“Social media & PR are interwoven & an opportunity to streamline all messaging”
With the changing world dynamics around digital media, it has been observed that Public Relations has expanded its strategies and workings in line with expanding digital media presence for organisations and groups.
In conversation with Adgully, Komal Lath, Founder, Tute Consult, speaks at length about the effective use of social media in PR, challenges to upskill current teams, monitoring crisis and much more.
Social media poses a huge challenge as well as opportunity for PR. How are you leveraging it for your clients?
Social media and PR are interwoven and instead of a challenge, it is an opportunity to actually streamline all messaging instead of working in silos. At Tute, we began the influencer and Kol practice 9 years back when it was unheard of. The idea is to use social media and PR effectively to communicate the right narrative and build storytelling effectively. The only difference is that one is an owned media and the other earned. Collectively, they are powerful tools and we use them innovatively – for instance, managing the LinkedIn and Twitter handles for leaders and founders or even effectively creating smart content with production to ensure seamless communication goals.
The challenge that we foresee is upskilling current teams to be able to see it holistically and hence, that may take longer. However, it is happening and the transitionary results are quite effective.
With a fragmented media scenario, monitoring has to be done on a real-time basis. What are the successful ways to intervene before an incident becomes a crisis?
Once again, the need is to be ahead of the curve and not follow it. Firms need to work closely with their clients and their ORM teams to understand real time what conversations are happening in the social world on their brands and sectors. It is not necessarily moment marketing, but using dashboards and command centres; aligning teams with their digital teams is no more an ask, but a necessity. A good practice is to have weekly and monthly catch-ups with all stakeholders over a structured sharp discussion and also watch for out for trends. There are several free tools like Google Trends, Tweetdeck, etc., which can be used smartly to know what are the latest happenings.
How are you addressing the talent crunch in the industry? What skill sets are a must for today’s PR professionals?
The challenges are more will based and skill based. One can always teach a skill if there is will. We are addressing it by ‘catching them young’ by honing them and giving them a window to what the world of PR and communications is. Secondly, we invest a lot of time in soft skill training and encourage mistakes by having clients buy in to that which helps them perform very well. Skill sets like sound writing, research skills and a penchant for reading is all that one needs to start with. The biggest asset is will and attitude towards work, which if it is in the right direction, every challenge can be faced easily.