Pr Resources: Does PR have enough heft within organisations?, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

by Lindsey Francy Mar 23, 2023 News
Pr Resources: Does PR have enough heft within organisations?, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity
<p>Representative image (iStock)</p>
Representative image (iStock)
By Rajiv Banerjee

I was invited to teach a class on corporate communication and apply for a post graduate degree in media, PR and advertising. I emphasized on giving the audience a practical view of PR and corporate communications when I made the presentation. This realistic view of what we do now and what we should expect in the future is a result of the belief that the world is in a state of change. Within the whirlpool of heightened activism, social media journalism, technology, domestic and international events that casts a shadow on businesses, PR can either display resilience like a log of wood that may sink for a while but always up, or it can show resilience like a log of wood that may sink for Or become a stone that makes a big splash when it hits the water, but sinks to the bottom in no time.

PR, PR everywhere…

There is enough going on around us to give us enough to think about. The need for PR resources within the organization is questioned by brands. The bigger question is whether the profession has enough heft within the organisation. Our internal stakeholders may see us as a strategic resource. Are we only called in to deal with headlines or press releases? The most challenging task for any PR professional is to manage their internal constituency and appreciate the value they bring to the table. At some point in our careers, we have been asked the question, "what does this function do?" I don't know if this question is being posed to the marketing or branding teams. The work done by marketing or branding teams seems to be clear. The impact on a brand's reputation is greater than ever before. The change in the world around us is what's behind it. Today's brands face heightened scrutiny from all corners and it is important that the internal stakeholders realize the critical role of PR professionals in not only spotting potential reputation issues but also advising on how to mitigate them. It is near impossible to make bad news go away in this day and age. The goal of any PR professional handling a crisis to his or her internal constituency is to reduce the potential adverse rub off on the brand.

It is possible to re-boot, re-equip, re-network and re-imagine.

PR as a profession needs to give a hard re-look at ‘networking’. Sure, maintaining relations with the media will remain, but the universe needs to expand. I strongly believe that the PR profession also needs to add advocacy as part of its professional expertise. And this eco-system has its own set of experts and professionals, whose knowledge can enhance and embellish the job we do. We are well aware and have adapted to the tech-lead changes in the form of digital marketing, content marketing and SEO to name a few. In my mind, a similar approach is needed for the expanse of advocacy opens us to a world of policy making, current affairs and administration, which is intertwined with managing the reputation of a brand. One can argue that such roles already exists in an organization. They are independent, technical and require domain knowledge. My submission is to work towards adding this dimension by acquiring knowledge and networking to make this function a force multiplier inside the organisation. It augurs well in the long run for both the organisation and the individual.

How PR efforts are measured is being reinvented. The potential reach will remain. Is there a business aspect to it? An example can be cited. Are you a PR professional with a BFSI firm? The measure of success for what you do suddenly has a new definition if your efforts in the advocacy space translate into a business opportunity. It's hard to beat measurability in terms of hard core numbers.

To conclude, it is easier said than done on aspects that I have outlined. The labyrinth of organisational maze and silos makes any effort an arduous process. But then, building reputation of a brand, as we all know, is a step by small step process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Similarly, acquiring greater credence and building reputation within the organization for a PR professional will require the same step by step process, patience and some adroit out-of-the box thinking.

The author is in charge of corporate communication. Personal views are expressed here.

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The story was published on March 23, 2023.