In times of crisis – decide what you’re made of

Picture some of the most iconic structures in the world – the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, our very own statue of SV Patel – and what you’re actually picturing is iron in different forms. 

Used by mankind across the world for thousands of years, iron has many applications. In its purest form, iron is just about malleable enough that you can cut it with a knife. It can be hammered into sheets or drawn into wires; it lends itself well to the process of magnetisation, conducts electricity and it all around a pretty fantastic element to work with. 

Iron is used to make many products mostly in its alloy forms. Steel for instance, is the most common form. It is commonly understood that the steel industry is often considered an indicator of economic progress, because of the critical role played by steel in infrastructural and overall economic development. While that gives one an indication of global economies are faring, a look closer at the different uses of steel reflects an interesting insight. 

A needle may cost very little, but a horseshoe will cost a bit more. Of course, to this, one might add the time and effort cost in addition to the material. However, the cost of balance springs that is used in a watch is suddenly very expensive. Wound in a specific manner and with specific tensile strengths, it regulates the watch dial and operations to maintain time accurately. The metal is harnessed by experienced practitioners to create a product of great value. 

The communications business is like that iron. At the core are your skills and ability and how these skills be used to enhance the value and appeal of the partner brands. It is a mix of science and art, a bit of pluck and relationships, an ability to look at the orb of creativity to explore concepts into fruition. While many profess this ability, delivering to commitments is not everybody’s cup of tea – thereby, separate the ore and the impurities of the metal. 

Times like today, that of lockdown, clients unsure of what the future looks like and business failing around us like nine-pins is exactly the fire needed to cleanse the community. Many clients will reassess their consultancy partnerships as they will find their competitors still active, engaging with the media and finding opportunities through innovative ways in podcasts, webinars and panel discussions, driving business thought leadership stories. All, while their existing incumbent consultancy has told them that the media has shut shop or doing nothing else than covid related stories. Clients will learn through such times that they’ve missed on great opportunities to stay engaged with their stakeholders in new ways and completely missed the boat on connecting with their consumers on how the brand is supporting the administration or Government in such times. 

It will also help firms re-assess their worth. When you go through a situation like the one we are going through now, one appreciates the worth of their respective teams. Those who refuse to give up and continue to come up with winning ideas and ways to look at things differently. It is the same ore or the special something added to that base which makes it unsinkable, unshakeable and rock solid. 

We all have choices and we get to decide what to make with our skillsets: needles, horseshoes or watch springs. Once we start valuing ourselves, we can then go ahead and provide a service that we are proud of to clients that we know have made the right choice by picking us as their communications partners. Clients will respect you more when they see the value you place on yourself and will have more confidence in your work.

During this time of crisis it may be easy to feel deflated and undervalued but your success will only be determined by what you make of the circumstances around you. The crisis has affected everyone, we all get the same 24 hours in the day and we all have to make decisions on a daily basis of how to make the best of a bad situation. I can guarantee you this – no success has come without hard work, sacrifice and risks. 

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

Akshaara Lalwani
Founder & CEO, Communicate India

At an age when most 20-year olds are still undecided over what career to choose, a 23-year-old Akshaara founded Communicate India as a home-grown Indian public relations consultancy. Her journey began with a mere INR 10000, of which half the amount were gift vouchers for a printer, given to her by friends. Since then, over the last seven years, Akshaara has built a firm that is a force to reckon with. Today she has over 100 employees and works with MNCs and Blue-Chip companies including Hershey’s, Mindshare, SKF Bearings and The World Bank, among others.

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