Ms. Deepa Thomas, General Manager, Group Communications at Mahindra & Mahindra, visited IIM Indore Mumbai campus on March 7, 2015 to interact with the PGP participants. Ms. Deepa is a corporate communications professional with 18 years of expertise in external & employee communications. She is leading the communications mandate for Mahindra Group companies – Mahindra Holidays & Mahindra Partners.
Ms. Deepa shared her insights on “Building your brand via corporate reputation”. She began the lecture with the basics of the corporate communications which involves transfer of information and feedback. According to her, corporate communications primarily focus on Media Relations, External Communications, Internal Communications, CSR, Investor Relations, Marketing Communications, Government Relations, Social Media, Crises Communications and Communications Strategy.
Ms. Deepa said that in case of crises, communication plays a critical role, especially in case of safety crises. In cases of acquisitions, the role of a communications specialist is complete only when the deal is finalized and the external and internal stakeholders are aware of it. She also discussed some of the target communication groups: Media, Government, Industry, Consumers, Academia, Students, and Stakeholders.
Ms. Deepa also explained Branding Strategy: how, what, where, when and for whom one should plan on communicating and delivering on the brand messages. She also talked about some of the brands that had strong brand equity and brands which added value by emotionally attaching to the consumers.
She concluded the lecture by sharing her insights on building a brand via corporate reputation by following ways: Telling Stories (emotional bond with customers), creating powerful content by leveraging analytics and big data, celebrating employees (Great Place to Work), third party endorsement, executive leadership and education.
The guest lecture gave a good insight to the participants about the importance of corporate communications in real business world.