India Communication Summit 2021 organized by SMX Network took a glance into the future of the Media, Entertainment and Communication industries and also aimed to examine the current scenario. The two-day-long virtual summits were held on the 4th and 5th March 2021 with 50 plus eminent speakers from the field of Media, Communications, and Entertainment Industry across the globe. Amit Misra CEO, MSL South Asia, was one of the eminent speakers in the Inaugural session of the second day of the Summit.
Misra has been with MSL since 2013 and over the last 7 years, has led MSL to emerge as the most awarded firm in the market with recognitions that include 8 ‘Consultancy of the Year’ awards by leading industry platforms such as Sabres Asia Pacific, PR Week Asia, Fulcrum, Campaign South Asia, and ET Brand Equity. He has won seven national-level awards for TV and radio. In 2015, he co-founded Kommune- a performing art collective for storytellers. He also helped conceptualize Spoken festival, bringing together performers from across the world for storytelling, poetry, spoken word, and song.
Brand Communication Post Pandemic
In his speech, he emphasized Brand Communication Post Pandemic. He described how in the volatile times of the pandemic the Media industry experienced tremendous change in India and around the world. “As digital media took centre stage and became a mainstay in people’s lives, traditional media was facing a severe challenge to keep pace with a world that was increasingly moving online,” he remarked.
He elaborated how the concept of “Brand Communication Post Pandemic” has come from the past year due to the pandemic situation arising out of COVID-19. As everything was going virtual, there was a boost in the Technical Development with the help of all the social platforms. It encouraged the people to work, created awareness among them about what was happening in the world and also at the same time helping them in coping with the tough time. Misra predicted that in the upcoming days there will be a tremendous opportunity for the businesses through ‘Brand Communication’. Although, he also acknowledged that “getting virtually connected doesn’t give the sense of the real connection”
While discussing branding, Misra highlighted that “although the importance of brand agility and frequent innovation is well-understood communication strategies should reflect that change too.” He also felt that the post-pandemic world will be requiring a higher degree of competition. Talking about how to deal with the post-pandemic situation, he stated “Change is always a disruptor to the business but the exciting thing is that it allows new creativity to come into play which you may not have dared to attempt previously”.
Misra shared his opinion on how to do branding during the pandemic. “In times of a crisis, it can be hard for businesses to know where to begin. But every company needs a brand strategy, especially during COVID-19. The role of branding during a crisis includes creating a shared sense of an ‘in-it-together’ camaraderie” he had said.
Role of Public Relations
During his speech he stated that before the digital adaptation, the role of Public Relations merely revolved around announcing new services and products, minimizing reputation damage and declaring the stand of the brand on business and public issues. However, since digitalization and especially since social media became prevalent, the role of Public Relations has grown and evolved manifolds. Now, PR professionals are expected to proactively contribute to reputation management, client relations, thought leadership and identify potential crises before they cause a threat to the company’s image.
He also noticed that there has also been a change in Marketing Dynamics post-pandemic. Mass personalization happened on e-platforms, marketing got broken into many sub-verticals/branches with specialists emerging for each. Yet no holistic view on budget allocation was developed despite being in the age of big data. He stressed that “With evolving customer expectations and the massive shift to online platforms, customer conversations warrant a closer look.”
He delineated how Post Pandemic companies are hoping to recover from the loss and take advantage of the Digital platform for their product branding process and continuing operations virtually for 6 to 7 months more. In the end, he expressed his optimism by saying that he expects the situation to get better by the end of the year.
The author, Swetanjali Thakur is associated with Adamas University Media School.