Corporate communication and public relations deal with managing relationships with public groups and stakeholders. As to say, Corporate communication is about managing relationships by informing, persuading, dialoguing, and negotiating. It is one of the most important tools used in organizational management and building. Moreover, Corporate Communication considers all internal and external communications with employees, employers, investors, promoters, and the management team. On the other hand, Public Relations is all about engaging with the general public using the extensive tool called media.
Let us learn with Ms. Abhilasha Gupta – Head of Global Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at Tech Mahindra. She is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and digital services industry. Abhilasha has worked in senior capacities with extensive experience in strategic communication, public relations, crisis communication, and corporate affairs. She is a double postgraduate in English Journalism and English Literature from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi. She is also a gold medalist in her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Ramjas College (University of Delhi). She has got it all.
We seek her guidance to understand more about the field and learn from her experiences. We welcome you mam to this expert interview series and hope you have a good time ahead.
Q1. How would you describe your journey so far and what impediments did you face to reach here?
Answer: Awesome, alright see my story has been nothing short of exciting. So far I started out as a literature student I mean if I go way way back I thought I’d do something in science since I was really good with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. But then I ended up studying literature thereby aspiring to be a journalist back for a bit. And here I am today in communication but I would say that there is one thing which has tied everything that I’ve done so far is – “communication”. Because no matter on which side of the table it has been communication has been that one keyword. It is the one holding point that has cut across everything that I’ve done and I truly genuinely believe in the power of communication and how it can solve the largest of business and other problems and that’s what I aspire to do every day.
Q2. What does an ideal day look like?
Answer: An ideal day, so, I’m married now so there have been slight changes since that happened. There’s of course a lot of balancing between home and office but just talking from a professional perspective an ideal day looks like a lot of reading in business. We have to know what is happening in the world. Every day’s a new me, every day there’s news so it’s very important that you’re up to date. There’s a lot of reading that goes into it. There’s a lot of reading of reports as well. Also, a lot of reviewing articles of various news pieces that come across, understanding where the industry is going, understanding where what’s professionals are talking about and so on and so forth. That’s typically the start of my day. Goes on to of course checking just the usual business and then a lot of my work also includes networking and talking to stakeholders internal and external, because by the virtue of the function. I am working in a very people-dependent role so it’s very important for me to understand what the internal stakeholders think and what they’re strategizing and how can we put it forth in front of the world. And at the same time, it’s very important to know what the external stakeholders are talking and in our case, it’s a lot of times the media so what the journalists are thinking what are they writing about what is going on in the industry. So it’s a lot of talking, it’s a lot of texting, it’s a lot of networking as they say it and then of course I try and keep minimal calls because that’s just not how I like to work but that’s yes that’s quickly a good day at work.
Q3. How important is it to leverage digital to capture eyeballs?
Answer: I put this slightly differently I wouldn’t say that it is important to leverage digital I would say that there is no way to ignore. I don’t think there exists a world in this day and age where you can ignore digital. It’s the part and so it’s just so important that you tap into that platform. You of course can’t ignore it so best is to know the potential that digital platforms have levels and levels and completely because generally the Gen X we are of course not reading newspapers if we just talk about communication that then I have, I’m reading newspapers, like maybe a generation before us did that. Now they are on the apps like different social medias like this news app so you have to move with the time, you have to move with the future workforce and same goes for your partners, it’s really important to tap into the potential of digital platforms and which is of course immense and a lot can be achieved by just utilizing that better.
Q4. What are the five most required skills to become a successful person in the field of PR and communication?
Answer: Well I’m sure there more than size but to answer this I will go back to when I when I was studying journalism in college they taught us the 5C’s of communication. And I think those are that are important for a communications professional. Also, no matter whether your industry is associated with. So it went like content, of course there it’s very important what you’re saying and all you’re saying. It is the caps of the argument. So, content. Second is, to be concise, in communications. For professionals it’s very important for us to say a lot of things in one simple say a sentence or a couple of words and they don’t necessarily have to be verbose they don’t necessarily have to be very complicated it’s hard jobs that communication professionals to simplify. And next is clarity, that is to simplify what we’re trying to see and then communicate effectively. the 4th C is context which is again extremely important you can’t have content without context because that would make no sense. It is very important to contextualize to empathize with your listener and be effective because unless you know Unless you know the You want to see and who you’re saying it to and why you’re seeing it unless you have that charter drawn out you will never be perfected in your nation. And finally, correctness. By correctness I just mean credibility it’s really important that whatever it is that you’re seeing is credible is factual and there is no misinformation that you as a communication professional are spreading or proliferating in the masters or to any stakeholder internal external or by the way. So, I think just go back to the five Cs of communication that is not in college and yeah that that would good communication professional what advice.
Q5. What advice would you like to give to our viewers who are interested in pursuing a career in this field?
Answer: Well I’d say it’s a very very exciting question. Honestly, how they say that if you love your work it doesn’t seem like work that’s how it is for me so I’m fortunate to be in a profile to be a function that I’m truly truly passionate about I say it it’s very exciting because you get to be the voice of a brand you get to be the voice of very very senior leaders who are so experienced and have so much depth in their domain it’s really exciting because you get to do a lot to your function. But at the same time there’s a lot of accountability there’s a lot of responsibility so it’s very important that you are the voice of the brand that you are the custodian of the organization and it’s very important that your countable you feel that credibility and you understand the importance so it’s a high risk high return function. If I can just run it like that and if you’re passionate about communications then this is it, I love my job and I hope that it inspires people who are inspired by communications and the power that holds also find it inspiring.
Q6. What’s the quotation you live by your life?
Answer: Wow, interesting very interesting question you ask me because being a literature student it is very difficult for me to answer. So, my favorite is – it is about the people. So, it’s really really important that is in this world of technology you keep going back to the people you keep understanding your stakeholders and managing the stakeholders and that’s what even communication is about it’s about connecting the people together in making sure that we know what each other each of us feeling and doing and the good work that we’re doing.