Humanizing the Feed: Crafting Digital PR strategies with empathy and trust

The eighth edition of Adgully’s flagship event – DIGIXX Summit and Awards 2024 – was held yesterday (March 22, 2024) amid the presence of who’s who of the Digital and Marketing Universe. Each year, DIGIXX has been raising the bar, recognising the visionary leaders and groundbreaking campaigns that are shaping the future of digital marketing. This year has turned out to be even more exciting, exploring the newest trends, strategies, and insights that are transforming the digital landscape.A panel discussion on ‘Humanizing the Feed: Crafting Digital PR Strategies with Empathy and Trust’ saw some leading names in PR and corporate communications stress on strategising empathy and credibility amid the rapid digital transition. The session was chaired by Dr Tripti Dhote, Assistant Prof. Head Corporate Communications, Symbiosis Institute of Digital and Telecom Management, and the distinguished included:Akanksha Jain, Head - Public Relations & Corporate Communications, BharatpeManu Kumar, Head - Marketing & Corporate Communications, Hero Electric VehiclesRohit Dubey, Vice President, Reliance JioSanjeev Handa, Senior Vice President and Head of PR & Communications, Maruti SuzukiNikhil Dey, Executive Director, Adfactors PRDr Tripti Dhote commenced the discussion by stating that as we navigate into a space that is defined by technological innovations, and while competence has sped up, digital transformation is undeniable, and undisputable. She said, “In this entire digital shuffle, the typical human element may likely be lost, therefore when it comes to strategizing empathy and credibility, at one point of time it might have seemed like a necessity or a feel-good factor, but now I would say more than ever before it is a must-have for organizations if they ever wish to thrive in this particular digital context.”She then went on to ask Rohit Dubey about the role of empathy in his sector, in identifying the audiences, especially at a human level.Rohit Dubey responded by saying, “The very basic thing is that unless you understand the pain points of the consumer, you cannot have your product designed and that is the difference Jio brought into the whole telecom market. If you look at the tariff structure pre-2016, it was so complicated that you can get a PhD on that! When we were doing our study, we thought that this needed to be simplified, because there were so many wheels within wheels. So, that was one consumer pain point that came to us, and our idea was why not address this pain point? That was the first step we took in addressing the pain point of the consumer and that’s the way the whole tariff was designed. Today, it has become an industry standard, now everybody copy-pastes that, whether it is 5% more than us or 10% more than us. However, the structure is by and large the same and that is something that has remained.”“Being born as a digital company, our very focus was on designing every part of the process which was easy for the consumer to use, so be it a self-serving app like My Jio, you can do anything and you don’t need to go to a shop to recharge or anything. Every aspect of the consumer was very well thought through and brought into the design and processes of the company. That’s how the whole empathy aspect of the consumer was brought into the processes of the company, rather than being forced at a later stage,” he added.When asked how Maruti Suzuki blended empathy seamlessly into the business operations, Sanjeev Handa said, “Data today has a lot of limitations, one has to go beyond algorithms and metrics that you collect. For example, a person might be saying that they buy Maruti cars because of the fuel-efficiency. But the reality is that we have gone deeper enough and that’s where empathy comes in. What does fuel efficiency stems from? Is it because he wants value for money or likes longer journeys without actually stopping for refueling or is a sustainable environment on his mind? Those answers are still not there, therefore what we do to be empathetic about consumers is that we go very deep and research. For example, first-time buyers have a lot of anxiety – they wonder if it is the right car for them and their family, will they get the delivery on time, will finances be available. We take all those nuances into account when we are designing our marketing strategies and, more importantly, our digital footprint. So, today out of 26 touchpoints that we have identified the consumer takes while buying a car, 24 are digitalized at Maruti. Except for taking a test drive or getting a delivery, everything is digitized, and one can take finance or anything, that gives peace of mind. That is empathy.”When it comes to electric vehicles, it is about category creation and essentially the objective, whether one is at a nascent stage or it is a little cluttered scenario. It still boils down to creating awareness or educating. Sharing Hero Electric Vehicles’ experience in creating empathy, Manu Kumar said, “I think one of the things that we need to take care of when we talk of digital PR is that it is a little different from social media, because the lines get blurred whether one is doing PR or they are talking of their regular social media feed; ultimately they are going to use that medium, or one of the mediums, to use that social media. We have to go beyond algorithms, that is, how many likes and reach one gets on social media. But when you are talking of PR and empathy in PR, and humanizing the whole thing, we need to get away a little bit from the advertising and marketing fields that one puts out. Especially when you are talking of a new category that needs to be created, one needs to create a lot of awareness about how does an EV work, the benefits of EVs, and how long will the battery charge last.”Akanksha Jain added here, “We work with offline merchants, who are small or emerging merchants and have been left behind in this e-commerce race, but they play an important role in the overall economy. The reason why BharatPe was born was to provide them with credit access and give them new-age fintech products that are simple and easy to use. We ran a campaign, called ‘Transforming Bharat’, which was started around three years back, at the time of Covid when retailers were the most impacted. The idea was simple – we took the risk of going out and getting compelling stories from these guys who are the unsung heroes of the economy, who are there day in and day out for all of us. Over the last two and a half years, we have covered merchants across 15 cities. These are short two-minute stories that we put out in their language. One has to remember that they are not camera-trained, we don’'t use any optics, and there is no makeup or DOP out there.”When asked whether compromising on brand purpose is possible to translate the brand purpose when we are speaking of inclusivity and diversity, Nikhil Dey elaborated, “There are two circles in my mind when I look at any campaign or idea; one is the inside-out circle – what’s honest and true to that brand, and there is the outside-in circle, both these at some point need to intersect. The intersection, if done well, is where content meets context. So, the content that a brand stands for, if it can breathe well in a particular context, then you have attention. If not, then there is noise, so when we look at the larger topic, we are talking about the algorithm and technology that we want to embrace. I think the algorithm helps us in getting a better reading of the context of what’s going on in the world because there is so much going on. There are so many platforms, and audiences using technology smartly to get a sense or read of that context is a very powerful use. But sometimes one only plays the game of ‘Let’s ride the way of what’s trending, getting on the bandwagon of where the attention of the trend is, without being true to the essence of the brand.”

XLRI Delhi-NCR taps Mavcomm Consulting for integrated communication

XLRI Delhi-NCR today announced its association with Mavcomm Consulting, a well-known communication consulting firm, to strengthen its integrated communication activities. XLRI Delhi-NCR upholds the tradition of excellence in education, facilitated by seasoned faculty and flagship programs like the celebrated XLRI PGDM-BM. Building upon the distinguished XLRI, Jamshedpur, XLRI-Delhi NCR continues a rich heritage of scholarly distinction, pioneering thought, and effective administration. With a rich legacy of providing strategic communication solutions to various sectors, Mavcomm brings a wealth of experience and expertise to XLRI for addressing its communications needs.Dr Fr K.S. Casimir, Director, XLRI Delhi-NCR expressed his optimism and enthusiasm and remarked, "We are happy to welcome Mavcomm Consulting on board as our integrated communication agency. As XLRI Delhi-NCR continues to expand its presence and influence in the education sector, effective communication and digital engagement have become imperative. We believe that Mavcomm’s expertise and innovative approach will play a pivotal role in amplifying our institutional voice, enhancing our visibility, and fostering stronger connections with our stakeholders. We look forward to a fruitful partnership that will further elevate our reputation and support our mission of nurturing future leaders as XLRI strongly believes in the greater good and shaping the management education sector and the community at large”.This collaboration marks a significant milestone for Mavcomm in expanding its reach and impact in the education sector. By assisting XLRI with its communication strategies, Mavcomm aims to elevate XLRI's brand visibility and stakeholder engagement.In response to being chosen as the agency for XLRI Delhi-NCR, Anand Mahesh Talari, the Founder & Managing Director of Mavcomm Consulting Pvt Ltd, expressed his gratitude and excitement. He stated, "We are honoured and thrilled to have been selected as the integrated agency for XLRI Delhi-NCR. XLRI Delhi-NCR is renowned for its commitment to academic excellence and leadership development, and we are excited to collaborate with such a prestigious institution. At Mavcomm we are passionate about leveraging strategic communication and digital marketing to drive impactful results. We look forward to working with XLRI Delhi- NCR to enhance its brand visibility, engage with its stakeholders effectively, and support its mission of shaping the leaders of tomorrow."Commenting on the occasion Noopurr R Chablani, Vice President- Business, Mavcomm Consulting Pvt Ltd said, “Winning the mandate for XLRI Delhi-NCR's signifies a noteworthy achievement for us. This win not only showcases our capabilities in strategic communications but also highlights our expertise in navigating the digital landscape. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with XLRI Delhi-NCR and look forward to delivering outstanding results.”

MM Group Founder Udit Pathak Unveils 'Pure Reality With Udit' Podcast Series

Udit Pathak, Founder Director , Media Mantra Group - India's leading independent PR and integrated communications conglomerate, announces the launch of his much-anticipated podcast series, 'Pure Reality With Udit'. With an unwavering commitment to authenticity, the video podcast series delves into the untold narratives of entrepreneurship, spotlighting the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of industry leaders in their pursuit of success. Officially launched on YouTube, Instagram, 'Pure Reality With Udit' aims to provide listeners with an intimate glimpse into the behind-the-scenes struggles encountered by entrepreneurs across various industries. By sharing these powerful narratives, the podcast promises to offer invaluable insights and inspiration to aspiring business leaders navigating their own entrepreneurial journeys. The episodes are also available on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music. Reflecting on his own journey and success, Mr. Udit Pathak, Founder Director of Media Mantra Group, said, "Success is often portrayed as a glamorous destination, but the road to get there is rarely discussed. Having started working at the tender age of 16, I understand first-hand the challenges and obstacles that entrepreneurs encounter along the way. While everyone knows me as a successful entrepreneur, few are aware of the hardships and sacrifices that paved the way for my achievements. With this podcast, I want to give back to the community by shedding light on the realities of entrepreneurship and empowering others to persevere in the face of adversity."The podcast will feature candid conversations with accomplished entrepreneurs from various industries who will share their personal accounts of overcoming adversity, making tough decisions, and persevering through setbacks. By offering a raw and authentic perspective, 'Pure Reality With Udit' aims to demystify the entrepreneurial experience and provide valuable insights for those embarking on their own business ventures.Excited about her association with the series, the show’s Co-Host,  Ms. Mamtaa. Dhingra, Founder, Lateral Sutraa and Award Winning Podcaster of Unbound with Mamtaa, added,” This is a golden-era of content creation and India with its 57.6 million monthly listeners is already the third-largest podcast listening market in the world. This is my third podcast series in less than two-years and I am thrilled at the sheer promise of the series ‘Pure Reality With Udit’. Udit with his sharp business acumen and an inherent curious nature brings to the show a refreshing approach as he digs insights from the realstories and lessons of those who have navigated familiar territories and negated challenges. This series is a much-needed initiative to sheds light on the authentic stories of entrepreneurial grit and perseverance. For me personally this is a true extension and growth of my podcasting journey. "With its compelling storytelling and emphasis on authenticity, 'Pure Reality With Udit' is poised to become a must-listen for aspiring entrepreneurs, business students, and anyone seeking inspiration from the trials and triumphs of those who have walked the path before them.