Photo credit to TED 2019
Split across two days and jam-packed with over 20 live sessions, the PRCA Virtual International Summit will connect you with industry pioneers from Delhi to New York. You’ll hear from the brightest communications minds around the world on the challenges and opportunities that lie in wait for the industry as the world comes to terms with the seismic impact of the COVID-19 tragedy.
As we draw closer to PRCA’s inaugural Virtual International Summit, we're publishing a Q&A Series with the key-note speakers at our inaugural Summit. Today, we sat down with Suresh Raj, Chief Business Development Officer, Blue Impact.
- What will you be discussing at the PRCA Virtual International Summit?
We've been discussing diversity and inclusion for many years now, but have we really moved the dial as an industry - I look forward to discussing that.
- What inspired the topic of your keynote address?
Our industry has not really evolved in the West when it comes to pipelining diverse talent. I'd love to discuss and hear POVs on why that is still the case.
- Is there another area of public relations that’s really striking your interest of late?
Absolutely - particularly how Purpose has taken a back seat when COVID-19 hit, and priorities moved back from Stakeholder to Shareholder - was Purpose therefore just a 'front' for brands?
- What do you think of the virtual event experience? Have you spoken at a virtual event or tuned into one recently?
I've now attended and spoken at numerous virtual events, board meetings, numerous virtual pitches and shared many social virtual catch ups. To be honest, I'm 'virtually burnt out'. But this is the 'new norm' for now, and we must adapt to keep the wheels moving. But nothing can ever replace in-person human connection. It's the greatest thing about being human after all and I cannot wait to get back to that.
- How has the COVID-19 crisis affected you and your organisation?
Like every other industry and business, we've all been affected. But our company adapted fast and pivoted our focus - one of the great things about being a digital focused global network. We've moved talent to focus on areas that are growing exponentially, especially in the digital space.
- Have you been heartened by anything you’ve seen amidst the crisis – the industry’s response or organisations coming together to support each other?
To be honest, the crisis has brought out the best and worst in some. The most beautiful thing I have seen so far is the earth being given time to breath and heal from our destructive habits in some parts of the world. Another beautiful thing I've seen is how some communities have come together to help one another and keep each other's spirits up - keeping loneliness at bay. It's a silent mental killer and in a 'selfie' driven world, a pandemic like this has really revealed how lonely some people are.