https://theprpost.com/post/6628/

Arneeta Vasudeva: Brands' value mostly intangible

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, Arneeta Vasudeva, National Head, PR&I, Ogilvy India, delves into the current trends in the reputation economy, focusing on India in 2024. She explores how the reputation economy has evolved over the years and sheds light on the challenges and opportunities it presents.Additionally, Arneeta discusses the importance and impact of data-driven storytelling in the PR industry, showcasing how Ogilvy PR&I is leveraging data for effective communication strategies.What are the current trends in the reputation economy in India in 2024? How has the reputation economy evolved over the years in India?Speaking of reputation economy, one can see how brands are affected in today’s VUCA world. The intangibles play a huge role in building the value of brands. By ‘intangibles’ I mean factors such as customer endorsements, employee support, validation from industry, governments, and other influencers, that go on to add to the credibility of a brand.These are high value endorsements gained over time and with fast evolving platforms of digital and social, companies and brands must recognize the power and influence these channels have on their long-standing reputation.In the past five to seven years, digital platforms have provided numerous opportunities for businesses and brands to expand. This surely points to the significance of reputation economy in present times.As mentioned earlier, a large part of a brand’s valuation today hinges on intangible factors. This is deeply intertwined with the ongoing digital evolution and the changing social landscape, shaping how brands and individuals are perceived in the market.How does online reputation have real world outcomes for brands and individuals?From a communication standpoint, brands are delivering on their messaging and engaging customers, and a significant part of these interactions are happening through the digital ecosystem, often in real time. The space has indeed evolved into an opportunity to communicate more openly and freely, as well.In such a scenario, it is crucial to understand what you communicate holds great importance. Therefore, one must closely weigh in factors of authenticity, credibility, and genuineness, while putting outcontent. With that, it also becomes equally important to monitor and track online conversations and build an efficient and effective response mechanism.What are some of the best strategies implemented by brands for managing online reputation?As mentioned earlier, diligent monitoring is essential in this fast-paced digital landscape, where everything happens real-time. Having a prompt and efficient response mechanism is the key to managing a lot of the chatter that goes on in this space. On social and digital platforms, maintaining pace is totally vital, alongside being responsive.Some of the ORM tools we use help in building efficiencies, but reading into the overall sentiment and drawing an assessment is very important. It goes without saying, timing and relevance is at the center of creating the right content and response strategy.What are the challenges and opportunities in the reputation economy in India?The opportunity is huge as it opens up new avenues for brands to build their story. However, with this freedom of space and time, digital platforms also throw in a lot of uncertainty. It is difficult to always predict or preempt what may come your way. True for a lot of categories like food delivery and online shopping, for instance, where customer grievances can turn into a big dent in their reputation. While this may have nothing to do with the brand itself, there are consequences and fallouts of how the experience may end up being a negative.These operational challenges are part of everyday business, often affecting a brand’s reputation. In that sense, evaluating the digital ecosystem you work with becomes an important part of the overall customer journey and experience.What are the PR trends for 2024? How is AI being leveraged in the PR industry and where is the PR industry headed in the next five years?In today’s interconnected world, we shouldn’t be operating in silos. The boundaries between PR, advertising, and digital are blurring, with data, digital and AI, shaping our reality. This means being channel agnostic and adopting an idea-led and integrated approach to communications, is the way forward and we must embrace it.What is the importance and impact of data driven storytelling in the PR industry? How is Ogilvy PR&I utilizing the same?The role of data is crucial in supporting facts, credibility, and insights. From a communications and PR lens, this is absolutely key in shaping ideas for our clients and their brands. And even more today, as we get to see the interplay between data, digital and AI. One feeds and supports into the other, which actually amounts to a huge data paradox, if I may say so. There is data in abundance out there, and it is our job to make sense of it and channel this into creating meaningful content and assets for our brands.
https://theprpost.com/post/6432/

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.
https://theprpost.com/post/6353/

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

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