“When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” a popular witticism in American English fits aptly for the public relations industry during the corona times. The stretched lockdowns amid abysmally soaring cases had physically halted all industrial operations adding to the load of the industry to help brands and companies sail over the tide. PR campaigns in India not only adapted to the new normal of working from home but also pulled the benchmark of quality, dedication and perseverance a notch higher amid the pandemic-induced lockdown.
Digital PR is an approach to make brand discernment utilizing content showcasing through advanced mediums like media, bloggers, columnists,s and social influencers (like Actors, YouTubers, Instagrammer’s and others). It is advertising for the new age having a crossbreed blend of promoting and PR for driving characterized business objectives. It gives add-on advantages to brands existing digital advertising endeavors like Search Engine Optimisation and web-based media.
It fills the customary PR marketing, we use our psychometric perception building systems to recognize the brand issues and henceforth characterize customized answers for various motives like brand awareness, audience engagement, a higher portion of voice (SOV), thought initiative, item administration, reputation management and other.
Often referred to as “storytellers” in the communication diaspora, the PR industry meticulously created conversations for brand recalls and brand positioning throughout the lockdown phase so as to keep the businesses across boards visible to their audience. Despite rationed budget allocation by clients, the image doctors worked diligently and gingerly for their clients and created meaningful campaigns that served a dual purpose of keeping the businesses going digitally and at the same time did not sound opportunistic or money-minded.
We interacted with some key players in the industry about their work during the past two months of lockdown and tried to make a list of the best creative stories created by agencies for their clientele.
Here is a review of their successful PR campaigns in India with clever ideas during the Lockdown period:-
1. Adfactors PR
Client: ICICI Lombard
Campaign Title: DurRehkarBhi Hum NibhayeVaade
For a quick and hassle free motor claims settlements, use our InstaSpect feature app in insure app.#ICICILombard, duur rehkar bhi #NibhayeVaade
Download the App now:
Android – https://t.co/54npN5v1HI
iOS – https://t.co/GMqfJhrRQZ pic.twitter.com/Pp1SVvMcYq
— ICICI Lombard GIC (@ICICILombard) March 29, 2020
Objective- “As the country went into lockdown on March 24, 2020, the world collectively completed its long due transition to virtual, from traditional or physical. Seeing an opportunity in adversity, ICICI Lombard stepped up its digital transition. Although, the government deemed insurance as an ‘exempted activity’, ICICI Lombard stuck to its core philosophy of #NibhayeVaade and utilized its robust technological infrastructure to assist the nation in battling the COVID-19 pandemic by adhering to the strictest norms of social distancing. This gave us a good chance to position the technological prowess of the brand in these challenging times. Thus our narrative was ‘Ensuring our customers from within the comforts of our homes or DurRehkarBhi Hum NibhayeVaade’. Thus, our communication not only focused on encouraging ICICI Lombard’s customers to practice social distancing but also helping them do so by providing them with the full host of services through the means of technology, fulfilling their every need.”
Action Plan- Bearing this message in mind, the AdfactorsPR team took a two-step approach to utilize owned and earned media through simple and highly informative, visuals and content.
In the first step, social media handles were used to showcase the digital accessibility of all the services provided by ICICI Lombard. The team conceptualized and designed creatives highlighting the company’s digital offerings for critical services such as health insurance and motor insurance. These images were posted through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for reaching the maximum audience.
In the second step, carefully curated content was utilized in initiating conversation in the print and digital media. The brand message of customer-centricity was driven through various story formats, such as Q& A interviews, authored articles and participation in industry, stories on a plethora of topics including trust-building in the digital age, seamless claims settlement processes, and work-from-home policies.
Result- Through the traditional PR approach of combining print and online media, a total of 7.60 million people were reached across India, which translated into an ad value equivalent of Rs. 16.71 million for the client.
Client- Piramal Foundation
Campaign Title: Win the war against pandemic
Objective- Utilizing remarkable PPP model to work with the public authority to battle COVID-19 pandemic, contacting the minimized networks in the remotest communities of the nation to make mindfulness around COVID-19; cutting down the nervousness and dread in the general public particularly for individuals who are not innovation shrewd or live in zones where admittance to media is testing through 104 health helpline by sharing WHO and MOHFW guideline data.
Action Plan- Proactive pitching in regards to different verticals of the establishment in various news dailies, utilization of social resources of Piramal Foundation, Piramal Swasthya, Piramal Sarvajal, and Piramal School of Leadership to intensify the messages and utilized genuine contextual investigations of how the group has proactively made a special effort to serve the general public in the current basic conditions.
Result- There has been a widespread acknowledgment of the on-ground activities undertaken during Covid-19 by the Piramal Foundation along with extensive media coverage. The government stakeholders that are partners in these activities have acknowledged the efforts taken by Piramal to generate awareness to calm a nervous and uncertain population.
2. Genesis BCW
Campaign Title: #StaySafeWithSleepwell
Objective- “Sleepwell produces a diverse portfolio of mattresses and home comfort products. It recognized that one of the biggest casualties during the pandemic has been the impact on sleep. Committed to helping people sleep better, we aided Sleepwell in launching an awareness campaign to reiterate the importance of sleep in building immunity. The campaign encouraged people to ensure eight hours of sound sleep as it helps to build up the body’s defenses.
Action Plan- Sleepwell has also lent aid to the Indian healthcare sector in its fight against the pandemic by ensuring the timely supply of 10,000 mattresses and foam sheets across healthcare institutions and quarantine centers. Pitching in all news dailies along with leveraging the digital approach.
Campaign Title: #LetsTalk1on1
Objective- “Mpower, a pioneer in Indian mental medical care, needed to make mindful of the effect on psychological health during this health emergency and offer their help to battle any worries. Mpower brought to the front the significance of mental health with its PR campaign #LetsTalk1on1.”
Action Plan- Mpower cooperated with the public authorities of Maharashtra and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to dispatch a 24×7 helpline to address mental wellness worries in nearby dialects. Through a mission-driven to a great extent by advertising, we spread the word about the different parts of psychological well-being, activating media, influencers, and big names naturally. Riding on the popular social media platforms like Instagram/Facebook Live wave, they exhibited different treatment contributions by holding music, art, dance, and more treatment workshop isolated nurturing with mother bloggers, relationships at home with a way of life influencers.
They focused on youngsters, youthful working experts, and families going through various conditions, and offered free guidance through interviews, articles, taking part in industry discussions, fast tips on radio, and contacting trendy gateways generally followed by the adolescent. We likewise worked with high-sway interviews with Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder, and Chairperson, with mainstream and generally followed media characters and stages.
3. Avian WE
Campaign Title: Catering to lifestyle aspirations in difficult times
Objective- “The closure of retail stores during the lockdown and temporary restrictions on product sales through e-commerce platforms dealt a heavy blow to the consumer durables industry. Moreover, most print media houses had downsized their editions, with some even going fully digital, and focused only on Covid-19-related stories. This meant Phillips products could not be bought either online or in stores, and there was no media outlet to talk about the brand.”
View this post on Instagram
Action Plan- To sustain conversations around Phillips’ portfolio of products – kitchen appliances, beauty, and male grooming:
Reached out to lifestyle and food bloggers to create topical content on the brand’s role in making people’s lives easier and happier in self-isolation
Developed content partnerships with online influencers around story ideas such as how Philips Kitchen Appliances can help you make healthy meals conveniently at home, get ready for a Skype meeting in 5 mins with a hair straightening brush, and Using OneBlade to style beards at home when salons are closed, to name a few. Engaged with Philips brand ambassadors across categories to reach out to a wider audience.
Leveraged our relationship with influencers engaged with in the past: Amy Chhabra, Aishwarya KaushalTejeshwarSandhoo, Abhinav Mathur, Nikita Aggarwal, and Udit Batra, to name a few.
Leveraged online media platforms to explore feature story opportunities around personal grooming at home.
Result- Reached over 2 million users through influencers and brand ambassadors
Client name: Avon
Campaign Title: #IsolatedNotAlone
Objective- “In the midst of the pandemic, women and children at risk of domestic violence have become more vulnerable since they are trapped with their perpetrators. This has led to a global surge in domestic violence. To address this, AVON along with AVON Foundation for Women launched the #IsolatedNotAlone campaign.”
Action Plan– To signpost help for those in need, AVON partnered with three NGOs – Shakti Shalini, Swayam, and Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) – and issued a total grant of USD $122,500 (approximately Rs94 lakh).
To spread awareness, Avon hosted live sessions on Instagram with opinion leaders such as Laxmi Agarwal (acid attack survivor), Vrinda Grover (lawyer), Faraz Arif Ansari (filmmaker), Dr. Samir Parikh (psychiatrist), and Roshni Bhatia (lifestyle influencer). Avon also engaged with Instagram influencers who actively talk about societal issues, such as Aishwarya Sharma, Nivedita, Priya Rana, and Naaz Arora, through which the brand was able to reach out to over a million unique users.
In addition, Avon has issued an open letter to the government requesting them to put more emphasis on front-line services and policies around domestic violence.
4. PR Pundit
Client: ITC Personal Care
Campaign Title: #EngageResponsibly
View this post on Instagram
unprecedented times and it is important for us to play our parts and help each other breeze through the difficult phase, especially our elderly. I have been trying to help my elderly neighbors in delivering staples and medicines at their houses. #EngageResponsibly @EngageByITC pic.twitter.com/EH5rf1oK1M
— grubmode (@grubmodebyku) May 21, 2020
Objective– ITC Engage launched #EngageResponsibly urging the public to demonstrate sensitivity and empathy towards the elderly by reaching out to them and offering support.
Action Plan– The brand collaborated with influencers to showcase how to help senior citizens in their families cope better and urging consumers to do the same.
Campaign Title– ITC Vivel’s Ab Samjhautha Nahin
As part of ITC Vivel’s Ab Samjhautha Nahin campaign, we released a video on Mother’s Day. The video featured ITC Vivel’s brand ambassador and Bollywood actress, Kriti Sanon reciting a special poem nudging women not to ignore the most pivot person in the whole ecosystem – themselves. It was a tribute to the sentiment of millions of women who are juggling the housework and office front effortlessly in the wake of their increased responsibilities during the lockdown.
Client: Kaya Clinic
Campaign Title: #StayInWithKaya
Skin care is important, that’s why we have made our large team of expert dermatologists available for free online video…
Objective- Kaya Clinic started a PAN India outreach through everyday video counsel to aid dermatology-affirmed skincare, haircare, and any pressure-related sensitivity treatment gauges at home. Kaya Clinic initiated with more than 140 expert dermatologists across India by means of a free video discussion program on the Kaya complementary number – 1800-209-5292.
Action Plan- PR Pundit proactively connected with key partners and influencers to drive mindfulness for Kaya’s endeavors in creating however many inquiries as could reasonably be expected to give the necessary guide and help.
PR Pundit actuated the declaration by means of retail, excellence, and way of life media stages, and local media.
Video Consultation Programs were directed freely with 4 media houses to approve and clarify the viability of the video format conferences.
PR group started an all-around considered effort through LIVE meetings with key magnificence Bloggers and dermatologists to draw in the bigger organization of audiences.
Kaya’s Instagram handle was also activated for a #StayInWithKaya guest influencer wellness program initiated by PR Pundit. It is one of the successfully performed PR campaigns in India.
Features were initiated to build awareness on homecare remedies and related concerns on a weekly basis in April and May with commentary from Kaya dermatologists in all skincare related media features
Result- In April alone, over 350 video consultations were undertaken across India as part of the inquiries generated. Over 600 consultations in total have been covered.
On Instagram, 8 IG Live sessions were hosted, engaging 5 senior dermatologists for a total duration of over 300 minutes.
Almost 6 guest influencer programs as part of the #StayInWithKaya initiative focused on nutrition, fitness, mind healing. The social media activity reached an audience of 457K.
Secured over 40 digital features in retail, Ad & Marketing, and key beauty & lifestyle portals on the announcement.
Key publications included Vogue, Femina, POPXO, and IANS.
5. Strategic Partners Group – SPAG
Client: Global medical devices company
Objective- Leverage unique PPP model to work with the government to fight COVID-19 pandemic; Reach out to the marginalized communities in the remotest part of the country to create awareness around COVID-19; bring down the anxiety and fear in the society especially for people who are not technology savvy or live in areas where access to media is challenging via 104 health helpline by sharing WHO and MOHFW guidelines information.
Action Plan- Develop medical expert-led webinar focused on patients & caregivers, who are not able to go for elective surgery and living in pain. Our expert used the opportunity to provide his views and also answer the question on how to manage pain at home.
Result: We got more than 400 patients & caregivers, who joined the first webinar. Based on the success of the first webinar, the client asked to replicate it in 4 other locations across India.