Gear up to play to your strengths

With Australian Open 2020 showcasing the sheer perseverance of the new age talent, be it women’s or men’s singles – everyone wanted to beat the older generation champions! The championship threw some stunning comebacks, whilst disappointments weren’t far away from some unusual matches. Be it 15-year old Coco Gauff putting up a great game or the 21-year old Sofia Kenin, who won her first grand slam, there is no looking back that the younger crop is here to stay. Not forgetting that even though Theim lost the grand-slam title, he definitely gave a good 4-hour fight!

Its safe to say that all professions go through upheavals as new age talent gears up. But that doesn’t put decades of expertise away, its just keeps us on our foot to evolve and compete better. In PR, last few years have witnessed enough and more changes, infact at a speed that one couldn’t predict easily. But what kept us going is the how expertise could marry the new crop of ideas. 

No doubt that a lot of reading has now moved to the digital platforms, hence the need of the hour is to rejig one’s writing style to a more digitalised reading format. This could mean space for longer articles, indepth analysis, varied categories, interesting formats to explore and most importantly a handy medium to share it with one and all. So, this definitely needs us to understand how differently the pitches and writing styles need to work. The yesteryear press release, today probably needs to be far more precise (read shorter) and instead needs to be supported with more reference material. This also calls for new and evolved style of writing skills or information notes to capture attention of the journalists.

Practice makes you perfect, yes, but today practice is what brings that real finesse. Today its all about acceptance for new format media that are on an equally level-playing field with publications and media that have been here for years. 

So, we need to be alert of the new formats of media being launched and learn how to crack visibility for our clients across these platforms. If video is the chosen tool, then have you explored Firework, the new social mobile TV, presenting interactive ideas. Could this be the next platform creating presence for your brands, whilst breaking the clutter? Infact, it’s a great example of how years of expertise immersed into the new medium to bring alive an experiential platform. 

One can’t dismiss that this turn of decade has seen far more independent writers than dedicated writers for publications. This itself is a great change and calls for a unique combination of relationship building and story pitching skills. Independent writers or often known as freelancers, have a different drive to them, its not a daily deadline that they chase, it’s the thrill of a story, of an idea, of the ability to deliver some great quality narratives. Hence, the need at our end to deploy their time to an effective use. 

Oh yes, and one can’t miss out on the press conferences, they still exist, but somewhere the need for each brand or category to do it, could have been changed. These conferences, like earlier years, are definitely dependent on a heavyweight show. A lot of brands ensure the conference route is fixed only for larger than life launches or announcements or in markets, where one would expect traction of conversations. But what has changed here, is how these offline events and conferences need simultaneous live feed across digital platforms and enough ‘footage’ for posterity. This has called for the visuals to be far more dramatic and alluring than just a simple backdrop. The need to capture audience attention through equal amounts of interesting content and theatrics, has become the mantra. To ensure there is enough presence of the offline and online contributors at the events, is now an essential approach. 

So, change is evident and thus the need to evolve. Expertise needs to marry the new-age method and styles, but each of them need to play to their strengths too. One can’t be obsolete, while the other exists. In Public Relations, the approach has always been to communicate the messages through impactful yardsticks. And these are interesting times to try everything new!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Pooja Trehan
Associate Director, Marketing, SugarBox

Bringing up a 7 year-old boy and building a career in Communications have possibly been the key driving forces in my life! Obviously, apart from the 6am runs and eternal love for black coffee. The reality of 2020 hit this industry with the worst storm, but gave me a silver lining through awards & recognition in the 40Under40 category for PR and Corporate communication professionals (three of them in one year!). My goal is to keep - Communications - as the big picture, whilst being the wanderlust traveller who is reading all the time!

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