Digital PR: A game changer for your brand's reputation

The power of digital realm that can either polish or tarnish an entity's image in the masses' eyes

The ‘long-sword’ is a late medieval and Renaissance sword known for its two-handed grip and a straight double-edged blade. Its timeless symbolism is inherently relevant today in describing the power of the digital realm which can either polish or tarnish an entity’s image in the eyes of masses. The power of the digital medium is so vast in today’s day and age that information goes live in a matter of seconds which can sometimes be a “Bane” instead of a “Boon”. Digital marketers are thus playing significantly bigger roles today in handling brands; apart from SEO, retargeting etc. They also have to create strong communication strategies. For instance, if there is a crisis then they need to come up with damage control solutions instantaneously. Below are some live examples of how this happened in the past using our own case examples as well as some reputed brands’ case studies of how particular situations were tackled using digital PR.

Crisis management

In Suresh Narayanan’s words, the chairman and MD of Nestle India, the Maggi debacle of 2015 was the biggest crisis in the 104 years of their existence in our country. The brand was banned from shelves by an FSSAI verdict in 2015, and within a matter of days, their market share of 80 per cent plummeted to 0 per cent. However, a revival was on the cards because tremendous PR can avert the biggest crises. Maggi observed that there was an application of incorrect standards on the part of testing authorities and it was in fact safe for consumption. It was thus brought back to the market within five months in November that year. However, it was effective crisis management strategies that helped re-launch the brand on Dhanteras. Maggi was earlier a social media-shy brand, but it received enormous support from consumers with messages such as ‘We miss you Maggi’. The brand in turn acknowledged the affection and support and began a ‘#MissYoutoo’ campaign through digital PR. After positive results of the testing arrived, Maggi did not go over the top about it, but instead gave a simple message to the consumer, ‘Your MAGGI is SAFE, has always been’. They even began an advertising campaign called #LetYourMomKnow the end of the same week. Maggi’s nightmare was finally over as they gained back 60 per cent market share. It was welcomed back as a household brand and has since grown from strength to strength with due credit given to digital PR crisis management strategies.

Digital movements

The digital realm has allowed conversations regarding social causes spread like wildfire for all the world to see, and in turn engage. For instance, the ‘#MeToo’ movement took our country by storm as perpetrators of sexual harassment were being called out one by one on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The campaign title itself indicated inclusiveness and support regarding heinous acts carried out by abuse of power.

Similarly, we had initiated a campaign called #WhySufferSilently regarding dysmenorrhea (painful periods). We collaborated with Helly Shah, a slam poet, and released two videos on YouTube. Within three months of airing the first video, we fetched 5 lakh + views while the second incurred 1.3 lakh + views within the first month. The campaign eventually reached 2 crore + individuals via social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Digital PR therefore presents a beautiful opportunity to empower people hailing from all backgrounds and overcome the most sensitive issues that are plagued by stigma.


The digital medium can be downright cruel in terms of the derogatory comments and memes posted online. For instance, Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul’s infamous interview on Koffee with Karan welcomed a barrage of taunts from every direction. It was good for the popularity of the show as it got extreme ratings with masses keeping a key eye on the turn of events. Considering media agencies carried on with sensationalism, the reputation of both players was dragged in the mud.

The situation had repercussions on their sponsors as well, who evaluated two choices – to terminate their contracts in light of the controversy or use strategies to save their faces in the eyes of the masses. This is where digital PR comes in to take them out of the conversation with appropriate digital strategies. They could have either come out in the open and said “I am sorry” or done an “I won’t repeat this” campaign. Being honest and candid about one’s mistakes are something that generally goes well with the audiences. Meanwhile, the footage of the videos was pushed back to latter search pages to avoid the issue spreading out.

In conclusion

Digital PR has enormous power in creating life-altering impacts on individuals through social media campaigns and messages. Similarly, brands use effective strategies to either advertise a product or service, engage audiences through trends and social causes, or even to avert crisis situations. This, however, involves immense market research, segmentation, linguistic study, and semiotics among other analytics for successful campaigns.

The power of digital PR is only going to rise with advancing technology and increased connectivity, which makes it interesting to observe how PR teams and agencies can adapt to the changes and use media in a positive light; considering PR players like us can either make you part of the conversation, or take you out of it.     

(The author is founder and managing director of C Com Digital. The views expressed are his own and may not subscribe to them)

Latest Reads
When Ikea got creative about sleep

Ikea, a global furniture and home furnishing brand, is promoting its sleep range products with clever print and outdoor campaign and positions itself as sleep expert. Designed and conceptualised by Mother London, the ads focuses on the central theme of sleep and turn an energy drink, anti-ageing...

MAM Marketing MAM
Aakash Educational Services appoints Yuvraj Singh as brand ambassador

MUMBAI: Aakash Educational Services (AESL), has appointed ace cricketer Yuvraj Singh as its brand ambassador. The cricketer will promote the company and its various brands including Aakash Institute, Aakash IIT-JEE, Aakash Digital and Meritnation. As the face of Aakash, Yuvraj Singh will lead the...

MAM Marketing MAM
FoxyMoron’s national head for client relationships Prachi Bali talks about her new role

NEW DELHI: While the industry battles arguably one of the most challenging issues of modern times, Prachi Bali has been promoted as the national head for client relationships at the full funnel creative and performance digital agency FoxyMoron. One of the youngest executives in the marketing world...

MAM Media and Advertising People
The Ad Club & AAAI decides to refund Abby 2020 entry fees

MUMBAI: The Advertising Club has been curating many idea exchange and awards platforms that celebrate extraordinary creative work. Abby Awards  presented by The Advertising Club is one such award that has been held for the past 50 years. Held every year at the prestigious Goafest, the awards have...

MAM Marketing MAM
Vedanta Group ropes in former PTI CEO MK Razdan

NEW DELHI: Vedanta Group has roped in MK Razdan, former CEO and editor-in-chief of PTI as a  senior advisor- corporate communications team. He will be based out of Delhi. Razdan is a well known name in the industry and has spent over three decades in the industry.  The veteran journalist became PTI...

MAM Media and Advertising People
HDFC Life Partners with Sportskeeda for IPL 2020

Mumbai: HDFC Life Insurance Company, one of India’s leading life insurance companies, signs an official sponsorship agreement with Sportskeeda for IPL 2020. With the sporting world still gradually being reinstated to normalcy, the biggest franchise T20 cricket tournament - Indian Premier League...

MAM Marketing MAM
Saregama plots Carvaan's post-Covid journey

MUMBAI: ‘Who buys a transistor radio in the times of iPods and apps?’

MAM Marketing Brands
The Better Home onboards Dia Mirza as brand ambassador

NEW DELHI: India’s first brand of subscription eco-friendly home cleaners, The Better Home, has partnered with Bollywood actor, UN Environment Goodwill ambassador, UN Secretary General’s SDGs advocate, and Wildlife Trust of India ambassador Dia Mirza as brand ambassador for their range of eco-...

MAM Marketing MAM
Kansai Nerolac continues to sponsor Sunrisers Hyderabad

Mumbai: In a bid to strengthen its long-standing partnership with the T20 franchisees, Kansai Nerolac Paints (KNPL), one of the leading paint companies in India will continue its association with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for the cricket league’s thirteenth season. The most loved sports...

MAM Marketing MAM

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required