Sonali Priy Kapoor is a publicist with two decades of experience in working for different industries. Her accomplishments are boundless and that is why when she rolled out The Hatch Project, huge brands came knocking at her door.
Here are the edited excerpts of our Accomplished Women series with Sonali Priy Kapoor.
The world of PR and Media Communication has been women dominated by default and you come with two decades of experience in it. How would you define the early days of Public relation in India compared to today where it is majorly dominated by social media?
I agree with the fact that women are more creative as the other entrepreneur said. What is also to be noted is that women possess persistency and that makes them a dominant at least in the communication industry. We do have male colleagues also and I don’t mean to say they are not creative. I mean to say, it comes naturally to women to express herself and diluting the subject.
Talking about my initial days, it was more of a grasp and learn technique. We all speak up to senior journalists as a trainee and understand the rhythm of each industry and publication. The way of communication from then to now has evolved a lot. Moreover, when we talk about the content quality and the role of physical copies of newspapers and magazines compared to getting it published online, it is not giving that cheer.
Earlier, we publicists were the hard working faces, but that has changed now completely with the tools and what digitization has to offer. Then again, getting published in five worthy publications mattered a lot than the focus on quantity now. I remember watching an interview of Karishma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor in which the former talks about what was offered to her when she was an actress compared to what Kareena was getting in her times.
Now, there is a different ballgame altogether and PR is evolving every minute. In the process, print is losing its sheen and now everything now is about influencers, out of the box marketing campaigns etc.
Would you like to describe your experience of working in different industries?
I would pick two examples i.e., one from the hospitality industry and the other being fintech. These are two different sectors altogether and it has been said that you have to be very specific about what industry you’ve been working with. But, in my opinion, PR is just about how many features fit into the platform that you’re pitching across. Let it be any magazine or any influencer engagement, it has to resonate with what you are pitching.
For example, hospitality it is about profiling or talking about what’s on the menu etc. On the other hand, you are only talking about numbers in the fintech industry and how the technology is moving across. Here you are talking about a recharge card that gives you an entitlement from Rs 500 to Rs 5 crore just with one transaction. Channelizing the communication is the key than what your subject is. Yes, subject is important to understand the industry, but you do not need two decades to understand an industry.
It just happened to me after starting The Hatch Project i.e., we had brands who had brands who have been working with big giants for the last 20-22 years. And they did want to work with us and that is because they defined us with the term – New Gen PR.
That time, I truly felt that it is the fresh perspective that we make. You need to understand why a journalist would want to cover. So, I always wanted to bring in that fresh perspective and with that I had great experience working with hospitality, lifestyle and even working with channels like Colors and OTT platform- Netflix, Amazon Prime. The way they do PR is completely different from how others look at it.
How do you see the way PR is done and the way influencer marketing is done? We cannot compare both of them, but when we benchmark PR is taking a backseat. What is your opinion on that?
To be very honest, not that we never engage with influencers, but there are set criteria and lines drawn. And it is the job of a PR person to differentiate real influencers and social media profiles. It is not about the number of followers there, but it is about who is watching it.
Globalisation and digitalization has boomed the social media gamut. Nowadays, I see influencers do not know how to use their content wisely. They use 10-10,000 hashtags which they are not even aware of. But certain set of influencers do exist in the market who are the game changers as they are influencing a certain set of people on a daily basis.
And, we cannot benchmark PR with digital marketing as PR adds to your brand equity, but influencers add to your Instagram account.
What are some of the near future disruptions that we can expect?
Everyone has understood that the game has changed. You need to evolve every minute to understand the customer’s thought process. The communication, platforms and channel as well as content, it is an opportunity which exists to grasp attention. You need to be smart to grasp viewer attention.
People who were not in podcasts earlier are now more into it now and YouTube has picked up. We publicists have been trying hard to come up with something new. Now, the world has evolved and you need to be open. It is not about an influencer wearing your clothes and dancing.
Keep watching this space for more exciting updates.