Regional PR agencies to play an important role in the coming years: Shailesh Goyal
An interaction with Shailesh Goyal, Founder & Chief Executive, Simulations Public Affairs Management Services Pvt Ltd. shares insights on the role of regional PR agencies in the industry today
Communication through thoughtfully crafted, effective narratives will help businesses form a lasting impression and build reputation over a period of time. Inspired by this thought, Shailesh Goyal founded Simulations Public Affairs Management Services Pvt. Ltd, an independent integrated public relations and media consultancy firm that has been offering 360-degree solutions in various facets of corporate communications, marketing & branding solutions.
A Bachelor in Technology, Shailesh Goyal holds an MBA post-graduate degree from B K School of Business Management, Ahmedabad. He is an active member of various industry bodies and professional associations like CII, FICCI, GIS, IACC, ICBC, AMA, PRCAI, etc. where he has served as patron/member/executive council or committee member, governing board and others.
An interaction with Shailesh Goyal, Founder& Chief Executive, Simulations Public Affairs Management Services Pvt Ltd. will provide insights on the role of regional PR agencies in the industry, his journey and the evolving PR space going forward.
How has your time in the PR industry been?
The last 18 years has been a great journey. There have been ups and downs, and the challenges that come with it, but on the whole, it has been a very satisfying experience both personally and professionally as well. The time in the public relations industry and interactions with PR pioneers has allowed me to enhance my exposure, knowledge, and outlook as a communication professional and a PR person. I am also happy that I have been able to groom many successful PR professionals during the journey over these years. It is also a matter of pride for me personally that our success has inspired many others to set up their own agencies and take the profession ahead.
Tell us more about your consultancy firm Simulations PR
When I set up Simulations PR in 2001, the concept of Public Relations (PR) was virtually unknown in this part of the region. PR was seen as an extension of advertising. The fact that there were no full-fledged PR agencies in the state at the time, and the occasional public relation work was done by national ad agencies having a presence here. This actually strengthened the sentiment. Simulations PR was the first full-fledged PR agency of Gujarat. We were also the first PR consultancy perhaps, to handle sole of the Gujarat government entities as a PR services only client. Over the years, we have expanded our gamut of activities to provide complete reputation management and brand consulting services. But PR remains our core strength.
How has the PR industry changed over the years?
We are seeing a sea change in the PR industry, especially in the last three or four years. Print media was, by and large, the focus area and core competence of most PR agencies, but now we are seeing a gradual shift towards digital segments over the last few years. I believe the pace of this shift is going to accelerate further going ahead. Thus keeping in line with the changing media scenario, where digital is expected to become increasingly dominant.
How can you trace your growth over the years in the PR industry?
We have done well, and have been able to carve a niche for ourselves. Simulations is a known and trusted name in PR in western India and elsewhere, because of the value we have been able to deliver to our clients’ businesses. Our focus always has been on quality work, and not on quantity, which I suppose has worked to our advantage. It has allowed us to be a dependable partner every time.
How do you see the Regional PR agencies faring in the future?
I believe that regional PR agencies will have an increasingly important role to play in the years to come. I say this because regional and hyper-local media is growing very fast, and this trend is expected to continue going forward. The dominance of digital platforms, which cater to regional and local readerships is imminent, and this is where, regional PR will come into the picture. Also, I believe that PR as an industry is nearing a saturation point in metros, and future growth has to come from smaller centres, Tier II & Tier III cities and towns. There are tremendous growth opportunities for regional PR in the coming years as specialists.
How do you see PR evolving in India?
As media platforms and technologies evolve at a frightening pace and become more interactive by offering a complete bouquet of text, audio, and visuals in a bid to retain audiences, PR too will have to learn, adapt and evolve. There is no other option. The world of media is changing exponentially.
While traditional PR will not be over in a few years from now, we will see the traditional type of media coverage becoming history. Native content and co-branded content will become the order of the day. We have to prepare and be ready for such a future.
What is your 5 years growth plan in the industry?
Like all other players in the industry, we are also seeing the lines blurring between traditional and digital PR. We aim to keep pace with the changing dynamics and position ourselves as a provider of a whole bouquet of services in communication and public connect domain.
How has been your association with exchange4media?
exchange4media is one of the oldest and most popular platforms for communication professionals in the country today. Our association with exchange4media goes back a long way, more than a decade. I am happy to say that it has been very fruitful in multiple ways. It has a very agile and amicable team led by evergreen leader Anurag Batra, and it has been a great learning experience for us to be associated with them.
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