Guest Column:The mantra for effective 360-degree communication - Achal Paul
In today’s scenario, where everyone is shouting from the roof top to woo their target audiences, it is becoming more challenging to meet up with the growing client expectations. Moreover, now clients have become media savvy and even those who are ignorant are soon catching up. As a result, client expectations have increased manifold. Therefore, results of any one communication vehicle won’t be able to deliver any more. We need to adopt Integrated Communication Solutions that includes strategically designed 360 degree holistic communication approach with a judicious mix of Public Relations, Events, Advertising, & Digital Marketing, depending on what gives best Return on Investments (ROI) and help stand out from the market combats and to meet the increasing expectations of the clients.
The need of the hour is that the agency should be a one-stop communications solutions provider for clients’ overall effective communication needs. This helps clients as they also get the benefit of a single window service. A unique combination of Public Relations along with Digital Media and other marketing tools helps sustain the brand in the market.
Moreover, agencies should have a versatile approach in offering strategic communications advice to their clients from various industries and try not get branded as an agency only for IT/ Lifestyle/ Automobile…etc. In my opinion, it’s not good for the clients or the agency. As an agency which has experience of handling clients from diverse industries any day would have an entirely different approach, compared to another industry-specific agency. Over the years, it has been noticed that the agencies that handle clients from the same industry invariably end up following the same strategy, which they deploy for some other client from the same industry!
In my professional communication consideration, every client has distinct requirement stacks and objectives to meet. Accordingly, a Strategic Communications Plan has to be worked upon. If an agency follows the same strategy, it would not necessarily meet the objective of the client, even if the client is from the same industry.
Focussing on Quality rather than Quantity, the agency should have the ability to go under the skin of the client and carve them a befitting professional strategy. Post due diligence in the given scenario, out-of-the-box ideas must be dwelled upon as that would help the client to stand apart from the crowd and further strengthen the client-agency relationship.
The agency should be pro-active in its approach. It should gather domain knowledge as soon as possible and come up with innovative communications solutions in sync with the agreed positioning and key messages, which should be used across all verticals – Public Relations, Events, Advertising & Digital Marketing for synergy.
As regards PR, with today’s changing environment, merely providing information to the media doesn’t work anymore. In order to get quality output, a well thought of storyboard should be prepared, supported by facts/ research and complemented by visuals needs.
An effective campaign across social media platforms plays a key role in communicating information about the client to its well defined target audiences. As the future is Digital, it has become crucial. Depending on the client’s needs, today each campaign is going viral. Online Reputation Management, Social Media – all will have to work in sync to create the desired result in boosting the client’s Brand Equity, which is the ultimate objective of any campaign.
The communications industry has seen a world of changes and it is evolving with each passing day.
The author is Founder-Director, Buzz Communications, and a communications expert, Ad Guru, PR Master, Event Specialist and Mentor for budding communications managers.