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Are today's PR Professionals More Comfortable Building Their Online Presence: CommsAdda's Bhaskar Majumdar, Mrinall Dey share their views

Credit: Bhaskar Majumdar, Mrinall Dey, Coffee Moments with PRmoment

On a beautiful, sunny, May afternoon, I stepped out to meet up with two of the three CommsAdda founders, a community for corporate communications professionals. Recently set up, in December last year, CommsAdda while not the only community available for PR professionals is certainly one of the most vocal.

We settle down with cups of Mjol Bakehouse's lovely coffees sourced from the south of India. "Why the need for another PR community", I ask. And "How did the name CommsAdda come about?"

Why CommsAdda?

"The well-known Bengali concept of Adda is what inspired us, the concept of keeping in touch with a community spirit and discussing not only PR issues but also larger issues. Recently, we had a session on AI and crisis communication and are also planning a nature walk in Gurgaon supported by Hero", says Bhaskar Majumdar, co-originator, of CommsAdda.

The idea is to offer learning and insights to corporate communications professionals who can become out of touch with the latest thinking and tools for communications.", adds Majumdar.

A 2022 survey conducted by PRmoment and MSL showed that corporate communicators want training in areas such as public affairs, SEO marketing, video and audio productions and the latest PR tech tools. Often, in-house training does not fill the knowledge gap.

Building your brand online

Is it finally time for PR professionals to shine? Since Covid, many took to online channels to share their views. PR professionals, who work behind the scenes for their brands, have started voicing their views on various issues and even pushing back on the very contentious PR-journo relationship

This trend came to a head when an edit page piece for the Just in Jest section titled, 'Journo Confession-Maine PR Kiya' in India's leading pink paper, The Economic Times, was doing the rounds of every PR community platform on social media. The PR community spoke out strongly against this column and even got their views printed in ET-an unprecedented occurrence.

An increasing number of PR professionals are active on LinkedIn and have even created video properties (Nandini Chatterjee's Comms & Conversations Vodcast for example).

Are communicators more confident now?

Mrinall Dey, co-originator, of CommsAdda, says, "The younger generation of corporate communications professionals isn't just comfortable sharing online, they're driving a surge in PR awareness and individual visibility for the profession."

Tips to Build your brands

As the evening office crowd flows in, we all order another round of coffee and freshly brewed lemon iced tea. How do you manage to be visible for yourself?

While Dey admits he is not that organised about posting, Majumdar makes a proper content calendar with important international days and months marked.

His advice to communicators just beginning to build their brand is to, "Post on LinkedIn during the work day, Facebook in the late afternoon or early evening and use the weekend for Instagram posts. Use your hashtags strategically to build your profile as an expert."

Majumdar, a LinkedIn 'Top Voice Public Relations' adds, "If you can get engagement and comments in the first hour of your LinkedIn post, you have a better chance of your post being pushed up in the newsfeed."

Communicators keen on community support

As the evening light dims slowly, we wind up our conversation with the requisite pictures. Majumdar and Dey sign off by saying that their 100-plus-strong group wants to be a truly engaged community and support each other not just in updating their exposure to PR but also to focus on contributing to CSR ventures, being a network for opportunities as well as helping in a crisis.

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