Evolve or Perish: The new PR paradigm

To recognize women leaders’ relentless pursuit of excellence in public relations and corporate communications, exchange4media PR & Corp Comm launched the Women Achievers Awards in 2020. The third edition of the awards in 2022 celebrated women leaders who have shaped the industry through their incredible work. .

The awards recognized women who have not only achieved major milestones in their careers, but also brought about a dynamic change in the PR and corporate communications industry.

Today we feature Nairita Ghosh, Corporate Director – Corporate Communications, The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), who has been honored with ‘Emerging Leader in Corp Comm’ Award at e4m PR & Corp Comm Women Achievers Awards.

Ghosh is a communications professional with over 14 years of experience in the industry. Prior to IHCL, she also worked with FleishmanHillard, Weber Shandwick, Edelman, Crimson Interactive Pvt. Ltd. and Vodafone.


Congratulations on your win at e4m PR & Corp Comm Women Achievers Awards 2022. How do you feel?

While being given the opportunity to be part of these prestigious PR and Corporate Communications Women Achievers Awards and being recognized as an Emerging Leader in Corporate Communications is an honor in itself, what makes this achievement truly special is sharing of this elite list along with so many talented women stalwarts across different industries.

It is immensely inspiring to see so many women leaders acting as pioneers in their various domains, and it fills me with both pride and hope for a stronger future, where women continue to lead the way to new heights of success.

Even as I celebrate my achievement, I truly believe that success is not a solo journey and this award is a testament to my amazing mentors, colleagues, teams and organization that is Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), who support me and encouraged to put my best foot forward every single day.

I would also like to say a big thank you to the entire e4m team for organizing these prestigious awards that not only recognize the tremendous talent and hard work that is the foundation of our PR and communications industry, but also motivate us all to further raise the bar.

What inspires you in your journey and endeavors?

A traveler at heart, I’ve always believed in the adage – it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters. And what better journey than the one that allows you to hone your expertise; learning and unlearning skills, new and old; and tap into your creativity, all while meeting people from different walks of life!

What makes the journey of a communication professional even more exciting is the exposure one gets to different cultures, which often form the narrative of all communication; diverse ways of thinking and innovation, all closely intertwined with business goals and long-term vision.

What inspires me every day is the belief that the communication strategy executed by my team and myself not only makes an immediate short-term impact, but actually shapes the sentiment of stakeholders about IHCL and its various brands in the long term, and will always be a part of IHCL’s history in its journey to greater success.

In what ways have you seen the PR and corporate communications industry change and evolve over the years? What global practices would you see implemented in India?

While the past decade has certainly seen the PR and communications industry in India evolve rapidly, the past two years have only accelerated this transformation.

The role of digitization has only become more prominent, with digital and social media platforms overtaking their traditional counterparts to become key sources of real-time global updates, a melting pot of socio-economic and political movements and, many times, the point of origin for the harbingers of change. Influencer marketing, once considered a global phenomenon, has made its presence felt strongly in India, with audiences often trusting the views of their favorite influencers even over marketing communications.

This has led to the blurring of lines between public relations, marketing and content curation, with each acting as a facilitator for the other to create organizational narratives that are not just brand, but rather community-focused.

Another change that has permeated the industry is the strong focus on initiatives that look beyond just business and instead aim for the greater good of society and the world as a whole. Today, sustainability is not just a ‘key’ just say ‘the’ word of the hour, why organizations shape their business, with a long-term focus on making a positive impact on the environment and community. ESG-related initiatives (environmental, social and governance oversight) are changing from a to-do to a must-do, a change that is rapidly making its presence felt in all segments of both business and communications.

Tell us about your most valuable learning from the industry. Where do you see the PR and communications industry in the coming days?

While the learnings of an industry as dynamic as PR and communications are too numerous to mention, one that has definitely stayed with me and shaped the professional I am today is the realization and acceptance that change is the only constant.

Our industry is one that is dynamic and constantly evolving to adopt new trends, platforms and audience requirements. For one to not only be a successful communicator, but also drive business goals, adaptability and flexibility are valuable assets to have. Apart from that, having a creative bent of mind with a flair for innovation goes a long way in creating stories and campaigns that are consistent; relevant to both, one’s business and the consumer; and high on emotional quotient; thereby creating and building connections with one’s audience beyond just your product and service. After all, there is no greater power than the power of storytelling in the great world of communication.

This aptitude for adaptability, flexibility, creativity and innovation will see our industry grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years. Artificial intelligence and big data will play even more important roles in the way brands and organizations design their campaigns. From niche targeting, developing targeted content for different platforms to search engine optimization, data-driven, customer-centric and predictive insights will gain more and more credence over time.

The variety of content that can be created will further explode with live streaming, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) elevating communication to the next level to create a truly borderless world.

What will be your message to the future generation of professionals?

It’s been a decade since I myself stepped into the kaleidoscopic world of communications and PR as a bright-eyed, bushy-haired young professional. From that first taste of creating communication strategies for various clients to today driving global communications for a hospitality industry leader like Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), the one thing that hasn’t changed is my passion for good storytelling.

For anyone looking to grow and grow in this world of PR and communications, all I would say is, let your love of storytelling drive your communication. A brand is only as strong as the stories we tell, so create brand stories that are authentic, high on emotional quotient and relevant to the times and platforms for which they were launched.

This combined with the affinity for creative expression, hunger for knowledge and the firm belief that one never stops learning will stand you in good stead in an industry that wholeheartedly welcomes young, innovative minds.

The content in this section is compiled by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback, please write to [email protected].

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