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.