IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Microsoft win Gold at SABRE Awards India for Technology Campaign

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The carefully curated developer and consumer focused apps campaign for Microsoft India was also a finalist for the Platinum SABRE Award

IPAN H+K Strategies team with the SABRE Award for Microsoft India

July 29, 2013, Gurgaon – IPAN Hill+ Knowlton Strategies, a leading global communications consultancy was awarded the Gold SABRE award for excellence in Public Relations with a technology campaign for its ‘Microsoft Windows Apps Momentum’ campaign.

Microsoft Apps Momentum aimed at creating a mindshare for Windows apps among consumers and developers.  The campaign successfully emphasized the unique experience delivered by Windows apps, and attracted 150,000 developers through various Windows Appfests across the country.  Utilizing deep understanding of the sector, and insights into the developer community, IPAN H+K Strategies created a consistent and cohesive campaign combining social and print media editorial campaigns.  The campaign was designed to establish Microsoft as the preferred platform for developers and consumers.

“The SABRE awards recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the communications industry globally, with a focus on creativity, integrity and impact.  These are the very attributes we strive to achieve with every one of our clients.  Microsoft is doing some really exciting work in India, and the team at IPAN H+K Strategies has thoroughly enjoyed devising the campaigns,” said Radhika Shapoorjee, President – South Asia, IPAN Hill+ Knowlton Strategies.

IPAN H+K Strategies also received two Certificates of Excellence for its work for Power2SME, recognizing the role it played in helping the SME Buyers Club grow from 5,000 to 12,000 SME members in less than a year.  The Power2SME campaign was commended in both the Business-to-Business Marketing  and the Industrial/Manufacturing categories.

Commenting on the Power2SME accolades, Shapoorjee said, “What adds sweetness to the victory are the two Certificates of Excellence for one of our SME clients, Power2SME. Both, Microsoft and Power2SME are companies we are proud to be associated with.”

The SABRE awards are bestowed annually and are presented for Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation. Presented by The Holmes Group, the SABRE Awards is in its ninth year and is the world’s largest Public Relations awards competition, covering North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

IPAN Hill + Knowlton Strategies
IPAN Hill + Knowlton Strategies (www.hkstrategies.in) is the leader in both public relations and public affairs in India. The company is one of the leading and most respected public affairs and public relations firm in the country. It specializes in corporate communications, public affairs, marketing communications, crisis, finance, technology, media & entertainment, and digital communications. IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies have a network of offices in five major cities staffed by 150 skilled Public Relations practitioners. It has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata and local affiliations that reach over 100 cities across India.

IPAN merged with Hill+Knowlton Strategies in 2009. Its parent company, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., has 90 offices in 52 countries as well as an extensive associate network and is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) (www.wpp.com), one of the world’s largest communications services groups.


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IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies Selected to be HSBC PR Agency

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IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies, India’s premier strategic communications consultancy, has been awarded the retainer public relations business for HSBC India, the leading provider of financial services.

Following a competitive pitch, IPAN H+K Strategies’ Financial Services team has been selected to handle the entire PR portfolio for HSBC India, including brand awareness, corporate reputation and strategic visibility for its key businesses in India, The account will be run from the Mumbai office, headed by Vinod Moorthy, Senior VP – Mumbai and Head of the Corporate Advisory Group for India at IPAN H+K Strategies.

“The BFSI sector has some unique communications challenges, not least of which is the need for companies to show clear and consistent differentiation and strategic focus,” commented Radhika Shapoorjee, President South Asia, IPAN H+K Strategies. She added “We are delighted to win the HSBC mandate in India, given they have a strong presence in the Indian market as a leading international bank. We look forward to driving their strong value proposition as HSBC sees India as a key strategic market in their global business plans”.

IPAN H+K Strategies has a strong track record in the BFSI sector, having worked extensively with clients such as Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, Max Life Insurance, Sun Life Financial, Avendus, Policybazaar, Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance, and Sriram Life Insurance Co.

IPAN H+K Strategies, part of global strategic consultancy, H+K Strategies, has been in operation for 25 years in India and works with a wide range of clients across BFSI, IT, auto, entertainment, consumer & lifestyle, providing services such as corporate communications, public affairs, marketing communications, financial communications, crisis & issues management, technology PR, and digital communications.

  

About HSBC India

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in India offers a full range of banking and financial services from its 46 branches in the 25 cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, New Delhi, Noida, Pune, Trivandrum, Thane, Vadodara, Visakhapatnam, Raipur, Jodhpur and Mysore, and some 170 ATMs across the country. HSBC has a credit card base of over one million customers in India and is one of the leading credit card merchant acquirers in the Indian credit cards industry. 

About IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies

IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies (www.hkstrategies.in) is the leader in both public relations and public affairs in India. The company is one of the leading and most respected public affairs and public relations firm in the country. It specializes in corporate communications, public affairs, marketing communications, crisis, finance, technology, media & entertainment, and digital communications. IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies has a network of offices in five major cities staffed by 150 skilled PR practitioners. It has wholly owned offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata and local affiliations that reach over 100 cities across India.

IPAN merged with Hill+Knowlton Strategies in 2009. Its parent company, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., has 90 offices in 52 countries as well as an extensive associate network and is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) (www.wpp.com), one of the world’s largest communications services groups.


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Hill+Knowlton Strategies bolsters India operations with new leadership structure

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IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Radhika Shapoorjee promoted to President – South Asia, and Sara Gourlay appointed Chief Operating officer – India

Gurgaon, April 12, 2013 – Hill+Knowlton Strategies, one of the leading and most respected public affairs and public relations firms in the world, today announced a new leadership structure in India. These promotions reflect a growing focus on India and Asia by H+K Strategies globally.

  • Radhika Shapoorjee, a member of IPAN H+K Strategies since 2007, has been promoted to President – South Asia, which includes India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. She had served as president of IPAN H+K Strategies since 2008.
  • Sara Gourlay, who joined H+K Strategies in 2000, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer for IPAN H+K Strategies, based in New Delhi. She had most recently been serving as the client service director for the region encompassing Africa, India, the Middle East and Turkey, having previously worked with H+K Strategies in Singapore, Qatar, Kuwait and the UK.

Shapoorjee joined IPAN in March 2007 as Vice President, and was elevated to lead the firm as President in March 2008. In 2009, she was instrumental in the integration of IPAN with Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Since then it has been a journey of implementing global best practices, training, and winning businesses for the firm across sectors, including Technology, Telecom, Media & Entertainment, as well as government and industry associations. She has built a strong team that has grown under her leadership, and there has been consistent growth in revenues and profitability for the firm over the years.

As COO, Sara Gourlay will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the businesses across five IPAN H+K Strategies offices, including client servicing and retention, business development, practices development, talent development, and operational management. She brings invaluable experience and the ability to bring unmatched global expertise and processes into India, to strengthen the IPAN H+K Strategies team.

Shapoorjee commented: “I am delighted, and truly privileged to chart out and drive the next phase of growth for IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies in the region. I will also be looking at strategic business initiatives that will expand and enhance our role in the communications industry in India and the South Asian region. We have built a strong leadership team in India, and our local knowledge, experience and talent, infused with international expertise and networks, will go a long way in enhancing our service offering for our clients. I give Sara a warm Indian welcome, and wish her all the best in her new role here, as we embark on our next phase of growth as a global public relations consultancy.”

 “India is a magical, intoxicating and absorbing country, and the opportunity to play a role in driving our business forward in that market is compelling,” Gourlay added. “We have an established team of bright, engaged professionals and an established heritage of excellence in market, and we are looking to build on that to increase our offer for India at a pivotal point in the country’s history. On a personal note, I look forward to being a part of the IPAN H+K Strategies team, a team that has always impressed me with its drive, commitment and ambition.”

About IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies

With five offices across India, IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies (www.hkstrategies.in) is a leader in both public relations and public affairs. The company is one of the leading and most respected public affairs and public relations firm in the country. It specializes in corporate communications, public affairs, marketing communications, crisis, finance, technology, media & entertainment, and digital communications. IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies has a network of offices in five major cities staffed by skilled PR practitioners. It has over 140 people and operations in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata and local affiliations that reach over 100 cities across India.

IPAN merged with Hill+Knowlton Strategies in 2009. Its parent company, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., has 90 offices in 52 countries as well as an extensive associate network and is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) (www.wpp.com), one of the world’s largest communications services groups.

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Twitter: @IPAN_HKS

IPAN Hill & Knowlton is now IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies

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IPAN Hill + Knowlton Strategies
In line with the global transition of our name from Hill & Knowlton, to H+K Strategies, it gives us great pleasure to announce that IPAN Hill & Knowlton will now be known as IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

 

So what does this name change really mean for us, and the industry?

With the diversity and democratization of publishing today, the public has access to information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — and we and our clients increasingly acknowledge, that as businesses, it is imperative we continually interact with our publics.

But interaction without a deep understanding of our audiences and without a clear communication strategy, is of no use. Which is why, it is our global mandate, as specialists in this area, to provide this wisdom and understanding to our clients, and in turn help publics understand our clients better.

As our Global Chairman and CEO Jack Martin says, “we have to put ‘the public’ back into public relations, in new and engaging ways like never before”.

Our new identity of IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies helps define who we are, and will be a constant reminder of our mandate!

This move also adds to our reputation of offering cutting-edge thinking, and best possible service to our clients – something which has been a tradition for us, at IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies, even in our previous avatar!

Inside the PR Lions jury

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With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees centigrade and no serious infrastructure for air-conditioning here, my pre-planned Cannes wardrobe remains packed in my bags, while my credit card is taking a walk down the boulevard for clothes that are lighter, airier!

Similarly, over 1700 entries already rated by us in pre-arrival sessions, remained on the table, as our discussions stargazed on some basic yet deep questions: What exactly qualifies as a PR campaign? Does short-term success qualify as well as long-term impact? Does social impact rank higher than commercial success? How do we really appreciate local cultural context, and then compare it with universally relatable emotions?

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Jury duty is inspiring. Cannes is invigorating. If only the temperatures were lower, inside the jury room, as well as outside.

At the end of two days, we had some of these questions answered (or at least discussed, sans conclusions), and the shortlisting process suddenly fell into place. As they say, if you spend more time on the problem, the solution will fall into place quickly!

Anyway, here are my first, and probably lasting impressions and considerations for the PR Lions:

At the heart of every great campaign there is creativity, which has direct impact on business outcomes or stated objectives. But if the impact isn’t clearly articulated for us, it’s a no show. If you can’t communicate clearly with the captive audience of a Jury, we’re not sure how you did out there!

The we’re all seeing in the PR Lions entries isn’t creativity – it’s super-creativity! There is some really mindboggling thinking on display, and dazzling execution shared with us.

A lot of the work is inspiring, to think this is the work of ‘our industry’. A lot of the work is humbling, even for us veterans and leaders of the industry – for it is gutsy yet so disarming; out of the box yet steeped in real insights; creative yet so relatable; and unforeseen yet totally satisfying in terms of results!

I dare say, this is scary even, because it exposes a lot of our daily work as average, and sets the bar even higher for us.

The success stories shared drive home the reality that the days of campaigns based on press conferences and press releases (which we in India still love) are dead and buried!

‘Public Relations’ is about strategic engagement and higher purpose. Success in PR comes from conviction in your cause, and bravery in communication.

Insights have to be at the core of everything we do. Weak insights dull campaigns, but sharp insights give you the edge, clearly.

Ideas are relatively easy to come up with. But it is the craft, the finesse the maturity, and depth of execution that makes campaigns stand out, and be successful.

Campaigns that have an emotional story well told simply stand out.

In my opinion, the sustainability of an idea or campaign across time and space (at least in an socio or economic era) is a good way to gauge how much to invest in it, and expect out of it.

Radhika-Shapoorjee-150x150In summary, as I tweeted the other day – Creativity, Insights, Emotion, Storytelling, Flawless Execution, Impact, Higher Purpose, Sustainability. That’s (what) all it takes. To win. At CannesLions. And in our markets.

Radhika Shapoorjee is South Asia president at H+K Strategies.

Cannes Lions 2014: Ideas with heart, soul and higher purpose, create conversations that connect

By Radhika Shapoorjee on Jul 23, 2014

RadhikaOver 140 hours of jury duty that gave me a lifetime of learning; Around 1,700 PR campaign evaluations that gave me countless insights and some answers to the central question – so what is ‘creativity’? What is the role and texture of storytelling and conversations in the creativity that surrounds us? And what makes ‘creativity’ relevant and powerful, both as a noun and an adjective – in our lives and times today?

Creativity is about collaboration

My first epiphany at Cannes (and I had many) is that creativity breeds when there is a mindset to collaborate with your people, partners, and the public at large – and nurture an exciting environment and ecosystem where creativity in our work, becomes a way of life.

While our own people and partners are relatively easier to collaborate with, the challenge always lies in connecting with people at large. But fortunately for us, today, we have ‘Information Technology’ that put the power in the hands of publics across the world and results in “user generated content” to the tune of a 100s of hours of content being uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the like, every second, connecting over 4.7 billion people across the world.

The big opportunity for us, is harnessing the creative power of the public in real time.

The question is: how we do this in a world where governments, brands, and companies are losing control over their own positioning; and where peoples’ opinions are what drive messaging, and build the image and reputation of leaders, products and companies. Where there is a growing trust deficit with the public towards these very big institutions

Let us start, by caring!

It is imperative for companies to understand, not only what their own people and their own partners want and care about, but also what the public wants and cares about – not just in the context of your brand or product category. We need to understand what triggers conversations between our audiences, evaluate how brands can be part of it in a manner that has meaning and value to their lives.

What’s your story?

At the heart of creativity, is the ability to spot, tell, or share, a good engaging story. Right from childhood, we are fed and brought up on stories – both imagined, and real – which capture and showcase the various universal emotions of life. We are inspired by some, and are frightened by others. We’d like to replicate some in our own lives, and we wouldn’t wish others on our worst enemies. But most importantly, we learn from all of them.

In essence, we are the storytellers of the current, imagineers of the future, biographers of our products, brands and companies we have a stake in.

It is up to us to conceptualise and communicate stories that touch peoples’ hearts; stories that are emotional and shareable; stories that serve a higher purpose.

Purpose, builds Character

We know that companies and brands need to stand for something, and that we need to be accountable for more than the money we earn. We have to start looking at the larger role we play in society, and the impact we have on our world today. This is what builds real character and real reputation for a sustainable future.

At Cannes, I was inspired by the story Mark Pritchard, global brand building officer at P&G told us: the story of P&G brands, and how they connected with women with their “Thank you Mom” campaign. The deep human insights gathered and used in this campaign saluted women in a very personal manner – engaging and recognising individuals who aren’t just ‘prime decision makers in a product category’ but are the centre of most homes and societies, almost everywhere in the world. Thanking a Mom, to me, is a higher purpose than most in our lives today, goes a long way in making the world a better place for all of us.

In the hard-nosed, fast-paced world we live in, it is ideas and ideals such as this – with heart, soul, and higher purpose – that create conversations that connect with people.

Purpose and the pride of the Lions!

Simply put, ‘good’ triumphed over everything else, at the 2014 Cannes Lions. They were campaigns that had a larger purpose and wanted to make a difference to the world.

Chipotle Mexicon Grill, a fast casual dining chain in the US which propagates better food for a better planet – devoured the PR Lions Grand Prix. This was aptly done, by a scarecrow telling the horror story of processed food and its impact on people’s health!

Among the rest, the other two stories that grabbed my attention the most, and enthralled their audiences by making them happy and hopeful are:
Honey Maid – “This is wholesome – this campaign is about how Honey Maid a breakfast cereal created a conversation around #wholesome by telling an emotional and insightful story around new age parenting and LOVE. They effectively used a crisis to engage with the public and changed behavior.

Autocomplete truth –a powerful campaign by UN women that kick- started a conversation on gender equality across the world and eventually influenced policy decisions around it.

In the end, I hope the examples I shared, help spark creativity in your work; I hope my thoughts add value to your life; and I hope I you found some answers to the question “why should anyone care about your brand, and why should your company matter to the public at large?”
I hope they did. After all, that was my purpose here.

(Radhika Shapoorjee is President of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, South Asia, and was Jury Member at the 2014 Cannes International Festival of Creativity.)

IPAN Hill & Knowlton re-brands as IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Leading Indian Public Relations & Communications firm announces new name, brand and website

New Delhi, September 18, 2012: IPAN Hill & Knowlton today announced a change in its name to IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies, as part of its global shift in corporate identity. This change is in line with the rebranding of Hill & Knowlton, the leading international communications consultancy.

“The new brand points to a shifting market for our clients, one with an explosion of information and a revolution in the ability of almost everyone to find that information. This democratisation of information is fundamentally changing the way they do business” said Jack Martin, Global Chairman and CEO, Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

Radhika Shapoorjee, President, IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies, India, said: “The renaming reflects a renewed emphasis on strategic communications advice that ensures a client’s business imperatives are achieved.” Shapoorjee continued, “We believe that the public is at the centre of the client’s business and we can help build a positive influence and sentiment across the various stakeholders backed by research and insight, built upon a rich heritage of our public relations strength.”

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A perspective on India

Welcome to India – The cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition… according to none less than Mark Twain.

Indian history dates back over 5000 years to the Harappan culture, better known as the Indus Valley Civilization. We invented the number system and Aryabhatta created zero which plays such a big role in finance. Our Vedas pioneered aspects of surgery, medicine, music and house building, among various other teachings. The west today swears by yoga, which has its roots to India, where it was a way of life and not a fitness routine.

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The Difference Between Brand and Reputation

This white paper explains the clear distinction between ‘Brand’ and ‘Reputation’ and provides an approach for  companies to measure and strengthen both aspects, to build equity with key stakeholders.
“Brand is about me; Reputation is about us” say Peter Zandan, Ph.D., Global Vice Chairman, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and Michael Lustina, Ph.D., US Director of Research, Hill+Knowlton Strategies…

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A No-Nonsense Budget: A Macroeconomic Perspective

The Indian Union Budget for 2012-13 was framed in exceptionally difficult times, politically. It therefore needed to attempt only what could be done, for otherwise, the government’s credibility would come into question again.

That limited objective has been achieved, although the decision to make tax laws apply retrospectively in a controversial telecom case is a cause for some worry. For some time at least, FDI may suffer and this is not good for India at all.

The political difficulties of the Government became apparent on March 14 when Mamata Bannerjee demanded the removal of her own senior partyman as Rail Minister because he had attempted tariff reform. It seemed a strange thing to do but the fact is that she doesn’t want to give the CPM any stick to beat her with in West Bengal – and the fare increase was a rather large one.

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