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MSLGROUP’s latest executive report ‘Public Relations in India: The Impact of the Economic Downturn and the 2014 Outlook’. This report was put together by team and me.
The report details the findings of a survey of senior PR professionals – account director and above . The survey captures how things have changed in a tough business environment for the industry. From how it has affected talent decisions to growth, the report reflects the industry sentiment. It also examines how the consumer and media are changing in this environment and the implications for PR.
Some of the findings:
• About 20% of the respondents said industry growth would be in the 15%-20% range in 2014. What’s interesting is that this growth would happen despite clients cutting overall communication budgets. This indicates that money is being diverted from other disciplines, such as advertising, to PR.
• Despite the downturn, 30% of respondents said clients had increased budgets either ‘somewhat’ or ‘drastically’.
• Most felt that the tough times would last for several months more.
• An overwhelming majority – 90% - said clients were demanding more for the same fees.
• Respondents identified integrated marketing communications as the best way to grow business.
• Apart from digital, clients are demanding crisis communications, training, content and research and insights from their PR agencies.
The second section of the report examines the rise of cheap smartphones and their impact on marketing communications
As India becomes the new battleground for high-end smartphones, there is a ‘sub-revolution’ that the market is witnessing. Given the country’s price sensitivity, several firms have unleashed a range of cheap smartphones that have become very popular.
Mobile became an integral part of the marketing mix a long time ago, but how does this proliferation of smartphones in India impact the communications industry and PR in particular? Are brands concentrating more on mobile because of this proliferation? How is it changing the communication strategy?
The report assesses how communications strategies are being aligned and integrated with smartphones and other handheld devices and how the messaging and content have changed to engage a different set of demographics.