“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional”, once said John Maxwell, and we all know it and yet many of us find it difficult to accept that the world around us has already changed. The current pandemic has just kicked the change quite hard and it has leapfrogged. Now let’s take a stock of what all must have changed, primarily from the consultancy perspective.

First and foremost, we need to change calling PR firms as agencies, it suited advertising guys and that too way back in time when they acted as middlemen between customers and media to buy space. PR borrowed the term as they considered themselves as distant cousins of advertising. But we don’t do any transactions, we strategize, we consult our clients on what to communicate and how to communicate. Moreover now we even use owned media, which absolves us completely from being called as press agents.

Traditional media is shrinking, media resources are shrinking further, heard a top financial publication is on its way out. So lesser journalists, lesser the attention span for PR pitches. What solution have you found?

Newer mediums are emerging and the older ones are transforming, even the ones who were once reluctant to. Even LinkedIn is changing almost after 5 years. This change will have an obvious impact on marketers and advertising dollars will even get spread further.

Larger and progressive communications consultancies are expanding their services to meet the overall requirements of marketing communication, such as digital, video, research, analytics and experiential marketing etc. Newer consultancies are born with these solutions and have a tech at their core.

Audience news consumption habit has changed, thanks to the pandemic and to the rising penetration of smartphones in our country, most people are quite comfortable consuming all kind of content straight from their phones. There are thousands of apps that fulfil every content requirement from news to music and everything in between.

Tesla recently disbanded their PR team, it is a kind of an industry first for a large automaker like Tesla. This means that now they won’t interact with their stakeholders through the media, they would do so directly. Yes, brand journalism is now a serious business. Started by McDonald’s in 2003, in the 2020 Covid19 era, it has evolved into a major source of communication between brands and their stakeholders.

Brands, today not afraid by competition or economic threats they are more worried about a fringe tweet from small-time antagonists, going big and hurting their brand reputation. These antagonists can be dissatisfied customers, disgruntled employees – virtually anyone with a smartphone.

Societal issues have become a business issue for brands, customers today are expecting their favourite brands to take a stand. Ex. #BlackLivesMatters movement. While at the same time, CEO Activism is now shaping societal narratives, are you playing a role in shaping it?

Events have now become virtual, including press conferences, this trend may or may not continue post-COVID, but who’s seen when is the end of COVID or are there more coming? Traditional events will go through a transformation, hence what’s your plan?

Technology understanding will be for everyone now and not necessarily those servicing tech clients because every new startup today is driven by tech and these are the companies of tomorrow. Hence understanding analytics, AI, ML, IOT etc., will be like understanding any other language of communication.

Are you ready?