Direct Communication is one of the global PR, because when done well it ensure the brand engages directly with audiences and influencers.
It is rarely done well – but Indian firm Godrej is showing the way.
Of course, direct engagement is not a replacement but represents a complementary approach to traditional communications based on paid, earned and owned media.
Godrej is pioneering direct communications in India through its owned media platforms L’Affaire, Vikroli Cucina, Design Deko, etc.
Sujit Patil, VP & Head Corporate Brand and Communications Godrej Industries Limited & Associate Companies was driven into this because research few years back showed that the affinity towards for brand Godrej amongst Millennials and youngsters could be much better. There are 450 million millennials in India. so you better take notice when they are not.
Patil says: “The three pillars of our owned media platform strategy are – content creation, experiential engagement and building a community of advocates for the brand Godrej.”
Godrej began with the food space as seven of Godrej businesses have a significant share of the kitchen (Interio kitchens, appliances’, Real Good Chicken, Cartini Knives, Protekt hand wash etc.).
Patil again: “The runaway success of ‘Vikhroli Cucina’ as a platform to engage with KOLs in the food space encouraged us to launch ‘L’Affaire’ which is our owned media property that enables brands and businesses in the lifestyle space to meaningfully engage with audiences in an experiential manner.”
“Since the customer experience and brand ethos are the core of owned media platforms, it pushes brands to create Relevancy among its target consumers to drive Engagement using interesting Content which eventually leads to Community building through Experience.
“The authentic content that gets created is used as a constant fuel for the social media handles of the participating brands.
Godrej has innovated to support people during Covid19.
“We started the L’Affaire Saturday night live music series during the initial phase of the lockdown. This was basically started to keep our followers engaged by giving them a good dose of happiness and positivity during the uncertain times. It still continues every Saturday and due to a good traction for the Masterbrand, we added Wilderness Wednesdays, Travel Tuesdays and now Writers Wednesdays. “
Sujit Patil says the PR industry is undergoing a huge cultural and behavioral change.
“The ‘R’ in PR today represents Reality, Resolution, and Reputation. Brands will look at building closer ties through experiences and engaging content with the audience. In fact, the skew will be towards building more direct channels with the target audience offering bi-directional engagement opportunities. The trust in earned and owned media will witness an increase. Therefore, brands which have utilized the lockdown time to re-assess, introspect, and adapt their communication strategy have an edge over others” he concludes.