Digital, social media, PR and communications trends, tools, & thoughts

PR in 2009: What do our industry leaders think?


With 2009 upon us, we decided to ask some of the leaders in the Indian PR industry on what they foresee in this year.  Check out what they have to say. What do you say? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Ashwani Singla, CEO, Genesis Burson-Marsteller

The recent Satyam saga has demonstrated the close inter-linkage between good corporate governance, transparency and an unblemished corporate reputation. As the science of influence, public relations plays a central role in building and sustaining corporate reputation through powerful communication of a company’s good work. As we look forward into 2009 and beyond, we will see public relations being leveraged far beyond traditional press relations to enable deep stakeholder engagement on a sustained basis, forming a key to protecting and enhancing corporate reputation.

As more and more brands compete for the consumers share of the wallet, the emergence of buying power of the youth of India will form a pivot for change and innovation. This ‘youngistan’ will continue to grow in the coming year the information and influence sources will increasingly shift to ‘New Media’ and the internet will become a dominant medium for the Gen Next to share information and express themselves. With the advent of 3G networks and the growing penetration of notebooks, clients would need to effectively harness these new developments to connect and converse with their audiences. Virtual media such as online journals and magazines, personal blogs, podcasts, community radios, and other fast growing ‘social media’ like Facebook, Orkut, Flickr, etc. thus need to be understood and leveraged effectively by public relations professionals.

And finally, the engagement with government will grow as the momentum towards accountability, transparency and responsiveness grows. This will lead to a growing demand for Public Affairs expertise as the Government evolves from a player in the arena to a referee and the third umpire our journey of nation building.

Madan Bahal, Managing Director, Adfactors PR

I see a robust bounce back of business in the first quarter of financial year 2009 – 2010. This will be driven by two factors: a growing realization that PR delivers cost efficiencies that no other marcomm tool does, and increasing uncertainty & scrutiny that corporates are faced with. The PR industry should not feel gloomy in the light of the events of quarter October to December 2008. Focus on capacity and resources and be prepared for the opportunity which will be regardless of the continuing economic slowdown.

Sunil Gautam, Managing Director, Hanmer MS&L Communications

PR is now going to be more innovative and creative. It’s going to get better at identifying the big story and get going with it. Driving PR in the context of the consumer, the last man standing is today’s challenge amidst the clutter and  I am excited to see how we go about doing that. Of course PR has to get more credible and show some well defined results to get more business as we all face an economic down turn… It’s Darwin time… Survival only of those who are the fittest and we are ready.

Some great work has gone into the digital PR campaign of the US presidential elections and I wish some thing so cohesive and well directed could be done here. 2008 was surely the year of Digital PR breaking even and what best than Obama’s campaign.


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January 29th, 2009 at 11:01 am

Posted in PR

9 Responses to 'PR in 2009: What do our industry leaders think?'

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  1. Well i agree, PR is going to be more innovative and we as a professional now have to honk our skills more.

    We should use recession as an opportunity and don’t let this pass by without making us better and stronger professionals. We should learn new tools new innovative way of bringing ROI and make our customer realize that PR is not something you should suspend for sometime due to economic slowdown. But instead you should use this tool to hilt as it is cost effective as compared to other marcomm tool and delivers better results.

    Cheers! Bhawna


    29 Jan 09 at 11:34 am

  2. I think all the three leaders have expressed themselves clearly and the value of PR is going to be understood and appreciated by the market during the coming year.

    However, corporates cannot consider PR alone to have better effect unless it is part of a larger strategy linking the other factors. All said and done PR alone cannot build a good corporate reputation unless it is backed by good & truthful corporate governance with transparency as the cornerstone.

    Unless this happens, many more Satyams will happen. Styam’s PR seems to have worked but was without the backing of good governance.

    Suresh Mangaladurai

    29 Jan 09 at 12:56 pm

  3. Technically speaking, at the moment the economic slowdown has been having its tribulation and every industry in some way or the other has been affected by it…Never the less communication business with digital space is taking a turn to a higher level where there is a greater hope of growth and development.


    29 Jan 09 at 4:22 pm

  4. Excellent attempt Palin!!!

    Nice to know what the industry leaders think about the industry for the coming times…..


    30 Jan 09 at 7:22 pm

  5. hmmm

    kapadiia himanshu

    31 Jan 09 at 1:14 pm

  6. I hope PR in 2009 will see more education in the field of PR than mere rhetoric. Hopefully PR industry in India will not be defined as a ‘Press Relations Industry’ and the move will be towards strategic counselling in the pure sense of the term.

    There should be a move towards transparency and accountability of all the stakeholders. PR agencies themselves need to be more responsible and ethical in their practices and should refrain from conjuring any means to grab media mentions.

    Vijay Kapur

    1 Feb 09 at 10:57 am

  7. 5D4PD9 comment2 ,


    8 May 09 at 12:42 am

  8. [...] is exactly what I had said on the India PR Blog and in a recent article in DNA [...]

    Adfactors Public Relation » Blog Archive » Impact of economic slowdown

    19 May 09 at 9:58 am

  9. [...] is exactly what I had said on the India PR Blog and in a recent article [...]

    Adfactors Public Relation » Blog Archive » Impact of economic slowdown

    19 May 09 at 11:13 am

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