The scenario for a young PR professional is exciting & challenging: Chiragh Cherian
Chiragh Cherian, Director, Online and Below the Line Initiatives, Perfect Relations shares his views on the industry as a young professional, key growth drivers, and newer strategies
Chiragh Cherian, Director – Online and Below the Line Initiatives, Perfect Relations, is a driven professional with a creative bent of mind whose mantra is to create new solutions for existing challenges. He stepped into the world of public relations in India in 2009 with the aim of creating a sustainable business model from scratch. During his young and vibrant journey with Perfect Relations, he has synchronized existing PR practices with new-age digital communication strategies. Some of these have been Apollo Hospitals, Facebook, ByteDance (TikTok), Uber, G4S Securities, Jawa Motorcycles, Auto Expo (3rd consecutive edition), Haval Motor India, PHDCCI, JCB India, Dabur, Honda, Chennai Super Kings, Godfrey Phillips India, Cairn India, ABP News, Women in the World, Rolex Awards, International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Turkish Airlines, Sony, The Lalit Hotels, Delhi Government etc.
exchange4media had a candid interaction with Chiragh Cherian to discover the PR industry through the eyes of young professional, key drivers of the industry and adoption of newer strategies.
How is the scenario for a young PR professional in today's times?
The scenario for a young PR professional is exciting and challenging. Exciting because there is much greater use of technology. Data mining for new business development to implementation of the big idea that actually makes you win awards and accolades.
Today’s environment for a young PR professional is also challenging because one must keep up with the pace. New tools and in-app features launch/update every other day. One must be on top of the game to ensure relevant opportunities are proposed to the clients, and best practices are followed throughout the campaign. In short, plan dynamic. There are lots of new opportunities as the world is moving from a one-pager to one palm.
What are the key drivers of the industry in the digital era?
Similar to the traditional era of PR, key drivers in the digital era continue to be the content and its relevance to the TG. Content creation and distribution across correct channels with correct formats. In short, will ephemeral content suit my subscribers or long format storytelling? Viral content is key and its virality is dependent on what data says about the brand, the audience, and the impact of the content.
How do see the integration of advertising, marketing and public relations in the form of communication agencies?
Synergies between the 3 is a must, but there is still lots to do. If one can crack that one idea driver which can be projected seamlessly across all the three, then opportunities can be BIG.
With the three getting integrated, there is also big learning available for individuals, to learn across these fields and be “future-ready”. Tomorrow no silos will exist; expect Marketing, Advertising and PR to be on a one-tech platform powered by AI technology which will increase productivity and efficiency.
What are the newer strategies being applied by the younger generation to reach their target audience and create stories for brands?
There is no doubt that there is a large chunk of the younger audience who are actively using the digital landscape to be influencers or to collaborate with influencers. This set of the audience often looks at partnering with agencies to leverage proprietary tools like DAN Explore, which enables them to churn data on audience sets, behaviour, right brands to associate with, and most importantly creating your strategy to reach the communication objective. It’s always important to know the impact of the message by regularly monitoring the message sent vs. the message received by your audience.
Why is social media so quintessential for the millennial generation? How important is it for young PR professionals?
It’s safe to say that a high majority of PR professionals are already on Social Media (personally) and brands that are adopting social media and new tech media will only grow. To survive in today’s changing environments one must adapt and master the skill of communication in various formats, such as Press Release to a Tweet.
My advice would be to channel your personal social image carefully. Today there is an abundant amount of your personal data available on various tools and social platforms. It’s important to ensure that your online image equals your personality. That’s a start, from thereon move to the brands that you represent. Be experienced and have depth. Learn from early life experiences on the best brand you represent, which is you!
Has the PR industry lost its essence in a bid to win maximum views and likes on the stories?
This is complicated but I can see the change taking place. Today brands are not only looking for higher numbers, as many agencies have been able to project that success rate isn’t always about the numbers but about the quality of interaction with the TG. Be viral and be responsible. There are no facts that can stay hidden on the Internet unless they aren’t on it.