16 events that had an impact on Public Relations

2016 was a leap year and an interesting year for a variety of reasons. Several events, both in India and abroad made an impact on people, on news and the world of Public Relations. VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity has been on the rise. The international year of pulses witnessed some defining moments. Here’s a list of 16 events that made the headlines –

  1. Brexit – The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is widely known as Brexit and this led to the resignation of David Cameroon
  2. Donald Trump’s Win – An upsetting defeat of Hillary Clinton, who was widely considered to be a front runner shocked a large part of the world
  3. Bob Dylan Nobel Prize – This prize to the music legend shocked him as much as it shocked the world
  4. Mother Teresa’s Canonisation – One of the fastest paths to sainthood was witnessed when this naturalised Indian citizen was declared a Saint by Pope Francis
  5. Fidel Castro’s Death – An era indeed came to an end when the Cuban revolutionary leader breathed his last in November
  6. The Save the Internet Campaign – This crowd sourced campaign against Facebook’s Free Basics made waves and news in the early part of the year
  7. The Passing of the GST Bill – This landmark bill was passed in Parliament in August and as per plan the new GST regime will commence in April 2017
  8. Demonetisation – This disruptive move may have had a clear intent but it certainly did not have a clear plan to be executed right
  9. Cyrus Mistry’s Ouster – The four-year run of this non-Tata at the helm of the legendary group ended abruptly a week before Diwali
  10. Jayalalitha’s Death – this was shocking and untimely with no clear succession plan in place leaving Tamil Nadu literally orphaned
  11. PV Sindhu Olympic Medal – The entire nation lost a heartbeat when Sindhu fought hard in the Olympic Badminton final to settle for Silver
  12. Perfect Relations Acquisition – Closer home in the world of Public Relations, the second biggest independent Indian firm got acquired by the Dentsu Aegis Network
  13. MSL India Leadership Change – Changes at the top at MSLGROUP India put Amit Misra in charge of three firms. This was followed by Chetan Mahajan moving on to take over the reins at H+K Strategies
  14. PepsiCo’s new PR Partners – After a decade-long relationship with Genesis Burson Marsetller, PepsiCo India moved its PR mandate to Edelman and Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees
  15. Launch of First Partners – Consulting veterans Atul Ahluwalia and Dilip Yadav after a brief hiatus started up a PR firm that is the newest entrant in an already crowded market
  16. Gutenberg Rebranded and Expanded – This PR firm opened a UK office and rebranded itself by shedding the Communications suffix from its name

Thanks for reading this column in 2016. Look out for the Sweet 17 series across five Mondays in January. Have a great last week of the year.

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Amith Prabhu
Amith Prabhu is the Founder of the PRomise Foundation which organises PRAXIS, India’s annual summit of reputation management professionals.

He is also the Founding Dean of the School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe).

He can be reached at @amithpr on twitter.

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