Ruby Sinha Curated

MD- Kommune Brand Communications

CURATED BY :  

This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Ruby Sinha have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Ruby Sinha's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming pr professionalss. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • What are the tips you would share with aspiring PR professionals?

    Build your knowledge base by reading anything interesting you can lay your hands on, sharpen your thinking, writing and digital skills. Be focused and work really, really hard. And, work smart. There is no excuse to wriggle out of this!

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  • You love to travel the world and have a taste for good things. How does one manage to keep up with these interests in a fast-paced world?

    I love to take out some time to travel with my family, especially my two daughters who are indeed growing up fast and will soon be getting busy with higher studies etc. Travel is so much more than an adventure; it’s an opportunity to spend quality time with the family, grow personally and all the learnings you imbibe can be applied to your daily life too, enriching your relationships. Travel is also an opportunity for an entrepreneur like me to introspect and plan for the journey ahead.

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  • What do you do to ensure work-life balance?

    I believe in the concept of work-life integration. Our personal and professional lives have to co-exist in today’s digital age. For instance, I might be attending my child’s school PTM or might be on a vacation but am available on WhatsApp for anything important which needs my attention. Whilst having a successful career is important, we as women also have to learn that professional commitment cannot be a second option always. Men, especially husbands and families have to come forward and support a working mother or wife in achieving her professional goals the same way women stand by their spouses. Also, any working mother has to understand that if an individual doesn’t respect the flexibility she gets at work and is not accountable and responsible enough, she literally closes the doors for deserving working moms in the future. I try to create realistic boundaries between what is ‘work’ and ‘non-work’ and I try to prioritise my to-do list with achievable goals for myself and Kommune. Plus, importantly, I believe it’s important to learn to say ‘no’ and keep achievable goals.

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  • After launching sheatwork.com, a “one-stop knowledge hub” for any aspiring woman entrepreneur, what are your plans for reaching out to women entrepreneurs across boundaries?

    After becoming an entrepreneur, I experienced the challenges most entrepreneurs, especially women face in their entrepreneurship journey. This motivated me to launch sheatwork.com, a one-stop knowledge portal for women entrepreneurs. Our objective is also to reach out to small women entrepreneurs beyond the metros across sectors and empowering them through training and mentorship programs. It is our endeavour to enable them to become a part of the mainstream entrepreneurship ecosystem.

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  • You had written in an article that entrepreneurship in India has largely been “an urban, big city phenomenon”. Why is it important to encourage women entrepreneurship in smaller towns and how can that be done?

    I feel that entrepreneurship is all about creating an ecosystem, where you can flourish together with a bunch of talented minds, together contributing to an economically strong society. And, the resources of women should be tapped, especially in the smaller towns. Even if they are limited to the confines of their homes, if their talent is tapped, they can create a new ecosystem, that can make a difference. Women in the interiors, need to tap their talent in this area. Talent and creativity are not limited to a country like India. And one may say that entrepreneurship is alive and kicking. Starting from Ola Cabs, Flipkart, Oyo Rooms to Zomato – each startup idea has become a reality, thanks to the dream to succeed, fostered by passionate, talented entrepreneurs. It may seem to be an urban, big-city phenomenon, but I knew in the depths of my heart, that this spirit is alive in Regional India too. This was what urged me to launch “sheatwork.com”.

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  • Tell us about your journey of getting into the world of Public Relations?

    After pursuing my Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, I started my career as a journalist with the Indian Express Group of Newspapers and honestly shifted to PR thinking I will have more time during the weekends to pursue a film making course I had got selected for as well to take out time to pursue my interests as an Assistant Director on some docu-fiction shows with a local television channel. But it has been a learning experience over the years working with the advertising genius Ram Ray’s PR Division in Response Advertising, mentors like Mohua Chinappa at GCI – Grey Global Group and experienced seniors like Amrit Ahuja in 20:20 MSL. Having been a part of both advertising agency set-ups as well as regular PR firms, I had a good exposure to the concept of 360-degree communication campaigns.

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  • What were some of the key findings of the 1st edition of the TechKomms report unveiled by Kommune recently on Public Relations and Communication trends in the ICT domain?

    Experiential Communication, enhanced social media engagement, the emergence of Research-Online-Purchase-Anywhere (ROPA) from Research-Online-Purchase-Offline (ROPO), multi-domain expertise, data analytics, Guerrilla PR and micro-influencers are some of the key trends highlighted in the 1st edition of TechKomms. According to the report, technology is transformative in nature; however, PR can bring about the change in the behaviour of stakeholders. It highlights the changing role of PR in the ICT sector as a brand-building tool overlapping greatly with the marketing function. It talks about the need to repurpose social media beyond a channel of communication to a medium of user-generated case studies. Since technology has its usage across multiple sectors, PR partners are required to acquire multi-disciplinary expertise and domain networking to showcase how technology can transform a particular sector. With youth becoming the central figure in the technology era, either as decision-makers or influencers, creating immersive content is also becoming essential. The day is not far when some forward-looking PR firms would have their immersive studios where other than videos, clients could have AR/VR based content to engage with potential audiences.

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  • How has the profession of Public Relations evolved over the years?

    I remember when I had initially joined the profession, the focus was entirely on media relations. But now over the years, though in India media visibility is still important but creating interesting, well-researched content which can be taken forward across mediums is a key priority. Today, PR goes beyond the act of just writing a press release or coordinating some good media stories. A communication professional in the digital age is expected to manage communications with all stakeholders and even with the end consumer in many cases. As such, a PR professional today is like a skilled juggler who is expected to be a social media expert, target industry engagements, write award applications and speaking abstracts as well as use analytics to decipher trends. He/She is expected to be a multi-tasker who can also think like a marketing professional and take the business messaging forward. This is also leading to more and more vertical specialists entering the profession.

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  • As a Founder of Kommune Brand Solutions, what is it that you are doing differently?

    Interestingly, the idea of Kommune essentially sparked off after I took a break from work, post-pregnancy. It so happened that I got together a team, so different – it was a group of work-from-home mothers. This was the first ‘difference’ – our focus on women, especially moms in a sabbatical. Incidentally, we also started off with a crèche in our office initially to encourage more such women to come out and work! We are an integrated communications consultancy and clients come to us because they want more quality engagement. Being a boutique firm, we are selective about the clients we work with and try to ensure our complete involvement in the strategy and implementation of communication programs. We, at Kommune also believe that increasingly digital is becoming all-pervasive and digital is exciting. We recently unveiled the 1st edition of TechKomms – a Report on Public Relations and Communication Trends for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) domain in association with our research and insights partner techARC.

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  • What is the message you would want to give to young, aspiring women entrepreneurs?

    Entrepreneurship is not easy. Don’t become an entrepreneur because your friend is one but because you believe in it and then work really hard to achieve your goal. Also, you have to decide on your self-employment goals. If you’re just interested in earning some extra money on the side or just working from home, freelancing is perfect for you. As an Entrepreneur, on the other hand, your focus is more on growing and managing a scalable enterprise.

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  • What is the major challenge to women leadership in the PR industry?

    Managing work and family, lack of mentorship and enough role models at the top are a challenge for women leadership in the industry. Women who take a maternity break or sabbatical need to stay up-to-date on industry trends and maintain contact with their networks to ensure a smooth comeback. Women leaders also need to be prepared to take more risks and be self-confident about being able to handle the outcome.

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  • How do you keep women motivated at your workplace? How is the environment for working mothers?

    Kommune started off with a focus on women, especially moms on sabbatical. Incidentally, we also started off with a crèche in our office initially to encourage more such women to come out and work! Today our employees are a fair mix of professionals of both sexes. We offer an environment of safety, inclusiveness and trust to our women employees and try to create a close-knit group of people who are empathetic towards each other. There are the mandatory facilities like work from home etc but being women ourselves we understand if another woman especially a working mother has a genuine issue with a child at home and are flexible enough in our approach as long as there is enough accountability and sense of responsibility.

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  • Is the PR industry also under the pay gap syndrome? If yes, why is it so?

    A lot depends on the margins also, especially in agencies. Clients are demanding more day by day within the same or lesser budgets, resource costs are increasing and hence wages get affected irrespective of any gender discrimination.

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  • How inclusive is the PR industry?

    Compared to other industries, our industry is very inclusive, especially at the junior and middle management level. But there are few women at the senior management level, especially in PR firms. We need to create a more conducive environment so that more and more women do not drop out midway or move to corporate communications roles as soon as they have some professional experience.

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  • How supportive are the men in your personal and professional life?

    Kommune started with a group of work-from-home mothers but I have got a lot of support from my spouse, male friends, colleagues and clients. In fact, it was a former male client who motivated me to be an entrepreneur while I was on a temporary sabbatical and my husband has been constant support though we come from two totally different professional fields. As an entrepreneur, you need to work towards creating a supportive eco-system around you to survive the journey.

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  • Have you faced any kind of gender bias in your career? Any anecdote that you would want to share with us?

    I have not really faced gender bias during my career. Ours is a profession where women are given their due respect. But I sometimes do feel that clients try to negotiate harder with a woman entrepreneur but then again that is my individual perception and maybe we as women need to become tough negotiators.

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  • You are one of the few female entrepreneurs in the PR industry. How has the journey been as an entrepreneur? What are your key learnings?

    An entrepreneurial journey is like a roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs full of thrills. It is your self-belief, grit and passion which will help you sustain the ride and not get intimidated by adverse situations. I am more of an accidental entrepreneur learning from my mistakes along the way. After becoming an entrepreneur, I realised the challenges most entrepreneurs especially women face in their entrepreneurship journey. This motivated me to launch sheatwork.com, a one-stop knowledge portal for women entrepreneurs. One of my key learnings as an entrepreneur is to be clear-headed and have a business plan in place right from the beginning. Also, most women come into entrepreneurship especially in our industry thinking it is a good part-time option but believe me one cannot achieve any amount of entrepreneurial success by investing a few hours every week especially in a profession like ours where there is so much of constant learning required besides client, media and team interface.

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  • What is your message to the young PR professionals?

    My only advice to the aspiring professionals is to read more, as it will help them sharpen their thinking, writing and digital skills. Be focused and work smart!

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  • How has your association with exchange4media been?

    I have been a regular reader of exchange4media since my initial days with Grey Global Group and it has been interesting to see exchange4media metamorphose beyond, being a leading media advertising and marketing website to a group with several interesting industry-focused publications and events in its portfolio. I wish exchange4media all the very best for the future.

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  • What is your 5-year growth plan in the industry?

    The plan is to grow further and build scale. The uptake of digital technologies is fast changing the communication landscape and we are focused on further consolidating our ‘digital skills’ into practice by offering integrated communication solutions to our customers.

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  • Tell us something about your venture 'Sheatwork’.

    My experience as an entrepreneur, motivated me to launch sheatwork.com, a one-stop knowledge portal for women entrepreneurs. The objective is to reach out to small women entrepreneurs beyond the metros and empower them through the right training and mentorship programs. It is our endeavour to address some of the challenges they face in terms of skills and guidance and enable them to become a part of the mainstream entrepreneurship ecosystem. I strongly believe that a robust entrepreneurship ecosystem will play a key role in building an economically strong society.

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  • How can you trace your growth over the years in the industry?

    It has been a rewarding journey so far. From humble beginnings in journalism to experiencing career-defining moments in the PR industry, and going through the challenges in running my own venture, the entire journey has been quite fulfilling. In spite of all the ups and downs, my stint as an ‘accidental-entrepreneur’ has been fruitful, which is why today I am even more resolute to contribute to the entrepreneurship ecosystem in India, and especially motivate talented women out there through knowledge sharing, training and mentorship programs.

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  • Kommune unveiled key findings of the 1st edition of TechKomms report recently on Public Relations and Communications trends in the ICT domain. Can you share a few details of the findings with us?

    Sure. Technology is evolving at a fast pace and as we take the giant leap towards a digital world, it is important to ensure that the ecosystem is seamlessly connected. The first edition of TechKomms provides insights on Public Relations and Communication Trends for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in association with our research and insights partner techARC. Experiential communication, enhanced social media engagement, the emergence of Research-Online-Purchase-Anywhere (ROPA) from Research-Online-Purchase-Offline (ROPO), multi-domain expertise, data analytics, Guerrilla PR and micro-influencers are some of the key trends highlighted in the 1st edition of TechKomms.

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  • How has been the growth rate for Kommune over the years?

    Over the years, we have also grown as an integrated communications consultancy. Being a boutique agency, we are selective about the clients we work with and try to ensure our complete involvement in the strategy and implementation of communication programs. We at Kommune also believe that increasingly digital is becoming all-pervasive, and digital is exciting. We recently unveiled the first edition of TechKomms - a report on Public Relations and Communication Trends for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) domain in association with our research and insights partner techARC.

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  • How is Kommune different from other PR agencies?

    Kommune has its seeds in a team of work-from-home mothers. This was the first ‘difference’ - our focus on women, especially moms in a sabbatical. Incidentally, we also started off with a crèche in our office initially to encourage more such women to come out and work. Today our employees are a fair mix of efficient professionals of both sexes, though we always welcome working mothers.

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  • How has your time in the PR industry been?

    It has been an interesting experience being a part of the industry for so many years. From being a profession entirely focused on media relations, the industry has evolved a lot over the years. Today, PR goes beyond the act of just writing a press release or coordinating for some good media stories. Well-researched content which can be taken forward across mediums is a key priority. Use of Digital, social media and analytics has also made the industry very dynamic, where it is challenging for brands to manage their reputation. The industry has also become more organised with industry bodies, events, reports etc.

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