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Social chatter & PR - Winning the conversations game

After over two years of Covid disruptions, on-ground events are returning. Adgully’s premier event for the Public Relations and Communications industry – IMAGEXX Summit and Awards – returned for its 2nd edition as a physical event. Held in Gurugram on June 16, 2022, IMAGEXX Summit and Awards 2022 brought together the best brains in India’s PR industry today.

IMAGEXX Summit and Awards 2022 witnessed a panel discussion on ‘Social chatter & PR - Winning the conversations game’. The panel was chaired by  Shivalika Chadha Malik, Associate Director, Corporate Communications, PepsiCo India and she was joined by Abhishek Roy, Head of PR - General Manager, Justdial; Saumya Bhushan, Lead- Corporate Communications, Reckitt India; Amit Arora, Head of Corporate Communications & Public Relations, Housing.com; and Bibhu Mishra, Director of Public Relations, InMobi Group.

Commencing the discussions, PepsiCo India’s Shivalika Chadha Malik noted, “While we all have been on digital ever since Covid hit us, digital has taken an uptake like no one could ever have imagined. How PR strategies have aligned and how we mitigate risk and look at opportunities through social chatter is what we are going to discuss.” Continuing further, she asked InMobi Group’s Bibhu Mishra as to how important he thought aligning the PR strategies was or looking at opportunities when it came to social chatter post the pandemic.
Mishra replied, “We have just launched a campaign and I keep monitoring the social media behaviour of how people are reacting to it. For public relations, social media is very important. There are media companies who hire social media reporters not just to track social media, but watch the social media behaviour of the users as well. Post the pandemic, we have got more digitised. Even the people who were not a part of social media earlier are now the ones who are engaging the most.”

Housing.com’s Amit Arora added here, “In a recent report by Reuters, the millennials or the GenZ, who are below 30 years of age, have lost trust and they don’t have a direct link with any news platform. Neither are they subscribers of nor do they have access to news apps or anything else, so they are obviously going to social media. Whatever news that they are consuming is directly through social media. For brands and PR strategists it is very important to have a diverse and integrated approach so that they reach a diverse audience through different platforms.”

There’s a lot of diversification happening on social media and one needs to be observant. And while there are a lot of opportunities, when one is on the social media bandwagon, listening becomes really important and not just engaging.

Talking about the importance of social listening and how one can make it better from a brand perspective, Justdial’s Abhishek Roy said, “Social listening has put a huge opportunity in front of us. That is the real time engagement that you can do with your audience and also mitigate a crisis if it is there and nip it in the bud and not let it snowball. But again, the content that you want to make in social listening has to be relevant and contextualised because it is real time. Today, the challenge that brands are facing is in terms of customer retention and loyalty. If you use it as an opportunity to engage with a personalised message with the audience, it can help you address the challenges of retention and loyalty.”

While stating that PR and social chatter are strongly interlinked, Reckitt India’s Saumya Bhushan said, “In the generation that we are sitting in and the generations that we are looking to address, everyone is on social media. People are more trigger-happy today. Social listening, therefore, becomes important. What becomes integral is to get those insights. Based on those insights, if you don’t focus on a social media plan and PR as an integrated effort, it is not going to work, because you are losing most of your audience who are on social media.”

Watch the entire conversation here:

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