February 26, 2024 4 minutes read

In this episode we talk to Tanaya whose deep-rooted passion for storytelling and communication has propelled her into the forefront of the industry. From spearheading transformative journeys with startups to securing multimillion dollar deals, Tanaya has led many remarkable campaigns. She shares invaluable insights on navigating the complexities of PR and communications in the age of AI and social media.



Tanaya hails from Rourkela, Odisha, a town where her love for storytelling was nurtured by her family of avid readers and captivating storytellers. Growing up surrounded by books in her parents’ extensive library, she developed a passion for communication and storytelling from a young age, gravitating towards literature by authors like Harper Lee and Jane Austen. Despite initially considering journalism, she discovered her forte lay in strategizing behind the camera rather than being in front of it. With over a decade of experience in communication roles, including a significant tenure at MSL, Tanaya now leads global communication and PR for a US-based company, focusing primarily on the US and UK markets while also venturing into brand building in India. Her dynamic role extends beyond communication, encompassing various aspects of marketing, reflecting her commitment to broadening her professional horizons and embracing new challenges.

First Interaction with data


In reflecting on her experience in communication agencies, Tanaya recalls a pivotal moment when she grappled with the challenge of quantifying the impact of PR efforts. While securing media coverage in reputable outlets like Times of India was commendable, she realized it wasn’t enough to gauge the true benefit for brands. With no concrete data available for PR efforts compared to advertising, Tanaya found herself confronted with client inquiries about ROI and effectiveness. This prompted her to shift towards a more strategic approach, focusing on metrics such as efficacy, tone of voice, and brand positioning within media coverage. Recognizing the limitations of traditional metrics, she spearheaded efforts to develop more nuanced methods of measurement, ultimately emphasizing the importance of qualitative data over mere quantity.

Favourite Campaign


Tanaya reflects on her diverse portfolio of clients, ranging from media giants like Star Plus to automotive brands like Volkswagen and Mercedes. However, she vividly recalls the pivotal moment when she and her team embarked on a transformative journey with Firstcry, a startup seeking Series D funding. Recognizing the need to shift beyond consumer stories, they strategized to target publications read by investors, culminating in a significant feature in Economic Times. Their efforts contributed to Firstcry’s successful fundraising, marking a pivotal achievement in their careers. Similarly, their collaboration with Tasty Khana resulted in a multimillion-dollar acquisition by Food Panda, further highlighting the impactful outcomes of their strategic campaigns. These experiences remain among Tanaya’s most cherished, epitomizing the challenges and rewards of her work in communication and PR.

Important metrics 


In Tanaya’s extensive experience across companies like Ness, STL, and MSL, she emphasizes the importance of measuring message coverage as a key metric in her PR efforts. Understanding that not all audiences are inherently interested in technical details like optical fiber, she focuses on crafting technologically rich yet easily understandable messaging. Ensuring that her message is effectively conveyed through media coverage, regardless of whether her company is featured as the lead in the story, is paramount. Despite the challenges of achieving this goal consistently, Tanaya remains steadfast in her belief that message clarity and coverage are fundamental to successful PR campaigns.

Impact of AI on Communications


Tanaya acknowledges the potential of AI tools like Chat GPT and Gemini as valuable thought starters in PR and communications. However, she underscores the importance of human intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking in complementing these tools. While AI can generate content and provide information, Tanaya cautions against overreliance, noting the risk of homogeneity and potential inaccuracies in AI-generated content. She emphasizes the irreplaceable role of human intervention and expertise, especially in ensuring the efficacy and correctness of information. Tanaya believes that while AI can assist in certain tasks, it cannot fully replace the need for human involvement and strategic decision-making in PR and communications. She views AI as a helpful acquaintance rather than a substitute for human expertise in navigating the complexities of communication strategies and content creation.

Dream Metric


Tanaya draws a comparison between measuring advertising ROI and the challenge of quantifying PR impact. While advertising metrics provide clear insights into factors like billboard views and conversion rates, PR lacks a direct conversion metric. Unlike advertising, where one can track customer actions from exposure to purchase, PR’s impact on consumer behavior is more indirect and difficult to measure. Tanaya highlights the need for a conversion metric in PR, envisioning a dream metric that would offer clear insights into the direct impact of PR efforts on consumer actions and purchases. Such a metric would revolutionize the way PR success is evaluated, providing a more tangible understanding of its effectiveness in driving business outcomes.

My two cents


Tanaya offers her perspective to the younger generation, acknowledging their enthusiasm and technological savvy in the age of social media. However, she cautions against the illusion of a perfect life perpetuated by the internet, emphasizing the importance of perseverance, hard work, and maintaining a positive mindset. While life may not always be smooth sailing, Tanaya encourages them to cultivate their own path to success through consistency and finding enjoyment in their endeavors. She believes that with dedication and a positive attitude, the possibilities are limitless for the younger generation to achieve their goals.