- #PRdebate: Can PR step up to the digital challenge? – If by ‘the PR industry’ you mean traditional agencies or ‘the dinosaurs that run PR who don’t get the significance of digital’, as James Warren put it, then i agree PR has already lost. But if we’re talking about the growing band of smart new agencies and the intelligent approach of the larger agencies of which a few were represented last night, then no. These sorts of comms professionals know they still have a lot to learn, but they are building digital skill sets by hiring in experienced individuals or looking beyond the boundaries of what would traditionally be PR. Yes, the social media specific agencies and digital agencies have a lead in understanding the environment, but they also need to skill up in terms of comms strategy and delivery.
- The Great Online PR Debate (#PRdebate): PR Agencies are Losing the Right to Learn – The skills required in the Online world are very different to those practised in Media Relations. What clients need in the Online domain is a set of direct service offerings. They need direct management of reputations amongst communities and forums. They care for direct, bottom line events like sales and bookings conversions, and other direct, tangible outcomes like traffic acquisition. This involves a specific set of direct Online skills: Online people talking directly to lots of other Online people (customers, partners, influencers, stakeholders, etc), not people talking through people (the media). These aren’t Media Relations activities and I don’t think that a traditional Media Relations agency can carry them with any level of assurance. More to the point, most traditional PR firms aren’t comfortable with this kind of work.
- Ignore Twitter? Major brands learn they’d better respond — and quick – Los Angeles Times – “Our social media marketing approach is that we want to be everywhere our consumers are,” said Michael Donnelly, Coke’s director of global interactive marketing. “There’s significant risk in being perceived the wrong way.”
- Difference between PR and publicity – Regis McKenna was great at PR. Yes, he got Steve Jobs and the Mac on the cover of more than 30 magazines in the year it launched. That was just publicity. The real insight was crafting the story of the Mac (and yes, the story of Steve Jobs).
- How to Demo Twitter – One of the great challenges for anyone who loves Twitter is to show other people why they should love it too. You can start off by showing how businesses use Twitter. For example, AmazonDeals increases Amazon’s revenue, and ComcastCares provides support to Comcast customers. Zappos promotes the caring brand image of the company because its CEO, Tony Hsieh, is doing the tweeting.
- How to create a hosted Wordpress blog – a step by step guide from booking the domain to getting your blog seen – Everything you need to know to create a blog, seo it, and promote it well. This has a step-by-step guide and dozens of resource links.
Archive for the ‘marketing’ tag
- The Domino’s Effect – Domino’s brand cultivated over 49 years…damaged in 30 minutes or less. The latest viral video on the Web today isn’t related to an upcoming summer blockbuster, nor the next Chocolate Rain sensation or even the next Obama Girl. Today’s social video frenzy is a real time case study of what happens when the employees of a franchise use online video to inadvertently cause a global domino effect that financially and emotionally impacts other franchises, employees, customers as well as bruising the corporate brand overall.
- Savvy & Energetic: Keys to Real PR – If you think you’ll annoy the media then STOP. Reporters need PR people. We give them stories. Even though members of the media may be busy, prove to people that you’re the real thing, and this genuine, concerted approach will open ears. You will establish yourself not only as a source of useful information, but also as a person in a helpful relationship. Often, the most important part of the PR cycle involves what happens after the pitch! It’s all in the follow-up. Say that last sentence a few times. Please.
- Hanging Tough – In the late nineteen-twenties, two companies—Kellogg and Post—dominated the market for packaged cereal. It was still a relatively new market: ready-to-eat cereal had been around for decades, but Americans didn’t see it as a real alternative to oatmeal or cream of wheat until the twenties. So, when the Depression hit, no one knew what would happen to consumer demand. Post did the predictable thing: it reined in expenses and cut back on advertising. But Kellogg doubled its ad budget, moved aggressively into radio advertising, and heavily pushed its new cereal, Rice Krispies.
- The Rise of Asian Brands | Reputare – Between 2001 and 2005, the number of Asian brands in the BusinessWeek top 100 has doubled to eight. This is no small achievement – especially if you consider the fact that this period has also seen intense and merciless global competition in which powerful incumbent brands from developed economies could delve into their deep pockets to win market share in the new emerging markets. What’s happening? What’s changing?
- A letter to young job seekers – Be prepared with an elevator pitch. Most interviews will start with “Tell me about yourself.” Prepare a one-minute spiel that highlights your strengths and personality, then practice it before your interview. You don’t want to recite mechanically, but you also want to sound ready and polished.
- PDF: Social Media Tools Popular Among Marketers & more – Michael Stelzner interviewed some 900+ Internet marketers to determine how they are using social media to promote their businesses, what social media tools are more popular among marketers, how much time are they spending on social media sites and so on.
- 5 Essential Traits for Community Managers – As corp comm managers today need to play role of community managers for their companies and engage with communities online, they might as well gear up and know what it takes to be a good community manager.
- The 6 stages of Twitter media coverage hell – The media does this with every truly major Internet phenomenon that comes along. It happened with the Internet itself, then e-mail, then the Web, then the tech bubble, then social networking and now Twitter. Here are the 6 stages of media coverage hell that the press and the TV networks are putting us all through.
- 5 Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page – For many companies a FacebookFacebook reviewsFacebook reviews fan page is an integral part of their social media campaign. But, what elements help fan pages build up large followings and what can brands do to emulate the success of others? I’ve put together a list of specific elements that I believe have helped create fan pages with large, engaged, followings.
- How a Jewellery Store Can Use Social Media to Promote Their Brand | WATBlog.com – Web, Advertising and Technology Blog in India – Have an online jewellery design contest. If your target is youth, the college crowd then have them design the kind of design they love to see. Have a community on Facebook where the participants could interact and showcase designs. Give the winners some coverage and of course have prize. You have just used social media not just for branding but also for market research and feedback as well, not to mention a collection of designs.
- How to Build a Reputation Monitoring Dashboard » aimClear Search Marketing Blog – This post is a guerrilla tutorial for building a totally free reputation monitoring dashboard, suitable for personal/corporate use or reselling to an agency client. You’ll be able to easily build a tool where nobody can even whisper your business keywords, in a positive or negative light, without your awareness.
- Nielsen: Twitter’s growing really, really, really, really fast | The Social – CNET News – A small new survey from Nielsen about the five fastest growing “member community destinations” in the U.S. reveals what we all kind of knew already: Twitter is at the top. From February 2008 to February 2009, it clocked in at a whopping 1,382 percent growth rate. That’s to be expected, considering the amount of press the still-without-a-business-model microblogging service has gotten in recent months.
- Getting Optimized Press Releases Approved – Optimizing press releases can be an important part of any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program. It’s usually pretty easy to convince clients of the need to optimize news content since these kinds of releases can reach journalists and bloggers as well as consumers.
My wife pointed out this very interesting information and I think it’s one of its kind. Murali D, Deputy Editor of The Hindu Business Line, has a blog called ‘Just In, Just Out‘ where he publishes press releases he receives on his inbox. Very apt name! The subhead reads ‘What’s hot in my inbox’. It could have been ‘Hot releases in my inbox’ though.
Probably Murali was tired of follow ups from PR reps to put out press releases and so he created a blogspot blog and put everything – press release and intro mail included – online. ‘So there you go, your press release has been published. Happy now?’
Apparently many PR people are still sending him press releases and he is continuing to put that out on the blog. I figure the PR people don’t know about the blog and send him releases for the Hindu Business Line paper. Sending press releases for the blog especially would be a bit silly, I think, unless you are desperate of some coverage and want it anywhere. I said silly because the blog today looks like a free press release distribution site full of releases from mom and pop stores, SEO people, and corporates alike. I don’t know how many people come to read the blog especially for reading the releases as they are.
However, what I like is his other blog, Food for Thought, where he publishes his interview schedules online and asks PR reps to check free schedules there and pitch for those free spots. He will then accept requests on a first come first serve basis. I like this one, not because he is agreeing to do every interview request, but because of the approach he has taken. It’s open and transparent. It saves him time as PR reps will check his schedules first and pitch requests accordingly. On the blog, he also uploads the CVs/ profiles of the people he has met and post their pictures.
What do you think? Do you know any other journalist adopting such online tools to manage their connection with PR folks? Share in the comments.
- Moving PR forward – Press releases will be dead within 24 months. The smart agencies are realising that they have to play in this world and anyone can now play in it….. 70k people are doing their own PR using these tools. Dedicated people read the blogosphere just like you used to read magazines. The beauty is that young PRs have been doing it already. Search twitter.com find ways to get involved – don’t try to own the conversation, engage and listen.
- 35 Must-Read Articles for Social Media Marketers – “As an active social media user and marketer, I’m always interested in learning new things to improve my knowledge and abilities. This is a collection of some of the best articles that I’ve found on a variety of topics related to social media.”
- How To Develop A Facebook Page That Attracts Millions of Fans – Facebook Pages present a massive opportunity for brands to directly engage with their existing and future customers, even the occasional passer-by. Below, I have outlined 10 tips for creating engaging Facebook Pages.
- How to use Twitter for PR – Weisgerber details 8 ways in which Twitter should be used by brands and begins to detail how they should act for each one: 1. Tracking 2. Monitoring 3. Live-reporting 4. Journalism 5. Activism 6. Public Relations 7. Political Communications 8. Crisis Communications
- Tweet Advice from Area PR Pros – Twitter has a variety of PR uses, but it all boils down to relationships. Clark sees it as another information outlet and likes the way it is organized as a stream versus a batch of separate emails. Koole refers to it as an enhancement to other channels, calling it a sort of “real time billboard” with company updates. Droog notes that Twitter served as a crisis communications tool when Amway Global dealt with a product recall and tweeted regularly, mostly alerts with links to more information on their web site.
- Social Media Marketing Tops Digital Marketing Tactics for 2009 – What 3 digital marketing channels & tactics will you emphasize in 2009?” Here are the top ten tactics selected:
* Blogging (34%)
* Microblogging (Twitter) (29%)
* Search engine optimization (28%)
* Social network participation (Facebook, LinkedIn) (26%)
* Email marketing (17%)
* Social media monitoring & outreach (17%)
* Pay per click (14%)
* Blogger relations (12%)
* Video marketing (10%)
* Social media advertising (7%)
- Twitter Links for February 2009: Social Media and Twitter Resources : The Get Smart Blog – This list is a collection of social media and twitter resource links that were shared and retweeted by @GetSmartWomen in February 2009. In this list you will find the best, most interesting, and most useful of our favorite shared Twitter links.
Some of world’s best brands have been built with PR.
With rising media costs and lack of deep pockets to spend, many brands are seriously considering using PR in a big way to promote their brand in the most cost efficient manner. Recently I was chatting with few of my friends who are working on various brands starting from FMCG to Consumer Durables to lifestyle. During our intense conversation, most of these people felt that new and innovative options need to be discovered to promote brands as returns on spending huge money on mass media is not delivering the desired results.
Now why are these people questioning the ROI? The answer to this is very simple. Today with the increase in the number of channels and audience fragmentation; marketers are not able to catch their audience that easily. They need to increase their promotional budgets to reach a larger audience but the results are not satisfactory. Even the print and the outdoor medium have become equally expensive. One cannot get a great impact by taking a few hoardings in any city. Even if you take a good number of sites the sustenance factor steps in. How long I can continue the campaign? Marketers are looking answers for these. Do we have an answer? The answer is yes. Marketers need to start innovating to fight this rise in media prices, media fragmentation and high clutter levels by just revisiting their communication and media strategy.
Powerful Public relations strategy is one way to look at:
Some of the world’s best brands have been built though PR. Our own software company Infosys is both a leading Indian and global brand which has grown in manifolds by brilliantly planned PR strategy. We must also remember that the company has delivered value and has consistently performed. Apart from some advertisements during the IPO, this brand has been build brick by brick purely using public relations in the most effective manner. The brand has become almost a familiar brand amongst software engineers and aspiring engineers. We have more such examples of brands that have build their corporate brands through PR.
Google is another brand which is in everybody‘s mind starting from today’s teenager to the senior citizen. This brand has never advertised in India but the brand has grown in leaps and bounds to have the largest email service in India, Gmail. The brand Google has become so familiar and friendly that people use the phrase ‘Google’ it to get any information on the net.
TCS is also another brand that has taken its brand to new global heights through PR. While TCS has the support of the TATA name but to become a global brand on software space PR has played a pivotal role for TCS. The secret of success for all these brands has been their focused vision and commitment which PR has leveraged at every stage of the growth of the company. Also with PR this brand has managed to build credibility and faith with their stakeholder which has in the end resulted in raising the equity of the brand both domestically and globally.
It’s misnomer to think PR is just press release:
About two decades back PR was just about disseminating news via press release or through press conference. But over the last few years that has radically changed. More and brands are placing their faith on PR to build credibility which is difficult to achieve through the conventional advertising and publicity. While some of the reputed brands spend a lot of money on advertising but they still use PR to restore faith and confidence among its audience.
Two great launches or event in the recent period that has implemented PR effectively has been the announcement of TATA’S NANO. There was great PR build up before the official announcement and showcasing of the product at the AUTO EXPO. This was possible because there was a great story to talk about in terms of a ONE LAC car which was a great dream and aspiration for many Indian consumers to own a car. It was a good strategy on the part of TATAs to use PR as it is PR that built confidence and credibility among the prospective consumers to reassure yes we are giving you a car for ONE LAKH. Public relations in t his case could play a very important role as there was a great story to tell. In fact I hardly could see any advertisement on the day of the launch. The PR really overpowered the print campaign. And the reason for the same is that consumers need to know more about the product and PR was the best tool to sell this revolutionary concept in car. If you have a great story to tell then brands must strongly move towards using PR as a weapon. In case of TATA NANO if we count on the coverage they got through PR and convert it to advertisement rates it would be quite substantial may be even match the budget they spend on advertising.
Even the success for IPL must be attributed to a large extent to PR. While individual teams and brands did some advertisement what really caught cricket fans is this new concept which had great news and story to talk about. Today post the first IPL league many teams are seriously considering to revamp their image through PR before the champion’s league. All of us know cricket is a religion in our country and the hype generated through the press will create more excitement and interest than patriotic HINGLISH jingles and use of celebrities by various teams in their campaign. IPL really drew more viewer ship on channels more crowds to the stadium but more than this there was great buzz around in the social network media where different community groups were formed to track the matches with their own views and criticism. This is where social media network as a medium is being used to drive PR.
Use of new age media and innovative media opportunity in PR:
The advent of new media like blogs and social network has made PR more innovative and interactive. Facebook, My space and Orkut are some of the few social network media which are being used by many brands to touch the younger audience. Various movie reviews and play reviews are available if you are part of any community in the social media network. The audience you converse through this social network are becoming strong testimonials to tell you or give you more information of a movie or purchasing a music gadget. This of course is supplemented by the news that appears in the dailies and other media which helps in getting brands closer and into the consideration set.
I am told most of the electronic products such as the laptops the final decision in buying is made by the consumer only using the mediums like the internet by reading their product reviews etc. This also holds true with automobiles where the prospects reads reviews about the brand and product from various auto journals before they decide to arrive on the brand to buy or test drive it.
The other innovative ideas to get your brand promoted are product placement opportunity in various media which is relevant to the brand. For e.g. TV show featuring on real estate one can promote a microwave by displaying the product in such shows which is part of the accessories customers look at buying for their kitchen. Brands could also tie up with construction houses to get write up about their product in their brochures and website.
The use of PR needs to be tactically applied and one must have a good story to pitch for the media to talk about. In the coming years Public relation will move faster and more brands will seriously consider to use this communication tool to build the credibility of the brand as costs on the media front is just going up and up. With increase of more GEC in the electronic medium and TRPs fluctuating as channels are bringing freshness in the programming marketers are need take lot of risks to place their brand in these channels without knowing the right ROI from these programs.
Public relations will play a great role in providing marketers to infuse good strategy which will get them stories and credibility. One also needs to think beyond just coverage and come out with out of box thinking to get qualitative message through PR.
My team and I develop PR pitches for our prospective clients. This is one of my KRAs. Planning requires, besides understanding the client’s business and requirements, a lot of research on the industry, the competition, and the current image that the client has in the market. This involves primary researches like speaking to journalists and domain experts. But before that we need to conduct a host of initial secondary research that involves scanning through a lot of print and online media. I am sure this is the same with every team in any PR agency. So what are the various sites we visit on the internet to gather our initial understanding of a subject or vertical? The requirements and solutions depend from client to client but on an average, these are some of the top sites that you can start off with.
1. Search engines – Google is the obvious answer, and there’s no contesting that. Additionally, we have Google News Search, if you want to scan through news reports; and Google Blog Search, if you want to scan through blog posts. These are pretty useful search engines that you can use in case you don’t find much headway on a normal Google web search. I also use an addon like Customise Google on my Firefox in times of absolute desperate situations when I need to run a query on other search engines like Yahoo or Live, as sometimes they throw up different results.
Sometime, when these search engines are not sufficient, there are specialized search engines like Truveo and Blinkx for video and audio search, Pipl for people search, and Twing for search within Internet forums.
You can compare Google and Yahoo search engines with SearchBoth. See screenshot below:
2. Wikipedia – We all know Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia contributed by everyone. Now the credibility of Wikipedia has been debated by many before, but I still think that it can be a good resource for reading up on a new technology, place, person, or a subject e.g. public relations. I understood more clearly about PR from Wikipedia than any text book I read in school. You can also use Wikipedia to get media profiles.
3. IBEF -The Indian Brand Equity Foundation site is a credible site to get information on various industries in India. Take a look at the links on the left side of the page. You can read up the summary and latest news reports of various verticals including automobiles, auto components, aviation, banking, biotechnology, cement, financial services, food industry, gems and jewelery, healthcare, information, technology, insurance, IT enabled services, media & entertainment, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, real estate, retail, semiconductors, steel, textiles, telecommunications, and tourism & hospitality.
4. India in Business – This is an Indian government site created to help foreign investors in India but you can take advantage of it as well. There are essays on the Indian economy, different industries in India, and alot on foreign investment regulations. There are sections on the Union Budget and Economic Survey of India.
5. Indobase – This is a good site to get the names of major events in India categorized according to industry and cities.
6. Industry association sites – Industry association site like CII, FICCI, NASSCOM, and ASSOCHAM are good places as they keep on publishing free reports that you can quickly download and read. There are good content on the sites themselves. Besides these four, we can go to sector specific association sites. For example, for anything on online and internet data in India, we can go to IAMAI. There are associations for each sector.
Do you know of any good research resource? Share it in the comment.
Business blogging in India is evolving, but yet far behind the tech and bloggers of other subjects. So when Gaurav came up with the idea of running a collaborated weekly digest of the best of business blog posts, it sounded good.
So here we are, India PR Blog is part of this initiative, doing its bit to help promote business blogging in India. The initiative is simple. Here is the brief explanation:
We will form a network of 5 to 10 influential business bloggers — Veerchand Bothra, Rajesh Lalwani, Ranjan Varma, Kiruba, Gaurav Mishra, Gautam Ghosh, and your own India PR Blog to begin with — who will publish a weekly roundup of Indian business blogs on their respective blogs.
The roundup will consist of about 5 high-quality posts written by (new and established) Indian business bloggers. We’ll typically share the link with a small excerpt and our own comment on the post. The posts to be linked to will be decided among the network.
The posts can include all business topics including marketing, advertising, public relations, human resource management, finance, and entrepreneurship.
So there it is. Simple. And so here are this week’s roundup:
Ever wanted to know the status of plagiarism in Indian film music. itwofs.com is a chronicle of plagiarism in Indian film music. Read about the initiative from Karthik Srinivasan from this interview by Kamla. Soon we might hear about Karthik being sued by Bollywwod music composers, or the latter being sued by the original copyright holders thanks to this site.
A good insight and a piece of advice to all those companies jumping into the online gold rush today. I actually have more to say that what Maninder had to say. Create a (micro) site, add some flash designs (but that takes 5 minutes to load …yawn), throw in some games and contests, tie up with a few restaurants and movie halls, and pray that everyone from your target customer group will log in. It takes a lot more than that to create the next Orkut or YouTube, or a closer Gang of Girls. There is no originality in the online campaigns going on today. Maybe we need another itwofs for such campaigns.
A good writeup by Kartik Must read for all entrepreneurs. And something I will refer to when I am ready for my startup :-)
If you are eager to know about search engine optimisation and search engine marketing, read this post. While it won’t make you know how to search engine optimised your site, at least you will the basics.
Gaming is fast taking on the Indian landscape. I had a colleague who told me that in her previous office, most of the executives will go to gaming sites between breaks. Gaming breaks instead of cigarette breaks huh. These are some good reads on the emerging vertical.
“One Black Coffee”“
I spent 20 years in PR agencies before moving to corporate communication” claimed a fragile looking lady with a proud voice as she tried to sink her body in black leather sofa.
“I completely understand what is possible and what is not possible in PR and I never pressurise my agency” another claim slipped from her lips as she sipped coffee from a large green cup.
“I respect my agencies and professionals associated with it. After all, I know what value people like you bring to the table, especially when we are all immersed in myopic views of corporate world filled with inside views” the overdoes of claims continued as the server tried to unsuccessfully stop the overflow of coffee he was pouring in her cup.
“I am utterly disappointed with my existing agency” sigh!
“Last time when we organised a huge event for donating an ambulance van to a hospital in Chennai, only four journalists turned up!”
“When we issued a very important release of a key general manager level appointment made by our company, I haven’t got a single clip from Bombay and Delhi!”
“I am looking for a professional agency, which understands our requirement and do a justice to the news created by us”
“When I was in an agency, I got these huge bunches of clips for all my clients for each and every news they gave it to me. My media relations are excellent. Across the country I know almost every journalist. They are always after my life to give them stories”
It seemed as if the meeting was never going to end with continued monologues.
And presto! My cup of black coffee just got over.
“Good. The Black coffee was really nice” my first and last words before paying the bill and saying good bye.
“A clueless Blonde”
“I’m stuck in a mental blizzard here. Am a newbie, and was recommended this site – I have questions – I don’t see a link where I can contact someone… I feel like a doofus and need help… SERIOUSLY!!!
I’ve been convinced and am convinced that this is the place for me, however when I tried to go through the content of the website- I did not know where to start. I am joining a PR company- it’s my first, they said they liked the fact that I have good interpersonal skills and that I can write well. I am writing a book, have written articles.
You see, I use simple words, which are easily understood by everyone. But after going through your site – I’ve completely lost all confidence. I don’t want to be the clueless blonde in the company. I need serious help.”
The mail landed sometime earlier this week in my inbox. I liked the honesty with which the lady in a mail acknowledges a situation many of us would have experienced at various stages of our lives. We all pass through similar situations. First day at school, first day at college, first job interview, first date, first movie with friends bunking the chemistry lecture,
first marriage(oops!?) – having thousands of flying butterflies in a stomach is quite common.
You know what, Ms. Clueless? The problem is not with you but it’s with how you are looking at a situation.
Okay, let’s understand where the problem is?
Are they expecting you to know everything about PR from the day one? Are they expecting you to start talking to clients and pitching stories to media from the day one just because you have good interpersonal skills? Are they expecting you to start writing press releases and other material from the day one because you are a good writer? If the answer is YES, please steer clear of that agency. And if the answer is NO, so where’s the problem.
The learning is not a pack of Maggie Noodles (sorry Top Ramen and others. But you don’t have TOM recall yet!)
Take your own time. Go step by step. Get into the agency. Understand the culture. See how they work. Read. Learn from seniors. Ask questions – however stupid it may sound. Understand the business. Make mistakes – never repeat them. Be open to ideas. Contribute and share your views openly. Enter into a healthy competition. Stay away from office politics. Eat. Work. Maintain professional approach with all your colleagues, clients and media. Play and maintain a work-life balance.
And, I am sure you will become one successful PR professional and who knows one fine day you would be answering a similar query on our blog!
However, if you are not satisfied with the suggested roadmap – please feel free to write and we will talk. All the best!
“Two Minutes Noodles”
“The concept I am talking about is amazing. It took the world by storm. Since the last 25 years this brand has been the most recognised brand in over 20 different countries. We are launching it in India. People are eagerly waiting for it here.”
“No…No…No…Our brand is big. We don’t need continuous PR. Just announce the launch through a Press Conference, that’s enough. My global CEO is visiting to announce the launch and it has to be a gala event.”
After a successful press conference and decent coverage across the country – a mail lands in my inbox.
“The PR has not been successful. Despite our news being there in many newspapers so many people I am talking to are telling me that they have never heard of this brand before. The brand building has to be done through PR, which has not happened. Please explain”
The person who wrote this mail has spent many years in advertising and branding. I am planning to send him a pack of ‘Two Minutes Noodles’
With a Taste Maker, of course!
ASSOCHAM yesterday released a report on the Indian PR industry, which came as a bit of a surprise. I though they aptly called it a ‘random’ survey. It came out of nowhere.
On one hand, this report is a positive development with industry associations now starting to conduct studies on the PR industry. PR researchers have been yearning for a PR industry report and this seemed like one that authenticated a lot of trends and issues that we in the industry are witnessing and discussing about.
And then before I completed my smile, a conspicuous figure in the report attracted my attention. ASSOCHAM has boldly put the size of the Indian PR industry at USD 3 bn currently. While I would have loved to believe this figure and bask in the glory of being part of a fast growing industry, I have my doubts. Are we really that big? A USD 3bn means around INR 12,000 crores. And that is a huge amount.
From the not-so-perfect finger-counting that we do usually, the PR consultancy business in India is supposed to be around INR 150-200 crores only. We have around half a dozen ‘big’ PR agencies that rope in the majority, read 70-80%, of the revenues for the industry. Each can have a revenue of around INR 12-15 crores with the highest going to around INR 20 crores from pure PR fee (not calculating the expenses). Even if you calculate the expenses, the total revenue of the biggest PR firm is supposed around INR 40 crores. The rest perhaps bring in a just as much as one or two combined of these ‘big’ agencies.
Let’s do some more guess work. What could be the total PR spend by the organised corporate say in the top 1000 companies in India through one or the other agency or directly? Can we quote a figure of around INR 500 crores. Add around INR 125 crores from the PR spends by the unorganised sector in mini cities. Would even all these combined reach that ASSOCHAM figure of USD 3 bn?
Or is there something else that I am not aware of in the industry, I would definitely love an explanation into that figure.
Other key findings from the report:
1. Growing opportunity cost in PR industry is one reason for constant job shuffles
2. Over 90% PR professionals come in at the entry level with enthusiasm and passion for their work but within a year shift to greener pastures
3. Brand building and image management are emerging as key areas where corporates seek services of PR firms to enhance visibility and promote services/ products/ top management
4. Majority of PR professionals confirmed that during the economic boom, huge competition emerged for brand building as a result of which PR agencies are in demand and quoting high market driven prices for services
5. PR sector registered growth of 22-25% in last few years which further went up to 32% in 2007 and by 2010, size of PR industry is expected to grow to more than $6 billion
6. Indian PR industry comprises 1200-1500 agencies with manpower strength of 30,000 to 40,000
7. In terms of vertical markets, healthcare is the fastest-growing sector; however, public sector, environment and corporate social responsibility are emerging as growth areas for PR
8. Overriding concern of industry is skills shortage; almost all agencies are hiring, a trend that is indicative of growth, and some are looking outside the PR industry to bring in new skills
9. Although there are thousands of small agencies and individual consultants serving very local markets, larger agencies are forging partnerships across the globe to meet demand from clients
10. Retainer fee on an average can be anywhere between Rs2.5 to Rs 5 lakh
11. Reasons for high attrition could be the temptation of moving to the higher pay master; leadership crisis within the industry; inability of PR outfits to meet evolving needs of companies/ clients and to understand the dynamics of the present-day market place