Shweta Chawla joins Lionsgate Play as the lead PR and Comms

Shweta Chawla exclusively shared with Adgully that she has joined Lionsgate Play as the lead PR and Communications professional. Before joining Lionsgate Play, Shweta spent almost three years handling Amazon India's Consumer Communications. She has also served as a Corporate & Consumer Communications Specialist at Trell and TikTok.Additionally, Chawla has experience handling PR and Communication for The Viral Fever. In her early career, Shweta worked with Viacom18 Media for over four years, starting as a PR intern and gradually progressing to a Corporate Communication specialist.

Independent comms agency APRW launches training initiative for employees

APRW Pte Ltd (APRW), one of Singapore's earliest and largest independent integrated communications agencies, announces the launch of APRW+, a comprehensive training initiative for its full-time employees. APRW is the first independent communications agency to work with NTUC U SME to build an Operation and Technology Roadmap (OTR). Designed to empower and benefit APRW employees with continuous industry learning and professional development, the programme aims to upskill, upgrade and uplift employees both professionally and personally. It also underscores APRW’s dedication to providing valuable learning resources for its employees to thrive in an ever-evolving industry. Driving value in employees with upskilling and integrated industry skills With nearly 30 years of experience in delivering excellence in communications for clients across the Asia Pacific region, APRW continues its dedication to creating significant media and digital presence for clients. The agency also recognises the importance of nurturing talent, and enabling them to reach their full potential and achieve their career goals.The APRW+ programme aims to fast-track employees' development, offering opportunities for employees to participate in certification programmes, managerial development schemes, and robust hands-on training initiatives. APRW+ offers a comprehensive array of skills-enhancing courses that are conducted in-house as well as by external trainers from accredited organisations and educational institutions for employees at various stages of their careers. It aims to instil a proactive approach to learning and a mindset of continuous development in employees. The programme will also expand employees’ industry knowledge, maintain their relevance in the dynamic professional landscape as well as enabling them to stay abreast of the latest technological advancements.“In the ever-evolving landscape of communication, we embrace the dynamic challenges posed by technology and the rising complexities of modern communication. To remain confident and resilient, we understand the imperative to upskill, staying ahead in anticipation of change. As an agency, we recognise that in today's paradigm, controlling the narrative requires adapting to societal changes such as adopting digital tools, which can be seen as an addition to help with efficiency,” said Cho Pei Lin, Managing Director of APRW.Moulding talents to future leaders of tomorrow with opportunities in Singapore and beyond APRW+ consists of five levels, each representing a step forward in the growth and development of client account servicing employees, starting from executive-level to transitioning into leadership roles. It includes a mix of core and non-core electives ranging from foundational topics to management and managerial-related modules to growth, diversification and adaptability. Employees can also look forward to curated seminars and global engagements via webinars, conferences and training programmes for overseas exposure. This includes partnerships with agencies from IPREX, a leading global communication and public relations network. APRW is the sole IPREX representative in Southeast Asia, representing Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia."As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, opportunities for overseas exposure at work are highly valuable in helping professionals broaden their horizons and gain new perspectives. For instance, at the upcoming IPREX Annual General Conference in Greece later this month, we will be joined by communication experts from around the world, giving us a platform to interact and exchange best practices with them. It is going to be an eye-opening trip and I am grateful to the agency for providing such opportunities for us to step out of our comfort zones and embrace new learning experiences,” said Bijal Doshi, Senior Manager at APRW. Beyond just upskilling and training, APRW+ also serves as a foundational ground for the agency’s future leaders. The Director Mentorship Programme at the final stage aims to ease selected employees into leadership roles and to be owners and part of the business as well, to be well-equipped and familiar with the different functions of running an agency - from HR, business to finance and budgeting.With APRW+, the agency sets a benchmark for empowering its employees to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape, ensuring that they are well-equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Anasua Mitra moves on from ZEE5, joins Lava International Ltd

Anasua Mitra of ZEE5 has joined Lava International to lead brand’s PR and Corporate Communucations, Mitra confirmed this news with Adgully where she said, "After an exciting journey at ZEE5, I am happy to share I have joined Lava International Ltd. to lead brand’s PR and Corporate Communucations.I will be responsible for brand’s overall communications across traditional, digital and social media platforms."Prior to joining Lava International, Anasua was handling ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited's Corporate Communications as Senior Manager Corporate Communications.

Jenny Fieldgate joins The Hoffman Agency as European MD

The Hoffman Agency, a global communications consultancy known for its work in technology, has announced changes to its European leadership team. Jenny Fieldgate, (pictured), formerly of Red Consultancy, takes the helm as the new European Managing Director.Fieldgate brings over 13 years of experience to the role, having most recently led Red Consultancy's corporate and technology practices. Prior to that, she spent nearly five years at B2B technology specialist Whiteoaks.Mark Pinsent, the outgoing European MD, will transition to a senior consultancy role. He expressed satisfaction with the team's progress and his decision to pursue a different path within the agency.Pinsent highlights Fieldgate's extensive experience in corporate communications, complementing his own focus on technology. He looks forward to leveraging his expertise to deliver exceptional results for clients.Fieldgate is excited to join The Hoffman Agency, impressed by their unique approach and collaborative spirit. She aims to build on the strong foundation established by Pinsent and the team to drive further growth across Europe.President and CEO Lou Hoffman confirmed the agency's ambitious plans for Europe, including acquisitions. He sees Fieldgate as a key player in achieving their goals, specifically targeting "smallish indies" seeking a broader platform.The leadership shake-up in Europe is part of a broader global restructuring at The Hoffman Agency. Caroline Hsu's promotion to Chief Global Officer in 2022 marked the beginning of these changes, followed by Gerard LaFond's appointment as North America MD.The agency also recently experienced a change in Asia-Pacific leadership. After a brief tenure, Dominique Rose Van-Winther departed the role. Hoffman acknowledges the setback and plans to re-evaluate the best structure for the region.The Hoffman Agency, with its 14 offices worldwide, is on track to exceed $30 million in revenue this year. Hoffman has set his sights on reaching $40 million in the coming years.This growth strategy combines strategic acquisitions with organic expansion. With a strong foundation in place and Fieldgate's leadership, The Hoffman Agency is poised to become a major force in the global tech communications sector.

Jummar PR joins PRCA MENA as a new corporate member

The Public Relations and Communications Association in the Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) has today announced Jummar PR as its latest corporate member.Jummar PR is a local Saudi public relations company based in Riyadh and they provide communication consultancy for organizations, entities, and companies, driven by deep understanding of the local culture and clear insights of social and economic contexts in Saudi Arabia.Head of PRCA EMEA, Monika Fourneaux said:“Jummar PR's addition as a corporate member underscores PRCA MENA's commitment to fostering diverse and culturally attuned communication practices in the region. Their expertise in navigating the intricacies of Saudi Arabia's social and economic landscape aligns seamlessly with our mission to elevate standards of excellence in public relations and communications across the Middle East and North Africa.”Jummar PR’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Ibrahim Al-Mutawa, said:"Celebrating our membership with PRCA MENA marks a significant milestone for Jummar PR. We are thrilled to join forces with an esteemed association dedicated to advancing the PR and communications industry in the region. This collaboration reaffirms our commitment to delivering strategic communication solutions tailored to the unique cultural landscape of Saudi Arabia, and we look forward to contributing to PRCA MENA's mission of excellence and innovation."

Francesca Boase joins Sandpiper as MD of Professional Services

The Sandpiper Group has announced the appointment of Francesca Boase as Managing Director, Professional Services. Sandpiper, renowned as one of the foremost independent communications, public affairs, and research groups in the Asia Pacific region, is set to leverage Boase's extensive expertise to further elevate its specialized Professional Services practice on a global scale.Based between the bustling metropolises of Hong Kong and Sydney, Francesca Boase brings over two decades of invaluable experience to her new role. Her career trajectory spans both agency and in-house positions, where she has collaborated closely with executive teams and boards, carving out a niche in reputation strategy, corporate communications, and crisis and issues management.Prior to joining Sandpiper, Boase held the prestigious position of Director of Communications for Oceania at EY. During her tenure, she spearheaded corporate affairs, issues management, and external communications initiatives, leaving an indelible mark on the firm's strategic landscape.Boase's appointment comes at a pivotal moment for Sandpiper, coinciding with the burgeoning expansion of its professional services reputation advisory endeavors across the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions. The consultancy's unwavering commitment to excellence has earned it prestigious accolades, including recognition as an Asia Pacific Agency of the Year by esteemed industry voices such as PRovoke Media, PRWeek, and the Public Relations Communications Association (PRCA). Furthermore, Sandpiper has emerged as a trailblazer in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and Sustainability realms, cementing its position as a frontrunner in the ever-evolving communications landscape.Emma Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Sandpiper, said: “As one of the region’s most experienced advisers in reputation management for professional services, Fran brings a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience to our clients across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and beyond. Her appointment coincides with the growth of Sandpiper’s professional services reputation advisory work across Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Over the past 12 months, Sandpiper has been named Asia Pacific Agency of the Year by PRovoke Media, PRWeek, and the Public Relations Communications Association (PRCA), as well as PRCA’s 2024 Specialist Consultancy of the Year.”Francesca Boase, Managing Director, Professional Services, Sandpiper, said: “This is an exciting and challenging time for the professional services industry, and Sandpiper’s global reach and deep expertise in corporate and public affairs makes it ideally positioned to partner with clients across the corporate spectrum. I’m looking forward to collaborating with an international team of dynamic and dedicated professionals to lead the practice globally. I’m excited about the opportunities ahead.”With Francesca Boase at the helm of its Professional Services division, Sandpiper is poised to navigate new horizons, delivering innovative solutions and unparalleled expertise to its diverse clientele, and solidifying its status as a powerhouse in the realm of communications and public affairs.

Rethinking Public Relations for the Digital era – Best practices and tools

The rapid transition to digital has brought about immense transformation in every sphere of the industry. Public Relations has seen significant transformations as new opportunities emerge in this digital era. No longer is PR seen as mere media relations, as it is increasingly integrated with the marketing and advertising functions to give a whole new dimension to the brand communication space.According to Statista reports from December 2023, around 68% of surveyed public relations professionals worldwide identified artificial intelligence (AI) as most impactful in research and list building. Of these professionals, 68% found AI useful for research list building, 47% for monitoring and measuring, and 36% for strategy and planning.The report also indicates that nearly two-thirds (64%) of PR professionals globally are using generative AI solutions like ChatGPT or DALL-E in their work, a significant increase from the 33% reported earlier in April of the same year. Moreover, the percentage of PR professionals not planning to explore AI tools decreased from 15% to 5%.Girish Balachandran, Founder, ON PURPOSE, emphasized the importance of crafting authentic narratives that resonate across platforms while maintaining transparency and agility. He highlighted the use of multimedia content and building strong relationships with stakeholders to amplify PR efforts.On the other hand, Shibani Kumar, Founder, Properganda, stressed on the need for digital literacy among PR professionals and integrating tech tools like social media monitoring platforms and analytics software for targeted communication strategies.Speaking about effective techniques for managing and leveraging data analytics in PR campaigns, Shibani Kumar mentioned the invaluable insights data analytics offer in refining strategies and predicting trends. Meanwhile, Girish Balachandran emphasized on leveraging data-driven insights and emerging technologies like generative AI to streamline processes and foster authentic connections with audiences.Managing & leveraging data analytics to enhance PR campaignsSpeaking about the key techniques, Shibani Kumar shared, “Data analytics has become invaluable in modern PR operations, offering insights that can significantly enhance campaign effectiveness. By leveraging data analytics, we can precisely target desired audience segments, measure the impact of campaigns in real-time, and iteratively refine strategies for optimal results. From tracking media mentions to monitoring social media engagement metrics, the power of data analytics enables us to make data-driven decisions that drive tangible outcomes. Predictive analytics can anticipate trends, identify potential crises, and tailor PR strategies accordingly, inspiring proactive and strategic decision-making.”Balachandran felt that the evolution of public relations in the digital era has been nothing short of transformative. “We, as PR professionals, today navigate a complex web of social media, online forums, and digital outlets to effectively communicate key messaging. It’s no longer just about issuing press releases, but about creating content that is engaging, sparks conversations and drives action.Embracing data-driven insights to inform PR strategies will continue to remain key while we leverage emerging technologies like generative AI and automation to streamline processes, and foster authentic connections with audiences through personalised communication.”Building strong relationshipsSpeaking on some effective ways in which PR professionals can engage with consumers, influencers and media, Balachandran said, “The first and most crucial step is to identify and understand the unique preferences and behaviours of each stakeholder group, whether it is consumers, influencers, or the media. From there, we tailor messaging and communication channels to effectively reach and resonate with each audience group.”He further said, “It is important to build authentic relationships based on trust and transparency in order to foster credibility and loyalty. Actively listening to stakeholder feedback and engaging in meaningful conversations is one of the best ways to cultivate strong relationships to drive long-term success.”According to Shibani Kumar, PR professionals can achieve this by tailoring messages to resonate with different audience segments based on their interests, preferences, and communication channels. “But above all, maintaining transparency and authenticity in communications, including admitting mistakes, addressing concerns openly, and providing accurate information, is the key to building trust with stakeholders,” she added.The rapid transition to digital has brought about immense transformation in every sphere of the industry. Public Relations has seen significant transformations as new opportunities emerge in this digital era. No longer is PR seen as mere media relations, as it is increasingly integrated with the marketing and advertising functions to give a whole new dimension to the brand communication space.According to Statista reports from December 2023, around 68% of surveyed public relations professionals worldwide identified artificial intelligence (AI) as most impactful in research and list building. Of these professionals, 68% found AI useful for research list building, 47% for monitoring and measuring, and 36% for strategy and planning.The report also indicates that nearly two-thirds (64%) of PR professionals globally are using generative AI solutions like ChatGPT or DALL-E in their work, a significant increase from the 33% reported earlier in April of the same year. Moreover, the percentage of PR professionals not planning to explore AI tools decreased from 15% to 5%.Girish Balachandran, Founder, ON PURPOSE, emphasized the importance of crafting authentic narratives that resonate across platforms while maintaining transparency and agility. He highlighted the use of multimedia content and building strong relationships with stakeholders to amplify PR efforts.On the other hand, Shibani Kumar, Founder, Properganda, stressed on the need for digital literacy among PR professionals and integrating tech tools like social media monitoring platforms and analytics software for targeted communication strategies.Speaking about effective techniques for managing and leveraging data analytics in PR campaigns, Shibani Kumar mentioned the invaluable insights data analytics offer in refining strategies and predicting trends. Meanwhile, Girish Balachandran emphasized on leveraging data-driven insights and emerging technologies like generative AI to streamline processes and foster authentic connections with audiences.Managing & leveraging data analytics to enhance PR campaignsSpeaking about the key techniques, Shibani Kumar shared, “Data analytics has become invaluable in modern PR operations, offering insights that can significantly enhance campaign effectiveness. By leveraging data analytics, we can precisely target desired audience segments, measure the impact of campaigns in real-time, and iteratively refine strategies for optimal results. From tracking media mentions to monitoring social media engagement metrics, the power of data analytics enables us to make data-driven decisions that drive tangible outcomes. Predictive analytics can anticipate trends, identify potential crises, and tailor PR strategies accordingly, inspiring proactive and strategic decision-making.”Balachandran felt that the evolution of public relations in the digital era has been nothing short of transformative. “We, as PR professionals, today navigate a complex web of social media, online forums, and digital outlets to effectively communicate key messaging. It’s no longer just about issuing press releases, but about creating content that is engaging, sparks conversations and drives action.Embracing data-driven insights to inform PR strategies will continue to remain key while we leverage emerging technologies like generative AI and automation to streamline processes, and foster authentic connections with audiences through personalised communication.”Building strong relationshipsSpeaking on some effective ways in which PR professionals can engage with consumers, influencers and media, Balachandran said, “The first and most crucial step is to identify and understand the unique preferences and behaviours of each stakeholder group, whether it is consumers, influencers, or the media. From there, we tailor messaging and communication channels to effectively reach and resonate with each audience group.”He further said, “It is important to build authentic relationships based on trust and transparency in order to foster credibility and loyalty. Actively listening to stakeholder feedback and engaging in meaningful conversations is one of the best ways to cultivate strong relationships to drive long-term success.”According to Shibani Kumar, PR professionals can achieve this by tailoring messages to resonate with different audience segments based on their interests, preferences, and communication channels. “But above all, maintaining transparency and authenticity in communications, including admitting mistakes, addressing concerns openly, and providing accurate information, is the key to building trust with stakeholders,” she added.Challenges and complexities of the digital landscapeAddressing the difficulties faced by PR practitioners, Shibani Kumar said, “Some of the major challenges now are managing the vast amount of information available online, including monitoring multiple channels, analysing data, staying updated on trends and conversations, and handling online reputation crises and social media backlash when audiences are more aware than ever while maintaining brand integrity and credibility and demonstrating the ROI of PR efforts in the digital realm, including tracking and attributing outcomes such as brand awareness, engagement, and conversion.”She added, “We can proactively invest in robust analytics tools to track and analyse digital data, derive actionable insights, and accurately measure PR campaign effectiveness.”For Balachandran, it is imperative to stay vigilant and monitor online conversations, pre-emptively address potential issues before they escalate, and be transparent and responsive as much as possible in all communications. Investing in continuous learning and development, and staying alert on emerging trends and technologies is essential for staying ahead of the curve in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Visa Inc appoints Vidisha Chatterjee as Sr Director, Head of Corp Comm

Vidisha Chatterjee, formerly the Communications Director at WhatsApp India, has joined Visa Inc as Senior Director and Head of Corporate Communications for India & South Asia (INSA). After departing from WhatsApp last year, Chatterjee has now announced her new role with Visa Inc.With over 20 years of experience, Vidisha Chatterjee has made significant contributions in scaling businesses and building trust for global brands across various domains including business, marketing communications, and content creation. Notably, she served as WhatsApp India's inaugural Director of Communications.Chatterjee is recognized as a strategic advisor in team-building, leadership training, and business transformation. Her previous roles include Head of Communications at Colgate-Palmolive India, as well as positions at Apollo International, India Today, Star TV, Genesis Burson Marsteller, among others.

Minor Hotels appoints BrandsWeLove as its PR agency for India

Global hospitality group Minor Hotels has selected BrandsWeLove (BWL) as its public relations agency in India ahead of the debut of its flagship modern luxury brand Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas in Jaipur, India, later this year. The appointment follows a competitive pitch, effective from 15 April 2024. BWL will partner with Minor Hotels to increase awareness of its global portfolio of properties among Indian travellers, especially for its flagship luxury Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and upscale lifestyle Avani Hotels & Resorts brands. The agency will support the hospitality group through strategic communications, including media relations, influencer engagement and on-ground activations. BWL will also promote Minor Hotels’ expansion in India, first with the Anantara Jaipur Hotel in Q3 this year and future new openings in the pipeline. Marion Walsh-Hédouin, Global Head of Public Relations & Communications for Minor Hotels, commented: “India is becoming an outbound travel superpower as more Indian travellers broaden their horizons by heading overseas. India is one of Minor Hotels’ fastest-growing international source markets, and the country is an essential piece of our global expansion plan to capture a portion of the expanding domestic travel market, too, with the target of 50 new openings in India within the next decade. BrandsWeLove joins our team at a significant time for Minor Hotels as we gear up for the opening of the Anantara Jaipur Hotel, the first of many of our flagship brand in India. We are excited to tap into the agency’s luxury hospitality experience and the team’s strategic and creative thinking to tell authentic stories that build upon strong recognition of our brands among Indian travellers.” Deepa Harris, Founder of BrandsWeLove, further confirmed how pleased they are to work with Minor Hotels, a globally recognised organisation with a legacy of impeccable hospitality. “Our focus will be to build on their already strong and differentiated positioning with brand narratives that command deeper affinity and desire.’’ BrandsWeLove is a boutique marketing and PR representation company. It operates in the ultra-luxury category and has expertise in the hospitality, tourism and lifestyle sectors. It has a client roster of marquee brands that aredifferentiated by their brand purpose, personalised and connected experiences and customer-centric excellence. BrandsWeLove has successfully established and positioned these brands for success in this market via a deep understanding and network of the media and influencer landscape. BWL has a history of delivering on clients’ visions and ambitions by focusing on the parts that truly provide value.

Burson announces global leadership appointments

Burson has appointed Chad Latz, Grant Toups, and Chris Kief as the global heads of innovation, digital and intelligence, and technology respectively.Chad Latz, (pictured), currently serving as the global chief innovation officer at BCW, will maintain this role after the merger with Hill & Knowlton, forming Burson. He will spearhead Burson's innovation endeavors, particularly focusing on AI-driven solutions, and continue to cultivate a team of AI specialists spanning data, technology, and academia.Toups, the current global chief technology officer at H&K, will transition to the role of global chief digital and intelligence officer at Burson. Tasked with streamlining digital-first client solutions, Toups will lead a global team specializing in digital and social communications, reputation management, technology advisory, and advanced intelligence services.Additionally, Kief, currently holding the position of BCW's global chief technology officer, will maintain his role at Burson. He will oversee the enterprise technology strategy, including investments, deployments, and governance, while also driving product development through engineering teams.BCW global CEO Corey duBrowa, who will assume the role of global CEO at Burson, emphasized the significant impact of artificial intelligence and digital technologies on the communications sector. He highlighted Burson's commitment to leveraging these technologies to deliver innovative communication solutions, citing tools like Decipher and Sonar for predictive analytics and message testing. duBrowa expressed confidence in the appointed team's ability to uphold Burson's reputation as a leader in the industry.

Leveraging Influencers to Amplify Brand Messaging

- Authored by Komal Rukhana, Founder at Mint and Milk PRIn today's digital age, where social media reigns supreme, leveraging influencers has become a powerful tool for brands to amplify their messaging in order to reach a wider audience. Influencers, with their dedicated following and authentic voice, have the ability to connect with consumers on a personal level, making them valuable partners in any brand's marketing strategy. The consumer's attention spans are shrinking and delivering the right message in short, crisp and engaging ways are now taking precedence. Leveraging the brand voice for companies that can’t be openly marketed over other mediums also becomes a priority when it comes to influencer marketing. In the rapid rise of the digital age, news is first broken online through digital campaigns and then it transcends to traditional media. So the conversation has now altered for brands which peg themselves as a digital first company. As a PR company we weigh engagement, reach, impressions, click through rate, sentiment analysis of the content along with comments even before even suggesting or recommending influencers to our clients. Each campaign is well thought through. For a brand like MyMuse within the Intimate wellness industry- funny and engaging content has been leveraged with influencers to mold the conversation. Two years ago the brand was budding in the space and with a targeted as well as amiable approach the brand has really managed to leverage the conversation using influencer marketing to change the narrative around sexual wellness and educate the customer. Over the last 3 years, their product portfolio has grown from 4 to 25+, spanning personal massagers, high quality lubricants and massage oils, games and journals to wellness products such as libido gummies and wipes. Messaging and brand perception can be monitored and tweaked based on the audience response and the brand has a larger say in what’s being communicated and perceived. The risk of miscommunication within messages is also reduced.AuthenticityWhen it comes to leveraging influencers, authenticity is key. Consumers are savvy and can easily spot inauthentic endorsements. By partnering with influencers whose values align with the brand's, companies can ensure that the messaging is genuine and resonates with their audience. In addition to authenticity, choosing the right influencers is crucial. Micro-influencers, with smaller but highly engaged followings, can often yield better results than macro-influencers. Their niche audiences are more likely to trust their recommendations, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.Geographic libertyCollaborating with influencers also allows brands to tap into new markets and demographics. Influencers have the ability to reach audiences that may be difficult for brands to access through traditional advertising channels. By diversifying their influencer partnerships, brands can expand their reach and connect with a broader range of consumers. Some of our clients have interest in tying up with influencers with an NRI dominance and that can only be achieved through influencer marketing. It lets you cut borders in a way that wasn’t possible a few years ago. We represented a restaurant brand in Goa recently where the brand's videos would garner a reach of 3k on its feed however by engaging the right influencers we saw the video reach expand to garner 1M+ views thereby drawing immense awareness and reach for the brand. Furthermore, influencers can provide valuable insights into consumer trends and preferences. By monitoring the engagement and feedback generated by influencer campaigns, brands can gain a better understanding of their target audience and tailor their messaging accordingly.Building a community and collaboratingCollaborative reels with multiple creators within a campaign has become the need of the hour now to leverage the reach of all within a single reel to boost virality and generate a larger viewership. Engaging with the same influencers that have worked for the brand from time to time helps create a strong community with them and their audiences.Building micro-influencers from the get go -With budding and boot strapped brands affordability becomes a key challenging factor however this can be mitigated through working with micro- influencers which grow with your brands profile. Collaborating with budding influencers fosters mutual growth for brands as well as creators within the space thereby giving both something to benefit from. By leveraging influencers to amplify brand messaging is a powerful strategy we recommend for brands looking to connect with consumers in a meaningful way. By prioritizing authenticity, choosing the right influencers, and diversifying partnerships, brands can effectively leverage influencers to reach new audiences, drive engagement, and ultimately, boost brand awareness and loyalty.

Rajiv Banerjee joins Standard Chartered as India & South Asia Comms Head

Rajiv Bannerjee has started a new role at Standard Chartered India as the Head of Communications for India & South Asia. He posted on his Linkedin: “Excited to be given the responsibility to shape and execute the communication strategy of one of the marquee financial services brands that has a long association with the Indian sub-continent. The Bank's association with India now spans more than 150 years. The brand promise hashtag#hereforgood, along with the values of hashtag#neversettle hashtag#dotherightthing and hashtag#bettertogether, I believe, reflects amongst its employees, customers, clients and other key stakeholders.”He started his career as the Field Correspondent, Unit Director at Beacon Television and served in the Executive Programming department at Hinduja Media. He was the Senior Executive Teleshopping Network at United Television (UTV). He was the Senior Executive – Content at NetScribes and the Senior Correspondent at Financial Express. He was also the Editor at ET Brand Equity and the Senior Vice President & Vertical Head, Corporate Communications at HDFC Bank. He held the position of Group Head – Corporate Communications at Piramal Enterprises Limited. He is a seasoned strategic communications professional with experience in television, print, digital for 15 years and was a reputation management expert at HDFC Bank for the last nine years. He is a law graduate and have done an Advanced Management Programme in Public Policy from ISB Hyderabad.

Navigating virtual PR challenges and opportunities

-Authored by Komal Rukhana, Founder at Mint and Milk PR With global connectivity being the need of the hour, the landscape of public relations has undergone a profound transformation. Traditional office settings are giving way to virtual and remote work environments, presenting both challenges and opportunities for PR professionals. As the industry adapts to these changes, navigating this new terrain requires agility, creativity, and a keen understanding of the emerging trends.Embracing FlexibilityOne of the primary advantages of virtual PR work environments is the flexibility they offer. Constraints of physical location are eliminated through remote work, allowing professionals to collaborate seamlessly across geographical boundaries. This flexibility not only enhances work- life balance but also enables PR teams to tap into a diverse talent pool, fostering creativity and innovation.Overcoming Communication BarriersEffective PR relies heavily on clear and timely communication, which can be hindered by the absence of face-to-face interaction. To overcome this, PR professionals must leverage a variety of communication tools and platforms, such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management software. Establishing regular check-ins and maintaining open lines of communication are essential for ensuring that team members stay connected and aligned on objectives.Harnessing TechnologyTechnology plays a pivotal role in facilitating virtual PR work environments. From media monitoring and analytics tools to social media management platforms, the PR industry is awash with technology-driven solutions that streamline workflows and enhance productivity. Embracing these tools enables PR professionals to adapt to the evolving media landscape, identify emerging trends, and measure the impact of their efforts with greater precision.Cultivating CreativityCreativity lies at the heart of effective PR, and virtual work environments offer ample opportunities for innovation. Without the confines of traditional office spaces, PR professionals have the freedom to explore new approaches and experiment with different strategies. Virtual brainstorming sessions, collaborative digital whiteboards, and online ideation platforms empower teams to generate fresh ideas and develop creative campaigns that resonate with target audiences.Maintaining ProfessionalismWhile remote work provides flexibility, it also requires a high degree of professionalism and self- discipline. PR professionals must set boundaries between work and personal life, establish a dedicated workspace, and adhere to deadlines rigorously. Additionally, maintaining a professional online presence is paramount, as virtual interactions often shape perceptions of credibility and reliability.Adapting to ChangeIn a rapidly evolving digital landscape, adaptability is key to success in virtual PR work environments. PR professionals must stay abreast of emerging technologies, social media trends, and industry developments to remain competitive. Continuous learning and professional development are essential for staying ahead of the curve and delivering impactful PR strategies that drive results.ConclusionAs virtual and remote work environments become increasingly prevalent in the PR industry, professionals must embrace the challenges and opportunities they present. By leveraging flexibility, harnessing technology, cultivating creativity, and maintaining professionalism, PR teams can navigate this new terrain with confidence and achieve success in the ever-changing media landscape. With adaptability and innovation as guiding principles, the future of PR holds boundless possibilities in the virtual realm.DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it.

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.