ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC RELATION AGENCIES IN INDIA By: __________________________ 1. Introduction 2. Greycell Public Relations 3. Team Orange Communications 4. Samvad Communications 5. Deesha Communications 6. Icon Relations 7. Brand N buzz 8. Yellow communications 9. Genesis Burson Masteller 10. Blue Lotus Communications INTRODUCTON __________________________ Meaning of public relations Public relations (PR) is a field concerned with maintaining public image for businesses , non-profit organizations or high-profile people, such as celebrities and politicians.
An earlier definition of public relations, by The first World Assembly of Public Relations Associations held in Mexico City in August 1978, was “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest. ” Others define it as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics. Public relations provides an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that provide third-party endorsement and do not direct payment. Once common activities include speaking at conferences, working with the media, crisis communications and social media engagement, and employee communication. The European view of public relations notes that besides a relational form of interactivity there is also a reflective paradigm that is concerned with publics and the public sphere; not only with relational, which can in principle be private, but also with public consequences of organizational behaviour .
A much broader view of neo-ubiquitous interactive communication using the Internet, as outlined by Phillips and Young in Online Public Relations Second Edition (2009), describes the form and nature of Internet-mediated public relations. It encompasses social media and other channels for communication and many platforms for communication such as personl computers (PCs), mobile phones and video game consoles with Internet access.
Public relations is used to build rapport with employees, customers, investors, voters, or the general public. Almost any organization that has a stake in how it is portrayed in the public arena employs some level of public relations. There are a number of public relations disciplines falling under the banner of corporate communications, such as analyst relations, media relations, investor relations, internal communications and labor relations. Other public relations disciplines include: Financial public relations – providing information mainly to business reporters * Consumer/lifestyle public relations – gaining publicity for a particular product or service, rather than using advertising * Crisis public relations – responding to negative accusations or information * Industry relations – providing information to trade bodies * Government relations – engaging government departments to influence policymaking History of PR
The history of public relations is mostly confined to the early half of the twentieth century; however there is evidence of the practices scattered through history. One notable practitioner was Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire whose efforts on behalf of Charles James Foxin the 18th century included press relations, lobbying and, with her friends, celebrity campaigning . A number of American precursors to public relations are found in the form of publicists who specialized in promoting circuses, theatrical performances, and other public spectacles.
In the United States, where public relations has its origins, many early public relations practices were developed in support of railroads. In fact, many scholars believe that the first appearance of the term “public relations” appeared in the 1897 Year Book of Railway Literature . Later, practitioners were — and are still often — recruited from the ranks of journalism. Some reporters concerned with ethics criticize former colleagues for using their inside understanding of news media to help clients receive favorable media coverage.
Growth of Pr in IndiaPublic Relations as a tool to communicate and win over the people around is being used in different forms , from ancient times in India. Tools have changed from time to time but the urge to communicate has always remained foremost. In business , at the time of independence , only a few multinationals had their professional public relations. After the independence it was realised that PR is necessary in order to communicate for development and to create a bridge between the public and the government. nd more organisations appreciated the role of professional public relations in years ahead. Public Relations began to increase in India in the early 1990s when the government opened the economy and multinational corporations began to enter the country. Public relations companies emerged offering strategic advice and integrated communication solutions. Specialization has become increasingly important and firms are demanding higher qualifications and skill sets from workers.
With multinationals coming in India in a big way and even Indian companies exploring opportunities abroad , future of Public relations in India is very bright and gives a new hope for its growth. | GREYCELL PUBLIC RELATIONS __________________________ Company Profile Grey Cell Public Relations is a multi-competency communications advisory firm that assists clients in leveraging their corporate values and business philosophy to achieve industry leadership. Our strategic approach works to chisel and shape both brand image and corporate reputation.
We develop thoroughly researched mediagenic initiatives that assist businesses to acquire and strategically reinforce positive mind share among stakeholders of choice and publics at large. Merging traditional, social and new age PR best practices with high-touch customer relations, enables Grey Cell Public Relations to execute world-class programs for local and national clients. And did we mention that we have youth on our side?? Yes! We are young, zealous and go-getters.
Set notions and age-old ideas do not hamper our flights of imagination and out of the box thought process. Our clients vouch for our hands-on attitude. Young we might be in years but not in our experience. During our less than a decade long existence we have acquired deep experiences ranging over a plethora of industries, sectors and the entire range of the strategic services we offer. At Grey cell we deliver to delight…| Our Cutting Edge … … is our people, our passion , our dynamism…our strict adherence to our code of conduct.
We have the species of professionals, for whom delivering on time, every time, is a way of life. It’s the dedicated discipline that has given us the competitive advantage. We are in the happiness business. As the communications coach of organizations, Grey Cell Public Relations partners with owners, managers and executives to bring joy to their business. We offer effective PR services for any budget. Our strategies are original, delivered straight from the hilt. We do not indulge in hyperboles and ambiguities.
To quote the Times Magazine, “the metaphysics of global power has changed. Markets are now more valuable than territory, information more powerful than military hardware”. And we couldn’t agree more. We believe that PR is a knowledge business for knowledgeable people. Grey Cell members, qualified in various fields of academics and experience, are thoroughly trained and chiseled for the business of PR. While understanding our client’s business, we pool in all our resources. This is what gives us an edge over our competition. | | | | | | Services The whys and wherefores of different business sectors, though all may be operating in a single economy, are diverse and their concerning issues and situations demand specialized treatments. At Greycell our sector expert teams with their collective hands-on experience provide clients with focused communication solutions for: Brand Marketing Corporate and Financial Communications Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Lifestyle and Entertainment Technology Public Affairs Social and Cause Political Personal PR BRAND MARKETING| |
At Grey Cell we begin all brand marketing and communication exercises with one essential question – “What will it take to achieve the desired impact for this particular brand? ” The answer to this question directs the formulation of unique marketing strategies which cut through the information deluge customers are drowned in everyday and help the client attain an unmatched customer-brand connect. While designing a communication strategy we take into account not only the reasons why your customers should opt for your product but also address the reasons they may have for not buying it.
We call it the big picture approach. Whatever the life-cycle phase your brand may be in – new brand launch, brand repositioning or brand rejuvenation, we help your brand stand out and connect with your target market with innovative strategies – strategies that range from downright traditional to outrageously creative to even an eclectic mix of both. The underlying goal is to assist the client to achieve – brand growth. | CORPORATE ; FINANCIAL MARKETING| | No business or organization operates in a vacuum.
In fact in this age of right-to-information, all organizations have become answerable to not only their stakeholders like the investors, shareholders, customers, employees, vendors but also to diverse publics like the government, competitors, industry associations, regulatory authorities, NGOs and the society in general. And many times the varying interests of such diverse groups are at cross-purposes with each other. The PR crux therefore lies in reaching out to all of them in a positive voice and at Grey Cell we make sure that clients do just that … And that too without unnecessarily ruffling feathers in some unseen quarters.
Our cross-sectoral experience ranging from the corporate world to the political world to the common man’s world gives us a true feel of the economic and social environment. With our strategic and relentless help you can enhance and maintain constructive relationships with even the most skeptical of your publics. We also lay great emphasis on enhancing the Reputation – of the client organization and of those who head it!! Because your business is only as good as your reputation! This means a consistently open and honest communication with your stakeholders and publics.
For listed companies it is doubly so! Their long-term fortune and immediate business is tied to the fickle play of market forces on the stock market. One false rumor may be enough to send the business spiraling down the success ladder. It is important to timely disseminate news and views likely to impact the stock market in an orderly manner. It also means anticipating and responding on time to both happy and crisis-ridden situations. Your corporate reputation being your most valuable asset is planned and nurtured by our best experts.
For those at the helm of the affairs, it is important to be seen and heard in the right forum whether it is media, industry platforms, social causes, in-house journals or even an investment manager’s portfolio. We bring the CEO and the relevant platforms together for optimum exposure to the corporate. | HEALTHCARE AND PHARMACEUTICALS| | Healthcare ; Pharmaceutical is one unique sector that needs to reach out to the entire spectrum of human population…for themselves…sometimes even for or on behalf of the other living beings cohabiting planet earth.
Our expertise is therefore geared to handle the entire gamut of issues ranging from disease awareness, product positioning, switches, patient advocacy, breakthrough therapies and consumer healthcare. While we expertly design and implement communication strategies for grass-root level healthcare campaigns, we create and sustain programs for the ubercool healthcare trends too. The Healthcare ; Pharmaceutical sector is heavily dependent on integrated communication for audience reach since prescription drug advertising is illegal in India.
We understand your limitations and work them to your advantage by directly reaching out to consumers, relevant media, political influencers, cross-sectoral platforms and industry specific forums. We build trustworthy relationships with them by establishing new and interactive channels of transparent communication. As a part of our team, we have Healthcare Public Affairs Specialists (PAs) who are equally adept at a gamut of services ranging from basic monitoring to managing full campaigns to handling litigation communication.
Our proficient and result-driven programs cover areas of public health and issues, new and alternative therapies, new technologies and medical discoveries ; diet and nutrition. | 1. LIFESTYLE ; ENTERTAINMENT| | No man (read organizations too) is an island unto itself!! While all individuals, businesses and organizations have to operate within the purview of the existing regulations and laws of the land, the free economy also gives them freedom to make their voice heard in matters that concern them.
When you need your voice to reach the corridors of power, the policy makers, the political influencers, the regulatory authorities or the public at large or when you want to simply test the waters before taking the plunge – reach for Grey Cell!! We turn a mere buzz in the corridors of power, to a crescendo. Armed with the Right to Information Act, the power of the common man is being increasingly felt in the corridors of power. Add to that the increasing (sometimes overbearing) vigilance of the media.
No doubt then, that there is a perceptible shift in the paradigm of traditional public affairs-speak. Not only do we recognize this shifting paradigm, we effectively weave the opportunities and advantages it now offers in our customized strategies. Grey Cell Public Affairs division specializes in the art and science of confidential public affairs manoeuvers. For each issue or project our efforts start with primary research, extend to strategizing and implementing the entire campaign, sustained over the requisite time period and end only once the desired results are obtained.
Relevant media placements for big impact stories, one-on-one relationship with the issue influencers, securing credible spokespersons, being seen and heard on the concerned platforms, forging fruitful alliances and government relations, lobbying, managing the client’s image and building reputation, educating public and at times even tactfully steering public opinion towards a desired goal are just some of the courses Grey Cell experts are deft at. Grey Cell – your behind-the-scene confidante… | SOCIAL AND CAUSE Social and Cause communications has become a game changer for public relations.
It forces the public relations people to come out from behind the curtain. No longer can we be the “unnamed source” who talks “on background. “We are now in a world where the traditional news cycle has been replaced by a constant flow of breaking news and immediate commentary. We must start to monitor conversations well before we even wish to enter them in order to find where people are talking, listen to what they are talking about, identify the new influencers, and understand their point of view.
And then, when we have done this, we join the conversations where they are occurring. This helps us build credibility and trust among those who are already engaged in the issues of importance to us and to those of our clients for whom pecuniary issues are not the only ones that need PR support – for whom it’s not always about bottom lines and ROIs. Projects aimed for the larger good of the society, undertaken by non-profit organizations, governmental agencies or even corporates, also benefit from PR support.
The final objectives here may range from a goal to eradicate a deep-rooted evil, wipe a stigma, fight and prevent a disease, put a stop to hazardous behaviours, promote healthy social practices to a goal to make a healthy social investment. When either of these are your objectives there is a need for buzz… There is a need to create awareness. There is a need to procure strategic and tactical support. There is a need to reach out to sponsors and donors and build up enduring relationships. Often there is also an urgent need to change public perception and attitude, break myths and shatter misconceptions and organize grass-root education.
Then of course there is the insurmountable need to catch the ears of the lawmakers and powers-that-be for appropriate policy changes and amendments in laws. And the least likely of your expected needs but the most important one before tackling all the above is managing the image and building the reputation for the project and for those at the helm of the affairs. When all this is your need, Grey Cell PR is your partner to be…We give you the cutting edge, in terms of building communities and starting conversations – as opposed to the traditional one-way dialogue. We bring in the extra humane touch.
This one’s our way of giving back to the society that has given us so much| 2. POLITICAL| | Politics is a team players’ game and paradoxically, also an arena for individual excellence. Whether a party or an individual – the concerns, interests and lookouts are so many that the player/s may require a competent partner to just organize all the thoughts. A partner – who works as hard as you and your party – a partner who works silently, behind the scene, a partner who understands that political campaigns succeed only with solid thoughts, clear messages and flawless strategies …in short Grey Cell!!
While you spend your valuable time in working for the general good of the society, you can leave the nitty-gritty of the exhausting daily grind to us (and sometimes even your thought organization so that no important issue is missed out! ) Grey Cell’s specialized division Public Affairs and Cause Communication Consulting (PACC) operates out of New Delhi – India’s political nerve center and consists of a dedicated team of political PR professionals.
PACC recognizes the quicksilver and mercurial nature of the electorate and specializes in developing and delivering rigorous and sustained PR programs to strengthen the politicians’ and political parties’ bid to influence voters. We facilitate dialogue between voters, constituents, important stakeholders by aligning knowledge of key issues with political know-how and a range of communications skills and public relations strategies. PACC provides holistic solutions for image management and to change and retain public perceptions.
Our core political PR programs include: • Unbiased evaluation of past / current government relations, public affairs activities and situation analysis • Strategic planning and overall campaign management • Building coalitions with lobbying partners • Strategic MP and ministerial contact programs • Civil service and government adviser liaison • Parliamentary events and profile-raising visibility on other appropriate platforms • Promoting parliamentary debates, questions and motions • Appropriate phasing out of social activities and event management • Consistent communications to avoid any contradictions. Being heard in meaningful media vehicles • Media relations and spokesperson training • Written and oral briefings to clients, opinion formers and decision makers • Crisis aversion and immediate crisis response • Constant update on issues of immediate and future interest | | PERSONAL PR Out of sight – out of mind! Cliche? Done to death? But true in every sense of the word for: – Individuals having or craving a wide-spread social presence and – Professionals who directly draw their majority audience, patrons or clientele from the general social milieu.
Such individuals need to be recognized far and wide to grow in stature professionally, financially and socially. Their need and reasons for publicity and advocacy services are similar to those of any organization, be it the times of positive growth or crisis flare-ups. And then of course with the proliferation of media vigilance not even obscure individuals today remain untouched A publicist’s expertise and PR practices are therefore, not all about corporates and organizations. The need for a publicist’s expertise extends to individuals too, for their own person or in some cases as a family’s.
Grey Cell’s Personal PR practice caters to the communication needs of individuals from such diverse fields as entertainment & lifestyle, sports, law, medicine, politics, business and other professional arenas. We provide our services both for stand-alone situations as well as a planned strategic communication campaign aimed at raising the all round profile of the client. Our Personal PR strategies take birth from the ultimate goal the communication plan is required to achieve and pre-defined benchmarks. The plans are customized and tailor made according to the clients’ specific variables like: Their professional field – the rules governing the field and its unspoken protocols • Their current social and professional standing, the desired stature to be achieved and the gap therein • Their expertise and authority, their persona and interests So if your public profile needs a leap of elephantine magnitude – talk to us. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Core Experience The multifaceted nature of businesses and organizations gives rise to innumerable communication needs and challenges. At Grey Cell our wide range of expertise offers both core and strategic solutions for issues on hand.
We are geared not only to meet any challenge that you might throw at us but we always exceed clients’ any expectations from a public relations advisory too. We set the standard, we raise the bar, and we tie it all together. MEDIA RELATIONS | | Publicity through various media channels has always been and will always be a core pillar of any communications campaign. Media placements are often construed as the first and the most important sign of a communication campaign that’s working. And its no wonder because they are tangible, they affect our physical senses and our thought process too. Media relations are our core strength.
Infact, we have no higher priority at this agency than to excel in the practice of media relations. Our job is * To connect clients to this key constituency * To create a favorable conversation for their products and services * To generate coverage targeted to a pre-specified audience. But we never communicate a story till we understand the media outlet being approached and till we make a complete assessment of the angle or angles most likely to evoke a positive response. We always make our approach in a way that signals to the journalist that Grey Cell is an ally and they see us as a resource for news and information.
Every communique to media is creative, yet always to-the-point. While we seek to “win” and gain coverage, our simultaneous goal is always to cultivate relationships to the degree that we know we can return in the future with other story ideas. To get maximum mileage out of media appearances and media relations we have made it our business to study the print, electronic and digital media vehicles its constituents. We have mapped them – by segment, by publication / media locations, by language, by people, by their inherent philosophy and by their readers / viewers.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) in India has 21 English Dailies alone as its members. Most are published from multiple locations. And at the last count ABC had member publications in at least 15 different Indian languages!! Add to them the vehicles of electronic and digital channels – a seemingly gargantuan task to map them all – but not so at Grey Cell. Media study and relationship building is a way of life for all Grey Cell professionals. For the client it means a perfect media match for the story idea. Our media specialists are assigned to our account teams on a day-in-day-out basis.
This model protocol provides decisive advantages. It enables us to counsel clients and colleagues about media implications at every turn in the design and carrying out of initiatives. In fact we go a step ahead and are media proactive. We keep on top of the happening and emerging news, views and trends. This enables us to anticipate the media needs and collaborate with members of media on upcoming stories rather than just respond to them. We have a credible, creative and honest reputation in the eyes of media. All this translates into creditable results for our clients…without fail!!
In relation to media matters we have proven expertise in: | | PRESS CONFERENCES| | It’s not enough to wish for good publicity, or to hope that it will draw sufficient attention to your service, product or issue. The third party endorsement of editorial coverage by major media outlets provides the credibility that can take you to the next level. That’s our purpose: to provide you with winning creative media publicity ideas, and then implement those ideas with effective media coverage thrugh press conferences targeting select media vehicles – vehicles that are perceived as convincing and credible by your most important publics.
When the news or announcement is big, time is of essence and in short supply, target audience to be covered is wide and the matter is of immediate interest to a large number of media vehicles or to a variety of media, we organize a Press Conference for the client. At times it may also be called to issue clarifications or to bring a bigger picture into perspective. At a press conference client’s spokesperson/s directly address the members of the press. The story is thus broken ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’. We organize such conferences when the matter at hand demands it.
We are also adept at refusing a client’s unreasonable request for the same if the situation does not warrant it. Of course there is always logic and reasoning to support our refusal. It also means retaining the effectiveness of the communication strategy and preventing the client’s name from becoming tiresome to media ears. When we organize a press conference we make sure that it has significant attendance from members of press, electronic and digital media. Grey Cell takes care of both macro and micro issues of a conference to ensure its success.
MEDIA MONITORINGMedia monitoring is a two-pronged tool in the hands of a business’ information system. On one hand it is an effective tool to measure the effectiveness of your own PR campaign. And on the other it keeps you in the loop about what is happening at your competitors, your industrial segment, about emerging trends and helps predict changes in your business’ specific environment for preparations for the future. With media explosion it has become increasingly difficult for enterprises to track and benchmark media exposure.
Getting an accurate picture of the effectiveness of PR campaigns requires continuous monitoring of an ever-greater number of sources and vehicles. But in a competitive world monitoring media coverage is a critical exercise. To remain competitive, enterprises must be certain that their campaigns are providing maximum value and impact. And for benchmarking campaigns comprehensive information is required. Managing corporate reputation also depends on an acute awareness of how the enterprise is being covered in media, blogs and message boards around the world.
To take on these media monitoring challenges efficiently and easily and for accurate results, enterprises can turn to Grey Cell PR products. A piece of small information missed just might mean a huge opportunity missed. Therefore, as an extension of the client’s information system Grey Cell becomes your eyes and ears… We offer media monitoring service as a singular specialized service or as part of a larger PR service bouquet. | | | | | SPOKESPERSON TRAINING Spokesperson training for appearances before media is a core foundation stone for a successful communication campaign.
Media interviews can be intimidating, and you need to make sure your spokesperson stays on message and avoids all expected and unforeseen negative pitfalls. It’s vital to hold on to your calm when facing a barrage from media. Being in spotlight alone is enough to ruffle the uninitiated. Grey Cell PR will tailor spokesperson PR training so you feel comfortable and prepared in any media situation by helping you prepare answers to tough questions, simulating media interviews and practicing interview etiquette.
With Grey Cell you can be sure that you have covered all the bases even before a single question is pitched at you. We prepare you extensively regarding the expected questions, the appropriate manner of conducting yourself in front of media, the choice of words, language and tone of communication befitting the occasion. Poor showing in front of media can cause irreparable damage to the image. It pays to prepare before appearing in front of media. And those who don’t – pay through their nose!! | PRODUCT LAUNCHES | | Once a product is developed, an effective product launch becomes the critical step to its success.
But prior to the launch event itself, the Product Launch Process must address all the steps necessary to start volume production, plan and execute marketing activities, develop needed documentation, train sales and support personnel (internal and external), fill channels, and preparation to install and support the product. For this very same reason when we take on a product launch for a client we insist on being involved much before the actual launch event. This gives us ample time to study and analyze the target market and develop an effective communication strategy.
Our total communication solution for a product launch is divided into three phases: Pre-launch activities: these may include creating hype, generating curiosity, forming collaborations, finding spokespersons and planning the launch event Launch activities: Organizing the actual launch event – whether a soft launch or hard launch – or a series of events at multiple locations, media placements and product visibility Post-launch activities: media tracking, follow up strategies and reactionsAvailing Grey Cell’s services results in an ideal product launch process that results in faster time-to-market and time-to-profit.
Activities are flawlessly planned, coordinated and tightly integrated. System data requirements are primed and understood, and systems may be better integrated. The result is enhanced production ramp-up, effective marketing, a sales force prepared to begin selling the new product, and a service and support group suitably geared to service and support the new product. All of which lead to greater customer acceptance and superior customer satisfaction. EVENTS BASED PROMOTION Grey Cell’s promotional campaigns are based on a diverse range of strategies.
While some deliverables are executed through our Associate Marketer Network (AMN) of individuals engaged on a casual basis, the Events we run and the shows we organise are usually delivered via our own staff. Historically, these events and shows have been a great success and have achieved the desired marketing effect for our clients. From Ideation to Execution – our commitment and performance exceeds all expectations. All events that we undertake are tailor-made for the unique client-product-target market combo.
Our events are designed to leave lasting impression on the audience, the reverberations of which are destined to produce desired results. Grey cell events are on time every time and within the stipulated budgetCOPY WRITING SERVICESWe make words work for you. Our qualified specialists create informative and eloquent write-ups that increase the name-recognition of your business, product, or service. From the chairman’s speech to the product manual to your internal newsletter to media releases, we craft the documents for maximum impact and generate desired action.
Strategic ExpertiseGrey Cell PR offers customized and holistic communication solutions that span the complete spectrum of our clients’ communication needs. As against the bits ; pieces PR approach, we believe in and have expertise in executing 360° Communication Management Plans that add credibility and consistency to all formal and informal communications. GCPR has proven expertise in following strategic areas: | | | Audit Services| | Coordinated Advocacy| | Strategic Communications| | Political Campaign ; Event Mgt. | Profile Raising Campaigns| | Regulatory Advices| | Policy Audit ; Analysis| | Strategic Relationship Management| | Trade Ass. Secretariat Service| | | | Audit Services| | Audits are traditionally undertaken to evaluate and measure the financial health of an organization. The same concept can be extended successfully to other aspects of an organization and individuals to compute and assess the effectivity of a set of actions or to map perceptions and opinions of stakeholders and publics.
Grey Cell offers an array of Pre ; Post audit services that map and evaluate your existing position in the normal course of business or a before and after study pertaining to a major endeavor. | | MEDIA AUDIT| | The fluid nature of market dynamics and economic forces continually affect public and media perceptions and opinions about an organization. A favorable media perception is an important component of any company’s well being because any deviations therein, can have serious implications as their news and views act as major influencers for any target market. | To evaluate the success of any communication program, identifying clear benchmarks at its start is a must. State of media relations tops this list. Also, understanding how your brand is regarded amongst relevant journalists is vital for any PR strategy to be successful. We at Grey Cell PR, deliver to you in measurable terms how the media currently perceives your organization. We let you know in advance if you are going to get brickbats or bouquets from the media.
A detailed customized communications plan can be then be set to operate upon your clients, employees and desired media. | POLITICAL AUDIT| | How the government, lawmakers and law-enforcers perceive a business can be the single vital ingredient responsible for its success or failure. It is especially so for those enterprises – | Where government is also their current / potential customer or| Where the nature of business demands day-to-day dealings with authorities or| Where strong government relations form the cornerstone of commercial success. | |
Our Political Audit programs assess the client’s perceived image in the relevant echelons of power and draw out its associated impact on business results. The audit mechanism brings out key insights about the authorities’ views on significant issues. These in turn serve to direct the client regarding the stand to opt for successful dealings with the government. | SOCIAL AUDIT| | In an increasingly complex world with increasingly powerful organizations it seems inevitable that society – or groups in society – would become anxious about whether these organizations actually match power with responsibility.
This is the function of accountability – to require individuals and organizations to present an account of those actions for which society holds them responsible. Every organization needs to systematically practice a regular process of social audit – and we at Grey Cell design this deeply essential element for any well functioning organization. Our social audit mechanism also brings out dormant concerns and latent issues that people may be harboring. Forewarned, our client can then take appropriate measures to tackle such issues much before they might assume alarming forms. | | Coordinated Advocacy| | At times the market environment and social forces throw up such macro issues, anticipated or unforeseen, at organizations, which adversely affect business if not handled sensitively and carefully. The challenge in countering these issues is that they require a high degree of social mobilization, commitment, and foresight and may even call for coalitions between unlikely allies. Grey Cell’s coordinated advocacy practice helps clients successfully navigate these loaded issues with expert counseling and strategizing.
We even don the role of your emissary where association between strange bedfellows may be called for. Our expertise in various issue management disciplines like litigation, lobbying, legislation, government relations, social communication and grassroots advocacy helps us leverage a broad spectrum of resources put to profitable use when dealing with onerous issues. We have proved ourselves time and again with successful campaigns in areas like coalition building ; liaison, corporate social responsibility, grassroots campaigns and public education campaigns| COALITION BUILDING AND LIAISON | Organizations have learnt to come together and form alliances or coalitions to tackle situations that demand the strength and safety of numbers for better and favorable outcomes. But choosing a partner/s, building a beneficial relationship and conveying effective joint message/s constitutes a specialized 360°exercise. Grey Cell experts hand hold their client when executing a coalition-building exercise. First we determine the nature of the requisite alliance – whether the need is symbiotic and the relationship needs to be mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
Or whether there are extraneous issues like proposed government regulations or a crusade for better trade practices, which are best tackled with partner/s likely to be similarly affected by any particular outcome. We then scout the best allies for our clients, design effective communication to buy the prospects in, help build a trusting relationship and develop strategic communication plans to maximize the impact of coalition. We also take up liaising on our client’s behalf. After ascertaining the client’s need we identify the suitable groups, associations or platforms that need to be apprised of our stand.
We establish suitable two-way communication channels between the client and the target group/s and then deploy engaging strategies to build up beneficial and enduring relationships. | CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY| | The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication “Making Good Business Sense” uses, the following definition, “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. Indeed, social responsibility is an integral part of the wealth creation process – which if managed properly should enhance the competitiveness of business and maximize the value of wealth creation to society. The crux of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is that when business organizations indulge in their economic activities, neither their actions nor inactions should be detrimental to any segment of the macro-society in which the said businesses exist. A tall order indeed…considering that in this Right To Information era, NO area or activity of any business is sacrosanct or inaccessible to scrutiny.
Organizations can be held socially responsible for innumerable, real or imagined, transgressions in areas of their business (in case of hazardous industries), their business practices (manufacturing, trading, marketing, labor), their relations with stakeholders and their general environmental impact including their social activities. With so much at stake Grey Cell is equally committed to CSR on our clients’ behalf. CSR is a process and a habit that reflects in a company’s values and principles. It is about creating shared values for a company and its publics.
We, at Grey Cell PR, ensure that this habit becomes consistent in all that the client undertakes. For this we link all key stakeholders while developing the CSR strategy so that all concerned are in agreement. We define a set of core values for our client; like Care, Innovation, Passion and Trust – as a guide. We design communication that is both credible and in-turn habit forming for the key stakeholders. We research the client’s business and social environment for present and potential CSR issues and the reputation damaging threats that may arise. We then develop customized plans to avert those threats.
In case the situation is already in a threatening mode when our help is sought, we immediately get into our crisis management mode. We conduct a postmortem analysis too – to ascertain whether all bases have been covered and no portion of the issue has assumed a latent or dormant status. For our clients, Grey Cell finds opportunities and implements reputation enhancing strategies, which go on to show a healthy ROI too. It pays to be a good corporate citizen… | GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN | | “Vox populi, vox dei” – the voice of the people is the voice of God”, is an old proverb.
Indeed, in these days of media hyperactivity, when nothing is secret, the popular opinion cannot be ignored. For anything to be successful, citizen support is imperative So when you need to add the strength of people’s voice to your campaign, Grey Cell knows what is to be done. Since our inception, we’ve continued to partner with groups and campaigns to advance good issues, raise money for progressive causes, help take back draconian policies, and build activism at the grassroots level. Grey Cell PR would help you in strategic consulting, fundraising, and field organizing for good causes.
We specialize in building and running face-to-face outreach operations in high-traffic public venues to build support for groups, issues, and campaigns. Our teams and their networks are experts in swift and extensive ground mobilization. Since we keep a constant tab on the ‘socio-economic-politico’ scene in the country we can quickly identify and tap the relevant opinion leaders – to whom the policymakers also turn to. | PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS | | A public education campaign, is a top-down percolation of directed communication meant to change the opinion of a target audience.
Public Education Campaigns are a multi-year multi layer outreach effort taken to educate key stakeholders, including citizens, the media, policymakers, employers and social workers about the importance of a particular subject. Whether it is an effort to change perceptions, or to create value, or simply for an upsurge of patriotism; whether the final goal of our client is altruism or a business objective, we at Grey Cell apply the same intensity to our efforts. Grey cell designs and implements a series of sustained efforts and activities to inform the intended audience and obtain a desired course of action from them.
We build up partnerships with those opinion leaders whose voice the audience is more likely to hear. We create platforms where the public can voice their concerns and get answers to their questions. We also generate relevant media support to add momentum to the movement. Strategic Communications | | While we agree that the need for communication is universal we also emphatically believe that no two business situations are ever identical. Even if all else will be seemingly alike, there will always be differences in the form of people involved and time horizon. There are, therefore, no off-the-shelf solutions at Grey Cell.
We offer strategic communication solutions customized to our clients’ unique situations and their business objectives. | | COMMUNICATION FOR GOVERNMENTS | | Governments need to be effective communicators too… especially if their target audiences are in foreign lands. They seek to woo foreign publics on various matters like social causes, for investment purposes and for economic promotions. When experience in all those segments is coupled with an understanding of the new complexities of making public policy and managing political risk, the result is superior representation of governmental interests.
Grey Cell provides to its government clients an array of impeccable services, which help them find both voice and support amongst the local audiences. We develop customized strategies and phase them out so that such clients quickly navigate from Audience Indifference to Awareness to Audience Involvement. We are a full service provider starting from researching the issue to implementing plans to get desired results to feedback generation and analysis.
Our strategies cover all bases like issues advocacy, defining benchmarked goals, building influencer relations, media relations, media placements, events and promotions, partnership alignments, reaching out to key decision makers and shaping public perceptions. | COMMUNICATIONS TRAINING | | The key to success in most business meetings is effective communication – where words alone are not sufficient to make a message effective. | | We know what makes ‘words’ really impactful…after all communication IS our business.
Our communication-training experts help clients in developing and delivering clear powerful messages befitting the occasion. Our intensive training programs cover:| Articulation skills and Delivery styles| Media training and Interview skills| Presentation skills and Audience involvement| Negotiation skills| Message development and related research| | You can also rely on Grey Cell experts to lend you a hand in person during your mission-critical and turnkey communication events. | CRISIS COMMUNICATION ; ISSUES MANAGEMENT | | Crisis is impartial…it hits the best of businesses, corporates, organizations and even individuals.
The issues may pertain to ethics, accident, sabotage, rumor, competitor tactic, litigation, product failure, corporate issues, finances, shareholding and leadership or any minor issue that has the potential to blow-up. The most challenging part of crisis communication management is reacting – with the right response – quickly – but at the right moment. This is because behavior always precedes communication. Non-reaction or inappropriate behavior leads to spin, not communication. In emergencies, it’s the non-action and the resulting spin that cause embarrassment, humiliation, prolonged visibility, and unnecessary litigation.
Ace bandwidth At such a time when your entire reputation is at stake, your actions and your words can make or break you. At such a time you need a helping hand that can guide you out of the quagmire – an empathetic partner who is dispassionate enough to view the big picture on your behalf. Or in short you need Grey Cell… Our crisis communication plan takes into account all your affected stakeholders and even your publics at large who may be affected by the reverberations and repercussions of the event. We make sure that your detailed, accurate and factual story is made available to the media.
We prepare and arm the spokesperson/s who are required to face media. If necessary we even initiate a dialogue with the concerned parties. We keep a check on your internal communication too and keep it updated with facts and your intentions to avoid unnecessary rumor mongering. We cover all the bases simultaneously to prevent tangential issues from rearing a head at inopportune times. The key challenge remains accomplishing most of the strategy on as many levels as possible as quickly as possible. We act with speed and honor. We help victims return to normalcy.
We make restitution promptly. And we behave as though our mother was watching and we have to explain our decisions and actions to her over dinner tonight. | INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS | | We believe internal communications is finally coming out of the shadows by demonstrating the value it brings to companies that address it at a strategic level. Organizations need to talk to their own people – their employees – on a regular basis. Recognizing that your internal audience is as important as your external one is the first step towards improving how your company ngages with the people that live your brand. At any given point of time there is so much going on in an organization that if the management does not have an open and regular communication with the employees, chances of latent resentment is very high. It is positively easier to prevent resentment than to eradicate it… One of the most difficult things about doing business in a global world is to know what to do when it’s not just business. At Grey Cell we believe in transcending the practice of mere internal communication to a more involved practice of Employee Engagement.
A well-structured and cross-functional approach to internal communications will drive cultural, behavioral and long-term change, ensure employee buy-in to business goals, encourage innovation and meet the information needs of the organization. This way the employees become the co-owners of the progressive changes and ideas. Genuine involvement of both management and employees makes it easier to meet the organizational objectives and goals. We devise tailor made strategies for employee participation during organizational challenges like mergers ; acquisitions, restructuring and repositioning, leadership changes and labor issues.
We also help clients by designing unique two-way employee communication channels that gives regular feedback and insight of employees’ concerns, making it easier for the management to address them at the earliest. After all happy employees do make fiercely loyal ambassadors…| LITIGATION COMMUNICATION | | Corporate legal battles are never fought in a courtroom alone and the outcome rarely restricted to the case matter. Much before the case is decided in the court of law, the company may start feeling the heat of the sub judice matter on its relations with various stakeholders, on its financial health and on its general business outlook.
If a company is to survive high-profile litigation with its reputation intact, it cannot ignore the impact of media attention. Grey Cell PR is experienced in building on and advancing legal arguments to help companies win in the court of public opinion. Grey Cell’s programs help clients define litigation on their own terms for their key stakeholders including the media, employees, consumers and opinion leaders. An in-depth understanding of the law and legal issues is critical in crafting litigation communications strategies.
With our keen insight of the laws we devise strategic communication plans for stakeholders, employees, media, opinion leaders and other publics. We design messages that clarify complicated and arcane aspects of the litigation case so that the client’s image, reputation and its business plans and activities are not adversely affected by unnecessary conjectures, rumors and speculations. We also provide a platform for conducting a dialogue and for answering queries of concern from affected stakeholders and other publics.
With a team of attorneys, who draw upon their senior-level experience of managing litigation communications for some of the highest-profile cases of the day, our clients can be assured that we will partner with them to ensure that their message is heard appropriately. Whether a defendant or a plaintiff, we ensure that the client is the winner in the court of public opinion and public perception. | LOBBYING ; LEGISLATION| | “The history of PR is… a history of a battle for what reality is and how people will see and understand reality. – Stuart Ewen in PR: A Social History of Spin. As a PR firm, Grey Cell PR recognizes that legislation and policy decisions on competition, taxation, health care, intellectual property, and other issues can impact an organization’s vitality as profoundly as decisions related to its core activities. So our consultants offer substantive support across all these areas. Our professionals understand the technical considerations behind the full breadth of laws and regulations affecting clients, and have experience in combining government policy goals with client needs.
Grey Cell public affairs specialists harbor a marked streak of ingenious willfulness when it comes to being really effective. We take on a client’s issue as a personal crusade. We thoroughly analyze the problem, plug all conceivable loopholes and deploy winning strategies before presenting a solid case to the concerned authorities or ministries or appropriate legislative group at the most opportune time. We make concerted efforts to apprise and inform all members of the ground realities and the effects of purported course of action. | MARKET ENTRY STRATEGY| |
An effective market entry strategy ensures optimal use of corporate resources. We draw upon our expertise in business development taken on all over India to help you examine the critical elements: • Rationale for entry: access to market, non-intensive labour manufacturing base, supply chain management. • Routes-to-market: distribution channels, form of presences • Location: where to start in India? • Suitability: what is the most suitable structure of entity? How about minimum investment required, tax and HR implications? • Risks and mitigants: What are the risk factors and how could you safeguard your valuable assets? Implementation: What are the resources, milestones needed to achieve your goals? Where can you find the right staff for your office? Our strategic assessment and advice covers thorough studies of market barriers, product viability, competitive advantages, resource needs and utilization, market potential, need gaps, target sentiments, partnership opportunities and relevant regulatory policies. Based on an in-depth groundwork we devise integrated communication plans that cover the launch, media placements, product visibility, promotions and tie-ups. All in all we ensure a smooth launch in the new market for our clients.
When chartering new territories let Grey Cell be your expert trackers…| NEW MEDIA MANAGEMENT| | The continuing development and increasingly widespread adoption of new organizational media has prompted questions about the role and effectiveness of both traditional media and the new organization communication channels. With the explosion of the Internet, there has been a defining shift in communication paradigm. The new forms of emerging interactive media have drastically altered the way organizations communicate with their stakeholders and other publics.
From the traditional one-way periodic form it has morphed to an interactive two-way continually updating form. Which means that the content remains relevant but for a few hours, and has to be thoroughly updated at any given point. Also, to be factored in, is the fact that new technologies are enabling audience to share messages instantly and spread them like wildfire. Grey Cell has proven expertise in helping clients successfully create and manage such wildfires on a regular basis. Our integrated communication strategies include action plans for managing communication in digital media.
We optimize the use of digital tools like websites, intranet sites, webcasts, webinars, blogs, podcasts, online advertising, online collaborations, online media placements, e-mail campaigns, online surveys and search engine tie-ups to achieve high impact results towards fulfilling client’s business and communication goals. Our digital media expertise offers an array of services including strategic web communication management, content development and research and analysis. Grey Cell helps clients to not only keep pace with the ever-metamorphosing virtual online world but to also generate a healthy ROI. RURAL COMMUNICATION| | This digital era, which emerged during the mid-1990s, has brought with it corollary questions that are being addressed in both the developing and the developed world under the catchword: “the digital divide”. India, the emerging tech giant, still has over 70% of its population residing in rural areas. The importance of good communication to these masses becomes paramount, whether for improving public service, or enhancing their livelihoods through knowledge and skills development or for any other socio-political purpose.
In business terms, the ‘look rural’ need has arisen because of high brand proliferation and high saturation levels in urban areas and due to greater awareness of brands in rural areas and the growing aspiration levels there. Rural markets, estimated at present to be around Rs 2 lakh crore per year and growing at an annual rate of 15 per cent, have immense potential for growth but companies trying to tap this potential should have a clear understanding of the characteristics of the rural population while devising their communication strategies.
And communicating with rural India is a daunting and challenging task because of impeding factors like vast geographical distances, technology constraints, wide disparity in social culture and purchasing power, high illiteracy rate and language constraints – at the last count there are 22 scheduled languages, each having a plethora of important dialects. Add to these, their deep-rooted superstitions and a natural suspicion of government and corporate game plans. Any communicator has an overwhelming task cut out. So if you need to talk to rural India please talk to us first.
We can help you relate to your audience in a manner that is familiar and non-threatening to them. Grey Cell PR’s rural communication experts have hands on experience and an empathetic understanding of rural issues and established open communication channels with regional influencers and decision makers. This helps us design creative, customized, region specific yet simple activities to involve the rural audience in the process of message delivery. We have the knowledge, expertise and creativity to connect to large sections of rural audience within the stipulated time and budget.
Let Grey Cell be your connecting bridge to the heart of rural India. | | POLITICAL CAMPAIGN AND EVENT MANAGEMENT| | Successful political campaigns are founded on hard-hitting clear messages. Messages that are grounded in comprehensive thought, in-depth experience and backed by flawless strategies. Exactly where we can fruitfully assist … We combine the client’s political acumen with our strategic communication expertise to create winning political campaigns. Grey Cell’s Public Affairs and Cause Communication Consulting (PACCC) is a specialist team of political PR professionals.
They are experienced and adept at all manners of political communication whether it is designing a single-minded campaign leading to successful election results or designing and implementing more broad – based public interest strategies during the term time. We cater to a broad spectrum of political clients including individuals, groups and major political parties and platforms at local, regional, state and national levels. PACCC provides 360° solutions to our clients that bring about a positive change in image as the first step.
The second step then is to sustain and maintain the same mindshare amongst the voters and constituents during the interim period between two elections. For this we design dedicated social benefit programs, ensure visibility and appropriate media attention. We create and pull-off masterstroke events at the right place and right time guaranteed to remain alive for long in public memory, fickle though it is. Our political events are creative, molded to the understanding levels of the targeted audience, scalable to desired proportions and generate the desired buzz.
Whether it is a behemoth rally or a muti-locational group activity or a one-to-one communication or a doorstep interaction we have successfully executed them all. Our campaigns have been unanimously hailed and are considered impressive by parties from across the political ideology spectrum. We win because we are a principle driven firm led by partners who have decades of political experience. One of the main reasons we are able to deliver for our clients time and time again is that we take only a handful of political assignments a year and provide them highest level of attention and care.
Currently, several members of our staff have senior advisor roles in elections campaigns for a variety of front-running candidates. | | | PROFILE-RAISING CAMPAIGNS| | As for organizations and businesses – similarly for individuals – Image in the eyes of general and specific audience has an extremely high advantage quotient. A favorable image, a king-size persona and a convinced target audience – all play a big role in the personal, social, professional and career enhancement of any individual. Our profile raising campaigns work in a four-phased manner.
Our strategic communication plans and their execution take our clients from Audience Indifference to Audience Awareness to Audience Top-of-the-mind-recall to Audience Acceptance in rapid strides. Operating within the established boundaries and legal modalities of the concerned profession, we design communication strategies that raise the client profile from the existing level to a pre-defined desired level. Where the professional ethics forbid a direct promotion of the client, we let creativity rule the roost. Our xperts craft exciting out-of-the-box events and cross-promotions, secure engagements on relevant platforms and work on positioning them as opinion leaders. We let our client’s work talk. We design creative channels to bring forth their work, their interests, their shareable secrets, their aspirations to the attention of the desired section of audience. We create enough buzz to ensure appropriate media visibility, which in turn adds to image retention in the minds of targeted audience. Grey Cell has successfully worked up the persona of professionals and individuals from a wide spectrum of society.
Our clients include entertainers, lawyers, doctors, politicians, sportspersons, business leaders, CEOs and top-ranking executives. | | REGULATORY ADVICES| | All governments follow a simple logic – balanced regulation is important for business competitiveness and maintaining ethics. The regulation of trade hinges on accurate description of consumer products, reliable measurement of their properties, and ultimately, an independent and authoritative analyst. Increasingly, companies are also required to monitor products and processes for environmental impact.
Regulatory impacts can make a significant difference to the effectiveness of government and business strategy. . The complicated nature of law and interlinkages between various policies, procedures, rules and regulations make it an intricate quagmire, sometimes of nightmarish proportions. Our team has experience in carrying out regulatory impact analysis and in reviewing cases for a change in regulatory approach. A combination of economic and technical skills coupled with proven policy and business expertise makes our advice practical and focused on areas of added value. POLICY AUDIT ; ANALYSIS| | It is important to review the policies of organizations that influence public provision, whether they are owners, managers or users, so that the strategy can take account of all interests. This ensures that business decisions are soundly based in analysis and that necessary actions taken are feasible and reliable. Grey Cell PR plays a key role in scrutinizing new regulations and policies for its clients. The GCPR Policy Analysis is a systematic, measurable technical assessment of how a policy is being employed in a specific case.
Furthermore, policy and policy making is conditioned and shaped by the political, social and economic environment, as well as historical factors. Our Policy Analysis Team, in addition to investigating what policies exist, attempts to understand the relationship between policy (and policy-making processes) and their makers and the target audience of