Role of senior leadership in driving social impact during crisis

Authored By Aman Gupta, Managing Partner, Health Practice Asia Lead, SPAG/FINN PartnersIn times of crisis, organizations face the daunting task of not only ensuring their survival but also playing a meaningful role in the wider community. Senior leadership has a unique and vital position in driving social impact during these challenging times. Their vision, decision-making, and commitment to corporate social responsibility can make a significant difference in how a company navigates crises and supports society.By setting a clear vision and leading with empathy, C-suite executives can align their organizations with community needs during times of crisis. Through swift decision-making, leaders can mobilize resources for immediate relief and long-term recovery. Ensuring transparent communication also builds trust with both internal and external stakeholders. Additionally, fostering collaboration and strategic partnerships amplifies impact, allowing companies to contribute effectively to crisis management efforts.Fostering unity and resilience by setting the tone at the topSenior leaders are the architects of a company’s culture and values. By setting a tone of empathy, transparency, and ethical behaviour that resonates throughout the company, they can inspire their teams to prioritize social impact. They can also create a supportive environment that acknowledges the diverse challenges individuals face during a crisis. Furthermore, transparency builds trust and encourages collaboration, as everyone understands their role in the larger context and works together towards common goals. The decisions and actions made by senior leaders reflect the company’s values and commitment to social responsibility, enabling the organization to adapt and thrive.Mobilizing resources promptly and decisively for the greater goodIn a crisis, swift and decisive action can make a difference. Senior leaders should be proactive in assessing the situation, understanding the needs of their employees and community, and making prompt decisions. By redirecting resources toward community support, such as funding local initiatives, offering expertise, or volunteering time and talent, organizations can become agents of change and hope. For example, reallocating resources to produce personal protective equipment during a health crisis or donating funds to relief efforts during a natural disaster can provide immediate support.Promoting collaboration to maximize benefits for all involvedSenior leadership can facilitate partnerships with other organizations, government bodies, and non-profits to amplify their impact. Collaboration fosters a sense of solidarity and combines resources and expertise, leading to more comprehensive and impactful solutions. For instance, a business may partner with a non-profit organization that has deep knowledge of community needs, while offering financial support or logistical assistance. Partnerships also enable organizations to extend their reach and influence to deliver support where it is needed most. They not only address immediate needs but also lay the groundwork for long-term recovery and resilience.Communicating effectivelyTransparent and open communication is a cornerstone of strong leadership during crises. Senior leaders should keep stakeholders informed of the company’s actions and plans, as well as the rationale behind their decisions. This builds trust and demonstrates the company’s commitment to its values, ensuring alignment across the organization and beyond. Moreover, clear, honest, and consistent messaging helps reduce uncertainty and anxiety. Additionally, providing open channels for communication allows stakeholders to engage directly with leadership and fosters a sense of inclusivity and collaboration. While it is important to remain hopeful and positive, senior leaders must also maintain a realistic outlook. Communicating potential challenges and uncertainties helps manage expectations and fosters a culture of preparedness and adaptability.Making a positive differenceCrises often expose vulnerabilities and gaps in systems and strategies. Senior leadership should use these moments as learning opportunities, assessing their response, and adjusting plans for future resilience. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement, leaders can better prepare their organizations for future challenges.By embodying empathy, decisiveness, and a commitment to social responsibility, senior leaders can guide their organizations through challenging times while making a positive difference in the world. In doing so, they not only build stronger communities but also establish a lasting legacy for their company and its stakeholders, ultimately shaping a better future for all.DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it.

Grapes bags the PR and Communication Mandate for Zoff Foods

Zoff Foods, one of the prominent spice brands in India, has assigned Grapes as their PR and communication agency.The agency will be responsible for the brand’s overall media presence. As per the mandate, Grapes will take charge of the brand’s PR strategy, influencer marketing, advocacy and strategic brand positioning, and reputation management in India. The account has won after a multiple-agency post and will be served from its New Delhi office. Commenting on the partnership, Akash Agrawal, Co-Founder, Zoff Foods said, “We believe that this is the perfect and crucial time for our brand to align our communications strategy, and we are thrilled to associate with Grapes that understand our brand’s ethos and growth prospects. The Spice market is growing at a CAGR rate of 13 per cent, and the market plays a crucial role in the country’s exports. At Zoff Foods, we are committed to expanding our business horizons and contributing effectively to the Indian economy. I am optimistic that the agency will build a strong media presence for us.Ashish Agrawal, Managing Director, Zoff Foods, said, “Zoff Foods has become a prominent player in the Indian spice market thanks to Shark Tank India for the visibility and recognition. Our goal is to become a go-to brand in every household, from urban to rural areas. Thus, we believe that to achieve this objective public relations plays an imperative role in driving awareness. I am quite enthusiastic about this partnership with Grapes and look forward to driving meaningful conversations in the media landscape.Shradha Agarwal, Founder and CEO, Grapes, said, “We are thrilled to associate with Zoff Foods, and fully resonate with the brand’s vision. The partnership with Zoff Foods marks a pivotal moment for Grapes, symbolizing our commitment to driving impactful conversation coupled with digital innovation. We aim to achieve our objectives and drive impactful market presence through effective communication strategies.Zoff Foods received widespread attention after its appearance on Shark Tank (season 1). Their pitch on the show was one of the notable pitches by Akash Agarwal and Ashish Agarwal. The duo received funding of 1 crore at a valuation of Rs 80 crore from Aman Gupta, Co-Founder of Boat.

What PR professionals will be focussing on the most in 2024

The start of a new year is seen as bringing in new operational efficiencies, stronger strategies, and a far greater emphasis on building deep bonds with various stakeholders and consumers. In keeping with the current market ecosystem, technology and a human approach are seen as going hand in hand. As 2024 kicks off, Adgully reached out to some leading names in the Public Relations & Corporate Communication industry to Crystal Gaze into 2024 and speak about what will keep them busy in the year ahead.Focus Areas for PR Professionals in 2024Artificial Intelligence, Digital, Sustainability, and Innovation are some of the key focus areas that the Public Relations industry leaders will intensify their attention on this year.Dr Sarvesh Tiwari, Founder and Managing Director, PR ProfessionalsDr Sarvesh Tiwari, Founder and Managing Director, PR Professionals, listed the following focus areas for his agency:Digital Innovation and Integration: At PR Professionals, we're working on integrating AI, VR, and AR to revolutionise storytelling this year. Our focus is on seamlessly blending these technologies into our PR and content creation processes. By harnessing digital tools and data analytics, we aim to elevate our clients’ digital presence, ensuring our strategies are as innovative as they are effective.Sustainability and Social Impact: Sustainability and CSR are more than buzzwords for us; they’re a commitment. We're integrating sustainability into our client campaigns, highlighting their eco-friendly practices and social initiatives. This approach isn't just about building a positive brand image; it's about genuine responsibility towards our planet and society.Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity: As someone who grew up amidst the vibrant diversity of Bihar, I understand the importance of cultural sensitivity and equity. At PR Professionals, we're dedicated to ensuring our campaigns are inclusive and culturally nuanced. Internally, we're cultivating a diverse team to bring a plethora of perspectives, enhancing our creativity and connection with varied demographics.Archana Jain, CEO, PR Pundit Havas Red Archana Jain, CEO, PR Pundit Havas Red, stressed, “Trying to be a force for good and becoming more meaningful is something more businesses need to do. This is not just because our planet needs it, but because consumers and employees wish to support brands and organisations that are committed to people, planet and purpose. These subjects will enjoy a clear PR advantage in 2024 and beyond.”Continuing further, Jain said, “Social media is only going to get bigger in 2024 and beyond as more and more people access and get hooked on to it. It’s paramount, therefore, that we are adept at publishing original content; sharing insights; showing up in the comments; building thought leadership and employer branding on X, LinkedIn, etc. Influencer marketing and KOL collaborations are going to continue to be a critical part of the communications toolbox to tap new cohorts and amplify messages.”“The creative sector has always been driven by our unique human voices and imaginations, and that’s not going to change in 2024. But we need to harness artificial intelligence more productively. It is already helping PR professionals in terms of data analysis, consumer and industry insights, content generation and more. But in 2024, we will have to learn to steer this machine-generated intelligence more to our advantage. I believe we can overcome the shortfall in available talent and multi-task with smarter use of AI!” she added.Tarunjeet Rattan, Managing Partner, Nucleus PRContinuing to develop a deeper understanding of the interplay of AI with consumer sentiment and helping brands stay ahead of the curve top the agenda for Tarunjeet Rattan, Managing Partner, Nucleus PR.Rattan added, “We will continue to integrate technology into our work processes, which will allow us to automate grunt work, freeing up time to devote to research and upskilling.”She also intends to continue to develop editing chops, because relevance will rule the roost among all the content being churned out by AI. “The best editors will win!” she exclaimed.Aman Gupta, Managing Partner, SPAG FINN PartnersAman Gupta, Managing Partner, SPAG FINN Partners, said, “Our primary focus at SPAG FINN Partners revolves around innovation, strategic storytelling, and data-driven audience profiling for campaigns that deliver business impact. We are dedicating resources to staying ahead of emerging technologies, refining our storytelling techniques to resonate with evolving audience preferences, and leveraging data analytics to optimise campaign performance.”