How smaller PR agencies are building their competitive advantage

In the fiercely competitive landscape of the Public Relations and media services industry, it is usually the bigger networks and larger businesses that are seen as the most successful ones. However, smaller and boutique PR firms are making remarkable strides, bringing their own unique strengths to carve a niche for themselves.

Adgully spoke to some successful smaller and boutique PR agencies to find out how they have been able to make inroads into the India’s PR industry, the strategies adopted by them to maintain competitive advantage, approach to servicing clients, the business culture that they follow, creating differentiation, and much more.

Speaking on the distinguishing factors, Gulrez Alam, Director, Teamology Softech And Media Services, remarked, “I am reminded of a quote by Steve Jobs for this question, ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower’. Teamology Softech stands out through innovation, offering a 360-degree approach that integrates PR, media services, and digital strategies. Our focus on data-driven decision-making, tailored solutions, and client-centricity sets us apart, ensuring sustainable growth for our clients. We ensure the stickability of the clients since we are open to helping them end-to-end with various spectrums of marketing, hence the edge is intact.”

Alam further said, “I believe that the need for an ‘out-of-the-box’ PR agency fuelled the birth of Teamology. We take pride in the disruption we have brought in the market by our innovation and tech adoption, contrasting traditional PR firms. We are early adopters of AI-powered analytics, predictive modeling, and automation, offering clients data-driven insights for targeted campaigns. Our tech-savvy approach ensures agile adaptation to evolving digital trends.”

Being competitive

On how PR agencies are surviving in this competitive environment, Sahana Rai, Founder, Glocal Brand Solutions, said, “From the outset, we targeted two types of business partners: Start-ups who want to engage with their audience, and established companies who’ve done well, but have never explored the PR route. Our primary service is to act as a facilitator for our brands, helping them connect with their audiences by telling their stories. We also liaise with relevant stakeholders, share insights, and customise strategies regularly to ensure our partners reap the benefits. In short, we would like to think of ourselves not just as brand custodians, but also as strategists for brands.”

Shutapa Paul, Founder, Dharma Media Consultants, added here, “Recently, we successfully executed the SME IPO launch for Homesfy Realty, an emerging leader in the real estate space. From the pre-launch phase to the listing day, the campaign generated significant buzz and resulted in oversubscription on the first day. Our meticulously crafted plan of action encompassed a wide range of media strategies, including securing exclusive interviews with both traditional and digital media outlets in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. We also ensured extensive coverage in regional and vernacular media, complemented by robust social and digital campaigns. Our achievements in this campaign rivaled those of larger agencies, earning us recognition and an award.”

She further said, “Additionally, we specialise in helping start-ups secure funding by strategically positioning them and capturing investor attention. Through the art of storytelling and effective pitching, many of our client partners have successfully progressed from being unfunded start-ups to partnering with investors on their journey. This transformation is a testament to the power of our strategic approach and the impact of technology in today’s business landscape. We are honoured to have partnered with them on this incredible journey, leveraging our technology and expertise to drive their success.”

“To maintain a competitive edge, Teamology Softech invests in talent development, harnesses AI-driven tools for data analysis, and forges strategic alliances with emerging tech companies. We prioritise innovation in content creation and distribution, ensuring clients stay ahead in the rapidly evolving media landscape,” said Gulrez Alam.

Creating differentiation

Speaking about Dharma Media Consultants, Shutapa Paul said, “At Dharma, we have always been comfortable with hybrid and remote work cultures. And as a woman-led and women-dominated team, flexibility has been a perk of working with us, and we utilised technology to enable this. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and most larger companies grappled with sudden changes, the Dharma team seamlessly transitioned to remote work using various tech tools, ensuring minimal disruption to our operations. These tools, readily available to our team, played a pivotal role in maintaining our efficiency. We leveraged platforms such as Google Workspace and other enterprise tools for work management, enabling us to coordinate seamlessly with client partners and collaborate effectively within our team. In fact, we aided the digital transition of several of our client partners. In addition to these essential tools, we harness the power of technology to enhance our services. We employ AI technology to stay ahead of the curve; it allows us to monitor industry trends, anticipate shifts, and adapt our strategies accordingly. This proactive approach ensures that our client partners receive the most up-to-date and relevant PR solutions.”

Sahana Rai added here, “We believe in being agile and fast constantly. Technology is something we can’t ignore anymore. We are slowly adopting various software and technology-driven products into our systems. There are PR tools available in the market, but only larger companies can afford them, leaving smaller boutique agencies at a disadvantage. Boutique agencies like us have to work in conventional ways. But we have taken up some software for writing content and for email dissemination, and hopefully, some better tools will become more cost-efficient for us to work with in the future.”


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