Many PR processes will be automated in the next five years: Sahana Rai

In the last 10 years, PR has taken a different dimension, especially after the entry of social media and the rapid shift to digital during the pandemic period. At the same time, the industry has been facing stiff challenges, moreover client expectations have also increased, with more emphasis being given to digital and online reputation management. The industry has undergone a radical shift and the current times have pushed the industry to change gears.

In PR conversation this week, Sahana Rai, Founder, Glocal Brand Solutions, delves into specific strategies that grant Glocal Brand Solutions a competitive edge, delivering cutting-edge solutions, adapting to the technology-driven digital era, and more.

In today’s highly competitive business environment, how does Glocal Brand Solutions differentiate itself from other players in the PR and media services industry?

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.

Could you share some specific strategies or initiatives that Glocal Brand Solutions has implemented to maintain a competitive edge in the market?

When we started seven years ago, we focused on traditional media. But now we feel traditional media is insufficient to tell the story. Our strategies now comprise earned, owned, and paid media. We ensure that all three elements are utilised in all our campaigns. These elements have become essential to make a campaign impactful and effective. We had to change with time and become more agile as per the changing times.

What sets Glocal Brand Solutions apart in terms of innovation and technology adoption when compared to traditional PR firms?

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.

Many companies are redefining their business models to stay relevant. How is Glocal Brand Solutions redefining its approach to PR and media services in the digital age?

We focused on only one element in PR: connecting with the media for stories and telling the stories. But we had to unlearn and re-skill ourselves to adapt to the current times. We have added social media strategy, content strategy, and media training to our plan. In the future, we may explore more aspects that could help brands with their narratives, like building IPs (Intellectual Properties) for brands, on-ground activations, etc. We are open-minded and take things that can benefit the brands.

Client expectations are constantly evolving. How does Glocal Brand Solutions keep up with changing client demands and maintain a customer-centric approach?

Setting expectations right is the first element, and we have learned this the hard way. We communicate right from the beginning and let the clients know what we can and can’t do. We proceed with the deal only once we know this is clear and okay for both parties. We have borne the brunt of not setting expectations right, which has been a huge lesson for us. Since our clients are exploring PR for the first time in most cases, they also come with some preconceived notions, so ironing these out before onboarding the clients is essential.

How do you envision the future of Glocal Brand Solutions in terms of expanding its market presence and delivering cutting-edge solutions?

I envision that many processes will be automated in the next five years, like writing, disseminating, planning, etc. In my mind, this would change the entire dynamics of the industry. Maybe the teams may get leaner as we go ahead. I feel the future of PR may be very different from what it is today.


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