India's PR professionals share how to stay creative while working from home

That coffee shop around the corner, you favourite office chair, a quick bit of retail therapy. We all had our rituals in the pre COVID era, many of them involved stepping out of the house. PRmoment India spoke to a range of PR professionals to find out how they are staying creative while working from home. Here is what they have to say. 

Virtual Wellness!

Prashant Shivram Iyer, vice president, Adfactors PR said, "We are encouraging teams to think “Digital First” in the programme and campaign architecture. This helps them to break the shackles of conventional thinking. We are also adopting a ‘video’ narrative storyboarding process which gives teams enhanced visualisation capacities to accelerate brand resonance and impact across platforms."

Creative hack

"Virtual meetings need not hamper creative thinking. One sure fire hack is to conduct the creative campaign sessions in the morning so that teams are fresh and alert."

Breakout COVID campaign- IHCL 

Adfactors PR conceptualized the idea of doing a virtual wellness series with IHCL. The idea was to host live Yoga sessions, for some of IHCL’s leading properties across India on Instagram. IHCL extended this concept to cover three stunning properties – Taj Fisherman's Cove Resort & Spa in Chennai, Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, and culminating at Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa in Rishikesh. 

Says Iyer, "We had a total of 11 influencers with a following of more than 100K + who posted about and attended the live session. The campaign also garnered over 40 stories in key media."

Lockdown Sports Podcast!

Abhoy Chattopadhyay is a self connected sports fanatic as are many of his friends and colleagues. It's only natural that when the lockdown and the work from home cast sports lovers adrift, his thoughts turned to a podcast combining the two words sports and fanatic, therefore - we have Sportanatic. 

Says Chattopadhyay, who launched the podcast in March 2020, "Our flagship show 'Sports this Week'  goes on air every Saturday @ 6PM, bringing the most important handpicked sports news from around the world for our listeners. In our daily show I and my co-host Sidharth Chatterjee take our listeners through the most important news on sports. Every alternative week we also invite an expert to discuss the one big story of the week or a fan to get their perspective on a big match of the weekend."

Watch the podcast here:

Design Thinking for creativity 

Many times a seemingly unrelated topic to our main work can spark off creativity. For team On Purpose this meant inviting in experts from diverse fields to chat and catch up.

Girish Balachandran, managing partner, On Purpose shares that, "One such session involved design thinking where we learnt the process of using empathy, design, ideation, prototyping and roll out to come up with creative campaigns for brands. We've been deploying this practice on existing and new clients and are quite enjoying the creative process we've learnt."

Creative Hack 

While admitting that it's tough to replace the creative energy in a room with chats through screens, Balachandran explains that, "Creativity comes from freedom to be expressive, without the fear of judgement. Sometimes, we replace conversations in our morning meetings from everyone's to-do lists to talk about what we did on the weekend, what inspired us, make some sing a raag or dialogues from their favourite shows to help break the monotony of work, work, work."

Breakout COVID Campaign- Breakthrough against domestic violence 

The pandemic gave rise to another silent pandemic. Victims of domestic violence found themselves trapped at home with their abusers.

To build awareness about this, On Purpose put together a celebrity and youth icon led influencer campaign.  Balachandran outlined the objective saying, " An issue like domestic violence especially if one is not directly involved can be easy to ignore. This can lead to the message coming across as white noise. To raise an awareness against this gender-based silent pandemic, Breakthrough and GiveIndia collaborated to curate a two-weeks long fundraiser activity with celebrities like Divya Dutta, Mithila Palkar, Aahana Kumra and Nakuul Mehta supporting the campaign – Unite Against DV!"

Adds Balachandran, "We were delighted with the opportunity to support them by getting celebrities onboard and managing the PR and influencer relations for it. Credit to Nithin Augustine and Pankhuri Gupta from our team."

Watch the campaign video here:

Digital First for lockdown creativity

For Team PR Pundit, apart from a heightened focus on digital, they have been, " Maintaining a productive schedule with weekly brainstorming lighter sessions, time for team coffee catch-ups online beyond work, pursuing personal interests regularly and taking time off periodically to re-charge to help get the creative juices flowing", shared Noopur Sharma, partner director at PR Pundit.

Creative hack

Shares Sharma, "Digital first is the approach that is seamlessly being adopted across clients. We have managed to successfully curate the first few virtual press briefings for our luxury brands in view of significant global launches."

Breakout COVID campaign, Kaya Clinic

As the country went into a lockdown, access for health and cosmetic care issues was a challenge. For their client Kaya Clinic, PR Pundit engaged key stakeholders, media first trials of the toll free number to access dermatologists to validate the process. Kaya’s Instagram handle was also activated for a #StayInWithKaya guest influencer wellness program initiated by PR Pundit.

Embedded Creativity 

For Genesis BCW, creativity is deeply embedded in their communication campaigns.

Bhuvnesh Chawla, chief marketing and growth officer, says for us, " Creativity is a core differentiator. We are one of the few firms that has a designated head of creativity. The Hub, forms the epicentre of our creative endeavours."

Not a big believer in creative hacks, Chawla says online brainstorming helps even in work from home scenarios.

Breakthrough COVID campaign- Sleepwell

Says Chawla, "There have been several campaigns that have been creative for different reasons. Our client Sleepwell, for instance, launched an awareness campaign to reiterate importance of sleep in the process of building immunity and encouraged citizens to commit to 8 hours of sound sleep to #StaySafeWithSleepwell."