PR Insight 30 minute read
The first PRmoment 3030 list for the decade is here! With over 140 entries the competition has been fierce to make it to the list. For the first time, there are over 5 winners from the corporate communications teams of national brands. They are drawn from industries as varied as TVS and Amazon.
In its 6th year, the Godrej PRmoment India Adfactors 3030 is the definitive barometer of young PR talent in India. Over the years the platform has discovered and honoured 180 young communicators. From this year PRmoment India will also be launching an annual alumni meet to winners through the year to interact with each other. A 10 member mentoring platform made up of past winners will also be available to support the winners for this year.
Our sincere thanks to 3030 sponsors Godrej Group and Adfactors PR for their continued support for this effort to recognize young communications talent. And without the distinguished jury who gave generously and unflinchingly of their insights, time and effort to go through, vet and discuss every applicant. The jury ensured that the process was fair, transparent and thorough.
Without much ado, read on, presenting the Godrej PRmoment Adfactors 3030 Class of 2020.
Hello PR Colleagues
On behalf of the distinguished jury panel, let me congratulate each one of you who has won a hard-fought spot on the Godrej PRmoment India Adfactors PR 3030 list. The competition this year has been fiercer than ever and I am delighted to read some of your insights and suggestions on what PR will look like in 2020. Your energy, sincerity, and enthusiasm, shines through, the business impact you are trying to create at work strongly visible. I wish you a fabulous year ahead!
Sujit Patil, Jury Co-Chair @Sujitpatil
Vice President and Head, Corporate Brand and Communications
Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies
Dear 3030 Winners,
Along with my distinguished fellow jury members, I would like to congratulate you on winning a place on the Godrej PRmoment India Adfactors 30 under 30 list. You are part of a continuum of 3030 winners who are ensuring that the future of the PR business in India is in stellar hands. It is truly amazing and heartening to see your hard work, out of the box thinking and focus on ‘what is next in PR’.
PR is at an inflection point today, with the media scene changing and fake news becoming a part of daily life, you will be called upon to offer solutions that cover all aspects of communications, whether in consultancy firms or in corporate communication roles. I can say with confidence that our future leaders are more than equal to this task,
For now, please enjoy the accolades and the results of your hard work. Wishing you all a great career ahead.
director-financial services, Adfactors PR, jury co-chair. @arwa_husain
Aashna Khurana, 28, marketing communications specialist APAC, Barco Electronic Systems Pvt Ltd
One of the ways Aashna achieved traction with the consumer end of the business was by localizing content. She says, “From projectors in cinema theatres to imaging display in hospitals; from security monitoring in metro trains to projecting Powerpoint presentations in meeting rooms – while people benefitted from our products daily, they were not aware that these products and services were being facilitated by Barco.”
PR in 2020
Aashna believes that PR in 2020 should be “Leaner, meaner and more digital-savvy.” And focus on the one thing PR excels at: storytelling. To achieve that, here is an idea for a PR focused comic strip she created:
Anindita Banerjee, 27, associate account manager, Ruder Finn India
Women in auto PR are few says Anindita, but she has fully embraced the excitement of the auto sector. So much so that she narrated the story of her life in PR through a car designing process - from being a first sketch on paper to reality on road!
Anindita’s test drive, a bit of baptism though fire, was in 2016. A new car was being designed for an auto major she was working with for communications. It’s production was hit by not only by labour unrest but also by the Zika virus. Constant media engagement was used to reduce the impact of this crisis.
These learnings, says Anindita, have helped her for her current work for a cutting edge AI-enabled motorbike. The product generated over 75,000 live views on YouTube, 200,000 views on the website and was the top 3 buzziest tweets on the day of the unveiling.
PR in 2020
Check out this slick video on why while content is king, your audience is fairly fickle. Which is why PR will matter more than ever:
Avijit Sahay, 27, senior account executive, AvianWE
But, yet, his interest in daydreaming, pop culture and football, has landed him a day job as a communicator and a place on the PRmoment 3030 list.
Working on key consumer tech accounts such as Amazon India and Samsung India, Avijit has helped to work on campaigns like the Amazon Yatra and Samsung Galaxy S6 Photowalk.
“I have worked on the industry-first Samsung Galaxy S6 Photowalk where I was part of the planning and execution team. The first of its' kind experiential review program, envisioned a new and unique way of doing smartphone reviews by humanising smartphone experiences by way of a media tour to the North-East. This helped bring about key aspects of Samsung’s flagship smartphone and leverage the trend of smartphone photography.”
PR in 2020
Take a look at his cool video on the future of PR, replete with pop culture references:
Bhumika Gupta, 28, communications and marketing specialist, Boston Consulting GROUP
Bhumika created this cool infographic to talk about her work:
PR in 2020
Bhumika suggests using podcasts to create awareness about PR. Why will the podcast format work? Bhumika says, “Business Leaders are always short on time. It is difficult to keep their attention for longer durations. A simple 20-minute podcast that can be heard while commuting to meetings, before sleep or even at the airport will be a good use of their time.”
Deepti Chhibber, 28, senior account manager, PR Pundit Public Relations Pvt. Ltd.
Says Deepti, “What matters is discerning how the news landscape has evolved and telling truth with facts. This approach has enabled me to craft purposeful messaging for my client’s campaigns and identify the authentic carriers of this message to suit my client’s business requirements.”
Sharing one of her major achievements she says, “Right before the brand’s first-ever India campaign, I secured an exclusive interaction for UNIQLO India’s marketing head and 'fast retailing’s global creative director, LifeWear with ET Brand Equity that resulted into a front-page feature.”
Client thumbs up!
“For UNIQLO’s India entry, we’ve had the opportunity to work with PR Pundit, where Deepti has been a core team member in driving PR outreach for the brand. From leading teams at PR Pundit to acting as a focal point across UNIQLO teams in India and Tokyo, Deepti has exuded leadership qualities. Her positive and logical attitude towards tasks is what I truly appreciate. She has handled the corporate communications portfolio for UNIQLO and has had a good strategic approach to the brand’s communication.”
Shantanu, Head of Marketing, UNIQLO India
Dhanesh KandHAri, 26, Assistant Account Manager, Adfactors PR
Dhanesh doesn’t miss a beat, or a chance to promote the cause of PR. At a recent awards function, he rapped on PR, has actually generated business leads for his firm and loves making dry financial topics interesting for the millennials.
"I used to interact with Dhanesh when I was working with DNA Money. He was handling financial service firms. He was proactive in suggesting relevant articles for the newspaper that could feature his clients and prompt in getting responses from them. He was always mindful that time is of the essence to both his clients and to the reporter, a quality that is very important for someone working in PR."
Priya Nair, Asst VP, Axis Bank (former Senior Assistant Editor, DNA)
Dhun Chhokar, 26, visual storyteller, ON PURPOSE
Even the creatives Dhun has done for On Purpose’s own social media handles are very impressive, cool, quirky and impactful.
Apart from client work, Dhun is one of two founding team members of ON PURPOSE. She says,” I’m proud of my role in building a team, organization, and culture that has been recognized by the industry.“
She has also piloted a video series ‘My Hope For #PRin2018’ video series aimed at inspiring the industry and peers in believing in PR.”
What's Your Hope For #PRIN2018?— ON PURPOSE. (@OnPurposeComms) January 15, 2018
We asked @shivrajparshad, Spokespersons’ Trainer and #Communications Consultant - The Resource Alliance India & @SafeMasti supported by The Elton John AIDS Foundation @ejaf.
(Part 2)#videoseries #PR #publicrelations pic.twitter.com/naFHeIxKJK
Gurudutt Biswal, 28, associate account manager, 80 dB Communications
You could be forgiven for thinking that Gurudutt Biswal is an undercover MI 5 agent or at Mission Impossible at the very least. But he is just your everyday communicator who, in his own words, “Executes the desired PR campaigns on tight deadlines and limited budgets.”
For one of his clients, Gurudutt shares, “I had to teach myself data analysis to analyze a 55 MB raw data file with over 30,000 data points handed over to me by the client’s data team in less than 48 hours and pen the report.”
Gurudutt even joined a second-hand e-commerce customers' WhatsApp group to successfully engage and resolve their issues as they had been cheated by conmen posing as armed forces officials. All in the day of life in communications.
Jhanvi Thakkar, 28, PR Consultant, Avian WE (embedded on-site with Amazon India)
Jhanvi says she also, “Proactively reached out to publicists of Hollywood A-listers such as Alyson Hannigan, Emily Deschanel and Jon Huertas for interviews with publications such as IANS, Hindustan Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Mumbai Mirror.”
For her work with Amazon Fashion & Beauty, Jhanvi has concentrated on growing the influencer base and coverage.
PR in 2020
Check this fun comic on the epic battle between PR and advertising. Jhanvi’s take on why PR matters more than ever today:
Kshitiz Ahuja, 30, account director, Archetype
Or his blog on movies or his work with social venture 'Light U' that helps teach emotional intelligence to the underprivileged kids.
Kshitiz is clearly much more than his communication work, appreciated by colleagues and clients alike.
For his PR in 2020, Kshitiz suggests, “As PR professionals, we don't take enough pride in what we do. In our profession. In how we are different. The campaign is simple- Take pride in PR. A social media trigger that sets every PR professional’s FB/Insta/Twitter profile picture to something about their jobs that they are the proudest of. Choose any aspect that you like about your job, say it with your profile picture and just use the hashtag #ProudInPR”
Here is a sample of how that might look like:
Malavikka Sharma, 29, OYO Hotels & Homes
Her idea for PR in 2020 revolves around creating a platform for all corporate stakeholders, including communicators, to meet and understand each other.
Not surprisingly Gaurav Ajmera, chief operating officer, India & South Asia, OYO Hotels & Homes says "OYO is proud to have Malavikka as an employee who works with high levels of enthusiasm, devotion, and discipline. I would like to congratulate her on achievement for driving consumer-focused campaigns, consistently finding storylines that will excite guests and potential customers and maintaining a perfect balance between being creative and being reasonably balanced in storytelling.”
Among the campaigns that Malavikka has conducted for OYO was one with ScoopWhoop where in-house data was used to create this story: 'Planning Next Trip? Check out what your zodiac sign says about your travelling habit'. This led to a total engagement of 220 thousand on the site.
“I have worked with Malavikka during her stint at GBM. She is a great advocate for clients while at the same time being authentic and earnest. She has a knack for developing and maintaining relationships in the industry and excels at understanding both her clients’ needs and those of the journalist she’s interacting with. As a journalist, I have found her dependable during last-minute deadlines, which is true for very few PR professionals in India.”
Prasid Banerjee, assistant editor, Technology, HT MINT
Manasi Sakpal, 27, PR Manager, Gartner Research and Advisory India
Manasi believes in adding creativity to B2B communications.
She says, “While the numbers do matter when it comes to positive news clips, we all understand that it is the quality that truly makes an impact. In 2019, I worked on creating a handpicked list of the 30 most influential technology journalists in the country. Through the year, we focused on effectively engaging only these journalists and measuring each engagement.”
Pitches have been tailored around what’s happening in the Indian economy and on global issues – on the 'Personal Data Protection Bill', privacy breaches and Brexit.
Manasi says that “At the end of 2019, Gartner saw a total number of over 500 positive articles in top business and technology publications in the country.”
Mehak Arora, 30, senior account manager, Ruder Finn India
PR in 2020
With stellar client testimonials, Mehak has a clear point of view on what calls creating a ‘hero narrative’ for brands. Here is why she feels PR matters more than ever today:
Monica Ramesh Mantri, 27, region head, Ideosphere Consulting
In her own words Monica shares that, “What do you get when you understand the magic in integrated communications, empathy towards the audience who you are communicating to and client organizational purpose? A range of work that includes 45+ clients across industries, each of whom counted on me and my team to bring fantastic PR value to the table. The weight of expectations from each fresh client is now intoxicating.”
“Ideosphere is the India exclusive partner of the With Global Alliance - which we launched recently. Monica was instrumental in understanding the client business model (Marketing Tech domain) and creating quick, strong impact for them in India. I found her ability to balance culture, multi-geographic team requests and of course time zones very impressive. Ideosphere has a rising star in their ranks and we hope to work with Monica even more in the future!’’
Joanna Derain Vice President International WITH
Nishita Sharma, 28, associate director- digital, MSL
Unusually, Nishita included no less than 30 testimonials from her team members in her 3030 application.
A person of many interests, Nishita is also a professional voice over artist with over 90 voice overs done for different brands and ministries. In keeping with her passion to be a well-rounded individual Nishita’s Why PR in 2020 will matter focuses on creating a nuanced, well informed PR professional:
OeIndrila Biswas, 26, account manager, Avian WE
One of her biggest moments was helping manage Facebook's global public affairs chief, Sir Nick Clegg’s visit to India
While Facebook was a fascinating account for her with a rich learning curve, Reebok and its celebrity engagement model to target millennials was also work that Oeindrila had a lot of fun with; briefing Bollywood A-listers like Katrina Kaif and Varun Dhawan.
Client Thumbs Up
"Working with Oeindrila for a while now, I have seen her understand the pulse of the target audience and communicates with precision and impact. Her storytelling and narrative makes her a powerful PR professional with promise to grow."
Vertika Yadav, corporate communications, Facebook India
Piyush Darwade, 27, deputy manager, corporate communication, TVS Motor Company
Another focus of his work revolves around working extensively with the team to build the reputation of TVS Racing their in-house motorsport team, the team racers, and the management.
PR in 2020
Check out Piyush’s well-reasoned argument on why Fake News has made PR crucial to brand engagement in the future:
Priyam DiVGi, 28, lead -corporate communications, Wakefit Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
For example, just take a look at how her recommendation section has been introduced:
And this is what Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, director and co-founder at Wakefit.co had to say about her work, “At Wakefit.co she has been instrumental in defining the sleep narrative in India. When the firm started this journey over a year ago, sleep economy and the discourse on sleep was barely on the radar of mainstream journalists. Today, it is recognized as a key pillar of wellness and as a business segment, it is sought after and covered extensively. This has been possible through creative positioning, continuous relationship building and opening the media's eyes to the sleep crisis. Priyam has led this effort from the front throughout.”
Priyanka Sharma, 28, manager- client servicing, strategy and media relations, Value 360 Communications
She says, “I come from a very small town, Palwal, Haryana where I really had to convince my parents that ‘being Independent’ is need of the hour. Every day I travelled on local trains for 4 hours, sometimes that did give me self-doubts. But PR became my calling and I was fortunate enough to contribute to converting unknown companies into brands like Goibibo, Cocoberry, and OLX.”
A girl with big dreams, her story in this video says it all. Indeed, a ‘Choti si Aasha’, can become a reality:
Rasesh Raja, 30, Senior Manager (Digital) at GolinOpinion, MullenLowe Lintas Group
A digital marketing expert, Rasesh Raja, is also a professional coffee blogger.
Says Rasesh, “Digital marketing is a sea change from my educational path, where I was pursuing my graduation in biotechnology. On realizing my keenness towards the digital marketing field, I had to convince my family of my bold decision to change my career path. The task was nerve-wracking and the decision, momentous. But I’m thankful every single day, for having taken it.”
He is also responsible for growing the agency’s influencer marketing division as well as training team members in social media and influencer marketing.
PR in 2020
Rasesh has a very interesting idea for making people understand PR in 2020.
He suggests creating an engaging video with an A-Z glossary of new-age PR terms to showcase why PR still matters in 2020:
Sheena Kalra, 28, senior account manager, Edelman India,
For Sheena Kalra, her philosophy at work is to ‘Show up differently’. For Sheena, this means bringing alive the concept of earned in a truly integrated fashion.
Break out Moment
The launch of Audible was another great example of integrated work. During this launch, Sheena was the go-to person for various stakeholders based in Singapore and the US for all communications regarding the brand, the India lead, and the CEO, Donald Katz. For Audible's launch, we carried out an integrated campaign called ‘Listening is Seeing’.
Shrey Kapoor, 26, team lead- Emerging Technologies, Ruder Finn
A founding member of Ruder Finn’s emerging technologies team, Shrey Kapoor played an integral role in the conception of the vertical and gradually became one of the youngest emerging technologies team leads in the business.
Armed with a slew of tech certifications from government as well as leading universities Shrey has used AI to develop websites for clients in the beauty business that would appeal to the millennials He has also worked with Ruder Finn US to develop voice technology for large brands. In fact, Ruder Finn Inc is certified by Amazon as a preferred skill builder for Alexa.
PR in 2020
Take a look at Shrey’s video on why technology-based PR is the future for protecting against brand risks.
Srabani Sen, 27, corporate communications for India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Xiaomi India Technology Pvt Ltd
At Xiaomi, Srabani Sen leads the PR for three countries- Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. She is also a part of the India communications team where she is solely responsible for the entire regional and lifestyle outreach of the brand.
Journalist Thumbs Up
"I've interacted with Srabani when she was working on Microsoft, and more recently, met her again in her new role at Xiaomi. In both places, I found her to be a well informed and organised person who was able to help me gain an understanding of the company she represented and to help me write detailed articles that would be of interest to my readers.
Over the last several years, I've found her to be easy to work with, and extremely helpful — without ever being pushy, which can often be a point of friction between PR professionals and journalists."
Ex-Technology Editor at Huffington Post, Current- Editor at NDTV
Shrishti Singh, 29, corporate communications, Viacom18 ( Brand Colors)
Shrishti Singh compares her work on the ‘Colors’ channel like putting a Rubik’s cube together. With its diverse programming, Shrishti focuses on bringing it all together to tell an innovative communications story.
From collaborating with Mumbai Police Officers for ‘Khoob Ladi Mardaani…Jhansi Ki Rani’ to launching the last edition of ‘Rising Star’ amongst the aam junta to taking media back to school with ‘Vidya’ to bringing artisans from across the country together for ‘Ek Aur Ek gyarah’, Shrishti says she tries hard to bring an innovative flavour to all her campaigns.
PR in 2020 ( Box 10)
Shrishti’s PR in 2020 idea focused on the campaign thought: No power without PR! #NoPoweR. She explains, “There's something about the nature of human beings, right? We never seem to fully understand just how good something is unless of course, we've lost it”. Taking ahead the core thought of ‘#NoPoweR”, we create a scenario highlighting different aspects without the power of PR.
Steffi Babu, 26, Senior Account Executive, Ruder Finn India
A researcher at the core, Steffi Babu loves, as she puts it, investigating topics to prepare the right brand message. So much so that she is planning to join Ruder Finn’s research and analytics win to hone her analyzing skill set.
PR in 2020
Steffi believes that today’s trend of Twitter hashtags can push brands to frequent crises –one which has reach and impact beyond the country from where it originated. Check out her video as to why among all this the core element of communication – brand reputation, build trust and influencing the influencer –
Supreeth Sudhakaran, 30, assistant manager – corporate brand & communications, Godrej Group
Supreeth Sudhakaran's approach to communication can be summed up in three words: Return to Objective. He says, “My goal is always focused on building ABC - Authentic Brand Connect - using data-driven PR, platform approach, and digital safety net of micro-influencers. “
“To eliminate the silo-approach by seven businesses within the conglomerate to engage architects and designers, I lead a unique platform: Design Dekko.com which in less than five months has grown as a community of over 1000 architects and designer and 50000 annual users.”
PR in 2020
Supreeth’s presentation for why PR matters are interestingly woven using the Game of Thrones theme. Here is a glimpse of his explanation of using PR to fight fake news with fan-favorite Tyrion Lannister.
Sweta Mohanty, 27, senior account executive, Adfactors PR
Take a look:
Tanvi Ajmani, 29, account director- brand, sports & entertainment, Genesis BCW
She says, “These are the adjectives that best describe how I would chase any goal that I was aiming to achieve.”
She has successfully helped create campaigns for Marks and Spencer and for bathroom fittings firm Kohler.
Tanvi helped launch the Shivan & Narresh x Kohler campaign for the launch of a collection of faucets. Along with the designer duo, influencers and Bollywood celebrities were partnered for the campaign. The collection was inspired by 5 Kohler faucets, collectively called “Couture Collection”.
Tanvi got the Kohler campaign to associate with FDCI and did an off-ground fashion show for the Kohler Couture Collection.
Vaishnavi Venkat, 25, account manager-Consumer Practice, Edelman India
For Flipkart, “She closely mapped competition and developed content through interesting formats including listicles, trend stories and a fashion conclave ahead of the sale.”
But what really stands out is her why PR in 2020 will matter ideation. After all, not all heroes wear capes:
Vinnie Jain, 29, senior associate - marketing & communications, Sattva Media and Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
At Sattva, Vinnie helped to undertake a first-of-its-kind study on the giving ecosystem in India with the support of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
To launch the flagship report, Sattva hosted a participatory dialogue on #ABillionGivers with Rohini Nilekani - founder-chairperson of Arghyam and Nilekani Philanthropies, and Victoria Rana - deputy director - policy, systems and 'Giving by All' at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Over 200+ report downloads in just a span of 2 months, follower base on LinkedIn increased by more than 2500 in over a month, social media posts had an engagement rate of 4-5% on an average.
PR in 2020
Vinnie’s hip PR in 2020 idea features a rap anthem, on the theme #OurVoiceForGood. Ideally sung by rap icon Divine ( if only!), Vinnie suggests showcasing key PR influencers lip-syncing the rap in a video with a similar format like this - Girls Like You.
Says Vinnie, “In the video, I want to showcase PR Professionals across the age-groups, big/small agencies/corporates across the states in India. Thus, valuing diversity and inclusion.”