“In my PR team, 70% of the employee are women”: Kevin Shah, Co-Founder and ED, Strategic Growth Advisors – PR

Kevin Shah, Co-Founder and ED, Strategic Growth Advisors - PR

Kevin co-founded SGA and is focusing on developing the public relations practice of the firm. He also overlooks investor relations & corporate reporting business. His expertise is a business development and he directly manages client relationships. Additionally, he manages Client Relations Management (CRM) and controls, systems & processes. In November 2020, he won the 40 under 40 Award for PR and Corp Comm. He has over 11 years of experience.

In a One on One conversation with MI, Kevin talks about how PR trends have changed post-pandemic.

Excerpts here:

Q) What are the key PR trends you have witnessed in the post-pandemic time?

Kevin: Due to the pandemic, the first thing that has happened is the shift of readership from print to online. It was a very balanced spectrum before the pandemic. But now, even the client has realized that online has more heft. All the major publications have picked up a PayPal option for readers to read a particular article further. However, print is relevant, and people still want to read print newspapers or magazines. But the orientation has become more online than print.
Secondly, PR has now become more content-driven. Press releases are no longer an important document, but only an email-based record circulated probably because we are still not out of the press release era. But as an industry, we have moved far ahead than that. We are now more content-driven, insightful analysis.

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Thirdly, PR is now more democratized and independent. Many new-age media also have their foot in the market, which was previously dominated by few publications. Organizations now bring news, opinions, etc., to the table. Also, the newsmakers are open to trying new ideas and publications. It gives us a broad base spectrum to exist in the market. The market is widened rather than shrunk, which is a good sign for the future.

Q) Are there any changes in the behavior among consumers for brands and PR campaigns post-pandemic?

Kevin: The major shift in consumer behavior towards brands is that people are no longer stuck to big names or brands. They are looking for boutique brands offering better products. People are now adopting better quality products rather than sticking around big brands.
Another change in customer behavior is the inclination towards innovation. And this change reflects in the campaign. Now more boutique brands are doing social media or Instagram movements. Social media campaigns are led directly by the brands, not through PR agencies. It is indeed a huge change that has occurred in the budget allocation also.

interview with Kevin Shah, Co-Founder and ED, Strategic Growth Advisors - PR

Q) What initiatives have you taken to bring gender equalization to your organization?

Kevin: We have never really had any gender initiative in our organization. But more than 60% of our workforce is women. Women are the driving force for growth in my organization. There are women in leadership positions. Our brand and design practice head is a woman entrepreneur from Hyderabad. The current Vice president who leads the PR is also a woman. It is not because we want to create some gender equality. But I believe that women have merit, and we should give them opportunities. Gender should never lie between chance and women. I don’t think about reserving a special place for women. In my PR team, 70% of the employee are women.

Q) What are your views on Metaverse becoming the new world?

Kevin: Yes, Metaverse is becoming the new world, and we have to accept it. Technology is driving the present so that it would be in the future. We would never be able to work in a world where technology doesn’t exist. Having said that, the technology is only a medium to amplify. People have stories to share. Technology is only an enabler to tell the story.
It is technology driving, and technology will drive the future. We have to accept the fact that technology will drive the future. We will never be able to work in a world where we believe technology is not going to stay. But having said that, I want to add that technology is only a medium to amplify. People have stories to share. Technology is only an enabler to tell the story and view your message, whether news or anything. The world runs on levels. Stories can’t be created by technology. Yes, it will become the new world.

Also Read: METAVERSE: The Expectations, Impacts, and Future

Q) What effect does it have on the PR industry?

Kevin: I think Metaverse will bring the technological shift. We have to wait and see how it does. It will come to us, and we have to embrace technology.

Q) What are your key focus area for 2022? How are you planning to work on that?

Kevin: The most important thing to focus on is to grow the PR practice. We started in 2019. We have expanded the practice sufficiently. I aim to increase the organization into a larger space and size. Add more clients and people to work with us. Also, I am willing to grow geographically.
Not to forget, I have not traveled for two years due to the pandemic. So this is also in my plans for this year.

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