Thursday, August 20, 2009

Harjiv Singh on changing face of Indian PR

Harjiv Singh, Co-founder & CEO - International Operations, Gutenberg Communications, spoke to Puneet Bedi Bahri of Excerpts:

"In India, it is true that PR is primarily media relations. But, this is changing as Indian companies that aspire to have a global brand are increasingly realising the value of strategic communication counselors in the C-suite and at the board level. The Satyam scandal was a classic example of why communications is now an important imperative for companies even in India and why roles like the Chief Communications Officer need to be seriously looked at by corporate India.

"Companies like Delta Airlines, Yahoo! and SAP have such senior executives who are responsible for managing corporate reputation and aligning such functions as media relations, policy communications, investor relations, internal communications, crisis communications, and branding under a single head.

"In order to change the perception of PR, the industry needs to view communications as an integral part of strategy, rather than a sub-set of marketing. Further, it is crucial to understand the role of both internal and external communications to drive change in organisations, rather than viewing it from the lens of media relations.

"I strongly believe that agencies need to understand the business of our clients much better than is the case currently."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How to make email marketing more effective

Companies should refrain launching desperate email campaigns in order to meet their financial targets.

This is the advice given by Steven Permuy in his write-up on email marketing and high stakes.

Permuy says the ‘spray-and-pray’ (or ‘batch and blast’) approach of mass mailing customers is counter-productive. “The growth of email marketing has led to an increase in the number of communications sent to customers, due to ease of execution and low-cost of implementation. Ironically, omitting to apply the rigour of established direct marketing principles to online marketing, such as testing, measurement and relevancy of content, results in less leads as customers increasingly unsubscribe, report emails as spam or implement their own spam filters, and use multiple email addresses to guard their privacy.”

Permuy says it’s important to gain a better understanding of the customer through periodically planned analysis that identifies patterns that trigger dynamic content.