Nitin Mantri Curated
Group CEO at AvianWE, President ICCO & PRCAI
CURATED BY :
What strategies do you adopt while deciding on the communication strategy for a client?
This is dependent on gambit of things like the environment that the client is operating in, the audiences that we need to talk to, and the end result that we need to achieve, among others. Basis indepth analysis of the above, we drive a strategy that help us achieve our communication objectives.
Is the shortage of skilled personnel a major issue in the PR industry?
Absolutely. As an industry, we have to address this shortfall. Make the profession more attractive as well as bring changes in the curriculum in some leading schools/ colleges. Being a part of the PRCAI, we are taking steps such as tying up with MET in Mumbai for a communications course.
How do you differentiate yourselves when you pitch for clients? How do you deal with conflicting interests between a client and a PR firm?
It’s our approach that sets us apart, that is, to keep the client’s interests before ours. We get the big picture and understand the heady mix of business, culture, politics and communication. However, we ensure that our values are never compromised.
You have been in the industry for more than a decade. What according to you has changed within the PR industry since then?
The industry has surely grown and you see a maturity in the way PR professionals work as well as the way clients look at them. Earlier, PR was understood primarily by international clients, but today, Indian companies are coming round. On the agency side, too, India as a market is attracting a lot of international PR agencies, and today, we have some big names already operating in the country. Some key services like public affairs are gaining ground and there is increasing popularity of social media as a powerful tool in the PR programme. More importantly, as a profession, it is now attracting more people (though the shortfall remains huge).
Considering your client profile, have you consciously stayed away from small and medium sized clients?
Not really. Some clients were small when we started with them, but now they are big brands. It is challenging, yet exciting. The joy that you achieve in growing as they expand is priceless. Our current list includes both small and large companies. However, it is fact that small and medium sized companies work with shoestring budgets on marketing lead activities. Hence, their focus on PR is also limited.
How difficult or easy is it dealing with international companies as compared to domestic clients?
Both have their challenges, but that’s what makes this profession so peculiar. The key to working with either one of them is to understand their expectations and then develop an impactful programme.
Is ethics in PR followed in the true spirit?
We definitely do. Transparency/ ethics is one of our key values. I am sure most agencies do that, it’s only a few who tend to give the industry a bad name.
What are the ideal attributes for a good PR professional?
According to me, writing skills, creativity and executing to perfection are a few qualities that help make a good PR professional.
Do you think handling corporate communications or PR for a small or mid-sized client is more challenging than handling a large client?
Every job has its fair share of challenges. It is more difficult to get smaller companies in the media, but then therein lays the creativity of the PR individual.