Kaushik Mukherjee, Sugar Cosmetics, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity
As we prepare for the India Communication Summit 2022, a special series has been introduced. “My Experiences with Public Relations” brings together the opinions and experience of senior marketing executives from various industries. It aims to bring our readers insights into how marketers view the PR industry and leverage communications to overcome challenges.
In this edition, we feature Kaushik Mukherjee, co-founder and CEO of Sugar Cosmetics.
What are the main public relations challenges your industry is currently facing?
While the past two years have been difficult, Sugar’s in-house PR team navigated these complex waters. The pandemic disrupted the global flow of systems as we know it, businesses had to adapt overnight to a new, unfamiliar process and we were no different.
One of the main PR challenges for us during this time was networking. The lockdowns have prevented face-to-face meetings and made it difficult to maintain pre-established professional relationships, let alone the ability to invest and create new ones. Phone and zoom calls replaced real-time face-to-face and reduced human connection, so building a solid relationship with the media was a challenge.
Additionally, there was a complete shutdown of physical events that allowed us to connect with the media and were key to building trust. With this in mind, we are currently looking forward to rebuilding face-to-face relationships by hosting and participating in media events.
As COO, how do you plan to use public relations as a weapon to meet these challenges?
At Sugar, we believe public relations is a marathon, not a sprint. With that in mind, our PR team has kept pace during the pandemic, keeping the conversation flowing around and about the brand, building trust and weathering the tough times.
However, now that the restrictions are starting to lift, we plan to be much more aggressive in our approach, increase our pace and catch up on the things we missed. Teams look forward to attending trade shows, participating in roundtables and other networking events to strengthen relationships and steer critical company messages in the right direction.
Is public relations only there for crisis management or can it be used to achieve long-term goals?
When it comes to crisis management, although public relations is certainly the best arsenal in your pocket, its use is not limited to this. At Sugar, we recognized early on that the return on investment generated by PR is immense, it’s a key ingredient that is often overlooked. A cohesive message organized and amplified through good strategic planning can reach places one might even find difficult to imagine. Although it takes a lot of patience to see the benefits and sometimes you can’t directly understand its scope, this tool adds value to your business, from recruiting to SEO growth to business development.
Public relations can serve as a catalyst that puts your brand in front of the right people as you grow your business. Therefore, we cannot afford not to invest in discipline.
What was your experience with PR in your professional career?
Public relations can really change your perspective and your approach to marketing, and over the years it has been very helpful for my professional journey. This has been a strong pillar in Sugar’s journey and as a brand we have always resonated with a simple formula that states – reputation + relationships = revenue.
The more you build a good reputation for your brand, the more relationships you will have; from a business perspective, building a network of relationships is crucial to moving forward. For us, public relations combined with other marketing initiatives has been one of the most effective strategies for building a strong reputation. I believe that through all the ups and downs of a business, the one thing that never fades is communication and connection with our consumers and public relations as a tool has helped us achieve this .
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