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Gaurav Patra

A first generation Technology journalist, seasoned PR veteran and digital media exponent, Gaurav Patra has explored every aspect of his key strengths through his rich association with the media since the past two decades. He has been brandishing his innate communication and management skills to ably realize his dream of furthering his own entrepreneurial venture from vision to execution. After building a solid base in journalism across leading publication houses like Cyber Media, Media Transasia and Jasubhai Digital Media, he has seen and tracked the rise and shine of the IT industry in India over the last 20 years, lending keen insight and perspective as Assistant Bureau Chief at The Indian Express Group.

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All the Reason Why PR Industry is Going to Grow Rapidly This Year

The public relations industry to be valued INR 2,100 Cr by 2020, nearly doubling its current market size.

After spending a few decades in the field of media and communications, one tends to adopt a nonchalant approach towards any speculation that lacks substance and exists only to grab eyeballs or become the headline. It is also quite amusing to come across speculations concerning the very future and the longevity of public relations itself. While cynics and speculators seem to be unanimous on their notion of the demise of PR in near future, the same, however, is far-fetched from reality.

Putting a halt to any such speculations is the industry report by Public Relations Consultants Association of India. The detailed report estimates the public relations industry to be valued INR 2,100 Cr by 2020, nearly doubling its current market size. The report further validates the impending evolution of the PR industry in the coming future. While fundamental PR campaigns and activities will drive the future growth, other forms, such as social media, digital, and content-driven campaigns are going to be credited for nearly 25 per cent of the revenues. Hence, far from being dead, the world of public relations is growing and evolving, especially with the advent of newer services like digital and social media.  

While the evolution paints a promising and promising picture, the sector seems poised to grow in conjugation with other sectors. For instance, the aforementioned report also estimated the biggest clients served by public relations agencies. The Information & Communication Technology sector tops the list, contributing over 20% to the overall revenues accrued by the PR Industry. Firms providing financial services rank in a close second, with their contributions going up to 12%; the fast moving consumer goods sector provides nearly 9% for this sector. 

In the past few years, each of these sectors has undergone disruptive growth. Given a number of mushrooming tech startups, the emergence of new-age financial companies and FinTech players etc provided a huge growth impetus for the PR industry. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise when the PR industry registered a growth of 13% in 2016 and 19% in 2017. Industry experts predict a similar year-on-year growth curve in the coming years. In fact, public relations will continue to remain relevant as different players in the ecosystem are fuelled with an ambition to be distinguished and establish a brand that could claim riveting, unrivalled attention amongst media and end users. 

With the right PR campaign, emerging and fast-growing brands can attract the right investor attention. The right media placement helps a brand in grabbing eyeballs, not only of the end users but also of the industry leaders, investors and VCs. By crafting the right messaging and spearheading the same with a bullet-proof strategy, enhances the credibility of a brand, making it a viable avenue for investment. By the same token, public relations is going to be in demand, especially from a growing number of early stage startups and mid-stage companies, eager to take the next big leap. 

In addition to sourcing the right investor attention, the work of public relations is also relevant for promoting the organization culture and by its translation, recruiting and retaining talent. Over the years, different industries such as online commerce, FinTech etc have woken up to the growing attrition rate. The new-age studies in the field of human resources implore organizations to lay stress on improving the overall experience of the employees, instead of trying to lure them with monetary gains and perks. With the right PR strategy, organizations can establish their thought-leadership in the market, hence emerging as the coveted employment destinations for the leading talent in the industry. 

Besides, the role of media in crisis management can never be overstated. In this age, where tweets of less than 140 characters can go viral within minutes, a lot is at stake for a brand that endeavours to walk through the tight rope of disruption and change. With PR at their disposal, brands may not become immune to crisis, but do stand a golden chance of leveraging the same to enhance credibility and foster branding. Lastly, the world as we know it stands at the cusp of several impending radical transformations. Most noteworthy to mention is the advent of multiple crypto-currencies in India. PR has, in the past, proved to aid revolutionaries bring about radical transformations with the right set of communication tools and practices. Hence, the work of PR is only going to grow in its scope and prominence, giving voice to the upcoming disruptions, transformations, and change. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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