PR Next

Monthly eZine for PR Professionals

Interview with Siva Ramamoorthy, Group Director-Marketing, Tejas Networks

Posted by prnext on June 16, 2009


Anusuya Mitra in an exclusive interview with Mr. Siva Ramamoorthy, Group Director Marketing, Tejas Networks shares with us his thoughts about the importance of PR in marketing mix

1) What according to you is PR and where is this industry in India headed?

PR provides a set of tools and reach for organizations to reach out to a broader audience and a broader set of stakeholders. With the age of Social Networking, we live in an age of co creation of knowledge and products. Companies are seeking to work much more closely with external stakeholders than ever before. PR plays a key role in providing the brand cover or the pull that enables a company to work well with its external stake holders.

The PR industry in India is headed for a very rapid growth. Apart from macro economic reasons such as the relative fast pace growth of the Indian economy, the growth in quality press along with growth in both horizontal multi segmented coverage as well as growth in specific vertical coverage is a key driver for the industry.

2) How important do you think is PR for any organization? Comment on the role of PR for Tejas Networks?

PR is a strategic lever for any organization and one of the vital elements of its branding strategy and integrated marketing campaigns. Quality PR enables an organization to reach out to its stake holders: the public, future employees, customers, opinion makers and thought leaders.

Tejas Networks is unique in being a IP based product company out of India. Hence, the rarity factor is high and it becomes particularly important to reach out to a larger audience and articulate the value not just of Tejas Networks and our products and services but also the importance of IP / innovation and creating large value chains and IP based ecosystems from India.

3) What is the ideal percentage of PR in the marketing mix? PR vs. advertising: please comment.

There is no ideal percentage of the various elements in a marketing mix. However, one essential ingredient of all programs in a marketing mix is consistency and uniformity. In building a brand, nourishing a brand and growing a brand, a very essential element is consistent uniform messaging and touch points which espouses the values which your company stands for.

An integrated marketing campaign has a variety of programs – both internally and externally facing. PR is an essential glue which fits in and horizontally supports many of these programs by providing the broad air cover that is needed for these to be successful.

With the advent of the Internet, the world of advertising has changed significantly. With tools such as blogs and postings in news groups, viral marketing has become a very large element of reaching out to customers. As such the lines between earlier tools such as PR, Advertising, Promotions have all blurred. However, I firmly believe the essential value propositions remain the same: Consistency, Uniformity, Innovation. Depth and breadth of reach are the key elements in such as a reach out strategy.

4) Out of marketing and PR, which would you say has more impact/output in promoting the messaging/branding of the company?

We are in the world of marketing in a Web 2.0 world which is very much an integrated marketing approach. Companies are being very fast in creating their new products and services and are inviting their customers to participate more and more in co creating products and services. Companies are using a variety of tools – Branding, PR, Corporate Communications, Internet Advertising, Viral Marketing, Social Networks, Product Launches – and integrating all their communications through all these tools to deliver a consistent and homogeneous message.

5) What are your expectations from PR?

I would expect PR to play a vital role in enabling a company’s messaging and uniqueness to be heard. Smarter companies are seeking to work more and more closely with customers than ever before. A look around various industries will reveal several Web ecosystems around a company in many industries – Sun Silk Gang of Girls, Kraft first taste, Red Bull – apart from the usual suspects in the computing industry. PR is obviously a very vital tool for a company to make such external links happen.

6) Challenges of PR as a profession?

As a career, PR is very challenging. To begin with, you would need to understand a very wide variety of people with very different information backgrounds. You would need to be able to relate to such a broad range of very smart people. Every company has uniqueness in corporate messaging, and it’s vital to understand that in great depth and provide a trusted advisor relationship with your customers. As a trusted advisor/consultant, you will play a key role in developing the companies PR approach, its strategy and do’s and don’t’s.

PR is a very exciting profession as it lets you meet a very broad set of people and learn. In our industry, life long learning is key and PR as a career provides you the opportunities to do so.

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