Fragmented media scenario is a great catalyst to rewire comms in real-time: Upasna Dash

With the changing world dynamics around digital media, it has been observed that Public Relations has expanded its strategies and workings in line with expanding digital media presence for organisations and groups.

In conversation with Adgully, Upasna Dash, CEO, Jajabor Brand Consultancy, speaks at length about the challenges and opportunities for PR with the rise of social media, how Jajabor is creating synergy & balance, and much more.

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Social media poses a huge challenge as well as an opportunity for PR. How are you leveraging it for your clients?

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Social media can be a boon or a bane, depending on how we leverage it. In our line of work, social media is an integral tool to positively impact businesses. The customer today doesn’t differentiate between avenues of distribution – they may be consuming news on social media or vice versa. The onus is on brand builders to bridge the gap and integrate both platforms that create impact-driven results for both the brands and consumers. Hence, it is essential that we use it as an auxiliary tool for brands to help their businesses scale and grow. A lot of people would consider social media and Public Relations to be at loggerheads, but now both work in tandem and intersect at several junctures for timely information dissemination. The only important factor to keep in mind when we integrate social media into our daily discourse is that we stay as authentic as possible and don’t lose our share of voice in the sea of ‘trending content’.

With a fragmented media scenario, monitoring has to be done on a real-time basis. What are the successful ways to intervene before an incident becomes a crisis?

The fragmented media scenario, in fact, serves as a great catalyst to scale and rewire communication in real-time. Keeping this in mind, it is vital to ensure that we take a data-driven approach, especially when it comes to the delivery of content. As PR is an intangible accelerator, real-time monitoring is extremely significant, in order to curb an incident and avoid it from becoming a widespread crisis. For a PR practitioner, intervening at the correct time is key. One of the best ways to do so is by examining the data regarding the on-ground impact PR has been able to drive for a client and also keeping track of industry insights on a weekly, bi-weekly and monthly basis in order to understand public sentiments and provide real-time media insights to the client. The best ideology at work is to refrain from thinking about what we see and what we feel and to direct the focus toward grassroots reality and the impact that is being created from the information that is being disseminated. This enables course correction in real-time and helps to speed up the micro data-driven insights of the story.

Another successful intervention is to derive organic feedback from our end audience. Special attention should be given to the feedback we receive on digital media (there are a bunch of great tools to help deliver this). This helps us to understand how we can control future narratives and avoid a major crisis by implementing real-time damage control. In PR, one should constantly regulate the quality of content that is going out to the public and keep stories as authentic as possible in order to avoid any future occurrences of untoward crisis.

How are you addressing the talent crunch in the industry? What skill sets are a must for today's PR professionals?

As the PR industry is constantly evolving, so is the imperative need for dynamic talent to enter the workforce. As the scope of what we do through PR is constantly changing, we need talent that can don various hats and has a wide variety of skill sets. At Jajabor, we have taken a unique approach to solve this issue of talent crunch. We don’t just look for quintessential comms people, but rather look for folks that are charged by the mindset of driving on-ground impact. I strongly believe work can be taught, but the drive to scale impact is something that is inherent to an individual. With people coming in from diverse walks of life and experiences, we have been able to successfully create a team of individuals who not only feel passionately about the work they do but also believe in the vision and mission of our organisation. It is safe to say that this strategy has worked extremely well for us.

Our team at Jajabor has been able to create great synergy and balance. People from both traditional and non-traditional PR backgrounds supplement each other with insights and skill sets that not only complement one another, but have also led to the magnification of impact that we have been able to generate for clients across the venture capital, start-ups, lifestyle, social impact and Web3 industry.


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