Manager - Marketing & PR at Times Internet
What are the activities that come under corporate communications?
The word ‘corporate communication’ has a wide range of connotations based on the scale and sector a business is in. Typically, it includes corporate branding, external & internal communications, investor relations, and crisis communication.
Does the field of corporate communications offer good career prospects?
Corporate communication is a growing field in India with incredible scope. This is simply because in today’s hyper-competitive business environment, most brands realize the need to constantly communicate with their stakeholders on matters that matter the most.
What are the challenges faced by a corporate communications professional?
The key challenges for any corporate communications professional are around relentlessly defining & communicating a relevant brand purpose, constantly monitoring & managing a wide portfolio of communication initiatives for various stakeholders, and managing media crises.
What is a day in the life of a corporate communications professional like?
The interesting part of being a corporate communications professional is that no two days at work are the same. On one day you’re executing campaigns in collaboration with the marketing team, on others, you’re holding meetings with business leaders to understand their vision or answering media queries. As a Team Lead, a majority of my time is dedicated to overseeing the work of colleagues, creating relevant content and shuttling between boardrooms.
What are the 3 things every successful corporate-communications-professionals must-have?
For starters, you’ll need exceptional writing & visualisation skills along with a voracious appetite for news. To excel, you’ll need to learn to effectively communicate with data, and learn to adapt to the evolution of the Indian & global media ecosystems.
How did you rise in your role as a corporate-communications-professionals, what career hacks can you share?
Growth in any career happens in two ways - by gaining exceptional skill in one field (Virat Kohli), or gaining a bunch of in-demand skills so you have the edge as a ‘custom bouquet’. Personally, I’ve had an inquisitive mind at work, and have been relentlessly up-skilling myself to stay on top of my game. So lean into your interests, a couple of online courses hurt nobody. :)
What's the advice you would like to give to an aspiring corporate-communications-professionals?
The explosive growth in social media and mobile internet has revolutionized how brands engage with stakeholders. Hence, a creative bent of mind, great interpersonal skills, and a flair for writing no longer cuts it in corporate communication. Be relentless in upskilling - attend a communication design workshop, get a hang of digital marketing, media analytics and other relevant skills.
What is corporate communication all about?
Corporate communications is the entire range of activities related to sharing company-related information with internal and external stakeholders. This is done to create a uniform & favourable image of the company across all channels.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
My greatest motivation is that I shape opinion regarding tech-led products & services that hold the power to transform millions of Indian lives. I’ve met a locavegetable vendor 125 miles away from any place you’d call urban who now has a credit rating (thanks to fintech firms) and was able to take out a small loan to send his daughter to college. These instances, along with the privilege of interacting, collaborating and learning from an unparalleled range of business & creative professionals in the industry make it a thrilling job.
What inspired you to pursue a career in corporate communications?
I have always been fascinated by how digital convergence & interactivity impact how individuals & businesses communicate, and happened to stumble into corporate communications. As a Startup Correspondent for Business Insider, I happened to drop by the Paytm headquarters for an exclusive interview with the COO. After the interview, the CMO offered me a role. I agreed, and came home with a news story and a job offer. :)
What was the most challenging moment in your career?
I was two months into my first corporate communications role when Paytm launched the ‘#PaytmKaro’ campaign during demonetisation. Our two-member corporate communications team worked relentlessly in what later became one of the most aggressive media outreaches in Indian media history. The campaign impacted how more than a third of all Indians pays today. It also transformed the financial landscape in our country forever and the fate of Paytm in years to come.
How is corporate communications different from branding?
Simply said, branding is the process of giving meaning and identity to an organization. Corporate communications are carefully crafted messaging that defines this character by creating a narrative for the brand and it's management.
What are the types of corporate communications?
Internal & external communications, investor relations, public and government affairs are all types of corporate communications a company focuses on based on its size and industry. The corporate communications team’s responsibilities evolve over time based on a company’s internal structure and priorities.
What role did your educational background play in your career?
Being a broadcast media student at the Asian College of Journalism taught me how the evolution of media & consumer tech has transformed modern storytelling. I have since sworn by the idea that a truly ‘good story’, whether for a media house or a brand needs to be visual, mobile and social to land a punch.
What is your biggest concern at your job? How do you manage it?
Social media is like a rave party on steroids – nearly anything goes and people often do stuff that scars others forever. This includes everything from fake news, bizarre fads & misinformed hate. At Times Internet, we use advanced media monitoring, social media listening & management tools to understand and influence opinion.