Blog Reports

With Global Alliance joins PrivacyRules to offer crisis communications expertise across 12 markets

The With Global Alliance – an international network of expert technology PR agencies of which Ideosphere is a founding member – is joining the collective of experts working with PrivacyRules. PrivacyRules is the world’s leading professional alliance on multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional privacy matters. Through its network of leading law firms, cybersecurity and data services firms and communications experts, PrivacyRules gives its clients access to a one-stop shop solution to manage privacy and data protection issues from compliance to cybersecurity to data breaches.

The With Global Alliance members, as exclusive communications partners in their respective home markets, will provide crisis communications preparedness and management to businesses at risk of, or directly experiencing, a data crisis. All members have deep experience working with companies managing large volumes of data from across a wide range of sectors from financial services and telcos to health businesses and adtech companies. They also have some of the most experienced tech crisis management teams available.

“As the first truly specialised privacy and data protection alliance of its kind, providing 24/365 assistance throughout a multitude of jurisdictions, we understand the key role of communications experts in data and privacy issues as well as crisis communications” says PrivacyRules CEO and Co-founder, Andrea Chmieliński Bigazzi. “The With Global Alliance team members across the globe are uniquely positioned to help our clients as they have a clear view of the potential global impact a data crisis can have while having a deep understanding of the local challenges and best practice in crisis management in their respective market.”

“In an era where data and privacy issues are increasingly frequent occurrences – often making the headlines – PrivacyRules’ proposition is incredibly timely. As an Alliance ourselves, we understand the value of delivering a seamless experience to clients, especially when the urgency of delivering strategic and effective solutions is heightened by a crisis.” said Debbie Zaman, Global President of the With Global Alliance. “The With Global Alliance is continuously expanding and currently has 12 members, covering markets from the US to Singapore via Colombia, the UK and India  who are ready to support PrivacyRules’ clients.”

Key elements of the PrivacyRules alliance include:

  • Global Data Breach Prevention & Response Mechanism: A single process to swiftly activate world-class experts in a plurality of countries and with a great variety of cybersecurity and data-related experts.
  • Multi-Disciplinary Leaders: The alliance is unique in its structure, made up of highly specialized law firms, tech companies, and data-related service providers who can assist businesses and individual clients in addressing any privacy-related matter.
  • Data Protection One-Stop: A rapid, efficient, and globally integrated advice and services to international businesses on compliance issues, cybersecurity prevention and response, and data breaches in a cross-border context.

Data security, or the lack of it, is one of the emerging reputation crises that a company can face. Breaches in their systems, hacks or even a hint of a bug or a glitch can send stocks into a downward spiral or force investors into exiting the company. As India moves swiftly on the path of digitization, lack of information security policies, tools which are important to consider for monitoring the activity and preventing loss, and low to minimal training and awareness about data security amongst the employees could be major hurdles. At Ideosphere, we have always maintained a close eye on our customer partner’s reputation aligned to parameters such as sustainability and social responsibility, employee lifetime management policies, product quality, leadership statements, and more. Data security is an addition to the established risk parameters. With this alliance, Ideosphere will also learn and prepare to better advise our customer partners and effectively deliver on new-age digital communication tools such as metaverse.

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One Direction

By Monica Mantri, Operations Head

A man came upon a construction site where three people were working. He asked the first, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am laying bricks.” He asked the second, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am building a wall”. As he approached the third, he heard him humming a tune as he worked, and asked, “What are you doing?” The man stood, looked up at the sky, and smiled, “I am building a cathedral!”

People with innate leadership qualities should probably relate to this simple story. Understanding where people come from and ensuring they understand the path that is being paved for them, how do you guarantee that your vision is being translated well? Establishing a common long term vision and its adoption is the first step to success. 

What is Vision?

Every leader has a vision. This vision is a reflection, a purpose, and a constant reminder of the reason to exist. It is the role of a leader to clearly define the vision, whether it is of the organization, a client, or even a campaign. A vision is best formed when you are honest. Because as French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

A vision helps you to look ahead with a stirring end goal in mind. However, this vision must be intertwined with values, values that define who we are, who our clients are, or who are the people being targeted. People will agree, be excited only if the vision and value resonate with them.

What are Values?

Values are personal ingredients by which vision is created, followed, and applied. Values set the benchmarks for our moral standards and principles. According to popular developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, “Most human beings crave an explicit statement of value – a perspective on what counts as being true, beautiful, and good.” Values are universal, everyone almost embodies the same values, but each person or organization simply categorizes values according to a different rank of meaning and importance.

So, how do you ensure that your team is on-board with your ideas and share your vision with the same excitement as you do? 

No Pretentions

Don’t create a façade that you have it all figured out. While you must have a clear understanding, be open in gauging your team’s ideas, interest, and feedback. Collaboration is the foundation for true business development.


Try everything in your power to reach the goal that has been set. Map the permutations and combinations in seeking the best viable idea that brings you closer to achieving the goal. One needs to be open about trial and error and re-starting again if the initial approach proved faulty.


Always be open to feedback. Understand the measures that can be taken to make it better. Be brave enough to make mistakes, mistakes make the path clearer. 


Once we’ve been able to understand the feedback, we also are able to recognize the adjustments that are required to fulfill the goals. Constant iteration is a crucial trait in leading the pack, it needs to be looked at as a journey together and not flying solo. Everyone needs to be a part of it and play a significant role in doing so. 

There will be challenges along the way, but it is the leader’s job to keep the pack on the right path, regardless of the barriers. Self-motivation is a key aspect, as it does get lonely at the top, and to be able to collaborate against all odds can become difficult. Change is a frightening thing, but the leader needs to adapt to newer ways and pass it on to the team. There is no specific recipe that can be added as our approaches are all different, yet the outcome remains the same. The basics of collaboration, direction-setting, courage, and spirit are sure to bring ideas to fruition and success. 


Things Matter And It Ends There!

By Minal D’Rozario and Mayur Milan, Directors

If you have been living under a rock or do not have access to social media, you may have missed the discussion on what matters and what does not. But the social commentary currently on, made us sit up and think about what truly matters at work?

As entrepreneurs it brought us to re-think; how we could have or may have missed the ‘small things’ during the pursuit of achieving the business goals and aligned it with overcoming responsibilities. The need for ‘conscious listening and observing’ as leaders has become a compelling trait as it matters to all connected. Having built a company from scratch, this episode gave us a sense of Deja vu and probed us to relive and evaluate our experiences and find out what truly matters at an organizational level.

Demonstration Matters: The current pandemic has made us realize that words with no demonstration of ‘things’ said to guide and inspire, become inconsequential. To bring a cultural change in organizations, as leaders if you are not playing a pivotal role of participation it does not translate to the people who are your most important brand advocates. From small lunch discussions to taking care of them after work and remembering things they like, these are all a small part of the grand vision, but they are so valuable.  

Acceptance Matters: Hardships in business scenarios take a toll on a lot of entrepreneurs. But if we as leaders do not accept the gaps and mistakes that we have committed, it creates a visible cultural gap which people would avoid being part of. It is human to make mistakes and it is also human to accept them. This does not imply to the leaders alone but applies to everyone in the organization. Acceptance should build great relationships, not bring upon judgments. 

Consistency Matters: We are running an engine towards a destination, and it needs regular fuel and a maintained path to get where it needs to reach. Organizational culture is much like that. It is not about the current needs, but the identification of core values and continuous evolution rather than what written in stone dictates. 

Freedom Matters: Yes, we all agree that failure is the biggest lesson. But more than that, the freedom to take risks and rise from some of those mistakes, should be ingrained in the overall culture. We aspire to build a team with entrepreneurial spirit and ownerships which is not possible with micromanagement and lack of personalization. More so, a suffocating environment where the freedom to demand ratio is skewed leads to a stressful and a toxic environment.

Bottom Line Matters: The correlation of money to culture is always debated with some discomfort. But the objectivity of business and the subjectivity of culture should co-relate on some common attributes as one without the other is possible, but the journey is much harder. A common understanding of this amongst all stakeholders, makes the equation work in some magical ways. 

Communication Matters: It is not a job done until it is communicated clearly and with a level of empathy and authenticity.   Bridging the message to actions is a stepwise process as it gets overwhelming for the receiver. The ability to assess the ‘intent’ and ‘impact’ makes it a good start in understanding the approach to convey a message. 

We surely did not use the word matters as much as we did now, in our journey of 9 years of the company’s cultural focus. Today, we are managing cultural engagement internally, and for some of our customers. If organizations are still oblivious to the areas which are unique to their cultural values and business vision, then they should start bracing themselves as ‘things do matter’ and it ends there.


Finding Culture On Our Balance Sheet

By Aniruddha Bhagwat, CEO and Co-Founder

Culture Means Business. We have all been exposed to extensive discourses on building a strong work culture within organizational structures. It is important to understand that every culture is different, and the key is consistency in the shared sense of purpose, personality and character an organization showcases. Evaluating an organizational culture has to do more with ensuring an alignment of vision and likeminded professionals than whether it is a good or bad. As with life, culture is not an element to pass judgment upon, but rather identify as boundaries of who gets in and who stays out. 

Culture has to be defined not by taking inspiration from the market, but by looking within, to identify the organizational goals, mission and vision. With this retrospection, it is clear that culture is very closely coupled with business, and while it may be difficult to directly correlate with profitability, it does influencer several levers that enable a strong business bottom line. 


It is easy to understand the people are at the core of your culture, and thereby, your business. A consistent, well-defined culture can help companies to attract great talent and more importantly, retain them. It is the basis of employee engagement and job satisfaction. Multiple reports suggest that companies with highly engaged resources consistently perform better than peers lacking regular collaboration. All of these lead to the most important lever for business: Trust. 


Engaged teams not only believe in each other, but they exercise faith in each other’s abilities and can depend on each other. Processes are closely linked with culture, as processes are only as good as their adoption. Culture ensures the organizational strategy is interspersed within the way the organization defines its uniqueness, values, behaviors and attitudes. These processes also build discipline within an organization, and are further fueled by ensuring accountability at an individual, team and organizational level. Discipline and adoption of standardized processes linked with organizational strategy ensure quality of delivery and customer satisfaction. Both of which can be directly correlated with the growth trajectory of a business.


While profits are the common scoreboard for any business, it is the revenue efficiency that enables business to grow well and fast together. This leads to a sustained business flight path, and one a company can replicate, enhance and refine as it grows in size. Studies show that great work culture leads to superior employee engagement, and engaged companies have shown operating income increases of 28-30% and earnings growth by close to 20%. Moving past to absolute earnings, well engaged companies have been able to consistently show a 4-5 multiple return over their disengaged peers. 

Our balance sheets reward us for putting people and culture over short-term business opportunities. As business are infinite by definition, it is more important to create an environment for long term, consistent success than just tomorrow’s gains. The impact and efficiency of culture is largely dependent on leadership. Culture is all about showing, and very little about telling. Leaders showing and demonstrating great culture often yield the best results. A 2018 AON report suggests that even a 5-point bump in culture and engagement can impact revenue by 3%. These are the rewards of doing good business, and prove that as businesses continue to fight over sales, revenue and opportunities; it is the people and environments that decide the winner. And that’s why, culture absolutely means business. 

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Little Deeper About Cones

By Mayank Khanna

Corona Immune strategies (Cone), named after the business environment created by COVID-19, is basically a package of new and innovative marketing strategies keeping human psychology in mind, to support business strategies in a Volatile-Uncertain-Complex-Ambiguous (VUCA) world. 

Businesses are affected by the lockdown: people are panicking because of layoffs and restrictions, economies have slumped, world recession seems around the corner and life seems at a standstill. Many businesses are finding it difficult to comprehend the steps to take in order to not fade into oblivion, because of the current market scenario.

Cones, the package of new and innovative ways to combat the rising volatility, can be the way ahead for marketing managers, in particular, and businesses, in general. The following Cone strategy can be adapted:

  • Content Marketing: A marketing approach for the creation of valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain the target audience.

Idea to implement

Create awareness, generate interest, establish emotional connect, or entice existing customers. The focus should lay on providing solutions to relevant pressing matters.


No-contact delivery” and “Best Safety Standards” introduced by Swiggy to meet the safety concerns of its consumers. 

  • Colour Psychology: It states how colours play a role in the visibility, recognition, and perception of brands.

Idea to implement

Using colours that best suit the purpose. 

For instance, yellow is said to induce cheerfulness and happiness. Since social distancing has nurtured gloomy days using yellow can be refreshing and catchy for user attention.


Zomato uses the colour red, as it is said to stimulate the appetite. Therefore, assisting in its food delivery business.

  • Conversions after Brand Equity: A Brand’s recall value, perception, and engagement should be of prime focus (exception being businesses that are in the essential goods and services industries). Focussing on conversion can result in negative brand perception. 


Dominos partnering with ITC Foods for “Doorstep Zero contact delivery” of essential items in Bangalore can garner traction.

  • Social Media Marketing: It is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service.

Idea to implement

Every social media platform has its niche. Use content that best suits the platform: this increases organic engagement. 

Videos and blogs have a longer shelf life as compared to posts, as they are searchable, thus, making them evergreen.

In terms of paid-ads, interstitials and ad banners increases engagement. Geo-fencing and SEO through keyword research can be productive.

Also, the website and mobile application working on the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) would provide a refreshing view.

  • Socially Responsible Marketing: This focuses on attracting consumers willing to make a positive impact with their purchases. The brand builds an emotional connection with the audience, which creates a positive brand perception and augments conversion rate.


Marico claimed that the share value of Nihar Naturals in the east grew from 19.5 percent to 21.5 percent in January-October 2011 – the duration of the marketing campaign (wherein 2% of the sales proceeds would go towards student’s education) against a drop of 0.3 percent in the same period, the previous year.

Even though the above marketing strategies might help you in holding onto your spot; creativity, relatability, and intent to solve problems, always garners more traction. Thus, in such critical times, the agenda for marketeers should be to reach where their audience is, being sensitive, showing empathy and laying focus on consumer sentiments.


5 Seconds of Silence – Bigger than a dream: Passion, Perseverance, Perfection

By Minal D’Rozario, Co-Founder and Director

From Gary’s one killing look on plating and assessing efforts to George’s unique set of tweezers and detail for perfection to Matt’s lifetime experience and knowledge of every flavour across the globe. And finally to that breath-taking 5 seconds silence on their feedback on every morsel, were strangely the simplest things that kept you hooked on to the show for 11 straight years. 

What if they weren’t a part of it? Unimaginable right?

Masterchef Australia was not just any other cooking show. It has stirred conversations and discussions for many to dream bigger. Whether it is to start their own cafe, or just to start cooking as a source of healing.  It has enabled cultures to come together and bond over food and flavours, to revisit relationships and learn about food, people and life. These 11 years have not only impacted contestants, but also each one sitting across the screen to initiate their passion for food or any other fields of interest. 

Rationale thinking would suggest that since the judges had been around for so many years, it was time for a change. New faces, fresh perspectives and renewed thinking. But there has been something which has kept these gentlemen glued not only to the show but also to its viewers and the community at large. In my personal opinion, the emotion of a contestant living their life through an entire series was so impacting. Winning was manifested in several ways and it changed how people approached their own lives.

Their recipe for success was made up of a simple formula- Passion, Perseverance and Perfection. The three P’s have helped millions to put things into perspective as suggested by every judge. Any one missing ingredient makes it a one time dish but put all three together and you’re looking at a timeless remembrance.

Passion is the child-like behaviour to embrace the freshness and the new aromas of life. It’s the things that get you excited and curious. It’s the love for building or creating something beautiful and hoping people will love it just as much as you do. This ingredient allows you to champion your vision of your creation. It’s not an easy task since your passions may or may not be unique from the millions that exist.  But it definitely allows you the ability to explore and push you enough to try it out. 

Now here is a hard one- Perseverance. This requires a lot of patience and motivation to keep trying and come close to your vision of what you dreamt or imagined. There are the hard calls, the ability to move forward at times and not being able to be excited every day. But the most important part of this is the right choice of equipment/tools and a lot of learning to strive towards the constant need for perfection. Doubts, confusion and challenges may strike, and most importantly, the choice to achieve perfection. Is it always the right one? 

But during the course of this journey, the people, environment, culture and your past play a huge role to continue working without trying too hard to impress anyone but yourself. 

Perfection is that selfless experience of closure and inching towards a possible result, which can make or break the response or reaction. It’s that stage wherein you take a deep breath and see your final result- whether it is an exact replica of your vision or somewhat close to it. It’s the stage where you question whether you are relevant to the end-user of your product, or if you have done everything in your hands to give your best. To be worthy of a smile and joy to the person who is the consumer of your passion.

The combination of Gary, George and Matt have helped us understand the importance of passion, perseverance and perfection coming together to form a humble yet beautiful dish. Every day, hour and minute, there are millions getting inspired to show you the world from their own perspective. And it all comes down to the 5 seconds and the experience you give or get when you build something you love. 

We will miss every word, learning and experience which you have given us all these years!

Love from millions who dream every day.


Festive or Frivolous?

Are our festival campaigns truly festive?

 It’s that time again! Colours, flowers, sweets, fun, frolic, and brand campaigns!

Has to be festival-time, right? And world-over, this is the time when audiences are the happiest, and (most crucially) in a mood to celebrate, indulge, and spend!

 With Holi and Ramadan around the corner, this has given a perfect opportunity for brands to bring together two cultures. According to the Indian audience, it is important for brands to advertise them in a story-led format, which is crisp and meaningful. Our audience tends to relate their situations to the advertisements, and they start connecting themselves with messages portrayed via brand advertisements.’

  • Arpita Chavan, Region Head

 The potential to leverage emotion, and celebration is massive, especially in a country driven by Bollywood, and community. There is no end to the list of festival campaigns we have created, year on year, season on season, like clockwork, there will be festive ads.

Most recently, came the much-debated Surf Excel ad, which, at its core talks about helping your neighbour. We have empathy, neighbourliness, acceptance, all packaged with the overall “Daag Acche Hain”…

And what did the audience take from it? Offense!

 Are we doing something wrong?

 ‘Representing culture through brands can be slightly tricky. In this digitally led age, it is imperative that we consider how our consumers might react to our campaign messages. Even if the campaign was tied to a simple message, it is easy for people to read tangentially into the message and create a backlash on social media, because freedom of expression!’

  • Monica Mantri, Region Head

 One must question why we see these tangential reactions, all this offense, over a simple washing powder ad… And the roots may be in the manifestation of festive campaigns over the past few years.

Ask yourself:

  • Are we still talking message, or are we talking sale?
  • Are we overestimating the strength of the messages we create?
  • Are we listening hard enough, and thinking deep enough?
  • Do we know enough about the audience?

 There are really strong examples of brands that have successfully captured & held the attention of their audiences. Brands which have not only successfully grasped the cultural nuances, but also the changing mediums & sensibilities. We are a multi-dimensional nation, and our audiences must be spoken to as specific people, and not a faceless mass.

 ‘When I look back today, there is one campaign that reminds me of home and the festive season – the Shalimar’s Coconut Oil Durga Puja ads. They had been a pioneer in capturing Bengal’s passion and ecstasy centered around the festival, through its memorable Puja Campaigns. During the last decade, Shalimar’s Durga puja jingle has gradually become an anthem of this festival.’

  • Rajarshi Bhattacharjee, Region Head

 Food, fun, community, celebration, and happiness… Sounds like the easiest mix to build a successful campaign out of. So, why is it this tricky to hit the bullseye with a festival campaign?


 Festivals are more than a trendy hook. They are built on traditions, people, and emotion; and the stories they represent are much deeper.

 These are the stories on which our cultures are formulated. They have been the pillars for all our diverse personas and beliefs, since centuries.  For the believers, it’s the tales of their Gods & Goddesses, for the non-believers, it’s still a time of all-pervasive celebration. How can a hasty brainstorm, and a quick campaign do justice to such ingrained traditions?

 Are we saying we should not create festival campaigns? Of course not! It’s an undeniably positive time for a brand to communicate with the audience. But we have to be careful to treat the event with the respect it deserves.

 Forget that it’s a ‘topical day’ and let yourself live the celebration! Be human, and not the ‘brand’ for a little while, and you’re sure to find that spark of celebration. It won’t come through a hastily emailed brief, nor a quick conference call. A festival is celebrated at every Indian home with hours, sometimes months of preparation. Your brand is no different.

 Put some heart into it!

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Branded Content Literacy

My flatmate and I, each booking separate taxies to our work, set off for the day not knowing we would run into each other at the same event. Belonging to different companies, little did we know we would be consuming the same content at the same time and from the same amazon of sources. Though it was not inconceivable being the communication industry where everything under the sun is interlinked.

This is the case with many, if not all brands. Consumers of n number of brands rapidly consume content at the same time and often from the same source. You may find both a doctor and a DJ at the same dinner reception preferring different cuisines. But the underlining difference is the kind of questions they may ask about the content, in this analogy – the food: What food is being served? As opposed to what alcohol is on the menu. All jokes and stereotypes aside, naturally as marketers we target a certain audience who will potentially enjoy the idea and purchase our product. And sometimes we see brands marketing products that may not answer all the questions of all the consumers be it in healthcare sector, electronics sector, or food.

My question is – How should a brand sound when speaking to this entire gamut of consumers. Should they sound ‘massy’ or focus on uber targeted content.

It is a logic which stems from the fundamental concept of the marketing mix – 4Ps. Philip Kotler defines this as a set of ‘controllable variables’. ­­ But how does it matter when we cannot measure it, let alone control it. This was the different side of marketing which my aforementioned flatmate had asked at the very same event we attended.

“How do we measure impact even if it is 0.3%?”

Branded content is subtle. It is not ‘push’, neither is it fundamentally ‘pull’. The two are strategies suitable for various market scenarios. And branded content is a concept which breathes a fire of its own in creating values instead of being a canon of ads yelling the word ‘ME’.

Many brands successfully pull off this aspect of sublety by creating impact through means of content and not traditional placement. Typical branded content prioritizes the experience first, and then adds its name to it. For example – in this record-breaking free fall from the stratosphere, one will find a number of brands mentioned along the course of the video which will set the vibe and tonality of the brand. These are things consumers remember for a lifetime. We can refer to the Maslow’s theory for a more indepth understanding of the field.

Advertising has changed a lot. A student who studied advertising & film in the early 90s will know different things from a student studying advertising & film now. The media is a highly dynamic environment and demands scalability in terms of content and technology. And to my opinion – we are abusing the privileges of accessibility. Give a man a fish, he will survive for the day, give him a fishing rod, and he will survive forever. But we seem to be given a fishing rod only to catch things that we shouldn’t, for example, an endangered whale. Advertising must be regulated and measured for best practices and impact. Which brings us to data analytics in digital content – but that is a debate for another day until we understand the difference between sponsored and branded content; and finding the number of brands cheekily named in this blog.


#10YearChallenge: Overcoming the Old-Dog Challenge

By Gulshan Kaur Batra, Consulting Associate

Social media is currently trending the #10yearchallenge. You put up your current picture vis-à-vis your picture 10 years ago and let all be amazed with the drastic change in you. So cute!

Well, wish all challenges were so cute and simple in nature. But real life, especially your professional life will have a platter full of challenges in such tenure, which can leave you lost.

 Let me help explain this with a scenario.

So being a graduate in BMM (Bachelor of Mass Media), I conveniently started my journey into Public Relations 10 years ago happily learning, executing, dealing with challenges and growing at every phase. Changed multiple agencies, worked on clients in different sectors, and Holla! That’s enough for you to be termed as an ‘experienced professional’ in this industry. But never did I realise when this term ‘PR’ turned into ‘Communications’ (#Challenge1); and when did the definition of good media visibility move away from the coverage in the print copies of the Times of India, Economic Times, to Digital (#Challenge2).

The role of public relations professionals was confined to bridging the gap between media and their clients. They acted as mediators, of course meaningful ones, who ensured their clients’ work gets published and garners good media visibility. More the number of impressions, happier were the clients and thus the agencies. However, with the advent of digital media, the mediums grew beyond traditional publications and thus communication evolved. Storytelling was no longer one sided, but enabled two-way conversations, which led to the challenge of dealing with both, overall ‘communication’ as well as ‘digital’ media.

No doubt, digital media played a part in every individual’s life, over the years. But in no time, it started to hold a powerful position in every brand’s life too. Surprisingly, these are the same platforms that once enabled individuals to connect with each other, talk their heart out with random conversations; have suddenly turned thought-driven. Conversations still occur and the number is only rising, but there is a deep meaning and purpose behind every message out there. Such was the case only in very few traditional media, until a few years ago.

Agencies are evolving. Earlier termed as a PR agency, they now have a division for Social Media too. However, more often than not, as seasoned professionals in traditional PR, we tend to do our media bit and leave the latter half for social media experts. Our mind is usually stuck in the same old rat race – how many coverages did we achieve? But never did we try and think beyond – how many lives did we impact? How many conversations did we create? How much value did we achieve for our clients?

So, does that mean traditional media has no value? Definitely, not! It is still equally important. In fact, it is the strongest base of our communication tools. But how can we add relevance to the same old-school process, is what we need to quickly adapt to. And this cannot be achieved in isolation. High time, the industry realizes, the integration of both PR & digital, with a 360-degree approach can only add value to the client’s communication and business objectives.

Until my stint with Ideosphere Consulting, I never realized we can actually think beyond the mediums of communication I first started my journey with. Now working as a part of an integrated agency, who constantly thinks of providing value to clients, beyond coverage, I began to fumble and question myself, ‘what had I been doing for years?’ I realised what I did was just one part of communication and time is now demanding to look beyond. I am facing this challenge, and I am glad I did, before I could have literally felt outdated and irrelevant in the next #5yearchallenge. Today, I am the proud (and slightly lost) owner of my own Instagram account, I know how to #hashtag, and slowly, I find myself thinking about platforms I would have laughed off as silly, a few years ago. The thing is, this is where the people are, and so we must also join them. If you don’t, how can you aim to build meaningful, insight-driven, measurable conversations with them?

So, to all the traditional PR experts out there, it is time we start thinking as ‘consumers first’ to understand how we ourselves connect with a brand through multiple mediums. Similar outlook can help us chalk out effective communication strategies for our clients, helping them stand out in the clutter.

Let our skills not be outdated with time. Let’s embrace this challenge and club the expertise of both, traditional + digital communication, to be termed as real professionals of the communication industry.

And yes, this is not the end of this game. ‘Marketing Communications’ is already opening doors to adapt to a much larger horizon of communication – PR + Digital + Advertising + Marketing. Let us all gear up to meet the new age demands, constantly challenging today for a better and evolved tomorrow.


When Gods Fall, PR Steps In

By Mayur Milan, Director

Religion is in a dire need of PR in India today.

Agreed that the same is true globally, but India has a unique case at hand. Not only are the two largest religions in the country currently facing tough times on sticky wickets, but the one common religion of India has found itself in midst of unnecessary controversy.

Cricket is the undeclared religion that binds India. Much like another religion, it has multiple gods, depending on which generation you come from. It can divide a family, create barriers between friends from different states and still drive the nation into a state of euphoric delirium.

Close on the heels of a scintillating performance that should have heralded the arrival of an all-conquering demigod, came the tragedy that was Koffee With Karan. Separated by some 10000 KM, Indian cricket saw two very different performances. One was a vintage straight drive for a six, while the other was a stumping of a wide ball.

What is unique about this situation is that, possibly for the first time, cricketers have been universally criticized. Almost everyone in their sane mind looked at the incident and called it out. Instantly. And that is the question that bothers us.

How on earth did three PR teams miss the warning signs? Two of them, the host and the broadcaster, are in the business of entertainment and can be forgiven for chasing TRPs. But the third is an upcoming superstar. A Youth Icon who commands a staggering 11 crore price tag in the domestic T20 league. Surely, someone must have seen the footage before it went on air. More likely, someone would have been present during the shoot as well. How did they miss the red flags? One could have been excused if there was an isolated incident. But in this case, it was like a flag march, they just kept coming. And yet, no one noticed it.

The swift action taken by BCCI following the incident and the statement issued by a man who would have surely hurled choicest of words at his teammates, much the way he does on the field, suggests that the other PR team has been forced into damage control mode.

One of the basic principles of PR is to know the target audience and their interest. This is closely followed by knowing your purpose and the desired result. It is ironic that this season of KWC started with a reference to the #MeToo campaign with an aim to cater to the audience and their sentiments. Somewhere along the line, that purpose seems to have been misplaced.

On the cricketer’s side though, the question of knowing the audience, the purpose of the interview and the desired result seems to have not been evaluated at all. In business terminology, it is a spray and pray approach that has been taken. Unfortunately, not only did the spray not hit the target, but it came right back on their face.

This is a good lesson for communication professionals. It is important to have in-depth knowledge/insights about your clients and the audience. Know what are they good at and what can be improved. Being authentic is key, but at the cost of antagonizing a large section of the audience is not prudent. Basis, evaluate the media opportunity at hand, and what the possible return on investment.

But most of all – know the purpose of your effort