The business of communication, as we have known it, has undergone a massive shift over the last decade and at the centre of this transformation lies technology. Be it from the perspective of a consumer, institution or a global giant, technology inevitably plays a key role in how we consume news, reach logical conclusions or understand the world-at-large. In keeping with this ever-evolving phenomenon, as communication professionals it is equally important to mould ourselves in ways that embrace new technology along with upskilling our core strengths.
Transforming communications at a 100-year-young company
The evolution of communications with technology has pushed deeply traditional brands to take a leap of faith and go the extra mile to own the digital age. Take for instance the 100-Year-Young Indian conglomerate—the Godrej Group that in the past relied exclusively on traditional PR (earned media). Recognising the importance and the rise of the digital influencer, the brand swiftly adapted to the trend and started exploring the potential of earned social conversations in its communications. Six year since, the company continues to identify, engage and co-create to successfully implement its digital PR campaigns. Sharing his views as key note speaker, Sujit Patil, Vice President and Head Corporate Brand and Communications, Godrej Group explained that the key competencies for Digital PR often overlap with traditional too. The moot point being that if a 100-year-young organisation can alter its perspective, then it is imperative for us as communication professionals to align our approach to ‘think digital’ while designing campaigns big and small.
Technology – Utilising AI & automation for effective communication
In a click-happy world, it is impossible to ignore the role that artificial intelligence and machine-learning play in the communications battleground. Since communication is meant to deliver effective messaging, the advent AI has enabled us to enhance customisation and personalisation, all while ensuring targeted monitoring and the prediction of potential crisis. Today, brands are becoming increasingly aware of crisis that originates from social media. It is for this reason that, communications first are creating in-house tools to manage issues and crisis. SONAR – a media crisis simulation platform developed by Ruder Finn is an example of how technology can allow clients to experience a fast-developing social media issue or crisis in real-time. While we upskill, ethics behind deploying new age technology like AI/ML is fundamental to the future of communication.
Brand loyalty in an always-connected world
With brands under constant scrutiny, there is a rising demand from brands to align their actions with their words. In her opening note, Melissa Waggener Zorkin, Global CEO & Founder, WE Communications said, “As today’s consumers demand more and more, there is a new brand loyalty. Hence, as communicators, what we do is more important than what we say.”
Talent: Attracting, retaining and developing, a constant process
Concurring with Waggener’s thoughts, Michael Maslov, CEO, Ketchum, Russia and Jane Fordham, Founder, Jane Fordham Consulting added that it’s high time that we apply principles of communication to our employees and internal team – with more face-to-face conversations. This helps to clearly define the organisation’s purpose and thereby bind them to a shared vision.
Concluding with what Waggener emphasised on in her key note: the need for brands to be thoughtful in an always-connected world and lead with purpose and personal conviction. It is crucial for us communicators as well as industry leaders to think on how they can be a part of solutions thereby bringing stability in this increasingly polarised world.
Gaurav and Kuheli both have nearly a decade each of experience driving communication strategies. While Gaurav specialises in spearheading corporate reputation management, product launches and brand communications, Kuheli has been championing consumer mandates across categories. Both share a knack for thinking out of the box and enjoy problem-solving.
They attended the ICCO Global Summit, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal as part of the prize for winning the Young Pride Challenge for 2019.