Connect with us

Alumni Speak

How to create effective brand communication strategies?

In this interview, Debasmita Ray, an Account Manager with FleishmanHillard explains why brand stories matter, and how in-depth research helps in shaping an effective campaign plan.



How did it begin?

“Media has always been an integral part of our lives. Like any other kid, I grew up in a household where TV news was an essential part of our day-to-day lives. After studying for the 10 marks test section for my class 11 Hindi syllabus about ‘Yellow Journalism’ and ‘Role of Advertising in Mass Communication’, I was intrigued to know more about how media works,” said Debasmita Ray, an alumna of Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC), who is currently working as an Account Manager with FleishmanHillard, a global PR agency. Hence, she decided to deep dive in the media universe by opting for a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Calcutta. In 2018, she joined AIMC to seek guidance to become a media professional. 

Debasmita Ray

Her learnings from Apeejay 

The moment Debasmita stepped into the AIMC campus, it felt like a whole new world to her. Choosing the right career is a vital decision for any young professional especially when they are exposed to numerous opportunities. The AIMC alumna is glad to have got the opportunity to work with like-minded people and was fortunate enough to be mentored by the best in the industry. “AIMC widened my horizon when it came to picking the right career path. Starting from nurturing skills to preparing for the real media world, they mentored at every step. Be it classroom teaching sessions with industry leaders or doing live projects at DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation), AIMC made me realise my true potential.” 

First step into the professional world

After completing her Post Graduation Diploma in Corporate Communication and Event Management from in 2019, the PR professional subsequently received a placement opportunity from Edelman. In the four years of her career, Debasmita gained a vast experience of working with leading PR firms like Weber Shandwick (Bengaluru) and Adfactors PR (Mumbai). Skilled in Event Planning, Client Servicing, and Event Management, Debasmita at FleishmanHillard, is responsible for developing creative and strategic communications for leading brands.  

How to create effective brand communication strategies?

When asked what are those crucial factors that she keeps in mind while developing creative and strategic communication strategies for brand, she explained: 

Know your competitors: To be a step ahead of the competition, one must know everything about it. Monitoring their activities including their achievements and missteps will give you a great deal of insights.

Develop a narrative: For any brand, narrative is essential as it builds connections and trust. A great brand story is concise that tells the narrative of the brand, including where they’ve come from and where they are aiming to reach. This journey of a brand makes a deeper connection with their consumers and helps them stand out.

Know your audience: How brands resonate meaningfully with their target audience is an essential part. This needs to be thought through while developing creative and strategic communications for brands. Doing the research and identifying the demographics of the ideal consumers is a must, so that we can tailor the PR elements of a brand’s campaign around those characteristics.  

Skills one needs to nurture to be a part of the communication and marketing team

According to Debasmita, for any young professional joining the communication and marketing team, adaptability is one of the elements that is the need of the hour. She added: We either need to ‘Pivot or Perish’, these are fast-changing fields, with new practices and standards emerging constantly. 

Secondly, writing is a must skill no matter what field you’re in, but it’s particularly important in communication and marketing. Writing the ‘Right’ word to express the true sense of any narrative is important for this field. 

Thirdly, the will to deep dive, or I would like to say the ‘Research’ skill is a must. As a communication professional, you’ll often require doing research to shape out campaigns, create content, and so on. Research can be done in various forms, for example, looking into key competitors and their campaigns, learning about the industry trend of that sector via newsletters, blogs, news articles and opinion pieces, etc. It’s also important to know how to effectively do research and get the intel from reputable sources.

Role of social media in the PR industry

She further went on to explain how public relations and social media go hand in hand. “For any communication professional, incessantly adapting and juggling between these two has become imperative to communicate more proficiently. While crisis management is an essential part of PR, social media has also stepped into mitigating the crisis better by responding to it in real time via messages using posts, comments, tweets, and other community engagement.”

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.