Elev8 Venture Partners taps The Media Manifest as PR partner

Elev8 Venture Partners, India's first pro-rata fund venture capital firm, has chosen The Media Manifest as its strategic communication partner. The Media Manifest will handle Elev8's PR, with the aim of amplifying Elev8's brand presence and industry position in the startup investment landscape.Elev8 Venture Partners is a Bengaluru-based venture capital firm that focuses on investing in growth-stage, technology-driven companies. Backed by KB Investment, South Korea's largest financial conglomerate, and Venture Catalysts (VCats), Elev8 has a $200 million fund that allows investors to maintain their ownership stake in subsequent funding rounds. The firm invests in 12-14 tech-enabled, sector-agnostic startups in Series B and C funding rounds, with investments ranging between $10-15 million.Kinjal Shah, Co-founder, The Media Manifest, said: “As India's startup and venture capital landscape is rapidly evolving, it has become important for VC firms to stand out not only in terms of their investment vision but also in how they communicate and connect with their target audience. Through strategic PR initiatives, we aim to position Elev8 as a groundbreaker in the venture capital space, enabling them to reach their relevant audience and amplify their impact."The Media Manifest is a Public Relations and Digital Media agency, founded by Kinjal Shah and Nupur Maheshwari in September, 2021. Having a focused approach in the new age space, TMM offers tailored public relations and digital solutions in the rapidly shifting ecosystem by driving the brand narrative to achieve maximum impact. Their expertise lies in strategic analysis, collaborations, and creative outlook from the brand’s perspective.Headquartered in Mumbai, the agency provides solutions like Reputation Management, Crisis Communication, Strategic Consultation, and Influencer Marketing. The practices are centred around Fintech, BFSI, wealth management, personal finance, technology, startups and venture capital amongst others.

ZENO Group appoints Prashant Subramanian as India National Corporate Lead

 Zeno has announced the appointment of Prashant Subramanian as the National Practice Lead - Corporate. With more than 18 years of experience across sectors, Prashant will play a vital role in expanding Zeno India’s corporate practice. Based in Gurugram, Prashant will work closely with Rekha Rao, Managing Director for Zeno India.“The addition of Prashant with his wealth of experience across sectors coupled with Zeno’s unique corporate offerings will help deliver strategic thinking and real impact to clients in India,” said Rekha Rao, MD, Zeno Group India. “Zeno is known for keeping in step and leveraging timely developments in the communications sector to innovate and provide real business impact. Prashant will also be integral in delivering our latest technology-backed integrated marketing services to the market.”Prashant’s expertise extends across various industries, including , public health, pharma, healthcare, FMCG, media & entertainment, consumer technology, ed-tech, health-tech, ai, robotics, banking, and financial services, among others. With a strong foundation in public relations, strategy development, advocacy, campaign, and project management, he has consistently delivered impactful communication solutions that align with organizational objectives.On his move to Zeno, Prashant said "I am enthusiastic about joining Zeno during this crucial phase of the organization's progression. Zeno's distinguished global perspective coupled with its use of innovative contemporary methods to provide effective communications for clients, has consistently defined its identity. I look forward to partnering with the skilled team at Zeno to cultivate robust corporate practice. I am confident that my background and expertise will contribute significantly to Zeno's success and enable us to leverage emerging opportunities and realizing our long-term vision."Prashant occupied pivotal agency positions including Vice President – North at Kaizzen prior to joining Zeno. Additionally, he made notable contributions while working with corporate giants like Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Limited, a prominent real estate conglomerate; and SG Cricket, the world's largest cricket equipment manufacturer, where he served as the Brand & Category Head.To learn more about Zeno and its capabilities visit or on social media at LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Jared Robinson joins Ketchum as CFO

Industry veteran Jared Robinson has transitioned from his role as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at MHP to take on the same position at fellow PR agency Ketchum. Robinson boasts an impressive track record, having spent over a decade at Edelman, where he served as the Middle East's CFO. This move signifies a strategic shift within the PR landscape.MHP, in turn, has promoted its Director of Finance, Raneisha Tarnai, to fill the vacated CFO position. Tarnai brings valuable experience to the role, having played a key part in MHP's growth and development. Her prior experience at Edelman, coupled with her tenure at tech firms SAP and CA Technologies, positions her well for success.Industry analysts anticipate that Robinson's appointment at Ketchum will leverage his extensive financial expertise to bolster the agency's operations. His proven track record in leading high-performing finance teams across diverse markets bodes well for Ketchum's continued growth. Meanwhile, Tarnai's promotion at MHP ensures financial continuity and strategic direction as the agency builds on its momentum.

Razor PR, UJ forge partnership to shape future-ready strategic communicators

Razor PR, the globally award-winning public relations and reputation management agency of M&C Saatchi Group South Africa, and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have agreed to a multi-year partnership to address the future skills needed by strategic communications graduates entering the working world.As part of this agreement, Razor will provide select graduate placement opportunities for top students in the Strategic Communication Honours programme. In addition, the agreement is geared toward helping enhance the University’s Applied Strategic Communication Honours Module.“We all accept that we don’t yet know the jobs we will need to deliver on in the future. But we can’t wait to figure out what solutions we can co-create. We need to work together to reframe and refocus what the specific skill needs should be. At its heart, this is a partnership geared at closing the divide between the academic world and the working world as we get ready for this future,” said Dustin Chick, Partner & Managing Director at Razor PR. "We’re very excited to be partnering with Razor PR. Working with our colleagues who are actively practicing in the world of communication means that we will help produce graduates who are fit for their future world of work when they leave university,” said UJ Associate Professor, Prof Rene Benecke.The formalisation of this successful partnership was marked today with the signing of the agreement at the office of the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof Kammila Naidoo. The agreement signifies a shared commitment to elevating the academic standard of the University and enhancing the strategic communication module.Under the terms of the MoU, both Razor and UJ will engage in academic cooperation and collaboration through internships, job shadowing, teaching and learning programmes, research and development initiatives, as well as student and lecturer programmes. This collaborative effort aims to make the module more practical and relevant to the dynamic PR/Marketing/Communication sector.The agreement reflects a dedication to establishing the University of Johannesburg as a centre of excellence for Strategic Communication, particularly in Southern Africa. The partnership seeks to institutionalise deep collaboration, ensuring that it transcends individual interactions and becomes an integral part of the strategic and operational framework of the module.Key strategic priorities outlined in this partnership include promoting the module to incorporate industry-focused insights and needs, fostering innovation and efficiency within the applied strategic communications programme, and providing additional resources to support the module's objectives."We are thrilled to formalise our partnership with the University of Johannesburg. This collaboration underscores our shared commitment to advancing the field of strategic communications and nurturing the next generation of industry leaders," said Jacques Burger, Partner and Group CEO at the M&C Saatchi Group South Africa.The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof Kammila Naidoo echoed this, saying, "This agreement represents a significant milestone in our efforts to enhance the academic offerings and industry relevance of our applied strategic communication module. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with Razor.”

Glad U Came launches #KabHaiMothersDay Campaign to Celebrate Moms Across India

This Mother's Day, Glad U Came, an award-winning PR and Influencer Marketing Agency, is proud to launch the heartwarming #KabHaiMothersDay campaign. This initiative aims to spark conversations and heighten awareness about Mother's Day, reminding everyone to cherish and appreciate the incredible women who raised them.The#KabHaiMothersDay campaign centers around a heartwarming video that will be released on both Instagram and YouTube. This emotionally charged video will capture the essence of motherhood and the importance of celebrating mothers. The campaign leverages the emotional connection people have with video content to spread its message and inspire action.<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" referrerpolicy="strict-origin-when-cross-origin" allowfullscreen></iframe>In a fast-paced world filled with hustle and bustle, it's easy to overlook the quiet, steadfast love that our mothers provide. They are the unsung heroes who sacrifice so much to ensure our happiness and well-being. As Glad U Came, embarks on the #KabHaiMothersDay campaign, let's take a moment to reflect on the countless ways our mothers have shaped our lives with their unconditional love and unwavering support. Glad U Came anticipates the #KabHaiMothersDay campaign to create a significant nationwide impact. Together, let's make every day feel like Mother's Day by showing our appreciation in both: big gestures and small acts of kindness. After all, our mothers deserve to be celebrated not just on one day, but every day! Let's make every moment count. By sharing the video and using the hashtag, people will be encouraged to express their gratitude and love for their mothers in a personal way."We believe this campaign will not only raise awareness about Mother's Day but also inspire heartfelt gestures of appreciation," says Maddie Amrutkar Founder & CEO at Glad U Came. "Ultimately, we hope to make #KabHaiMothersDay a national movement, ensuring everyone takes the time to celebrate the incredible women who shaped who we are today."

Echo Research acquires Reputation Dividend

Echo Research, the leading global research agency specializing in reputation insight, benchmarking, and intelligence, announces its acquisition of Reputation Dividend, the foremost authority in valuing intangible reputational assets for listed companies worldwide. This strategic move strengthens Echo Research's ability to deliver comprehensive, board-ready reputational intelligence solutions to its global clientele.The Reputation Dividend analytical suite assesses an enterprise's intangible reputation value separately from operational and financial metrics, quantifying the external factors shaping this value. This empowers organizations to refine messaging priorities for maximum positive impact on shareholders.With over three decades of combined experience in reputation measurement and analysis, Echo Research and Reputation Dividend offer unmatched expertise and innovative solutions to navigate the intricate terrain of corporate reputation. The acquisition encompasses the name, IP, proprietary methodology, and extensive reputational data spanning more than 700 S&P and FTSE-listed companies since 2009.Sandra Macleod, CEO of Echo Research, stated, "We are delighted to welcome Reputation Dividend to the Echo Research family, alongside Britain’s Most Admired Companies Study. This strategic addition aligns perfectly with our mission to equip organizations with actionable insights to fortify their reputation and drive business success. By integrating Reputation Dividend's expertise, we offer clients deeper insights and strategic guidance to manage and safeguard their reputation effectively."Ray Jordan, senior communications leader in the health care industry, said: "I have deployed Echo’s reputation valuation analysis for many years in my role as past chief communications officer at Johnson & Johnson and Amgen . The insights helped me focus senior leadership and my corporate affairs teams on the most constructive messaging to bolster shareholder value, helping to drive measurable gains in reputation scores and market capitalization for each company during my tenure.”Reputation Dividend pioneered the assessment of reputation's intangible value, which on average contributes 30% to market capitalization. Macleod added: "By integrating Reputation Dividend’s methodologies with Echo Research's suite, we anticipate delivering even greater value to clients seeking to unlock their reputation capital."

Communication gap threatens cybersecurity posture

New research from FTI Consulting's strategic communications segment exposes a critical vulnerability at the heart of many organisations' cybersecurity posture: a communication gap between CISOs and the C-suite.The report, titled "CISO Redefined: Navigating C-Suite Perceptions & Expectations," reveals a concerning disconnect. Despite cybersecurity rising in prominence as a business priority, many senior leaders believe their Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are failing to effectively communicate the true extent of cyber risk. This potential lack of trust between executives and security teams could leave organizations dangerously exposed to attack.Key Findings:Despite heightened awareness of cyber threats, a communication chasm exists between CISOs and C-suite executives.Some senior leaders perceive CISOs as downplaying risks or hesitating to raise critical vulnerabilities, hindering trust.Executives overwhelmingly support additional training programs to enhance CISO communication skills.FTI Consulting's Digital & Insights team surveyed n=787 C-suite executives and n=165 CISOs (previously surveyed) at organizations with 500+ employees across various industries.The Growing Disconnect:Increased cyber incidents (90% experienced an incident in the last year) lead to heightened scrutiny from all stakeholders.CISO decision-making power has grown significantly (87% of executives reported an increase), highlighting the evolving threat landscape.However, a third of executives perceive CISOs as downplaying risks or lacking transparency on vulnerabilities.Nearly half (40%) believe CISOs are not fully prepared to communicate with key stakeholders.Closing the Gap:Both CISOs and executives recognize the need for improved communication. Executives overwhelmingly support increased funding for CISO communications training (98%).

VML’s Former Head of Corp Comm, Rohini Saldanha launches The PR Stop

VML’s Former Head of Corporate Communications, Rohini Saldanha has announced the launch of The PR Stop., a public relations firm that will provide comprehensive public relations and communications solutions to clients across various industries. Recognising the transformative power of strategic communication in shaping brand perception and driving organizational success, The PR Stop. Is a one-stop brand communications company that will enable businesses to effectively reach their target audiences and drive growth while carving a niche for themselves in a dynamic business landscape.With a strong track record of building individual and company brand identities, shaping brand narratives, and an extensive network of industry contacts, Founder Rohini Saldanha brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and capabilities to her new venture. Having built her career as a turnaround specialist in the media and communications industry, Rohini has held leadership positions in public relations and marketing communications for over 18 years earning the trust of clients in diverse verticals such as corporate, lifestyle, consumer, media, and entertainment. Her belief in the importance of brands connecting with consumers authentically drives her to utilize PR as a powerful tool for competitive advantage, emphasizing the need for evolving content strategies to stay relevant in changing consumer behaviours.On launching her own company, Rohini Saldanha said, “Simply put it was the right time. I have been toying with the idea of officially launching my own company for a while now. The final nudge came when an editor friend of mine reached out to me regarding a client I represent and asked me to regularly update them with my client roster. That got me thinking that it was vital for me to promote my business as I was doing myself (and others) a disservice by lying low. I guess the initial hesitance came from a place of not wanting to put the cart before the horse. However, having had clients signed on as retainers with me since August 2023, I thought it was the opportune time to ‘pull out all the stops’ in making my company official as my business is expanding.”Rohini further added, “I was initially considering using my name as the company name but besides the fact that it looks pretentious, I wanted a brand name that was simple, easy to remember, and descriptive of my offerings as a business. My advice to most clients is that there should not be any conflict between you and the brand that you represent. You are the brand and over time you should become synonymous with it which is the ultimate litmus test. That is my intention with The PR Stop., where the work I have undertaken and will undertake for my clients reflects my craft, capabilities, and passion for strategic communications. So, whether you sign up with Rohini Saldanha or The PR Stop., it is essentially the same thing.”The PR Stop. offers a range of services, including content development, media relations, crisis management, brand positioning, and strategic counsel. The company's current portfolio includes clients from various sectors including creative, branding, recruitment, and DE&I.

Ayatiworks enters Delhi NCR, teams with Kreasense & Avance PR for brand boost

Ayatiworks Technologies, a frontrunner in digital marketing and strategic planning, is proud to announce its strategic expansion into Delhi NCR, marking a significant milestone in the company's journey. This expansion is complemented by a powerful partnership with Kreasense, a leader in branding, and Avance PR, renowned for its expertise in public relations. Together, they aim to redefine brand innovation and digital solutions beyond traditional marketing paradigms.Ayatiworks Technologies is a digital technology company that specializes in crafting impactful digital presences for brands. Known for its insightful planning and strategizing, Ayatiworks helps brands navigate the virtual marketing ecosystem effectively, creating distinctive digital properties that resonate with their target audience.Kreasense is a new-age branding company focused on crafting unique brand identities and narratives. With a blend of creativity and strategic insight, Kreasense helps brands establish a strong presence in today's competitive market landscape.Avance PR is a full-service PR firm with a focus on business communications and influencer connections. Serving a diverse range of clients, including early-stage startups and unicorn companies, Avance PR excels in delivering highly effective campaigns that drive traction and enhance brand reputation through earned media.Upendran Nandakumar, Founder of Ayatiworks Technologies, expressed his excitement about the expansion, stating, "Our new presence in Delhi NCR is more than just an expansion—it's a strategic enhancement designed to tap into the commercial potential of this region. By bringing our top-tier digital marketing strategies here and partnering with Kreasense and Avance, we are set to redefine innovation and efficiency in brand communication."Balasubramanian, founder of Kreasense, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership: "Joining forces with Ayatiworks and Avance PR allows us to blend our creative branding expertise with cutting-edge digital marketing and strategic public relations. This synergy will undoubtedly lead to innovative solutions that will resonate deeply within the marketplace."Ritika Garg, Founder and CEO at Avance PR, also commented on the collaboration: "This alliance is a powerhouse of creativity and strategic acumen. We are thrilled to integrate our PR expertise with Ayatiworks’ digital strategies and Kreasense’s branding prowess to create dynamic, impactful campaigns that drive brand growth and visibility."The strategic alliance between Ayatiworks, Kreasense, and Avance PR is poised to provide unparalleled services in holistic brand development and intellectual property creation. By leveraging their collective expertise in public relations, brand solutions, and marketing techniques, the three companies are committed to delivering innovative solutions that redefine standards in digital marketing and brand strategy.As Ayatiworks begins its operations in Delhi, NCR, the company is enthusiastic about rolling out new initiatives that will demonstrate its enhanced capabilities. These initiatives are anticipated to set new benchmarks in the industry, underscoring the company’s commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction.

The Fourth Angel and Planet Shine launch Planet Angel

The Fourth Angel, a London-based full-service integrated agency, and Planet Shine, a film production agency, have announced the launch of Planet Angel, a new venture designed to empower brands to tell impactful stories about their positive impact on people and the planet.Planet Angel combines The Fourth Angel's expertise in communications and consulting with Planet Shine's filmmaking prowess to offer brands a comprehensive package. Senior sustainability consultants will guide companies through their sustainability journey, while creative teams craft authentic narratives that align commercial goals with a brand's social and environmental vision. Through multi-channel storytelling and strategic reputation management, Planet Angel brings these positive actions to life."There's a lot of good work being done in sustainability, but there's also been a lot of confusion," said Angie Moxham, Founder of The Fourth Angel. "Customers deserve transparency. Planet Angel helps brands articulate an honest narrative and bring their positive journey to life.""Storytelling, especially through film, is the most effective way to connect with audiences," added Rachel McClelland, Founder of Planet Shine. "We have a window of opportunity to create a better world, and brands can be a powerful force for good."The Fourth Angel was founded in 2018 by Angie Moxham as a full-service PR and communications agency.Established by filmmaker Rachel McClelland, Planet Shine brings a wealth of experience creating films for major brands that prioritize the environment and nature.Through strategic guidance, creative storytelling, and multi-channel communication, Planet Angel helps brands connect with audiences who seek to make a difference.

Sunaina Jairath joins Aliaxis India as VP - Brand and Communications

Sunaina Jairath has assumed the position of Vice President - Brand and Communications at Aliaxis India (Ashirvad) with the aim of fortifying our brand presence and advancing strategic objectives. Boasting over 22 years of proficiency in Communication, Public Affairs, Policy Advocacy, and Impact Communication, Sunaina brings a wealth of expertise to our team.In her new capacity, she will spearhead our Public Relations, Brand, and Corporate Communication Strategy, taking charge of media and stakeholder relations, social media management, and internal communications.Leveraging her extensive experience and strategic foresight, Sunaina's leadership will be instrumental as we capitalize on the momentum within the ecosystem to foster growth.

Puneet Gupta Joins INOX Group as Head of Comm for INOXAP and INOXCVA

Puneet Gupta joined the INOX Group as Head of Communications for INOX Air Products (INOXAP) and INOX INDIA LIMITED (INOXCVA). He updated his job role on LinkedIn, saying, "Thrilled to announce my new role at the INOX Group as Head of Communications for INOX Air Products (INOXAP) and INOX INDIA LIMITED (INOXCVA). INOXAP is India’s largest industrial gases manufacturing company, and INOXCVA is among the world’s leading cryogenic solutions companies.""I am excited to leverage my expertise in communications to drive purpose-driven brand growth and share compelling stories about the fascinating products and solutions that are poised to make a difference to mankind," he added.Puneet is an innovation-driven strategic communications expert with rich entrepreneurial experience of 18 years in Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Branding, CSR, and Internal Communications.Prior to joining INOX, Puneet worked with INOX Leisure Limited for over four years as AVP of Corporate Communications. He also handled corporate communication for Airtel and was associated with them for over nine years.

McDonald's 'Grimace's Birthday' wins at PR awards

McDonald's "Grimace's Birthday" campaign, created by Golin, was the star of the North American SABRE Awards, winning the top prize for Best Public Relations Campaign of 2023. This marks a historic night for Golin, becoming the first agency ever to snag three major awards: Best Agency to Work For, Large Agency of the Year, and Best in Show.The award-winning campaign addressed a significant drop in birthday celebrations at McDonald's. They brought back a beloved character, Grimace, to reignite excitement. This clever strategy resulted in a staggering 900% increase in birthday celebrations at McDonald's after five years of stagnation."This campaign was pure, fantastic consumer marketing," said Paul Holmes, head judge and founder of PRovoke Media. Awards often favor purpose-driven initiatives, but sometimes, great PR boils down to a creative idea that captures consumer imagination and fosters meaningful engagement."And the results in this case were nothing short of phenomenal," he concluded."Grimace's Birthday" triumphed over other impressive campaigns to win the coveted Platinum SABRE. These finalists included:  Dove's "Black Hair is Professional" with Ogilvy  SAG-AFTRA's "2023 Negotiations and Strike Campaign" with SAG-AFTRA  DHL Supply Chain's "Step Up for Safety" with Fahlgren Mortine  Aura Freedom's "For Her" Campaign with Veritas Communications and Forsman & Bodenfors"These finalists represent the incredible range of PR work seen this year," said Holmes. "From social justice efforts by Dove to navigating the Hollywood strike for SAG-AFTRA, to internal communications for DHL, any of these campaigns could have rightfully won the top prize."Ogilvy walked away as the biggest award winner, taking home eight trophies. MSL and Weber Shandwick followed with five awards each, while BCW snagged four. Finn Partners, Golin, and M Booth rounded out the top with three awards apiece.

MassiveMusic Dubai appoints Rebecomms for Middle East PR services

MassiveMusic, the sonic identity and music agency in the Middle East, has appointed Dubai-based Rebecomms for regional PR and media relations services. The move is part of MassiveMusic Dubai’s drive to enhance industry standards, apply best practice and showcase how more and more brands in the region are using the power of music and sound as an integral element of their marketing and branding strategies.MassiveMusic, part of the global Songtradr group, launched its Middle East operation in 2022 and has gone from strength to strength ever since, helping a scores of global and local companies boost their regional exposure through tailor made sonic creativity. With its regional HQ in Dubai and Managing Director, Pierre Carnet, at the helm, MassiveMusic serves clients in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and beyond. Under the new partnership, Rebecomms will drive exposure for MassiveMusic through targeted media relations, participation at key industry events and community outreach initiatives. Rebecomms was founded in 2022 by seasoned PR and communications professional Rebecca Rees (pictured), who has over 30 years’ industry experience, including 18 years in the Middle East.

1 Crowd Onboards Pitchfork Partners as its Communications Partner

1Crowd, an early-stage sector-agnostic VC fund investing and actively supporting early-stage ventures, has announced its partnership with Pitchfork Partners, a leading PR agency renowned for its strategic communication expertise. 1Crowd joins forces with Pitchfork Partners to enhance its brand visibility, effectively communicate the company’s vision, and highlight the success stories within its diverse portfolio of start-ups. Leveraging Pitchfork Partners' proficiency in crafting compelling narratives and communication strategies, 1Crowd further solidifies its mission to amplify its impact and outreach. Sharing his views on the appointment, Jaideep Shergill, Co-founder, Pitchfork Partners, said, “India’s startup ecosystem is among the most revered globally, having shifted drastically in the last decade, creating more unicorns than ever. To keep the momentum going, venture capital funds like 1Crowd are instrumental in propelling the growth of promising startups in India through funding support and mentorship. We believe that our wealth of experience in financial services communications will enable us to foster meaningful discussions across various platforms.” Anup Kuruvilla, Co-founder, 1Crowd, said, "We are delighted to announce our partnership with Pitchfork Partners as our communications counsel. Together, we aim to strengthen our outreach, championing founders and their ventures, as they seek to build their dreams, while creating opportunities in a growing asset class for our community of limited partners. We are committed to nurturing and empowering these ventures, and this partnership marks a significant step forward in our mission to fuel the growth and success of startups across the nation." Anil Gudibande, Co-Founder, 1Crowd, speaking about the onboarding, shared, “We are excited to kickstart our journey with Pitchfork Partners. Through this partnership, we aim to broaden our reach in the ecosystem as we continue to create value by providing risk capital in the early stages of a startup’s evolution, working closely with our limited partners and founders in building lasting organizations. With Pitchfork Partners by our side, we are deepening our impact and amplifying the stories of ingenuity, grit, resilience, and success that define the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Redhill celebrates 10th anniversary with ESOP

Redhill, a Singapore-headquartered communication services agency, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the launch of a new Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This programme prioritizes employee engagement and invests in their long-term success.The ESOP, effective May 1, 2024, grants stock ownership to all current employees with at least three years of service. This initiative reflects Redhill's commitment to empowering its team and fostering a sense of shared ownership. "As we celebrate this milestone, rewarding our employees who have been on this journey with us is a top priority," said Manisha Seewal, Redhill's president. With over 200 team members across 20 countries, Redhill's international presence is a testament to its remarkable growth. The ESOP program reinforces their position as a global leader in communications and signifies their belief in the power of a collaborative workforce. Seewal said that the ESOP plan is a strategic move to attract and retain top talent, solidifying Redhill's position as a truly global communications agency.This employee-centric move comes on the heels of Redhill's acquisition of Vision Strategy Storytelling (VS Story) in 2022. VS Story strengthens Redhill's sustainability offerings, allowing them to meet the evolving needs of their clients.Redhill provides PR, strategy, design, technology, and marketing services to companies across the world.

Carma names Tim Webb as CEO for Europe, Americas

Carma, a global leader in communication insights and technology, has named Tim Webb as its new CEO for Europe and the Americas. Webb takes the reins from Richard Bagnall, who steps down after nearly six years of service.Webb brings extensive experience to Carma, having spent nine years with Time Out Group, most recently leading their Asia-Pacific operations and global franchising. He also boasts a strong background in publishing, digital, and technology from his time at Dennis Publishing and Incisive Media.Beyond leading the European and American sectors, Webb will become a key member of Carma's executive committee, shaping the company's global long-term growth strategy.Bagnall, previously chair of AMEC, a measurement and evaluation body for PR and communications, joined Carma in 2018. During his tenure, he successfully reshaped the company's presence in the UK, Europe, and the Americas. Bagnall said that he will still be very active in the sector helping comms pros handle the greatest challenge that they face these days: how to demonstrate the value of their work rather than just showcasing activity. "The need for PR to demonstrate its impact and value in terms that the C-suite understands has never been greater. More from me on this in due course,” he added. Excited about Tim's appointment, Carma global CEO Mazen Nahawi said: “His extensive experience and entrepreneurial mindset will help lead the opening of new offices across Europe and America and accelerate the fast-growing demand for products and services in those markets.”

Foreign PR Retreat: Strategic Misstep in India and China?

Authored by Bhaskar Majumdar, Head - Marketing Communication, Digital and CSR, Egis South Asia and originator of CommsAdda.In recent developments that have sent ripples across the public relations industry in Asia, prominent PR agencies like Ketchum Sampark have initiated significant layoffs and are winding down operations in pivotal markets such as India and China. This strategic retraction by global giants has not only impacted the employees but also disrupted the service continuum for numerous clients. Let’s look into why these firms, despite their global prowess, are struggling in these fast-growing markets and the broader implications for all stakeholders involved.Ketchum, a titan in the PR industry, has faced daunting challenges in maintaining its operational footprint in China and India. These markets are characterized by their unique cultural, economic, and media landscapes, which often require localized knowledge and a nuanced approach to business practices and client relations. Ketchum's decision to acquire local firms like Sampark in India and form alliances like Newscan in China initially seemed to pave the way for deeper market integration. However, navigating the complex business environment in these countries demands more than just a presence; it requires a holistic understanding of local consumer behaviour, media relations, and regulatory frameworks.Recent news stories highlight that Ketchum is laying off most of its workforce in China and India, incorporating the remaining staff and clients into its sibling agency FleishmanHillard. This move suggests a consolidation strategy aiming to cut losses and streamline operations. Despite this drastic measure, Mike Doyle, Ketchum's global CEO, assured that the brand would continue serving the markets through the Omnicom network, indicating a shift in strategy rather than a complete exit.However, such consolidations are often seen as a last resort when profitability is under severe pressure. Factors contributing to these pressures include Understanding the Indian market is essential for effective public relations due to its diversity in languages, cultures, burgeoning startup ecosystem, and numerous other factors influencing business viability. Acquiring insights into 'Bharat', representing the heartland of India, is particularly crucial for navigating this dynamic landscape. Another key factor is fierce competition from homegrown agencies who possess inherent advantages in understanding domestic markets and client needs, as well as challenges in adapting global strategies to local contexts effectively. Additionally, the rapid evolution of digital media landscapes and public relations tools may have outpaced the traditional operational models of these international firms.Foreign consultancies often face higher operational costs due to their global standards and practices, which may not always align with local pricing dynamics. The pressure to deliver results comparable to their performance in Western markets can lead to misaligned business strategies that fail to resonate locally. Moreover, the entry strategy through acquisitions can sometimes backfire if the integration processes dilute the local firm’s strengths instead of building upon them.The contraction of firms like Ketchum in India and China profoundly impacts various stakeholders, leaving a significant void across multiple dimensions of the PR industry. First and foremost, the layoffs engender immediate job losses, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the future career paths of numerous affected employees. While the transition of remaining personnel to FleishmanHillard might offer some semblance of continuity, the integration process is often riddled with challenges. These can range from issues of cultural fit within the new organization to substantial adjustments in roles and responsibilities, potentially complicating what might already be a stressful period for these individuals.For clients of agencies like Ketchum, the impact is similarly disruptive. These businesses have depended on the established expertise and global reach of their PR agencies to guide their communications strategies and safeguard their corporate reputations. With the operational fold into FleishmanHillard, these clients could face interruptions that may affect the continuity of ongoing campaigns, disturb the established dynamics between client and agency, and misalign strategic objectives that were previously in place.The local PR industry faces its own set of challenges and opportunities from these international pullbacks. On one hand, the retreat of a global player like Ketchum could reduce competition, potentially freeing up market space for domestic firms. On the other hand, this contraction also reduces the diversity of professional PR services and global perspectives within the market. International firms often bring different approaches and a broader worldview that can spur innovation and elevate standards within the local industry.The market perception influenced by such high-profile exits cannot be underestimated. When international firms scale back their operations or exit markets like India and China entirely, it sends a potent message regarding the viability and attractiveness of these markets. Such moves might be interpreted as these regions being too challenging to navigate or not sufficiently profitable, potentially deterring future foreign investments in these sectors. This could have long-term implications for the economic landscape, affecting not just the PR sector but broader business activities in these vibrant markets.The retrenchment of Ketchum and similar entities calls for a reassessment of how global PR firms operate in culturally and economically diverse markets like India and China. Success in these markets requires firms to not only adapt their strategies but also deeply immerse themselves in understanding local nuances. For the PR industry in Asia, this could be a moment of introspection and perhaps an opportunity for local firms to rise and fill the gaps, leveraging their inherent market insights and cultural compatibilities.DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it.

WE wins Schoen Clinic UK Group account to promote mental health expertise

WE Communications has emerged victorious in a competitive pitch, securing the PR and digital communications brief for Schoen Clinic UK Group.Schoen Clinic UK Group, a leader in specialized private mental health and eating disorder treatment, is part of the Schoen Clinic Group, the largest family-owned hospital company in Germany. WE will leverage their expertise to promote Schoen Clinic UK Group's multidisciplinary approach and proven success in supporting both adult and pediatric patients."We are excited to partner with WE Communications, an agency that understands our business and shares our ethos, as we continue to grow our footprint in the mental healthcare space in the UK. WE’s strong healthcare sector knowledge and integrated digital capabilities made them an obvious choice to partner with for our exciting next chapter,” said Laura Penn, Marketing Director at Schoen Clinic UK Group. WE will focus on content development, media engagement, and digital marketing to achieve Schoen Clinic UK Group's objectives. Niamh Griffin, Director of Health at WE Communications, will lead the account.“Schoen Clinic UK Group joins a growing list of WE healthcare clients driving positive outcomes and impact for people in the UK. The team is excited to join Schoen Clinic UK Group as they seek to improve people’s lives and help them access their specialised treatments across the country,” said Ben Fisher, Head of Health at WE Communications. This win adds Schoen Clinic UK Group to WE's impressive global health portfolio, which already boasts 12 of the world's top 25 bio and pharma companies.

London Pride enlists The Academy for Premiership Rugby push

London Pride, the iconic English beer brewed by Asahi Group subsidiary Fuller's, has tapped The Academy to amplify its sponsorship of Premiership Rugby.The agency will create an earned media campaign centered around the brand's "Support with Pride" platform, culminating during Premiership Rugby's finals weekend in June.Andy Box, Local Brands Director for Asahi Group UK, said: “Fuller’s London Pride has a long standing association with English rugby and the Premiership Rugby Final is one of the most important moments in the calendar. It’s a big opportunity for us to celebrate the game and connect with the fans and The Academy were the perfect partner to help us do this.”Mitch Kaye, CEO and co-founder of The Academy, echoed this sentiment. "2024 is a massive year for sport, which was part of our motivation to launch a dedicated sports offering at The Academy. This is a big win and an opportunity to help a brilliant brand make the most of their opportunity within elite rugby.”This appointment follows The Academy's recent expansion into sports and entertainment, with a new head of sport, Sam Beecham, leading the London Pride account. Notably, the agency also secured the UK PR account for Tinder.

Weber Shandwick UK names Yan Elliott as Chief Creative Officer

Weber Shandwick UK has named Yan Elliott as its new chief creative officer, a newly-created role. Elliott has been serving as the agency's interim creative lead since September.Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Elliott held creative leadership positions at several prominent London advertising agencies, including Mother, Lucky Generals, The And Partnership, and most recently as executive creative director at AMVBBDO. During his career, he has developed award-winning creative campaigns for clients such as Dr Pepper, Orange, Sky, and RNIB.In his new role, Elliott will be responsible for leading Weber Shandwick's creative department and overseeing the strategy and execution of creative campaigns for the agency's clients. Some of his recent work for Weber Shandwick includes a collaboration between Budweiser and artist Sir Peter Blake, resulting in the launch of a limited-edition pop art can featured in an interactive exhibition in London, housed in the "world's first fridge frame" to keep it cool.Based in London, Elliott will oversee a team of creatives across Weber Shandwick's UK offices in London, Manchester, and Scotland. He will report to UK president Amy Garrett, who expressed her enthusiasm about the new hire. "We are thrilled to have Yan as part of our team," said Garrett. "His wealth of experience and innovative approach to creativity, which lies at the heart of our business, will elevate our brand and drive forward our strategic vision for our clients and colleagues." Elliott shared his excitement about the new opportunity, stating, "Weber Shandwick is an agency boasting a diverse range of talent, capabilities and expertise. It's a new world for me, and I have been blown away by the talented people and the smart way they go about their work. I am excited about collaborating with our talented teams to unleash the business's full potential. It's impactful creativity that can take our clients to new heights."

TishTash launches corporate communications division

Dubai-based PR and marketing agency TishTash Communications has launched a new corporate communications vertical named TEN by TishTash.The aim is to meet ever-increasing demands from GCC clients to match corporate communications with an authenticity and creative transparency required for a modern media and stakeholder landscape. As stakeholders diversify and grow, so do the role agencies play with their clients. With digital touchpoints at the forefront, combined with a change in consumer appetite and needs, TEN by TishTash works to amplify businesses and brands looking to connect with stakeholders, clients and consumers in a way that fits a brave and diverse new world.Over the past 12 months TishTash has grown their results driven, and impact based corporate communications output with existing clients covering thought leadership, profiling, B2B coverage, events, whitepapers, trade shows and credible sustainability initiatives with Alpha Nero, Kibsons LLC, BSA Law, Beautyworld Middle East and Saudi Arabia, Cityscape, DrinkDry and Taste of Estonia. TEN by TishTash will compound this success by utilising a fresh thinking approach to integrated marketing and PR that utilises the agency's unparalleled understanding of the regional landscape and those who live and work within it across the GCC.TEN by TishTash will be led by Indira Kasaeva, currently holding the role of PR Director at TishTash. Indira brings with her a wealth of experience in the corporate sector and has worked with some of TishTash’s biggest corporate clients to date. Indira will work closely with Kellie Whitehead, Corporate Communications Director at TishTash, in the strategic development of TEN, and Polly Williams, Managing Director of TishTash.“We’ve created some incredible impact with our corporate communications at TishTash over the past 18 months and noticed a growing need for the ‘non-traditionally’ corporate businesses, within the B2C space specifically to have a wider, integrated understanding of up to date, joined up thinking on the capabilities around their stakeholder, employee and consumer messaging” said Polly Williams, Managing Director, TishTash Communications.“Ten by TishTash is the formulation of a specialist division that invites clients to look strategically at matching the role of corporate communications in 2024 and onwards and seeing impact driven results that can blend seamlessly with a B2C offering alongside “ she continued. “ We are excited about this new chapter for our agency, amplifying one of our fastest growing areas in the year ahead and is a much needed addition to the other services we provide.”

Ketchum Sampark Restructures: Staff to Transition to FleishmanHillard

Ketchum Sampark is undergoing a strategic transition, with layoffs affecting staff in India and China. The remaining personnel and clients will be integrated into FleishmanHillard. Approximately 40 staff members in India and China are expected to be impacted by these changes.India MD, Rohan Srinivasan, will oversee the transition process for a period. Despite the restructure, sources suggest that the Ketchum Sampark brand may persist even after the transition to FleishmanHillard.Mike Doyle, Ketchum's president and CEO, explained the move as part of the company's growth and innovation strategy. He emphasized the importance of leveraging the Omnicom network and infrastructure to continue providing clients with exceptional service and global connectivity.Established in 1994, Ketchum Sampark initially specialized in financial services before being acquired by Omnicom's Ketchum in 2011. Founders Bela and NS Rajan retired from the company in 2021.This restructuring comes amid a period of growth for the Indian PR industry, although challenges such as flat retainers and talent shortages persist. Despite these obstacles, the industry has continued to show resilience, with double-digit growth reported in recent years.The transition underscores a collaborative effort between Ketchum Sampark and FleishmanHillard to provide clients with enhanced services and expertise in India's evolving PR landscape.

Shalini Singh deciphers RPG Group's sustainability communication

We are in a new era of Public Relations. In the last few years, the importance of reputation management has taken a sea change. More brands and clients, especially from the leadership teams, are viewing Public Relations from a close range. The industry has undergone a radical change with the advent of social media, which has to a large extent changed the approach to Public Relations. We have a relatively new and young audience that we need to face in the coming years so there are bigger challenges for brands and PR practitioners, who have to be more agile and proactive in their thinking to draw up business solutions for clients.In our exclusive column – PR Conversation – Adgully interacts with leading business leaders and obtains their exclusive views and insights on the various trends in the PR and communications industry.In conversation with Adgully, Shalini Singh, Group Head-Brand and Communications, RPG Group, speaks in length about her role at RPG Group, the #ChangetheStory sustainability project, RPG Group’s approach to sustainability communication, and much more.How has your journey been like so far? How did you transition into the role of Group Head - Brand & Communications at RPG Group?My professional journey began with a world class company, Arvind Mills, which was a global organization, ahead of its time. I learned a lot by setting up the communications function for this dynamic company and also worked on interesting brand launches and campaigns. In the dynamic era of the Y2K, I had the privilege of working with renowned companies like Kale Consultants and Bharti Tele-Ventures. These enriching experiences laid the foundation for my career in corporate communication.I have spent over 6 years of my career heading Corporate Communications, CSR & Sustainability at Tata Power, spearheading sustainability initiatives. Sustainability has always been my passion. Club Enerji & Act for Mahseer are a few of the properties we initiated at Tata Power, which have grown humongous now.My next stint was at Lafarge Holcim, where I took on the role of Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability, for its two Indian entities- Ambuja and ACC. This was an interesting chapter of my career, where I first facilitated the brand transition from Lafarge Holcim to Holcim in India. Later, I facilitated brand transition during the takeover of companies from Holcim to Adani. At ACC and Ambuja, our sustainability projects, like #ChangetheStory, got global recognition.Transitioning into the role of Group Head - Brand & Communications at RPG Group was a natural progression, where I leverage my expertise to drive impactful brand strategies aligned with the group’s vision and values. The Group’s brand promise is – Hello Happiness, which endorses happiness for all. Sustainability is among the Group’s key focuses.It’s been an enriching journey marked by continuous learning, growth, and contributing my bit to the plant. Experience in varied sectors like Power, Cement, IT, Telecom, Pharma, automotive and Textiles & Garments has given me a nuanced and holistic perspective that helps both professionally and personally.How do you approach integrating sustainability practices into the overall brand communication strategy for RPG Group?Sustainability is an integral part of RPG Group’s brand identity. We ensure that sustainability principles are embedded into every aspect of our communication strategy, from product messaging to corporate storytelling.RPG Group and its companies are purpose-driven entities and our focus is creating long-term impact. For instance, our most recent sustainability campaign is a mega plantation drive wherein the group has pledged to conserve, restore, and grow one million trees by 2030. So, it is more of a long-term project than short.Our approach to sustainability communication begins by aligning with the overarching vision and goals of the Group and its diverse business entities. For instance, CEAT Ltd, our flagship company, has set a target to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030, while KEC International aims to decrease greenhouse gas emissions intensity at its manufacturing plants by 20% by FY26. Similarly, Zensar Technologies, another RPG Group entity, has pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by FY 2040. Through these goals, we strive to lead by example for the industry. By leveraging our brand communication channels, we aim to amplify our sustainability initiatives, raise awareness among stakeholders, and inspire collective action towards environmental conservation.Moreover, our sustainability communication strategy revolves around shared commitments to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), encompassing objectives such as circular economy practices, water management, energy efficiency, and carbon neutrality.In essence, sustainability is not just a checkbox for RPG Group; it’s a fundamental principle that guides our decision-making and shapes our brand identity.With your extensive experience across various industries, how have you seen the landscape of brand communication evolve over the years?Branding and communication industry has evolved tremendously over the past few decades. This is majorly driven by technological advancements. We have witnessed consumer behaviour changing and focus shifting. Sustainability is now mainstream. I began working 4-5 years before the Y2K; this was the time when we had newly begun embracing digital and incorporating the web in every business function. Communication was no different.Over the years, we have witnessed a significant shift towards digital platforms, enabling more targeted and personalized communication strategies. The traditional media simultaneously have also reinvented themselves, thus changing the dynamics. This industry keeps one on their toes, as agility in evolving with the times is of key importance.As digital media continues to thrive, the scope of PR and corporate communications has expanded, encompassing reputation management, stakeholder engagement, and crisis response. In this dynamic environment, integrated communication strategies that seamlessly blend traditional and digital channels have become imperative for building brand resilience and fostering meaningful connections with audiences.What are some key challenges you faced in your role, and how did you overcome them?As Chief - Corporate Communications, CSR & Sustainability, navigating the complex landscape of stakeholder expectations and balancing short-term goals with long-term sustainability objectives posed significant challenges. However, by fostering collaboration across departments, leveraging data-driven insights, and fostering a culture of transparency and accountability, we were able to overcome these challenges and drive meaningful progress. During crisis management, meticulous scenario planning and responsiveness help build trust with our stakeholders.You have also been the Chairman of the POSH Committee. What strategies did you implement to promote a safe and inclusive work environment within your organizations?As Chairman of the POSH Committee, promoting a safe and inclusive work environment was a top priority. We implemented robust policies and procedures to prevent and address instances of harassment, while also fostering a culture of respect and diversity through awareness campaigns, training programs, and employee resource groups. By prioritizing all employees’ well-being and accountability, we created a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported.In your opinion, what are the essential qualities or skills required for a successful career in integrated communications and sustainability?Deep understanding of business, strategic thinking, adaptability, and a passion for driving positive change are essential qualities for success in integrated communications and sustainability. Staying updated with the latest trends and developments, being empathetic towards diverse perspectives, and fostering collaboration across disciplines are also critical for navigating the dynamic landscape of corporate communications and sustainability.Could you share a memorable experience or achievement from your career that you are particularly proud of?There are many memorable experiences, but chief of them are being amongst Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen List of Honor (2019) by GRI for note worthy contributions to building the nation and putting it on a roll-journey leveraging futuristic insights and contributions in the areas of Communication, CSR and Sustainability. The second one being Holcim’s #ChangeTheStory campaign, which is indeed something I look back at and reflect upon. The initiative was special as it not only raised awareness about critical sustainability issues, but also mobilized stakeholders towards collective action. And that is an example of the power of integrated communications in driving positive change.A standout aspect of the #ChangeTheStory campaign was the introduction of bubble barrier technology, a cutting-edge innovation designed to remove plastic waste from waterways. I believe, #ChangeTheStory is remarkable in the sense that it created a tangible impact on the environment. By leveraging sustainability measures supported by advanced technology, we were able to make a lasting and measurable difference in our surroundings. It reinforces the power of collective action in driving positive change. I believe that is what won us the various awards and global recognitions.

Harsimran Shergill joins Head Digital Works as Director of Corp Communications

Harsimran Shergill, a seasoned professional with over 17 years of experience, has joined Head Digital Works as Director of Corporate Communications. Having previously held notable positions at renowned firms such as Edelman and Ruder Finn, Shergill brings a wealth of expertise to her new role.With a diverse background encompassing mainstream media, including print, television, and digital platforms, Shergill has established herself as a trusted advisor in the realms of thought leadership, content development, and brand communications strategy. Her proficiency extends to providing media training for senior executives and crafting comprehensive communication strategies for both internal and external stakeholders."I'm thrilled to embark on this new journey with Head Digital Works," expressed Shergill. "In an era where effective communication is paramount for organizational success, I look forward to leveraging my experience to further elevate the company's corporate communications initiatives."At Head Digital Works, Shergill will play a pivotal role in shaping and executing the organization's communication strategies, enhancing its brand presence, and fostering meaningful connections with stakeholders across various channels.

Ballou PR announces leadership changes and expands to Spain

Ballou PR, a European PR agency specializing in technology and VC communications, has made a splash with dual announcements.Fiona Houston (pictured) has returned to Ballou PR as the new UK Managing Director. She previously served as an account director before venturing out to Taylor Herring for a year. Houston succeeds Phil Dwyer, who stepped down after five years to pursue other opportunities. Toby Andrews, who joined Ballou in 2021, has also been promoted to Senior Account Director in the London office.Houston expressed her excitement about leading the talented London team and collaborating towards a successful year for Ballou PR. These leadership changes come on the heels of securing new clients like Sumsub, a global identity verification platform, Rialto Ventures, an Italian VC firm, and the Sui Foundation, dedicated to web3 user onboarding.Expanding beyond the UK, Ballou PR announced its fourth European office in Barcelona, Spain. The office will be led by Jörn Dunker, who previously served as the agency's Germany Managing Director. With this addition, Ballou PR boasts a 40-person team across offices in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.“Spain has grown to become a major part of the venture capital, startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe. Over the last months we’ve been in talks with a number of players in the ecosystem, gaining a deep understanding of the criteria and needs of the market. Our ambition is to become a strong local partner for companies wishing to increase their brand awareness and manage their reputation in Spain. In addition, we want to enable Spanish tech companies and startups to not only gain more visibility in their home market but also accelerate in other European markets,” Jörn Dunker, Managing Director, Ballou Spain, said. Colette Ballou, founder and president of the agency, has been closely following the thriving Spanish tech scene. She cites the emergence of prominent local VCs, high-growth companies, and major conferences as factors driving their decision to enter the market. Ballou is eager to contribute to the dynamic Spanish tech ecosystem.

Jajabor joins Evolved Group, unveils India's AD VITAM alliance

Jajabor Brand Consultancy and Evolved Group have partnered to launch a joint venture- AD VITAM. Evolved Group which has worked with some of the leading brands across the globe including Google, YouTube, Unilever, and Under Armour will make its foray into the Indian market with tailor-made offerings with this collaboration. This announcement comes at a time when the India-to-global story is in full swing. This venture aims to further supercharge the India-to-global story by empowering Indian brands with the right tools to dominate the global arena. AD VITAM (which means ‘bringing to life’ in Latin) will combine the best of global best practices led by Evolved along with Jajabor’s deep-rooted hyper-local strategic insights to deliver a market-first communications collective to India’s 571 Bn+ digital media market. The new entity will be based out of India & Melbourne with creative teams spread across Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. This collaboration signifies more than just a partnership; it's a strategic response to the evolving communication needs of Indian brands. AD VITAM will not only draw on global best practices but will also weave in hyper-local insights, ensuring that brands resonate authentically with the diverse and discerning Indian audience.It is India’s first transmedia storytelling alliance that will help brands ideate, conceptualize, design, and execute cohesive stories that work across multiple media platforms. The entity will operate at the intersection of integrated communication, motion graphics, presentation design, and video production. Steve Wylie, Founder of Evolved Group, added, "Indian companies are making a mark in the global arena. We believe that in the coming years, they will be dominating. Our partnership with Jajabor Brand Consultancy is a strategic move to not just meet but exceed the expectations of Indian brands that are growing at a rapid scale. AD VITAM will be a fusion of creativity and strategy, offering a unique blend of global sophistication and local authenticity.”"India is a tapestry of stories waiting to be told, and with AD VITAM, we aim to be the storytellers who understand the nuances of this market. The confluence of global best practices with hyper-local insights is the key to unlocking the full potential of brands in India," said Upasna Dash, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Jajabor Brand Consultancy.AD VITAM is poised to usher in a new era of brand communication in India, where visual storytelling is not just a necessity but an art form. By combining the strengths of Jajabor Brand Consultancy and Evolved Group, AD VITAM promises to be the catalyst that transforms brands into compelling narratives that resonate across the diverse tapestry of the Indian market.Since its inception in 2017, Jajabor Brand Consultancy (JBC) has operated at the intersection of new-age PR, integrated communication, and digital & new media to deliver business impact for brands by using the power of storytelling.

Infinity Advertising appoints Satyendra Mallik as CEO

Infinity Advertising Services, a leading integrated advertising and communication organisation, has appointed Satyendra Mallik as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mallik is an industry veteran, with over two decades of experience and a proven track record of driving organizational growth and transformation across various sectors.Infinity Advertising is among India's leading communication agencies renowned for its creativity and strategic prowess. With over two and a half decades in the industry, Infinity has built a strong reputation as a trusted partner to both government and corporate clients.Mallik's appointment heralds a new chapter for Infinity, determined to expand its global reach by fostering strategic international partnerships. His vision is set to propel Infinity to new heights of success, creating exciting opportunities and value addition for clients, partners and stakeholders alike."We are thrilled to welcome Satyendra Mallik in Infinity family," said Ajay Adlakha, Managing Director, Infinity. "His exceptional leadership skills, coupled with his extensive experience across various industries, make him the ideal to lead Infinity into its next phase of growth. Mallik's impressive career journey has seen him excel in various sectors spanning across geographies, including consumer electronics, mobile, automobile, IT/ITES and consumer product. His deep understanding of Market, Consumer behavior, Business Processes and technology have earned him a reputation as a champion in enhancing organizational effectiveness and efficiency both at topline and bottomline level.Previously, he has served in leadership capacities at several distinguished organizations, including Eastmen Auto & Power Ltd, Intex, Trident Group, Hero Group, and Salora, among others.Mallik said: "I am filled with gratitude to assume the role of CEO at Infinity, and I am excited about the opportunity to steer such a dynamic and forward-thinking organization." He continued, "With this ambitious team, I am sure that we will realize our ambitious objectives and persist in delivering unparalleled value to our esteemed clients."With a keen focus on exploring new horizons, Infinity is fully committed to its latest venture, Content Foundry, a state of art having capability to churn out high-quality podcast, video and static content in no time. Content Foundry represents the vanguard of the Infinity's next generation, fueled by youthful energy. Satyendra Mallik, with his wealth of experience, stands poised to propel Content Foundry to unprecedented heights.

Bloomingdale & Eastwest win Crunchyroll's India & SEA PR

Bloomingdale Public Relations Pte. Ltd., a leading communications firm renowned for its innovative strategies and impactful campaigns, has been appointed the PR agency in select Asia markets for Crunchyroll, the ultimate home for anime worldwide.  Based in India, Bloomingdale will be responsible for strategic planning and coordination of Crunchyroll’s regional PR efforts in India, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The scope of work includes strategic planning, client liaison, account management, media relations, and press office management, among others. In Southeast Asia, Bloomingdale will be supported by Eastwest Public Relations for local strategic counsel in Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Based in Singapore, Eastwest PR will be responsible for landing high-impact earned media stories for Crunchyroll in all three markets and building the corporate reputation of Crunchyroll as the premiere destination for anime.  Anime continues to rise in popularity and has become a cultural force – across all demographics and audiences. According to the latest Anime Industry Report by the Association of Japanese Animators, the global anime market grew by a staggering 106.8 percent in 2022, hitting a record 2.9 trillion yen (around US$19.1 billion), driven mainly by the international market outside of Japan.  Championing the art and culture of anime, Crunchyroll boasts a passionate global community of anime fans. To provide an immersive anime experience to all fans, Crunchyroll provides anime content streaming service and several other anime-related offerings such as theatricals, e-commerce and merchandise, music, manga, events, gaming, and experiential.  The timely appointment of Bloomingdale and Eastwest PR will further drive brand awareness and accelerate user growth for the platform across the region. "We are excited to embark on this journey with Bloomingdale PR and Eastwest PR as our trusted partners in India and Southeast Asia. With their strategic counsel and expertise in media relations, we are confident in our ability to further establish Crunchyroll as the ultimate destination for anime enthusiasts in the region” added Akshat Sahu, Director of Marketing - APAC, Crunchyroll. Diana Fernandes, Founder and CEO of Bloomingdale PR, expressed her excitement about the partnership, stating, "We are honoured to be entrusted with the PR mandate for Crunchyroll across Southeast Asia. The anime community is vibrant and growing quickly across South East Asia. We are committed to leveraging our expertise and creativity to elevate Crunchyroll's brand presence and engage with fans across the region." Naveen K, Partner at Eastwest PR, commented, "Millennials like us grew up watching anime as a hobby. Today, Gen Z has embraced the category as a beloved form of mainstream entertainment. There is perhaps no better household brand than Crunchyroll when it comes to anime, and we are excited to partner with the company to deliver impactful campaigns that resonate with audiences of all demographics.” As Bloomingdale PR continues to foster strategic partnerships and drive impactful campaigns across India and Southeast Asia, the agency remains dedicated to delivering excellence and driving success for its clients.

MSL appoints Sahil Chopra as COO for Publicis Consultants Asia

MSL, a leading global public relations and integrated communications agency, has appointed Sahil Chopra as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Publicis Consultants Asia (PCA). In his new role, Chopra will bring his extensive expertise and leadership to drive strategic guidance and oversee the delivery of core services to client organisations operating in the entertainment, consumer, and technology sectors across the Asia-Pacific region.Prior to joining MSL, Chopra served as the Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Stanza Living, where he played a pivotal role in developing and executing comprehensive marketing strategies. With a rich background in both brand and agency environments, Chopra has provided strategic counsel to numerous global corporations on effective communication, social media, and purchase consideration strategies.Throughout his career, Chopra has demonstrated a keen ability to design and implement end-to-end consumer and influencer immersion programmes for prominent corporations such as General Motors, Ford, Sony Sports, Ola, LaLiga, and Red Bull, among others. His track record of success underscores his commitment to driving impactful communication initiatives that resonate with target audiences and drive business results.

Deepanshi Tandon ascends to Director role at Edelman ME

Deepanshi Tandon has announced her promotion to Director at Edelman Middle East (ME). This elevation comes as a testament to Tandon's dedication, expertise, and unwavering commitment to excellence in her field.Tandon's journey with Edelman ME began just over a year ago when she made the strategic decision to transition from her role as a Brand Director to join the dynamic team at Edelman. Despite initially stepping into the role of Associate Director, Tandon's determination and passion for her work propelled her forward, leading to this well-deserved promotion.Reflecting on her career progression, Tandon shared, "Nothing matters in the long run—one’s work speaks for itself." Her belief in the power of hard work and continuous learning has been evident throughout her tenure at Edelman ME. Embracing the challenge of navigating a new market, Tandon seized the opportunity to expand her expertise and unlock the potential of the Middle East region.With a global mindset and a knack for thriving in cross-cultural environments, Tandon finds inspiration in the diverse perspectives and styles brought forth by colleagues from various nationalities. This rich tapestry of experiences enhances her ability to deliver exceptional results for Edelman's roster of clients.As she steps into her new role as Director, Tandon is poised to lead with vision and drive, leveraging her wealth of experience and expertise to propel Edelman ME to new heights. With an exciting future ahead, Tandon looks forward to continuing her journey of professional growth and making impactful contributions to Edelman's success.

The Sleep Company on-boards SGA PR as communications partner

 SGA PR, one of the fastest growing consultancies in India to offer new-age business-oriented communications services, has announced a partnership with The Sleep Company (TSC), a leading Comfort-tech brand thereby further strengthening the former’s position in the D2C brand communications space. SGA PR will be a strategic partner for TSC, managing all aspects of their communications strategy as it steers the brand through their next phase of big leap growth. TSC, is one of the fastest growing comfort-tech companies that aims to provide innovative sleeping and sitting solutions, thereby disrupting the D2C market with its science backed range of product portfolio. SGA PR has now created a distinction as being one of the few consultancies in the country that offers ‘Go-To- Market’ communications solution for a wide range of companies across traditional and new economy sectors like D2C, FinTech, HealthTech, B2B Saas, Web 3.0 and Blockchain among others. “We are thrilled to welcome The Sleep Company into the SGA PR family,” says Rahul Jain, Partner & Jt. CEO, SGA PR. “TSC's dedication to provide world class comfort-tech solutions and their commitment to growth aligns perfectly with our expertise in crafting innovative, creative and engaging communication strategies for consumers. SGA PR understands the unique challenges and opportunities faced by D2C brands and we leverage our knowledge to create bespoke communications programs that resonate with target audiences.” India's D2C market is experiencing exponential growth and is projected to reach a staggering $100 billion by 2025. This surge positions India as the world's third-largest online shopping base, fueled by a tech-savvy population and a growing desire for convenience. TSC, an example of this D2C boom, is well-poised to become one of India’s most preferred consumer brands. Ripal Chopda, CMO of The Sleep Company, expressed enthusiasm saying “SGA PR impressed us with their strategic thinking and creative consumer-focused approach. We believe they are the ideal partner to help us communicate our exciting next chapter of growth and solidify our position as a leading comfort-tech brand.”

The Evolving PR Professional: Niche Expertise or Multi-Skilled Mastermind?

The world of Public Relations (PR) is undergoing a rapid transformation. While the core principles of building brand reputation and managing communication remain, the job description and skillset required for success are evolving at an even faster pace.The PR Crossroads: Specialization vs. DiversificationThis dynamic landscape presents PR professionals with a crucial question: Should they specialize in a specific niche or become a multi-skilled professional adept at juggling various PR disciplines?This upcoming panel discussion, titled "The Evolving PR Professional: Niche Expertise or Multi-Skilled Mastermind?", will delve into this critical topic. Join us for a thought-provoking conversation that explores:The rewards and risks of niche specialization vs. a diversified skillset.The impact of these choices on career growth and leadership opportunities.How the PR profession's trajectory will be shaped by the dominant approach.Industry leaders share insights.The discussion will be led by Mou Chakravorty, Associate Director, Marketing, Brand & Communications at Deloitte India, and feature a distinguished panel of PR experts:Minari Shah, Director, International (APAC, EU, LATAM) – Owned Content & Channels at AmazonPriya Bendre, Assistant General Manager - Corporate Communication at Fortis HealthcareSonali Sokhal, Founder of Intelliquo PRThe event provides an ideal platform to gain valuable insights into the future of PR.Date & Time: Saturday, April 27, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ISTIndustry Partner: CommsAddaContent Curators: Tarunjeet Rattan, Sonali Sokhal, Pooja Trehan

POCO India appoints Nitin Yadav as Lead-PR

POCO India has appointed Nitin Yadav as their lead PR. POCO announced the new leadership on their LinkedIn handle, stating, “Welcome onboard, Nitin Yadav. Wishing you a fantastic and fulfilling journey with POCO India! We hope that together, we'll reach even greater heights!”Specializing in crisis communications, CSR, and sales services, and a scholar of Amity University, Nitin brings 12 years of experience in PR and corporate communications. He has achieved multiple accolades and milestones in his former roles with Avian WE, OPPO, Huawei, Vivo, Bite SKATEBOARD MEDIA, and others. We look forward to reaching new heights and thriving under his leadership.Prior to this, he worked with Avian WE as an Account Director and also served as Lead PR for OPPO.

Winners announced: PRCA MENA Awards 2024 recognizes outstanding PR achievements

The PRCA MENA Awards 2024 ceremony took place last night at Taj Hotel at business bay in Dubai, celebrating winners across 34 categories.Instinctif Partners MENA was honored with the prestigious title of Large Consultancy of the Year, underscoring their sustained impact and commitment to excellence. Current Global was crowned Small Consultancy of the Year, while Gambit Communications clinched the Medium Consultancy award, adding to the diversity and excellence within the regional PR landscape.Additionally, Atteline's Sophie Simpson was recognized as the PR Leader of the Year, acknowledging her exceptional leadership and contributions to the industry.Monika Fourneaux MPRCA, Head of EMEA at PRCA, hailed the evening as a testament to the region's outstanding communications talent. "The PRCA MENA Awards 2024 ceremony showcased the very best in regional communications," she remarked. "With a record-breaking number of entries, the competition was fierce, highlighting the PRCA MENA Awards as the gold standard in our industry. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists!"Reflecting on the event, James Hewes, attending his first PRCA MENA Awards, expressed his admiration for the talent on display. "It's inspiring to witness the calibre of talent and innovation showcased at the PRCA MENA Awards," he remarked. "As we continue to navigate a rapidly evolving communications landscape, these awards serve as a testament to the creativity and dedication driving our industry forward."

ICCPL wins PR mandate for Crack Academy

Delhi-based PR firm Integrated Centre for Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. (ICCPL) has secured the media and communication strategy management account for Crack Academy.Crack Academy, established in 2007, is an online ed-tech platform dedicated to Civil Services Examination preparation. They empower aspiring IAS officers with high-quality, affordable distance learning solutions. Crack Academy bridges critical learning gaps and offers accessible educational technology. The academy is led by Neeraj Kansal, an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience building businesses across various sectors.ICCPL expands its client portfolio with this significant win. ICCPL takes abstract concepts and transforms them into captivating brands that resonate deeply with target audiences.

Salary survey points to gender gap in the communications industry

The Indian Communicators Group (ICG) has released its 2024 Salary Survey Report, a comprehensive analysis of salary trends within the communications industry. This report, spearheaded by industry experts Shashank Bharadwaj and Nanda Padmanabhan, marks a significant milestone in addressing the longstanding absence of standardized benchmarks for roles and compensation in the field. The 2024 ICG Salary Survey Report is the culmination of extensive research conducted among approximately 700 in-house communications professionals, representing a diverse range of sectors and industries. Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, the survey provides valuable insights into salary ranges, job satisfaction, and gender trends within the industry. Key findings from the report include:  The median salary for in-house communications professionals across experience ranges stands at Rs.35L, with notable disparities between male and female salaries.  Salary satisfaction is closely correlated with income levels, with higher salaries leading to increased job satisfaction.Women in the communications field face challenges related to gender parity, with fewer women in senior roles and a decline in representation as experience levels increase.   While more young women enter the workforce, they are paid significantly less than men at similar experience levels. However, the pay gap narrows at higher experience levels.  The majority of respondents believe agency salaries fall short of in-house salaries for comparable roles.Communication professionals identified language & communication skills, relationship management, and domain expertise as the most crucial skillsets.The 2024 ICG Salary Survey Report not only sheds light on current compensation trends but also serves as a guiding tool for professionals to advocate for fair recognition and compensation within the industry. With a focus on empowering individuals to navigate their career trajectories effectively, this report is a valuable resource for communication professionals seeking to understand and benchmark their worth in the field.

Hoffman Agency Asia-Pacific MD leaves after six months

Dominique Rose Van-Winther has decided to leave the Hoffman Agency, where she served as the Asia-Pacific Managing Director since November. Her departure comes six months after taking over from Caroline Hsu, who was promoted to the position of Chief Global Officer within the agency. Caroline Hsu confirmed Van-Winther's decision to pursue her passion in AI and next-generation technology, citing her contributions of energy, fresh ideas, and new perspectives to the tech-focused agency. Hsu will now resume her role as the primary lead for Asia-Pacific while retaining her position as Chief Global Officer. The agency is currently evaluating its options regarding the MD position. Van-Winther, who previously spent over a decade at Weber Shandwick in Asia-Pacific and later ran her consultancy focusing on AI and new technologies, expressed her dedication to the next-gen tech space. She emphasized her focus on deep tech, VC, AI, crypto, and their integration with communications, change management, and training. Reflecting on her time at Hoffman, Van-Winther expressed gratitude for the rewarding experience of working with a dedicated team and a diverse client portfolio. She acknowledged the support and understanding from Caroline and the leadership team as she transitions towards her new direction. Despite Van-Winther's departure, the Hoffman Agency remains committed to its AI initiatives through its global AI council, overseen by Asia-Pacific chief strategist Nicolas Chan.

Untangling the Web: Measuring PR’s Impact in the Marketing Mix

In the high-octane world of marketing, Public Relations (PR) often plays a vital role. It shapes brand perception, cultivates positive media coverage, and fosters valuable relationships with stakeholders. But unlike flashy ad campaigns or targeted social media blitzes, PR’s impact can be subtle yet significant. The challenge? Isolating and measuring its success amidst a symphony of marketing efforts. The third and final part of this series dives into the strategies PR professionals use to quantify their contributions, proving the power of strategic communication in today’s dynamic marketing landscape.Read the first two parts here:Why it is tough to bring in standardization in traditional PR metrics?Data-driven approach to PR metrics: Understanding the new dynamics in AI eraJyotsna Dash Nanda, AVP, Corporate Communications, DS Group, feels that isolating the specific impact of PR campaigns within a broader marketing mix can be challenging. However, she adds, several methods can help PR professionals measure their contribution. One approach, according to her, is to utilize marketing mix modeling (MMM), which employs statistical techniques to quantify the independent effect of each marketing channel, including PR, on sales or other key metrics (Farris et al., 2010).“PR professionals can also track campaign-specific metrics like brand mentions with positive sentiment before, during, and after the campaign to isolate its influence (Kitchen et al., 2017). Additionally, utilizing unique UTM parameters (Urchin Tracking Module) in press releases or social media posts linked to PR efforts allows for tracking website traffic specifically driven by the campaign (Smith, 2020). By employing a combination of these methods, PR professionals can gain a clearer picture of their campaigns' impact within the wider marketing ecosystem,” she says.In an increasingly converging and integrated communication universe, this could be challenging and the metrics do overlap at times, observes Sumathi Chari, Senior Partner & Director, PRHUB. “Having said that, public relations (PR) fundamentally revolves around storytelling. It gains traction naturally when shared by impartial voices unconnected to the brand or its campaigns. Therefore, the extent to which we can cultivate and attract attention through compelling narratives will consistently serve as a pivotal and unique metric for evaluation,” she says.First and foremost, says Siddhartha Mukherjee, Founder of Brand Balance, PR is not limited to supporting the CMO and the marketing team of the organisation alone. According to him, its capability and the real scope of work are much larger and more complex. In fact, he adds, the actual capability of what PR is meant to do gets amplified when PR works with the CEO and all other CXOs. Hence, PR does not just work for the marketing of products or services of a brand alone, but also the employer brand, investor brand, vendor and partner brand, government brand, and so on.“Talking specifically about measurement in marketing campaigns, it is first important to understand PR’s amazing potential to strengthen the marketing campaigns across the pre, during, and post phases. In fact, if one studies the data of various marketing campaigns across industries, it will be observed that very few have made judicious use of PR in all three phases across pre, during, and post. In most of the cases, PR’s recall by the marketing team has been at the 11th hour, and therefore, its intervention got restricted to ‘during’ or the ‘launch’ or ‘announcement’ phase only. If PR is leveraged properly with scientific ERPs - efforts, resources, and processes, its measurement will reveal amazing results in the outcome stage of the measurement framework. Paid and earned stimuli can be separately linked with the strengthening of brand recall and engagement scores,” Mukherjee explains.Beyond ROI: Exploring Vital Metrics in MeasurementIn the realm of PR, measuring success extends far beyond the traditional confines of Return on Investment (ROI). While ROI serves as a crucial indicator of financial performance, it often fails to capture the full spectrum of PR’s impact on brand reputation, audience engagement, and overall organisational goals. In the multifaceted landscape of PR metrics, it is important dive into alternative benchmarks that hold equal significance in assessing campaign efficacy. By understanding the importance of these metrics, PR professionals can craft more comprehensive strategies and demonstrate the true value of their efforts to stakeholders.While ROI remains a key performance indicator, PR success extends beyond the bottom line, says Jyotsna Dash Nanda. “Measuring media reach, sentiment analysis, social engagement, and website traffic paint a more comprehensive picture. These metrics reveal brand visibility, audience perception, and the impact of PR efforts on business objectives.”According to Tarunjeet Rattan, Managing Partner, Nucleus PR, while measuring success, PR professionals can also add these to the report to add additional layers:Social Media TrafficDigital Platform AnalyticsGoogle AnalyticsWebsite TrafficMarket ResearchOnline Listening Reports“Each of these metrics serves as an indicator of the reputation the PR team strives to cultivate for the brand. The availability of comprehensive data allows for thorough analysis, empowering the team to leverage insights effectively and demonstrate the tangible impact of PR efforts. However, challenges arise when data is scarce or inaccessible, compounded by limited resources for investing in necessary tools. In such scenarios, the team may find themselves reliant solely on media coverage to justify their presence and contributions, highlighting the critical importance of accessible data and adequate support for achieving ROI goals,” says Rattan.Like other forms of communication, PR too, can never lay its claim on ROI (transaction), says Siddhartha Mukherjee.“However, it can and should claim its stake in ROO (Returns of Objective); in other words, measurement data that showcase change of thinking within target audiences. To achieve ROO as the outcome, the entire PR Measurement framework - INPUT-OUTPUT-OUTCOME - needs to be strengthened and leveraged very efficiently. Each block of Input, Output, and Outcome will need to have an intricate series of metrics. To sprinkle a few:PR Input should work towards balancing and target setting metrics such as reach, frequency, sustenance, emotion, multimedia, etc.Preference for monthly as against quarterly planning cycle.Junking the AVE cancer.To evaluate the visibility quotient, preference for holistic index scores as against count of articles or space...and so on,” Mukherjee explains.

Net-zero company BOOTES awards PR mandate to PRable Global

PRable Global, one of India’s new-age PR agencies, has been awarded strategic communications and PR mandate from BOOTES, India's first net-zero company working towards Modi's ambitious vision of achieving net zero by 2070. The partnership is founded on a shared vision for technological innovation and sustainability. In this new collaboration, PRable Global will implement comprehensive strategies to enhance BOOTES positioning as a forefront leader in the NetZero construction-tech industry.  India’s first Net-Zero company, BOOTES, is synonymous with innovation in India's construction landscape, spearheading a paradigm shift towards sustainable Net-Zero infrastructure. The company is committed to revolutionizing the industry, one eco-friendly project at a time. In their quest for a greener, healthier Bharat, BOOTES is not just building structures but rather crafting a sustainable legacy. The company's vision transcends traditional construction norms. As architects of change, they envision a future powered by 100% on-site energy generation, thereby reducing carbon footprints and operational costs. Their projects, like the Net-Zero Jhansi Library, Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta Museum, Haryana, Pradhan Mantri Sangralahaya, Delhi, 354 Hudson Street, New York, World Expo India Pavilion, Dubai, etc., spanning the length and breadth of India, echo their unwavering commitment to PM Modi’s vision of a Net-Zero nation by 2070. Deepak Rai, Managing Director BOOTES, said: “We are delighted to have PRable Global as our strategic communications partner because of their strong capabilities across verticals. I am confident that our partnership will lead to increased awareness and appreciation of our brand presence.".   Aman Singh Madaan, Founder at PRable Global, said: “BOOTES is a revolutionary company that is helping achieve India’s net-zero goals. We are excited to partner with them for PR. We believe that with our impactful tools and approach to media relations, we can showcase BOOTES’s ethos that is rooted in Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”  PRable Global will take on a pivotal role in positioning BOOTES' as a market leader. With a history of successful collaborations with renowned brands like MG Motor, SEPC by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Big Boy Toyz, Intellect Design, Landmark, Muffin, Netmeds, Adrenaline e-Systems, Lectrix EV, Ankur Suman, and more, PRable Global brings a wealth of experience to further amplify BOOTES market presence.

Carlsberg taps Hope&Glory for global PR and influencer push

Carlsberg, the iconic beer brand, has named Hope&Glory its new global PR and influencer marketing agency following a competitive selection process.The agency will be responsible for developing and executing strategic communication plans for Carlsberg's brand on a global scale, with a focus on the upcoming launch of a new creative platform and brand positioning: "Do the best things begin with curiosity? Probably." This tagline reflects Carlsberg's commitment to sparking consumer interest and engagement.Previously, Carlsberg's brand and corporate PR were handled by Golin, but the partnership ended in late 2023. This appointment comes alongside the recent selection of Richmond & Towers to manage PR and social media for Carlsberg's Brooklyn Brewery brand.Lynsey Woods, Carlsberg's Global Brand Director, expressed her enthusiasm about the new partnership: "We were impressed by Hope&Glory's capabilities, creativity, and ability to deliver exceptional results across both global and UK markets. We're confident they'll help us share captivating stories that bring joy to our consumers, and we're eager to see how they elevate our brand in the coming years."Dominique Daly, who will lead the Carlsberg account at Hope&Glory, echoed the excitement: "Carlsberg is the most iconic brand in its category. Probably. So, we jumped at the opportunity to bring a new platform of curiosity to life for today’s consumers, helping them not just fall in love with the brand but also understand the richness of its brand story."Carlsberg joins a roster of clients who rely on Hope&Glory as their central creative hub, including major brands like Polestar (automotive), Pepsi, The Pokemon Company International, and adidas.

Weber Shandwick bolsters EMEA crisis management team with key appointments

Weber Shandwick has announced key leadership changes to strengthen its crisis, issues, and risk management offerings across the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region.As part of this, Barnaby Fry (pictured) has joined as Head of Crisis and Issues, EMEA. Fry brings over 20 years of experience in crisis communications, having previously served as a director at Hogarth Partnership and MHP Communications.He will focus on expanding Weber Shandwick's crisis and issues capabilities across EMEA, leveraging his expertise in crisis preparation, mitigation, and response.Rod Clayton Transitions to Head of Risk and Advisory, EMEA. Clayton, a Weber Shandwick veteran of 28 years, will take on a newly created role focused on advising senior executives and boards.He will help clients identify, manage, and communicate about operational challenges and potential reputational risks.Together, Fry and Clayton's leadership, alongside Weber Shandwick's existing team of crisis and reputation management specialists, positions the firm to address a wide range of challenges faced by clients in the region.These challenges include:Misinformation and disinformationCybersecurity threatsArtificial intelligence (AI) integrationGeopolitical issuesEmployee and labour relationsBrand safetyGovernment and regulatory affairsBusiness operationsLitigationOrganisational changeBusiness and financial communicationsThis strategic expansion underscores Weber Shandwick's commitment to providing clients with a data-driven and human-led approach to navigating complex crisis situations across the EMEA region and globally.

Data-driven approach to PR metrics: Understanding the new dynamics in AI era

Part 2 - In today’s data-driven world, public relations (PR) professionals are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the true impact of their campaigns. Gone are the days of relying solely on vanity metrics like follower counts and press mentions. Companies are demanding a more holistic understanding of how PR efforts translate into tangible business results. The second part of this series dives into the exciting realm of emerging metrics and frameworks that are revolutionizing PR measurement. Adgully will explore innovative approaches that capture a broader picture of PR’s influence, encompassing brand sentiment, audience engagement, and ultimately, driving business objectives. The report will also investigate the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in PR measurement, examining how AI can automate tasks, analyze vast datasets, and unlock deeper insights into campaign effectiveness.Forget just counting clips! The new wave of PR measurement goes beyond vanity metrics to understand the true impact of your story, observes Jyotsna Dash Nanda, AVP, Corporate Communications, DS Group. With a Media Impact Score that considers journalist clout and publication weight, you can ditch the brag sheet and focus on real influence, she adds. According to her, a Relevance Index ensures your message resonates with the right audience, while a Rank Index tracks your climb to the top of search results.“Engagement metrics show you how your audience is interacting, and Share of Narrative analysis reveals if your brand's story is cutting through the noise. PR measurement should focus on user engagement (clicks, shares, comments), website traffic conversion (sales, sign-ups) driven by PR efforts, and social listening to gauge brand sentiment and identify brand advocates. This data-driven approach demonstrates the true impact of PR on brand perception, audience engagement, and ultimately, business objectives. In today’s media landscape, it is not just about getting mentioned, it is about getting heard,” says Nanda.According to Jyotsna Dash Nanda, some emerging frameworks are:AMEC Framework: A widely used model that goes beyond outputs (media placements) to consider outcomes (changes in awareness, perception) and impacts (on business goals).PESO Model: A strategic framework classifying media channels (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) to understand how different elements work together to achieve PR goals.RACE Framework: A results-oriented approach focusing on Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage to measure the user journey influenced by PR efforts.She adds that these metrics and frameworks offer a more comprehensive understanding of PR’s effectiveness by prioritizing quality over quantity. “They go beyond simply counting media mentions to analyse the influence and relevance of the coverage. Additionally, these methods connect PR efforts directly to business goals by tracking website traffic, lead generation, and ultimately, sales. This data-driven approach also provides valuable insights into audience behaviour, revealing how audiences engage with PR content.”Traditional PR metrics, such as AVE, measuring media articles, brand mentions, or now even “potential reach” and “impressions” in isolation, do not define the actual audience reached or provide any subsequent internal engagement with your organisation, remarks Anup Sharma, Independent PR & Strategic Communications Consultant.He feels that focusing solely on media measurement provides an incomplete picture. Similarly, he adds, brand awareness cannot be seen as a metric for measuring a PR campaign as it should be viewed as an outcome of effective PR and marketing campaigns.According to him, most media monitoring tools do not integrate traditional media monitoring and social media monitoring, or do a poor job of integration. However, he adds, new platforms can now perform both functions well and integrate different data streams from traditional media, social media, as well as internal communications into a single dashboard.“Engagement metrics tell how the earned content resonates with the target audience and while calculating the same, it's important to also take sentiment analysis into account. With the right success measurements, organisations can refine communication strategies and show exactly how much the PR effort contributes to overall brand success. PR and communication professionals need to take a look at the bigger picture and use other metrics such as brand equity, brand engagement, and brand sentiment to better understand the impact of their brand in the market. In order to truly measure success, it is important to track organisational outcomes such as sales, customer retention, brand loyalty, and market share. These metrics will give you a more complete picture of brand performance. The blurring line between paid and earned media creates the issue of credibility and trust in communication. Now, with the work scope of a Public Relations consultancy growing beyond just media management relations, not every aspect of communication outreach being managed by the PR firm can be quantitatively measured,” says Anup Sharma.Digital PR metrics such as website domain authority, traffic to website and SEO ranking are now well-established metrics and are almost a must in PR measurement, points out Sumathi Chari, Senior Partner & Director, PRHUB. The advantage, according to her, is that they are more tangible compared to traditional metrics and are easier to align to desired business outcomes.She feels that an “integrated measurement” framework is critical in the future to assess the holistic impact a PR campaign has on the brand and business, one that measures across traditional, digital and social media amplification, that measures both quantitative metrics such as reach and impressions combined with qualitative parameters such as the messaging, tonality, engagement, reach to the right TG, alignment of content to TG, among others.Finally, says Chari, these metrics need to be brought together and analyzed comprehensively. “This analysis aims to extract key insights and define the campaign’s impact on the organisation/ brand in three key areas. The deeper we delve, the more effective we will be in defining the RoI and the impact of the PR campaign on the brand,” she adds.According to Siddhartha Mukherjee, Founder of Brand Balance, there are more than five unique advantages of PR measurement. However, for this, the measurement framework needs to be designed, executed, and sustained scientifically.“The measurement framework is a reflection of the way the human brain functions! Over the years, globally, various nomenclatures have been used to visualize a framework, such as - INPUT-OUTPUT-OUTCOME or EXPOSURE-ENGAGEMENT-CONVERSION. In fact, AMEC (the International Association of Measurement & Evaluation of Communication) has detailed it further as INPUT-OUTPUT-OUTTAKES-OUTCOME-IMPACT. AMEC is making a lot of effort globally to simplify the subject of PR measurement and ensure that it is well-embedded in PR Industries across countries around the world,” he adds.AI and measurementWill AI play a key role in measuring in the days to come?Yes, AI will play a huge role, and we are hoping for the best, especially in PR measurement, says Tarunjeet Rattan, Managing Partner, Nucleus PR.“One promising emerging metric that offers a more holistic view of PR’s impact on business objectives is overlaying the PR timeline with the sales graph. This combined view can resonate with both CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) and CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers). This done consistently over a period of 4-5 years will start showcasing the impact on each other and has proved to be very effective. Now, the PR graph tracks only the hits (media and non-media) typically. But the more you add to it and start studying the interplay between both tracks, it becomes more clear to both teams on what and how PR is impacting the bottom line. Add a sentiment analysis and a vox pop feedback with key stakeholders to this mix and you have an impressive ROI document. While you create this, remember this is an annual document and not a monthly or quarterly one either. We have done this effectively for brands we work with and it was very well received,” Rattan explains.According to Siddhartha Mukherjee, AI and tech-enabled interventions have amazing potential to upgrade the PR and measurement machinery of an organisation from a cost center to a revenue center. “It can contribute immensely across the PR framework, especially PR INPUT. This first block of the measurement framework itself has around seven different cogs such as listening, benchmarking, target setting, content bank, etc. Technology can bring in a lot of ease and preparedness,” he adds.Jyotsna Dash Nanda is certain that AI will likely be key in future PR measurement. AI can analyse vast amounts of data to identify sentiment, track brand advocacy, and measure the influence of earned media, providing a more comprehensive picture of PR’s impact.Anup Sharma suggests that in order to continue to stay relevant, PR firms will need to rely on big data and artificial intelligence not only for predicting audience interests, but also to move the needle towards credible engagement. PR can gain greater respect and credibility by using realistic metrics that produce credible data and that are tied to business outcomes.(Tomorrow, Part 3 of this series will cover how PR professionals can isolate and measure the specific impact of their campaigns amidst a mix of marketing activities, as well as other valuable metrics that PR professionals should consider when measuring success.)

LG Electronics India Awards External Communications Mandate to Avian WE

LG Electronics, one of the leading consumer durable brands in India, has selected Avian WE as its external communications partner in India. Avian WE will spearhead comprehensive communication strategies aimed at elevating awareness of LG's corporate initiatives, including its technological prowess, corporate social responsibility (CSR) endeavors, and employer branding efforts. Through multi-channel communication, Avian WE will showcase LG's commitment to innovation, sustainability, and community engagement, further solidifying its position as a leader in the market.Commenting on the appointment, Jae Hyung Jun, Head Corporate Marketing at LG Electronics India, emphasized the brand's enduring commitment and vision for the Indian market. He stated, “At LG, our presence in India goes beyond delivering exceptional technology products; we believe in communicating and demonstrating the power of optimism as a way to make life better for our customers around the world. We are excited to collaborate with Avian WE to amplify our narrative reflecting our steadfast dedication to innovation and customer-centricity and also conveying the message Life’s Good to customers, inspiring and encouraging them to approach life with an optimistic attitude.”Talking about the selection process, he added, “The competition among the chosen agencies was fierce, but Avian WE's alignment with LG's core values and vision ultimately tipped the scales in their favour. We look forward to partnering with Avian WE to craft a tailored strategy that will resonate with our target audience and propel us towards achieving our objectives in India.”Commenting on the partnership, Neha Mehrotra, Managing Director of Avian WE, said, “We are excited to partner with LG and expand Avian WE's technology portfolio through creative thinking and inventive collaboration. LG, a global leader in consumer technology products, is dedicated to enhancing lives through innovation. We're committed to leveraging our expertise for impactful storytelling, ensuring LG's message resonates across all platforms.”Avian WE’s appointment is the result of a rigorous selection process, which included evaluating various capabilities and expertise of leading PR firms in India.

Authenticity key to companies' positioning in competitive markets: Himani Rautel

We are in a new era of Public Relations. In the last few years, the importance of reputation management has taken a sea change. More brands and clients, especially from the leadership teams, are viewing Public Relations from a close range. The industry has undergone a radical change with the advent of social media, which has to a large extent changed the approach to Public Relations. We have a relatively new and young audience that we need to face in the coming years so there are bigger challenges for brands and PR practitioners, who have to be more agile and proactive in their thinking to draw up business solutions for clients.In our exclusive column – PR Conversation – Adgully interacts with leading business leaders and obtains their exclusive views and insights on the various trends in the PR and communications industry.In conversation with Adgully, Himani Rautela, Deputy General Manager - Communications Lead at Redington Ltd, speaks about the importance of authenticity and differentiation in positioning companies in competitive markets, drawing up effective crisis communication strategies, integrating traditional media outreach with digital marketing strategies, and more.Could you share more about your role as Communications Lead at Redington? How do your responsibilities align with the company’s business objectives?As the Communications Lead at Redington, my primary responsibility is to develop and execute comprehensive communication strategies that align with the company’s overarching business objectives. This involves crafting messaging that effectively communicates Redington’s value proposition to various stakeholders. By fostering relationships with key stakeholders, I ensure that Redington maintains an impactful presence in the market, ultimately contributing to the company’s growth and reputation.With your extensive experience in media outreach and strategic brand building, what are some key insights that you’ve gained about effectively positioning companies in competitive markets?One key insight that I have gained is the importance of authenticity and differentiation in positioning companies in competitive markets. It is essential to identify and articulate what sets a company apart and to communicate that distinctiveness consistently across all touchpoints. Additionally, building strong relationships can significantly amplify a company’s messaging and enhance its credibility in the market. By continuously monitoring market trends and consumer behaviour, we can adapt our positioning strategies to remain relevant and compelling in an ever-changing landscape.Leveraging my extensive experience as a seasoned communication professional, specializing in media outreach and strategic brand development, I have navigated the complexities of positioning companies across a diverse spectrum. From startups and consulting firms to NGOs and established brands, within fiercely competitive markets, I have honed invaluable insights that are integral to success in today’s business landscapes.How do you approach crisis communication? Could you share a notable experience where your strategies helped navigate a challenging situation successfully?Effective crisis communication is essential, demanding a proactive and transparent stance. When confronted with a crisis, my foremost objective is swift assessment, gathering precise data, and formulating a coherent response strategy. Central to this approach are transparency and candor, alongside ensuring open channels of communication with all stakeholders. A notable instance showcasing our adept crisis communication occurred during a specific incident (for confidentiality reasons, brand names cannot be disclosed). Through prompt acknowledgment of the issue, consistent updates, and proactive solution offerings, we successfully managed to alleviate the situation.How do you integrate traditional media outreach with digital marketing strategies to create a cohesive communication narrative for brands?Integrating traditional media outreach with digital marketing strategies is essential for creating a cohesive communication narrative that reaches diverse audiences across multiple channels. We leverage traditional media outlets, such as newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media, to reach a broad audience and establish credibility. Simultaneously, we harness the power of digital platforms, including social media, blogs, and online publications, to engage with target demographics in a more personalized and interactive manner. By aligning our messaging and content across both traditional and digital channels, we create a unified brand experience that resonates with our audience and drives meaningful engagement.You have worked with India Mobile Congress and other digital technology forums. How do you stay updated with industry trends, and how do you incorporate these insights into your communication strategies?Staying updated with industry trends is essential for notifying our communication strategies and maintaining a competitive edge. I actively participate in industry events, such as conferences, seminars, and webinars, to stay abreast of the latest developments and emerging technologies. Additionally, I regularly monitor industry publications, research reports, and social media channels to gather insights and identify potential opportunities. By staying informed and adaptable, we can tailor our communication strategies to anticipate market trends and meet the evolving needs of our stakeholders.Please tell us about your involvement in advising companies on public relations and policy matters, and the impact it had on their overall communication strategies.As a communication professional, I have had the privilege of advising companies on public relations and policy matters to help them navigate complex regulatory environments and enhance their overall communication strategies. By providing strategic counsel and leveraging my expertise in media relations and stakeholder engagement, I have helped companies effectively communicate their positions on key policy issues and build strong relationships with government officials and regulatory bodies. This proactive approach not only enhances their reputation and credibility but also ensures that their communication strategies are aligned with their broader business objectives.Could you share a specific example of a successful media campaign you conceptualized and implemented, highlighting the impact it had on the business's objectives?One notable instance of a highly effective media campaign was a video crafted to pay tribute to the taskforce. Recognizing the paramount importance of igniting excitement and raising awareness about this launch, we orchestrated a comprehensive multi-channel campaign. This initiative seamlessly integrated traditional media outreach with cutting-edge digital marketing strategies.Our approach encompassed securing prominent coverage in leading industry publications and leveraging influencers to amplify the product’s visibility across various social media platforms. Furthermore, we curated captivating content, including dynamic videos and compelling infographics, designed to inform and captivate our intended audience.The culmination of our concerted efforts resulted in a significant surge of media interest, garnered acclaim from stakeholders, and solidified our presence within the target market.

Why it is tough to bring in standardization in traditional PR metrics?

In the dynamic world of public relations (PR), measurement has long been a cornerstone for assessing success and guiding strategies. Yet, behind the veil of traditional PR metrics lies a fundamental challenge: the inability to capture the true impact of PR efforts. While metrics like media impressions, social media followers, and website traffic offer numerical snapshots of visibility and reach, they often fall short in revealing the deeper resonance and influence of PR initiatives.Almost half of all PR professionals, according to Muck Rack’s ‘2022 State of PR’ report, are looking for ways to measure the impact of their work. This desire is strong across the industry, with 49% of agency professionals and 45% of those on the brand side emphasizing the importance of “producing measurable results” to show the value of PR within their organisations.This focus on measurement isn’t surprising. Traditionally, PR efforts were judged on less tangible factors like brand awareness or media mentions. However, in today’s data-driven world, executives are demanding concrete evidence of PR’s contribution to the bottom line. By showcasing metrics like website traffic increases, lead generation, or positive sentiment analysis, PR professionals can demonstrate a direct return on investment (ROI) and secure a stronger seat at the decision-making table. This shift towards data-driven PR allows for more targeted campaigns, budget optimization, and a clearer understanding of what truly resonates with target audiences.Indeed, the landscape of media consumption has undergone a profound transformation, rendering traditional metrics that emphasize reach and ad equivalence of coverage increasingly obsolete. In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving media environment, consumers are no longer passive recipients of information but active participants who consume content on the go and selectively engage with what resonates with them.Traditional metricsSo, what are the limitations of traditional PR metrics? How do they fail to capture the true impact of PR efforts?In this three-part series, Adgully embarks on a journey to unravel the limitations of traditional PR metrics, exploring how they obscure rather than illuminate the real value that PR brings to the table. The attempt is to delve into the nuances of measurement in PR, emerging metrics, the role of AI, etc.There are tangible and intangible elements to every PR campaign, says Tarunjeet Rattan, Managing Partner, Nucleus PR. According to her, a lot of the effort of traditional PR metrics only aims to capture the tangible elements of work done, ignoring all the conversations, effort, and planning put in to arrive at it and completely ignores the other intangible elements.“While the entire industry worldwide has tried with various degrees of success to measure the tangible impact PR creates and put it in excel sheets, graphs, charts and PPTs, it is like trying to hold on to water. It takes the shape of whichever container it sees and changes shape with the next. Similarly, a matrix that is tweaked to one client will change for the next. There are efforts to bring in standardization in all these methods, but it is a tough job. Something almost always gets left behind. Today, every agency has a different matrix. With the advent of AI, we are hoping to be able to create something more all-encompassing for the tangible results. The intangible ones, however, are a whole different story,” says Rattan.Public Relations is all about how your brand is represented in various outlets as earned media, and PR measurement is the process of measuring the impact of this earned media coverage on your brand, notes Anup Sharma, Independent PR & Strategic Communications Consultant.For all organisations, Sharma reckons, it is essential to understand how best to measure the success of their PR campaigns in order to demonstrate a return on investment. However, he adds, measuring the outcomes is hard as attributing them to PR campaigns is not easy.“While in the digital world with modern tools, keeping track of who mentions you, where, and how is possible, not all PR impact is directly quantifiable. Also, given the converged nature of communications today, earned content also appears on social media and falls into the blurred zone of earned media coverage or shared or both. There is no one, widely agreed method of measuring earned media value, and the trend of PR measurement as a topic has always been discussed and debated. The AMEC framework is the most widely adopted process for measuring and evaluating communications, as this focuses on capturing all outputs and outtakes, with a particular emphasis on organisational impact,” Sharma explains.Traditional metrics primarily focus on reach and ad equivalence of coverage, says Sumathi Chari, Senior Partner & Director, PRHUB. However, she adds, in today’s evolved and continually changing media landscape, this emphasis is irrelevant. Today, readers consume content on the go and choose the content they want to read or engage with.“At the same time, the scope of PR in a digital, multi-media environment has broadened, and limiting measurement to brand reach or a few other standalone metrics will dilute the larger impact of PR on businesses and organisations,” she adds.“My observation is that very few within our industry are genuinely practicing and leveraging effective PR measurement,” opines Siddhartha Mukherjee, Founder of Brand Balance, a measurement and data analytics-led corporate brand reputation and ERP management consultancy.He states that the definition and visualization of PR measurement are influenced by our perception of PR. Its construct differs depending on how the top management of organisations perceives and leverages it.“For some, it is merely seen as a news dispatch or management tool, a perspective prevalent among a significant portion of organisations. However, another category of organisations exists where CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, and CHROs view PR as a strategic tool for brand reputation and valuation management. This disparity in the thought process among the end customers of PR forms the foundation for the current state of PR measurement,” says Mukherjee.The prevailing trend Mukherjee has observed in the measurement templates utilized by both clients and service providers tends to skew towards traditional PR monitoring. According to him, it is imperative for custodians to discern between PR measurement and monitoring. Monitoring, he adds, primarily revolves around conducting daily and monthly assessments to gauge the quantity and quality of media visibility for corporate and product brands, as well as developments within the business ecosystem.“However, measurement presents a broader and more strategic approach. It focuses on ensuring that every PR effort conceived and executed contributes to enhancing brand and business metrics, ultimately reflecting in Return on Objectives (ROO). This delineates PR measurement as a linear structure encompassing PR INPUT, PR OUTPUT, and PR OUTCOME. Undoubtedly, this framework requires the backing of a meticulously designed framework of ERPs - efforts, resources, and processes - to effectively measure the impact and value of PR initiatives,” adds Mukherjee.Jyotsna Dash Nanda, AVP, Corporate Communications, DS Group, reckons that traditional PR metrics lack insight into the “why” behind the “what” – they track results but not resonance. Instead, she adds, they often fixate on vanity metrics that fail to provide a comprehensive narrative.According to her, here’s how they fall short, along with some future-oriented approaches:Limitations:Impressions/Reach: These metrics (e.g., number of people who saw a press release) show exposure, but not engagement (Did they read it? Did it resonate?)Example: A press release gets published in a major newspaper, reaching millions. But if the writing is bland or the placement irrelevant, it might have minimal impact.Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE): This assigns a dollar value to media coverage, assuming it's the same as paid advertising. This is widely criticized as inaccurate.Example: A company claims an AVE of $100,000 for a positive article. However, no guarantee paid advertising for that amount would have had the same impact (or any impact at all).Sentiment Analysis (basic): Traditional methods might simply categorize sentiment as positive, negative, or neutral. This misses nuance.Example: An article mentions a company but doesn't explicitly recommend it. Basic sentiment analysis might miss the opportunity to understand the context and potential impact.According to her, it is also important to gauge performance vis-à-vis competition.(Tomorrow: Part 2 of this report will delve into emerging metrics for a comprehensive understanding of PR’s impact and the role of AI in measurement.)

Kruttik Parekh joins Rebel Foods as Corporate Communications Lead

In an exciting career move, Kruttik Parekh bids farewell to PVR INOX and steps into a new role as Corporate Communications Lead at Rebel Foods, the world's largest and fastest-growing internet restaurant company. Parekh expressed his enthusiasm for the transition, highlighting Rebel Foods' diverse portfolio of renowned brands, including Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, and Oven Story Pizza, among others. Notably, Rebel Foods also houses EatSure, India's pioneering digital food court app, adding a unique dimension to its offerings. Recognizing the potential in Parekh, Sagar Kochhar and Neelaabh Pal welcomed him to the Rebel Foods team, setting the stage for an exciting journey ahead. Parekh's move signifies not only a shift in his career trajectory but also underscores Rebel Foods' commitment to innovation and excellence in the culinary landscape.

AI: A Game-Changer for Crisis Communication in a Fast-Paced World

Authored by Jyotsna Dash Nanda, AVP, Corporate Communications, DS GroupThe ever-shrinking window for effective crisis response demands a paradigm shift in communication strategies. Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing crisis management with its generative power. Throughout all phases of a crisis, from proactively assessing risks to expediting response and optimizing recovery, AI offers data-driven solutions that can be harnessed for significant improvement.The exploration of AI's application in crisis communication is not only opportune but essential, particularly in an age characterized by increasingly compressed response windows during crises. In the age of information overload, vast amounts of data are readily available. Big data encompasses information in various formats, from structured databases to social media posts and sensor readings. This data requires advanced tools for processing and analysis. Crisis communication professionals can leverage AI to analyse the data to gain a comprehensive understanding of a developing crisis in real time. By analyzing social media feeds, news reports, and sensor networks, they can pinpoint the affected areas and demographics, allowing for targeted communication strategies. Additionally, AI allows for monitoring public sentiment through social media analysis. This reveals anxieties and concerns, enabling tailored messaging and swift action against misinformation. Predictive analytics, a powerful AI application, can also analyze historical data to identify potential crises before they erupt. This empowers organizations and corporate communicators to take proactive measures, mitigating potential damage and fostering preparedness.Furthermore, AI-powered audience segmentation allows for targeted communication strategies. By analyzing data on demographics and past interactions, organizations can tailor messages to resonate directly with those most affected. This ensures crucial information reaches the right people at the right time.AI offers a robust suite of functionalities that enhance crisis communication on multiple fronts. Chatbots powered by AI can provide 24/7 information and support to affected individuals, alleviating pressure on call centers. Additionally, AI can automate the generation of targeted messages for various platforms, ensuring consistent and timely communication across all channels.Social media analysis is another area where AI shines. By analyzing public sentiment, AI can reveal anxieties and concerns, enabling organizations to tailor messaging and swiftly counter misinformation. This fosters trust and transparency, critical elements in crisis communication.Beyond the Data, the Human Element is very important. While AI offers significant advantages, it's crucial to acknowledge the unique role of human expertise. AI may struggle to grasp the emotional nuances of a crisis. Human communicators can tailor messages with empathy and understanding, a crucial element in building trust with the public. Crises often demand complex decisions that require human judgment. AI can provide valuable data-driven insights, but ultimately, humans must make the final call. Transparency and accountability are paramount throughout the process. Organizations must be upfront about their use of AI and build trust with the public.Generative AI allows us to move beyond traditional methods and develop data-driven communication strategies. Predictive analytics, a powerful AI application, can analyze historical data and identify potential crisis situations before they erupt. This empowers organizations to take proactive measures, mitigating potential damage and fostering preparedness. Furthermore, AI-powered audience segmentation helps tailor communication to specific demographics, ensuring messages resonate directly with those most affected.Discussions around AI in crisis communication highlight both its potential and the challenges it presents. Indian case studies, showcasing real-world applications, are scarce, but ongoing research is bridging this gap. AI in crisis communication extends beyond its immediate applications. We must consider its broader societal impact. Reskilling and upskilling initiatives are crucial to prepare the workforce for the changing landscape of AI automation. Additionally, the need for training spokespersons in using AI tools like Perplexity and Yoddle is emphasized. These tools can assist with crafting compelling narratives and managing communication flow during a crisis.Some of the other considerations include the challenges of data analysis, inherent data bias, security concerns, limitations in emotional intelligence, and transparency issues. Additionally, security concerns surrounding data privacy and misuse necessitate robust data protection regulations. Additionally, AI's limitations in emotional intelligence must be acknowledged. While AI excels at data analysis, it cannot replicate human empathy. Effective crisis communication requires a human touch to convey sincerity and build trust.By combining human expertise with AI's rapid analysis capabilities, organizations and communication professionals can significantly accelerate critical decision-making during a crisis. AI presents a transformative opportunity for crisis communication. By harnessing its power to generate data-driven strategies and fostering responsible development, organizations can navigate crises with greater agility and effectiveness. By acknowledging both the potential and the challenges, we can ensure AI becomes a force for good, building trust and fostering resilience in a rapidly changing world.

Spray & Pray PR is Dead: Nikhil Dey on Modern PR in the Digital Age

Nikhil Dey, Executive Director at Adfactors PR, offers valuable insights on the changing face of Public Relations (PR) in today's information-driven world. In this interview, he explores how the industry has adapted to the "attention economy," the crucial role of PR in a digital age, and the strategies agencies are adopting to thrive in a competitive market. Nikhil Dey argues that the old "spray and pray" approach to public relations (PR) is no longer effective in the digital age. Excerpts:How has the landscape of Public Relations changed over the past decade, and what factors have contributed to its growing importance in today's information-driven society?The attention economy is shaping the way Public Relations is evolving. We are currently operating in a world of shrinking attention spans and untrustworthy information, news and data. A good example is the often-cited research about our attention span being eight seconds. The study in question has been questioned, and the source data does not stand up to scrutiny. This is why professional and ethical public relations continue to play an important role in shaping and building reputation.With the proliferation of digital platforms and social media, how has the role of PR professionals evolved to effectively manage and navigate the ever-changing media landscape?There are many times a PR professional is called into action, but of all of them, crisis management is probably the place they shine brightest. Digital and social media have increased the speed, frequency and impact of how a crisis escalates and is amplified for a brand or an organisation. This has created the need for a well-oiled public relations capability to be put in place. Preparedness is the key to effectively navigating through and past a crisis, and this is the playground of the PR professional.In light of the projected growth of the PR industry in India, what new strategies or approaches are PR agencies adopting to stay ahead in this competitive market and meet the evolving needs of their clients?Staying ahead of the curve requires PR partners to be deeply rooted in the realities of the business leaders they serve. What are the real problems and opportunities that the business leaders are navigating? This requires PR teams to have deeper domain knowledge, to enable creative ideas based on insights. Creating this capacity to listen and decode what is happening in the market using a mix of human intelligence and data analytics is one key capability that is emerging as a differentiator. What is coming around the corner? To be the early warning system and the radar for a business is possibly one of the most valuable ways a PR partner can help protect reputation and build business.As businesses increasingly recognize the importance of reputation management and brand perception, how do you see the relationship between PR and overall business success evolving in the coming yearsBetter aligned goals between business teams, brand teams and PR teams are likely to result in strong synergies. Well-orchestrated campaigns built around a central narrative targeting specific audiences will prove to be most effective. Instead of the old “spray and pray” approach where share of voice and turning up the volume was the way to show how good PR was at drumming up visibility; the future is likely to be about staying below the radar and not inviting unwanted attention. Instead laser-sharp targeting of an audience with a clear call to action is a far better approach. Each discipline is like the arrow in the quiver of a skilful archer who will know when to use the right one.

Layer PR launches ‘Startup Program’ to support startups, small businesses

Layer PR, a new-age public relations (PR) agency and subsidiary of TechGraph, an online technology and business news media company, has announced the launch of its ‘Startup Program’ for startups, and small businesses working across the globe in a bid to enhance the global reach and brand presence of emerging businesses.As a part of the programme, participants will receive an exclusive discount exceeding 50% on PR services for one year. Additionally, they will gain access to a dedicated PR specialist, personalized guidance customized to their unique requirements, crisis management assistance, comprehensive media training, and more.Krishna Mali, Co-Founder & CEO, Layer PR, said: "The startup ecosystem is brimming with brilliant minds and ground-breaking concepts. At Layer PR, we're committed to fueling that entrepreneurial fire by providing founders with the strategic communications guidance and resources they need to cut through the noise. Our startup program isn't just about securing media coverage; it's about crafting a compelling narrative that resonates with investors, partners, and customers alike. As Layer PR is a TechGraph company, we have witnessed the struggles of a startup when it comes to PR, so this is a personal mission as well. We're proud to play a part in amplifying startup success stories."Shanaz Khan, Co-Founder & COO, Layer PR, said: "Our Startup Program is crafted to empower startups and small businesses by furnishing them with the requisite support and resources for success. We firmly believe that every entrepreneur merits the opportunity to cultivate a thriving brand, and our program endeavors to facilitate this journey.""At Layer PR, we're committed to empowering the upcoming wave of entrepreneurs and disruptors. Our Startup Program is designed to give ambitious founders a powerful launchpad to amplify their brand's story and drive real business impact," said Prutha Rupareliya, PR Lead, Layer PR. "It is not limited to startups only, small businesses, incubators, accelerators, VCs, and office space providers can also be a part of our program. We're dedicated to being a catalyst for the company's growth and success at every stage by integrating exceptional PR skills with exclusive pricing and resources designed for their journey," Rupareliya further added.Layer PR currently operates from offices in London, Mumbai, and Delhi, with dedicated professionals working virtually across continents.