November 14, 2017
Initially, PR was all about dissemination of press releases and getting the client featured in the newspapers/ magazines but the tables have been turned and PR has undergone an evident metamorphosis. The reasons for advancement in the roles of PR range from amelioration of technology, boosting of social media to the increased awareness of the target audience. ‘Umbrella’ PR organizations are now becoming the game changers. One needs to be jack of all the trades and also master of many to thrive in this profession.
So let us take a look at some of the current developing sectors in PR:-
This involves creating compact, specialized teams within organizations or as separate entities. Niche PR can address the really small segments or have a tiny-yet-unique offering. For instance, specialists in Indian languages or in developing content. The current economic crisis might spur the rise of niche PR agencies, offering communications services in a single sector or aimed at a particular ethnic group. Niche PR provides better value than general-purpose agencies since they are more targeted. This makes the PR campaign more affordable. While such agencies are rare in India, they are making their presence felt abroad.
Social networks have become ubiquitous and online behaviour is having a significant impact on the behaviour of the consumers and business. Rarely is a product purchased in urban India (Tier I and Tier II cities) unless it is researched online and opinions sought on social media. Internet has made media borderless and online media increasingly important. Investments in digital infrastructure and skills today will see a big payout in the future. Implementing a social engagement strategy is now fundamental to any PR campaign. Social media campaigns help focus explicitly on connecting clients directly to consumers or even on building relationships with influencers. Use the tools/ platforms that the target audience is using, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, podcasting or the like.
For instance, Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ran a talent hunt to select three fans for an online reality show where they had full access to the players. The objective was to build a highly engaged community with regular content created by players, experts and fans. Consequently, the RCB community has more than 5 million fans across channels.
Despite the global economic crisis, India continues to grow at a rate of 7% every year. Imagine the growth when the good times return!
Not only will the PR industry continue to grow, it will become critical for established Indian companies and foreign firms looking to build brands here. As per research, the industry is also discovering new verticals- healthcare, for instance, is a Rs.1, 62,000 crore industry today. It is growing at a rate of 15% and is likely to be a Rs.12, 60,000 crore industry by 2022. With the advent of private players such as Fortis, Wockhardt and Apollo- all of whom are conscious about their brands and the need to grow- demand for PR and an integrated strategic communications approach will be felt strongly.
Media and entertainment is another promising industry, expected to grow at 14% per annum, according to Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunication Predictions 2011, Indian Perspective report.
Globalization will mean a need to develop a global perspective. As clients look to expand outside India, PR firms will find themselves becoming global players. This widens the opportunity in terms of customer base, investors, and courage and acquisition targets.