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The ongoing COVID-19 situation has forced brands and agencies to explore the true power of collaboration, and many experts believe that this crisis has fuelled a synergy that has never before been seen. Sonia Huria- Head- Corporate Marketing, Communications and Sustainability, Viacom18, spoke to IMPACT about this COVID enforced brand-agency interdependence and more

Q] Has the dependence of brands on PR agencies become more pronounced over the past few months? What are your observations?
The current situation has transformed the way we work and do business. However, there is a silver-lining where we have all become attuned towards being solution-centric.

The apparent shift in the media landscape over the past five months coupled with overall reduced marketing spends has led to the spotlight being shifted on earned and influencer media, thus making the relationship between brands and agencies even more pronounced.

We believe in working cohesively, with the agency team being an extension of the in-house team, thereby enabling us to maintain a positive brand narrative even during this global crisis.

Q] Has there been any shift in the PR-brand axis over the past five months?
The relationship between brands and agencies has evolved to become more dynamic where the true power of collaboration has been unleashed. These are times where one needs to look beyond only revenues but focus on mutual long-term value creation.

Q] How will the current situation impact the brand-PR agency dynamic in the long term?
The role of our PR agencies has become more pronounced than ever amidst a humanitarian crisis like COVID-19. For a large corporation like us, collaboration with partner agencies to magnify our brand connect is fundamental.

Our focus is to build long term commitments, which help our partners feel invested in the brand. The current situation has helped our agencies understand our ethos and values in a deeper way, which will further enable them to voice our stories better in the long term.

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Tags : interview Viacom18 Corporate Communications Sonia Huria