Reputation & Leadership

Imagine you have to write 500 words opinion piece for the CEO of your company, and when asked about his stand on the subject he only responds with ‘good.’ How do you craft his opinion based on two syllables?

This Saturday, we at SCoRe (School of Communications and Reputation) had the opportunity of attending a Masterclass by Ms Ritika Shah- the Lead (GM) PR & Communication at Hiranandani Group of Companies. Ms Shah spoke at length, describing with great detail her experience in working with Leadership and Reputation management. Her experience with literally shadowing C-level executives told us how she was able to create something out of nothing!

Reputation is a vital intangible asset. It is the untarnished image that we strive to maintain as PR professionals. This image is immortalized in the minds of the people and creates excellent brand recall and trust. Reputation may be both; positive and negative but not necessarily strong. The strength of an organization’s reputation comes with consistent performance and continued quality. In order to build the reputation of a leadership profile, PR professionals need to shadow them. Shadowing means following them around, keeping tabs on their workings, seeking their opinions on matters, and also forging a deep, meaningful relationship with them.

As our expert has serviced the Real Estate sector for the longest time, she spoke about her experiences and her understanding of the sector. While speaking about the ‘developer-clan’ she dished out common misconceptions about the fraternity. Developers are usually associated with being shady, lobbyists, and generally untrustworthy in nature. She had to bring about a shift in the reputation of the fraternity that comes with so many preconceived notions.

She was able to position her client as a think tank, market disruptor, and thought leader, which worked in great favour of the industry and the upcoming projects. If perception is the building, then the PR profession is the architect.
For an analytical and problem-solving approach, PR is a great tool.

A PRO needn’t be restricted to a limited approach, Ms Shah recommends that one can learn better by acquainting oneself with all facets of communications. Also, a PRO is privy to classified information and personal information about the leadership. She even recommends that C-level executives be as open with communication professionals as they would be with lawyers and doctors while sharing information. As communication professionals, we need to understand a simple ideology. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. A Lifestyle CEO may be need to be shadowed differently to a Real Estate CEO.

Re-emphasizing G.B Shaw’s quote, The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished, Ms Shah spoke about communication being a mixture of grit and gut with being incredibly situation-centric.

For us upcoming PR professionals, she had two bits of information.
Essentials of Reputation Builders:
1. Be a disruptor
2. Qualities of a Rep Maverick:
Sell Everything!
3. Crisp Articulation- Convincing and engaging Storytelling
4. Eye for Research- profound researcher
5. Litmus Test: Networking-Interpersonal skills
All the above qualities will help Public Relations in becoming a game-changer.
Lastly, she stressed the importance of having an emotional connection in one’s messaging. Communication must be both, stimulate the mind and also tug at your heart.

Communication needs no SOPs. Everything is customized!

Author: Digital Onca

Digital Onca is a blog that documents the concepts of Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Digital Onca is the effort to stay with the times, understand more deeply, more closely the working of a digital space that is steadfastly emerging around us.

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