This episode of DCC features Manmeet, a communications expert, transformed from a management trainee with little understanding of data analysis to a master of data-driven strategies. Through her adeptness at defining clear objectives and skillfully wielding data analysis, she now crafts impactful campaigns that tackle critical issues such as cyber abuses and online safety.
0:57 Manmeet reflects on her professional journey, which began as a brand management trainee after she was selected through a campus placement at a company called BILT. This company was well-known for its iconic black foot books with a red logo, a product that many of them used during their college days. She was delighted to work in the branding department for the same category she had admired as a consumer.
However, it was only a few years into her career that she embarked on her communications journey. In the early days of her career (around 2008-2009), marketing primarily revolved around traditional methods, such as ATL (Above The Line) and BTL (Below The Line) strategies. Nonetheless, she found traces of communication in play, particularly in areas like internal communications, where she communicated with distributors, sent out mailers, and shared information about new products through press releases.
As technology rapidly advanced, the methods of communication evolved too. Manual tasks that were once handled by specialized individuals were now automated with AI bots and chat bots, streamlining the process and making it more efficient. Despite the changes, Manmeet adapted well to the shifting landscape and transitioned fully into communications and public relations over the last 1.5 to 2 years. She feels proud of her organization’s efforts to ensure the right communication is delivered effectively.
First Interaction with data
3:12 In the early stages of her career, Manmeet recalls not fully understanding the significance of ROI (Return on Investment) or the importance of data analysis. Terms like pushing a particular product category in a specific demographic or using data to strategize marketing efforts were unfamiliar to her. Understanding the correlation between the number of children and promoting stationary products, employing mind mapping techniques, and optimizing distribution channels to onboard more people were all part of the groundwork she had to learn.
However, as time passed, Manmeet began to grasp the value of data and its role in decision-making. She gradually developed the ability to set clear objectives, identify relevant data sources, and analyze data effectively. This marked the beginning of her journey in comprehending and interacting with data during her career. As she became more adept at handling data, it opened up new possibilities and opportunities for her professional growth.
4:11 Manmeet shares her favorite campaign, a digital literacy program done in collaboration with Meta (formerly known as Facebook). The campaign was initiated to address the lack of awareness among children regarding cyber abuses and online safety. With the increasing prevalence of handheld devices among children, issues like cyberstalking, cyberbullying, harassment, child pornography, phishing, hacking, identity theft, and privacy violations became significant concerns.
She highlights a report that revealed alarming statistics, stating that 85% of children in India had experienced cyberbullying in various forms, which was 7% higher than the global average. Armed with this data, Manmeet and her team realized the urgent need to raise awareness on the subject. The digital literacy program reached out to 35,000 students, teachers, and parents across India, educating them about online safety and how to protect themselves.
The impact of the campaign was profound, as it unearthed surprising insights like students from standard 8th being familiar with the dark net and platforms like Bcode. The campaign’s success was attributed to data analysis, report generation, and extensive research that helped identify critical issues and design impactful awareness programs.
Even after the initial campaign, Manmeet’s team continued their efforts to spread awareness, making a lasting impact on children’s safety in the digital realm. The campaign’s effectiveness was a result of data-driven decisions and an understanding of the issues at hand, proving the power of data in shaping meaningful initiatives.
Important metrics to track
7;00 Manmeet emphasizes the significance of tracking specific metrics and numbers in her line of work. When undertaking awareness projects, she and her team set clear objectives and goals, often revolving around reaching a set number of people. To achieve this, they establish partnerships with different organizations to ensure the successful delivery of their projects.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) play a crucial role in measuring the project’s success. These KPIs are tailored to each project’s unique objectives, such as the number of individuals served or the level of awareness achieved. Questionnaires and surveys are utilized to gather valuable feedback, and they also receive input from partner organizations to gauge the project’s effectiveness.
They monitor metrics like the number of people who have read the policies after the campaign, the increase in reach-outs, and the level of engagement on social media platforms. Additionally, grassroots mobilization is a vital aspect of their work, where they track the number of volunteers engaged in campaigns and assess the overall turnout. All these metrics serve as essential indicators of the impact and success of their initiatives, helping them make data-driven decisions and continually improve their projects
8:51 Manmeet expresses her desire for an AI tool that can measure the real-time impact of all their campaigns. As someone responsible for organizing awareness initiatives, she understands the challenges of tracking individual impacts manually, which can be time-consuming and inefficient. Her ideal solution would be an AI tool that can swiftly analyze and evaluate the human sentiment value and the overall impact of their awareness campaigns.
With this magical AI tool, she envisions the ability to instantly see the results of their efforts, like waving a magic wand and receiving comprehensive insights into the campaign’s effectiveness. Such a tool would revolutionize the way they assess their initiatives, providing immediate feedback and data on the impact they have created. Manmeet’s wish for this AI tool stems from her dedication to continuous improvement and the need to efficiently measure and enhance the outcomes of their awareness programs.
AI in PR and Communications field
9:40 Manmeet acknowledges that any new technology, including AI, comes with both pros and cons. One significant concern she highlights is the prevalence of plagiarism, where AI-generated content might lack authenticity and uniqueness, as it can often be found elsewhere.
However, Manmeet emphasizes the positive impact of AI in the PR and communication field. AI has proven beneficial in various aspects, such as managing communication strategies, engaging with audiences, and analyzing data. AI-powered media monitoring tools can efficiently scan millions of online articles in real-time, allowing PR professionals to track brand mentions, industry trends, and competitor activities. These tools automate the process of filtering and categorizing information, saving time and enabling proactive communication.
Moreover, AI’s data analysis capabilities have been instrumental in measuring public sentiment, identifying emerging trends, and tracking campaign effectiveness. By leveraging AI, PR professionals can gain valuable insights, making data-driven decisions and enhancing their communication strategies.
My Two cents
11:38 Manmeet offers valuable advice to the younger generation aspiring to enter the field of PR and communication. She emphasizes the importance of developing strong communication skills, not just being articulate but ensuring effective communication by actively listening to others. Being a great storyteller requires the ability to absorb and understand different perspectives.
She also highlights the significance of honing writing abilities and staying updated on industry trends while building a diverse skill set. PR and communications involve crisis management, disaster management, and reputation management, requiring versatility and a stable mindset.
Building a network and fostering relationships within the industry is crucial for career growth. Attending industry events, joining professional associations, and listening to others can help gain valuable insights and diverse viewpoints.
Manmeet advises aspiring professionals not to form biased opinions based on a single news article but to read multiple sources to make well-informed assessments. Lastly, she emphasizes the utmost importance of ethics and integrity. Upholding high ethical standards, maintaining transparency, honesty, and integrity are essential responsibilities for anyone pursuing a career in PR and communications.