How PR Has Become Mission Critical in a Virtual World
When most of the civilized world ground to a juddering halt barely six months ago, the media as well as the healthcare were seen as exceptions – one cared for the sick while the other kept the wheels of information dissemination moving. Of course, events went virtual, leading some of us to believe that Covid-19 could well sound the death knell for media relations.
In fact, many in the media felt that the archetypal PR executive may lose her bearings as there was no way she could meet journalists, pitch a new story or organize media conferences. While this may be true to some extent (virtual events are aplenty), the PR agency has displayed a kind of resilience in these tough times, morphing into the harbingers of data-driven information.
At CXOToday, we felt intrigued by the present situation – how can media relations happen when the very platform that made it possible has disappeared into the virtual world? “Well, that could be a problem for those who couldn’t read the writing on the wall,” says Shubhendu Nath, who is a well-known name in the PR industry, having founded and managed Change Agents for close to 13 years now.
Nath, who functions out of Bangalore, to manage operations in New Delhi, Mumbai, and the Middle East, says the first signs of change in the role of PR started several years ago and those that adapted wouldn’t find the current scenario challenging at all. “In fact, the entire process now is more data driven – be it during client interactions or working with the media,” he quips.
In a freewheeling interview with CXO Today, Shubhendu Nath delves into how he himself saw the industry change from being just press release pushers a decade ago to strategic and tactical consultants to brands. “We understood early in our journey that media relations is one part of a complex and broad relationship with a client that includes creating thought leadership on one side to delivering hard sales outcomes and everything in between,” says Nath, who cut his teeth in media before starting Change Agents in 2008.