR advertising campaigns in place.”

“Lot of clients have a point of view, business perspective and they want us to set their goals. We are happy to work with third parties but I see a lot of insecurities - it needs to stop. We are all like ostriches. We are treated with very little respect. I think it is up to the younger people taking senior positions to act. This is the time to have solidarity. The biggest challenge is talent. We are doing nothing for it”, Shergill added.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, Senior VP-Communication, TAM India, the moderator for the session, then asked the panelists how the industry is looking today and what changes could be brought in for solid foundation. Gupta candidly replied, “Stop reporting to the marketing and HR! Report directly to CEO. They don’t value us. Currently we are in a very reactive mode but we have to be part of the strategy and raise the bar and continuously try and move up in the value chain. There’s only one HR and one Marketing. It is high time we found a nomenclature for PR and not divide it into sub-parts. Globally, there is a usage of balanced scorecard these days by the companies and it is not an alien term to India, organizations have been using it.”

Agreeing with Gupta, Prabhu stated, “We have to stop calling ourselves agencies and gradually the mindset will change. Where are the Prasoon Joshis and Piyush Pandeys of the PR world? We do much better work but still we are not recognized.”

Summing up the session in one line, Shergill said, “I think, we need to invest, educate and work together.”

The industry experts were sharing their views during a panel discussion on ‘RoI or Value: Measuring success in the new normal world’’ at the second exchange4media India PR and Corporate Communications Conference, which was held in Delhi on March 16, 2011. TAM India’s Siddhartha Mukherjee moderated the session.

The Conference was presented by Adfactors Public Relations. CVB News Service was the co-sponsor. Eikona was the measurement partner, while ISB&M School of Communication was the academic partner. Insights were provided by Penn Schoen Berland.

 

Tags e4m

Radhakrishnan Ramachandran of iStream.com is now making a comeback with a regional video network named Studio Mojo

Kartikeya Sharma says that June has been the best month for sales in the 11 years that the brand has been in India

The newly appointed CEO of ZEE5 on how he aims to have the widest appeal in the OTT space amongst Indian consumers

The VP, Marketing and Communications (South Asia), talks about the company's growth strategy, its focus areas, impact of demonetisation on consumer behaviour and much more

right
left
PITCH TOP 50 BRANDS 2018 AWARDS COMPANIES WITH BEST MARKETING PRACTICES TEAM BBDO ORGANIZES AJAI JHALA’S FAREWELL WITH FRIENDS & ASSOCIATES RADIO CITY CELEBRATES ITS 17TH ANNIVERSARY WITH CONCERT, AWARDS AND FUN 5TH EDITION OF TIMES NOW & ICICI BANK’S NRI OF THE YEAR AWARDS GLOBAL INDIANS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BENGALURU SEES TOP INDUSTRY LEADERS AND MARKETERS IN ATTENDANCE DISTINGUISHED JURY COMES TOGETHER TO PICK WINNERS FOR PITCH’S TOP 50 BRANDS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BANGALORE SEES TOP CMOS ACROSS INDUSTRIES IN ATTENDANCE 1ST REPUBLIC TV GULF INDIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT & AWARDS HONOUR STALWARTS OF INDIAN GULF BUSINESS COMMUNITY SONY YAY! CELEBRATES ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH PARTY FOR TRADE PARTNERS THOUGHT LEADERS AND TOP DIGITAL MARKETERS SPEAK @ EXCHANGE4MEDIA GROUP’S TECHMANCH 2018 IN MUMBAI EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S IDMA 2018 RECOGNIZES INDUSTRY’S BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS REALTY PLUS UNVEILS COFFEE TABLE BOOK AT 10TH CONCLAVE & EXCELLENCE AWARDS @AHMEDABAD EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK WINNERS OF INDIAN DIGITAL MARKETING AWARDS 2018 OFF THE CUFF SEES ‘SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN’ MAN PARAMESWARAN IYER IN CONVERSATION WITH SHEKHAR GUPTA EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S LOUDEST.IN HOSTS INAUGURAL EDITION OF MUSIC INC. IN MUMBAI EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK IMPACT’S 40UNDERFORTY ACHIEVERS PORTER PRIZE & INSTITUTE FOR COMPETITIVENESS RECOGNIZE STRATEGIC ACUMEN IN COMPANIES DELHI AD CLUB-SAARC AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE ACROSS CREATIVE, MEDIA & DIGITAL AGENCIES BSNL & CALL2ACTION COMMUNICATION INDIA LAUNCH MOBILE ADVERTISING PLATFORM, INFOMO IN NEW DELHI CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST KAILASH SATYARTHI LAUNCHES BOOK ‘EVERY CHILD MATTERS’

A recipient of Indra Nooyi Chairman's Award for Innovation, Gupta joins the advisory and consulting firm as founder member

The brand has launched ‘Pretty Har Pal’ campaign which is created by DDB Mudra

The agency will handle 8 of the 14 channels, including Zee News & WION.