PR to Become Cognizant of Revenue and Contributing to Sales
The author, Udit Joshi, is an Integrated Marketing Communications Specialist at Topline Consulting Group.
To many brand managers and marketers the impact of PR on brands is blurred and hazy. There are many agencies who still defend their efforts with the metrics using the archaic and ancient Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE). In Circa 2020, it is blasphemous to ignore technology and the role it can play to build and evaluate impactful PR campaigns.
The mindset of being cost effective and less adventurous has led to a very slow evolution of the Industry. In 2019, 53% of the revenue generated by the INR 1600 Cr Indian PR Industry was a result of traditional media activities. That reflects that half of the industry is yet to catch up with the digital momentum. A lack of emphasis on talent and innovation and a rather transactional approach has lead PR to serve a very limited fraternity and purpose.
PR fights vulnerability every day. In its decades of existence it has been the first to be hit by any calamity. This time it is the Covid19 crisis.
The decline in marketing spends!
With the 4Ps of Sir Kotler being brutally hit, it will take a while for the product, placement, pricing and promotion to fall in line. For a long time, the supply would be sporadic. That report on the prediction and guidance on the consumer behaviour post lockdown is yet to arrive.
CRISIL in its report on 12th May, declared that the media, entertainment sector FY21 revenue will fall by 16%. All the traditional segments – television, print, radio, out-of-home media, and films, will see over 25% decline.
The declined leisure income has limited demand to commodities or the essentials followed by home care and packaged food and beverages. There is less than 2% consumption of Personal care and Confectionary as against 70 % of commodities. There is little scope of further demand creation for a quarter, says a latest report by Bizom Trends.
Braving the worst!
As per the ‘Pitch Madison Advertising Report: 2020’, the Industries that were investing heavy in marketing pre Covid19 were the FMCG, Auto, Telecom, Education and e-Commerce. Together in FY18-19, they spent a whopping INR 28,630 Crore in Marketing. These are also the industries which had the maximum revenue barring Automobiles. Auto had its own list of reasons for this anomaly.
During the Covid19 times, the Industries that are not in demand and have an immediate slump are Auto, Electricals, Tourism, Hospitality and Aviation, Textiles, Real Estate and almost a large chunk of lifestyle. They will take a long while to restart their marketing engines.
PR a hand-in-glove partner of client’s growth?
In this moment of crisis, we got to step into the shoes of the brand’s marketing team. Play a much larger role and think like the owners to seek avenues to generate revenue and further strengthen them. To re-strategise to bring out solutions as one door closes and the other isn’t yet visible.
Public Relations in India has been carrying an intimidated image. The lack of bravado or not being ‘dabang enough’ is a big reason that PR has been on the receiving end of both the media and the clients it serves.
PR does not have a limited purpose of a mere amplifier. We aren’t contented in this blurred space. But we must agree, that it is time to infuse a new vocabulary in the game now. Words that are to be incorporated anew are – Accountability, Guarantee, Responsibility, Committed Measurement and all those that make the PRs as custodians of a brand and not mere advocates.
The best of times for PR to embrace Sales
The Covid 19, has led to an entropy in consumer behaviour including our habits of content consumption. Digital has led to accessibility to a larger consumer base of diverse demographics. It also allows the scope of measurement and evaluation so as to make pragmatic and quick alterations to reach business goals.
Coupled with incremental technology, PR fulfills all the Business and Marketing strategies as a critical player. Almost all models be it the AIDA, the Marketing Funnel, Customer Lifetime Value Model among others have a crucial role for PR to play.
The large landscape which will boost the PR industry, now comprises:
- By volumes and market size, a demographics of 639 million internet users
- A new market in the rural India with 45% increase in internet penetration
- An unquenched market with children and housewives as the newest internet adopters
- Vernacular, the fuel that touches hearts and drives action
Short-video format taking over text
The countdown of the traditional PR has begun. The old-fashioned PR Industry has a very short span before it is diversified and diluted into marketing. Coming out fearless, taking responsibility of the client’s business and becoming their pillar of strength is the calling for the PR Industry now.