Making ‘headlines’ 18 years on

Friday, 14 June 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

If Public Relations (PR) is about managing reputations, perceptions and establishing good relationships with key stakeholders, it can be considered the key weapon in the armoury of corporate communications and reputation management,” says Headlines PR Chairman Anusha David.

Having established Headlines, the country’s second dedicated PR agency 18 years ago, David is strong in relationships and passionate on results. Having propelled some of the country’s leading brands into the minds of the public, David has remained fiercely independent and proudly Sri Lankan, having refused several merger and take over offers, including one from the world’s largest.

“In the current scenario of cut throat competition where every organisation struggles to stay a step ahead of its competitors, it is essential for every organisation to communicate effectively with its stakeholders, partners and each and every individual associated with it,” says David.

According to her, PR is essential for effective brand positioning. “In layman’s language, Public Relations experts are hired to make an organisation and its products/brands, popular among the masses (target audiences).”

David says that the three main reasons for choosing to invest in PR are that PR builds brands, PR can generate awareness fast and PR isn’t just press anymore.

Brand-building is essential; and Public Relations efforts can produce what is known as earned media, which refers to coverage by publications that choose to write about the brand not because they are paid to do so, but because the company or its product is interesting and the organisation has a compelling story to tell.

“In terms of generating awareness through PR, that has never been truer than today and there is a direct correlation with the brand building power of PR done right.

  Thanks to the internet’s connecting the people of the world like never before, and the explosion in usage of social media, it is now easier and faster than ever for individuals to connect with one another and to share their opinions on virtually every topic (and company) imaginable.

 When a company succeeds in getting their name inserted into a publication of any type though effective PR, then that story lives on in perpetuity online, and individuals and companies can share that article and its information with an exponential number of contacts.”

The third argument given in favour of PR is that the term no longer refers to getting stories in print publications, on TV or the radio.

 “Modern-day PR is inextricably linked to the online world, where coverage can spread rapidly and be easily available to a limitless audience.  This reason is tied closely to both of the previous reasons why companies should be doing PR — it builds brands and generates awareness fast.  In effect, the advantages of PR done right overlap and reinforce each other, which is exactly what good PR should do.”

On any given day, Headlines handles a range of corporates whose areas of business include IT, railways, the automobile industry, the construction industry, the healthcare sector, education, the banking sector, high fashion and sports.

“Public Relations ‘crafts’ the face of every organisation, whilst working hard towards saving and maintaining an organisation’s reputation and image,” says David.

 “Indeed as reputation is the key capital, PR can be considered the most effective element to help coordinate other elements of the communications mix.”

At the end of the day or campaign, it all comes down to results. “To date Headlines has never in the past 18 years fallen short of our guarantees or commitments; at the same time we have always refused to accede to unreasonable or unrealistic client demands, even if it means losing the business, as it is essential that we preserve our integrity and reputation at all costs.”

As to the secret in continuing to keep her clients in the ‘headlines,’ David avers that it is the personal touch and attention to detail that have been the cornerstone of her success.

 “This is a hands-on business that makes or breaks reputations; there can never be any compromise on quality!”