Author Archives: onpurposeconsulting

ON PURPOSE appointed as strategic communications partner for Beetel Teletech Limited

The agency will provide strategic counsel on brand positioning and consumer engagement through an integrated communications approach

New Delhi, 14 March, 2022: ON PURPOSE, an integrated communications consultancy, best known for brand reputation management and driving social change, has been awarded the PR mandate for Beetel Teletech Ltd., one of India’s leading technology brands, offering contemporary solutions for modern India’s connectivity and I.T. needs. As communications partner, ON PURPOSE will be responsible for strengthening brand awareness and enhancing engagement for Beetel among its stakeholders, in addition to telling a compelling story of the company’s legacy and leadership as an integrated communications provider.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Sanjeev Chhabra, MD & CEO, Beetel said, “Beetel enjoys a unique position in the Indian market, owing to its leadership in the 360˚ecosystem that covers manufacturing, as well as distributing a huge range of products in the form of mobile devices, mobile accessories, IT peripherals, enterprise solutions and network solutions along with last mile distribution with logistics & supply chain. We are at a point of growth where it is imperative for us to create a strong consumer connect and build engagement through authentic storytelling and category differentiation. ON PURPOSE has a dynamic communications portfolio and a competitive team that includes storytellers, campaign specialists and communication experts, just what we need at this point in time. We are looking forward to working with them.”

Girish Balachandran, Managing Partner, ON PURPOSE said: “Beetel is one of the most reputed and respected brands in the country, manufacturing world-class consumer products and providing network & enterprise solutions for India and the globe. We are excited to work with the team and together achieve success in strengthening its positioning as a technology leader connecting businesses and people”

About Beetel Teletech Limited

“Founded in the year 1987, Beetel is one of the most reputed brand name in the Industry, a pioneer in the landline phone category. Beetel is focused on manufacturing as well as distributing a huge range of products in the form of mobile devices, mobile accessories, IT peripherals, enterprise solutions and network solutions, as well as fixed landlines. Beetel distributes a host of iconic brands like Avaya, Polycom, Samsung, Huawei, Siemens, QSC, RADWIN, Ruckus, RAD, and Actelis . Beetel is known for its innovative product solutions and latest technology, which are offered to customers at the most prudent prices. In India, Beetel is spread via 10,000 retailers and 500 distributors.

Beetel also extends Technical Services(Pre & Post Sales, Installations, Cloud, AMC etc.) helping with designing Solutions to getting them ready followed by System Configurations & Programming, Beetel covers the entire spectrum of services.

Overseas, Beetel’s services are extended to over 35 countries spread across five continents in the world. The company till date has manufactured over 100 million landline phones, a household Indian brand needing no introduction, which has been serving Indian customers for more than 34 years.


Media contact:

Deepika Batra
+91 9920193726

Shruti Sharma
+91 9711191616

ON PURPOSE adds David Gallagher as Advisor

The independent firm onboards former Omnicom International President as it prepares for next stage of growth

March 1, New Delhi: ON PURPOSE is excited to announce the addition of David Gallagher to its team in an advisory capacity. The former Chairman of the PRCA UK and former President of ICCO will join ON PURPOSE as a Strategic Advisor to support its business growth and prepare it to scale into a mid-size agency in the next few years.

ON PURPOSE is India’s only social change focussed communications agency. In the last four years since it started in 2017, the firm has built an enviable portfolio of clients working in and for climate action, public health, education and gender equality. It has also consistently featured in Provoke Media’s top 5 ‘Best Agencies to Work with in APAC’ and been shortlisted in Provoke Media’s top 5 ‘India Consultancies of the Year’ in 2021. ON PURPOSE will be the first agency in India to work with David’s firm – DG Advisory.

David commented on the appointment, “ON PURPOSE offers a glimpse of what purpose- driven communications and consultancies can achieve when we put the power of communications towards achieving social change. It’s focus on building an equitable workplace, with diversity, inclusion, and gender equity at its core, makes it both endearing and enduring. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to help the team continue to evolve into a differentiated consultancy.”

ON PURPOSE Managing Partner and Founder, Girish Balachandran said, “I am delighted with the opportunity to work with David again. His expertise in global markets and building leadership teams will be invaluable to us and comes to us at a critical time as we consider our next phase of growth. David’s outlook on the PR industry’s potential as a force for good and his experience with building organisations based on purpose, values and ethics, aligns perfectly with what we’re trying to do at ON PURPOSE.”

Protecting our teachers

The impact of COVID-19 has been so catastrophic that we will likely only understand all the consequences after decades, if at all. One thing that is clear is that the stress and anxiety of living in and adapting to a pandemic has detrimentally affected the well-being of everyone. This is especially true in the education sector, as the transition to e-learning has been a struggle for everyone. A majority of discussions about well-being in education tend to focus on the students, quite justifiably, as children are not fully cognitively developed and could face lasting impacts from mental health issues. But it is just as important for teachers to have adequate support as they are the backbone of the education system. Hopefully, this Teachers’ Day, we can collectively move closer to a world where teachers are valued and looked after, and viewed as pillars of society.

The Kids Aren’t Alright

It is enough of a challenge getting fully grown adults to confront their emotions, but the task is doubly hard with children and adolescents who are still finding themselves. Children struggling to cope with the pressures of life today are likely to face issues with depression, anxiety and addiction. A failure to address them adequately at this age could embed these issues deep into their psyche, complicating any subsequent treatment in adulthood.

It is also true that students are less likely to be affected by these issues if they are in a supportive environment where they can communicate freely about these issues with their family or peers. Teachers are a vital cog in this support network, but in order to be of benefit to these students, teachers must first safeguard their own mental health. They are just as likely to face anxiety, depression, addiction or any other mental issue as anyone else. A happy and secure teacher is much more capable of being a support pillar to students and, more importantly, is more likely to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment.

Neither are the adults

The wellbeing of teachers has been an issue long before the pandemic. It would be impossible to proceed further without acknowledging the woeful salaries that teachers receive across the world. Money is not a guarantee of wellbeing but the lack of it is documented to have detrimental affects on mental health – a worry about your ability to pay vital expenses like bills and rent can be hard to shake off. Educational infrastructure is also woeful, as many schools do not have the training, resources or manpower to adequately prepare teachers to do their job.

Even if these issues can be ironed out, there are some stressors for teachers that have no easy fixes or are unavoidable altogether. Effectively surrogate parents in some limited capacity to all their students, it is very easy for teachers to overextend themselves emotionally. They take on not just their own burdens, but those of all their students. They will often need help dealing with the stress of particularly troublesome students or tragic losses of life.

A Spanner in the works

Though life before the pandemic was hard enough for teachers, the last one and a half years has brough a host of new challenges and stressors. The transition from physical classrooms to virtual one has been a struggle for everyone, but as it is their responsibility to conduct the class, the responsibility falls primarily on teachers. Some issues are more basic and solvable like unfamiliarity with computers or the removal of traditional teaching aids like blackboards. But other issues like the lack of personal, face-to-face engagement with students, or removal of organic and non-functional interactions like water-cooler conversations are endemic to online mediums and cannot be avoided.

The last few years have also seen major disruptions in how teachers interact with other stakeholders in the education system like governments and school boards. The National Education Policy, 2020 has completely revised the paradigm of education, changing class structures and introducing new pedagogies. Though this a welcome change, there is a 3 year timeline which schools have to become compliant. This would be difficult enough a task to achieve in the best of times, let alone a global pandemic and becoming NEP compliant is a big stressor.. It is vital to recognise the realities of the present – the fate of board exams has been a looming uncertainty weighing on the minds of many teachers and students. Many teachers are likely to shield their students from this uncertainty by showing a facade of confidence and certainty, and burden themselves further.

Everyday Heroes

If we look back to the beginnings of civilisation and even before – child rearing was one of the essential activities of a tribe or community as it was a way to preserve its health and future. This is just as true now as it has ever been, but as a society we have lost sight of the importance of teachers. They frequently give much of themselves into the job but face scant reward or support in doing so aside from the pleasure of seeing students blossom. In the wake of the pandemic, there have been ongoing discussions on ‘essential workers’ and how we treat them as a society. Despite acknowledging their contributions as essential they are generally under-payed and overworked, and often struggle to get by in life. Moving forward it is vital that we recognise the contributions of people like nurses and teachers, and give them all the support they need.

Designing a Sustainability Campaign Linked to Behaviour Change

Sustainability can mean different things for different people. For organisations wanting to prove their sustainability credentials, the motivations could vary from wanting to attract ESG (Environment, Society and Governance) focused funding, to meeting compliance requirements, to attracting talent wanting to work with organisations that care about planet and purpose over profits.

For grassroots organisations or brands wanting to encourage more sustainable living, success graduates from raising awareness levels, to shift perceptions to ultimately changing habits and behaviour. In this article, we’re going to focus on the latter. We’ll cover storytelling for corporate sustainability separately.

Here’s how we can design a sustainability campaign that meets desired objectives:

  1. Start with clear (and ambitious) goal-setting –This will help define what success looks like and focus the effort on meeting defined targets. For e.g. getting 1 million households in Goa to adopt segregation at source for more sustainable waste management. While measurability is important, it’s also important for the goals to be ambitious (and sometimes even audacious!) to inspire the people and communities we want to reach and engage.
  2. Understand the barriers and motivations to act –It’s critical to develop empathy for the audiences we’re trying to reach and engage. This is done through processes of immersion, exploration and discovery of the audience’s lifestyle and factors that influence decision-making. It puts human beings at the centre of the campaign and helps us get a deeper sense of their challenges and how they consume content. It also helps us anticipate and counter reasons to ‘not’ act through the campaign messaging.
  3. Establish a compelling ‘why’ for the audience – Changing habits formed over years of conditioning is difficult. Especially, if the change in lifestyle we’re seeking requires people to do more, or do things differently, or in some cases even pay more for more sustainable alternatives. A strong, emotive narrative can help make the problem more relatable by focusing on three core arguments: how it’s impacting me and my loved ones, how it’s impacting us as a community and why we need to act now and with urgency.
  4. Innovate in message delivery – How do we take a clear and compelling message to an audience in a new and exciting way that will get them to care and encourage them to share? The answer lies in a mix of compelling emotive content that either entertains, educates or creates a sense of urgency delivered on platforms that are trusted by the recipient. This could be traditional news channels, or social media platforms where people consume and engage with content shared by friends, influencers and organisations that align with their value systems.
  5. Make it easy for people to act – And celebrate them when they do! Successful sustainability campaigns have clear calls to action that allow people to engage through small steps. After establishing the cost of not changing a habit and the benefits of doing so, the campaign narrative must provide specific actions on the path to change. Incentives (personal) and accountability (towards community) also helps; so regular updates on progress and celebrating milestones will create momentum for the campaign through a sense of shared success.
  6. Show, don’t tell –Telling people how they must act or behave is less likely to yield results than showing them how others are doing it and the positive impact it’s having on them and their loved ones. By using relatable ‘archetypes’ i.e. people in roles that others can easily relate with, as role-models, we’re tapping into people’s emotional core to act smartly for themselves and those around them. When we show, rather than tell, we make people active participants in the storytelling. By using ‘trusted messengers’ we can help overcome barriers, such as fear of stigma and address social norms that conflict with the desired behaviour.

Successful sustainability campaigns need to be multi-dimensional bringing together different elements to work together. From a communications perspective, it requires a holistic, experiential effort across channels to create credibility and reinforce messaging to normalize desired actions.


Girish Balachandran

Managing Partner, ON PURPOSE

4 Years of (living) ON PURPOSE

This year we are stronger. We have lived and fought through a first and second wave. We carry some scars – the anxiety of discovery of a positive diagnosis for a family member, the loss of loved ones and the burden of carrying on – the stresses of our time.

And yet, work continued. Giving us something to hold on to.

As I reflect on our 4th year as an organisation, here are some lessons that might help others learn from our experience.

  1.   Learn to let go. I find it harder to let go of a team member I really value, more than a client. It’s always been personal. A personal failure of my leadership, my ability to create a safe and welcoming workplace and exposure of my inability to teach or offer new learning. Upon reflection of this ‘fear of losing’ with my coach, we dug deep into my childhood (the answer is almost always there) and then my growing years to identify how the failure of my first marriage (we divorced after 11 years), had created a fear of failing at relationships. We also identified how this fear of rejection had made me become hardest on the people I really value, almost pushing them to reject me or prove their endurance, so I know I can trust them to be there – and never leave! When we discussed the joy and happiness I have today, with my wife, Pinky and our dog, Maya – I was able to see how my letting go had opened new possibilities for me to love and be loved. Similarly, at work too, I needed to stop operating from a place of fear and insecurity and really enjoy the relationships, without the fear of losing someone.
  2.     The power of disciplined thought and action. In his book, ‘Good to Great’, Jim Collins discusses how an organisation’s journey of growth can be likened to pushing on a flywheel. He describes how each seemingly mundane action, performed consistently, adds pressure on the flywheel to gain momentum. With each spin the flywheel gains pace, finally making the momentum self-sustaining and unstoppable. After 4 years, we can feel the ‘whoosh.’ The systems and processes are strengthening. We’re innovating with policies that inspire us. Our recent focus on refreshing our Diversity and Inclusion policy including the launch of an industry-first 6 days of period leave for menstruators, 21 days of paternity leave and the sensitisation of what it takes to be a truly inclusive workplace – is encouraging us to be the organisation we set out to be. Social change must start at home.
  3.     Sometimes, the inspiration we seek, lies within. After 4 years of average growth of 88% (shameless plug there – we’re awesome), it’s not surprising that the pace itself becomes normal. You either burn-out or re-invent yourself for the next high. In discussion with my coach, we discovered that the root cause for my frustration with average and mediocre work, was my inability to translate our long-term vision of achieving social change through our work, into action-able steps and milestones. This realisation has set us on a path of creating a 3-year product development roadmap to be able to deliver ‘research and evidence-based strategies for behaviour change’ through a focus on: data + insights, subject matter expertise, creativity and innovation in visual storytelling and a solid measurement and evaluation framework. You’ll hear more on this, shortly. In the meantime, check out how far we’ve come in this ace video by my colleague, Chandrasekhar Periagaram


This post would not be complete without mentioning the courageous, compassionate, and curious people that make us who we are:


  • Mr. Nath, my business partner. We failed together in one business and learnt a lot. Hopefully, we’ll do better here.
  • Our Founding team members – Srishti and Dhun. With each passing year, your stability and integrity make us stronger. You also keep our story of starting-up (and staying-up) alive and growing.
  • Our Leadership team – Shalini, who started and built our operations out of Bangalore in a stable, consistent way. Trigya – who brings calm confidence to the pressures of demanding briefs in our digital team. Sneha – who is setting our Delhi PR team on a growth path.
  • Shiwangi and Ashish – who run our HR. We could not achieve this sort of growth without your consistency, strategic counsel and the sheer volume of work that goes into building our team and culture.
  • Rajat ji – for managing our finances, keeping that cash-flow going and ensuring we never delay salary payments to our team.
  • Bhavika, John, Charitha and Naveen – each of you are pillars for the teams we are building. Thank you for your stability and commitment.
  • Juhi, Aastha, Anand, Uttirna, Atreyee, Jananni, Shibani, Chandrasekar, Sejal, Ayushi, Devanshi, Sonali, Harsh, Madhav, Mahima, Jinal, Jeet, Usha, Prateek, Saurav, Lourdes, Sourav, Esha, Chirag, Roshnika – thank you for your hard work, your passion, your vulnerability, and your commitment. It’s what’s building us, together.
  • I referred to my conversations with my coach twice in this post. Thank you Kanwaldeep Singh, for your innate listening skills and helping me find answers to my own questions.
  • Nandita Lakshmanan, Meera Krishnan, Shravani Dang and Moushumi Dutt – for being my go-to mentors on how to build a reputable business in PR in India.
  • To the ones we call on when we need help as freelancers and partners – Gourav, Pankhuri, Nithin, Aaruni, Mira, Diksha, Shalini Raghaviah, Supriya Balasundaram, Supriya Jain, Sid, Darshan, Dinesh, Abhishek, Priya, Komal and Akanksha Kohli.
  • To industry partners – Campaign India, ET Brand Equity, Exchange4media, Impact, PRCAI, PRPOI, Prmoment, Provoke Media, Reputation Today and SCORE for the opportunity, recognition and encouragement.


Thank you also to our clients, for your trust and partnership: Smart Power India, Micelio, Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiatives, Ernst & Young, KPMG, ADB, GIZ, Karo Sambhav, UNDP, UNICEF, Max Group, Antara, Vana, GloWorld, Zasti, Virtual Forest, Indivillage, BBC Media Action, Dasra, Round Glass, CII, FICCI and Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages. We’re going to do great things, together.

Finally, to each of our partners and well-wishers. You know who you are! For every word of encouragement, every social media post you engage with and every lead you send us. It’s dopamine and moves us on.

Thank you for reading this. As every year, here’s a link to our blog post from last year if you’re interested in seeing how we’ve grown since: 3 Years of ON PURPOSE

In the words of Om, Picture Abhi Baki Hain Mere Dost. Stay tuned on our social media for more.


Girish Balachandran

Managing Partner, ON PURPOSE


ON PURPOSE introduces ‘Period Chutti.’

Building a collaborative and equitable work culture, one policy at a time.

New Delhi, May 25, 2021: Ahead of Menstrual Hygiene Day on Friday, May 28th, ON PURPOSE announced ‘Period Chutti’ for its employees. This policy includes additional 6 paid leaves in a year, for all employees who menstruate.

The organisation’s intention is to support its employees to rest during their periods, while not having to use their sick leave. Periods are not a sickness after all. This policy also aims to remove the stigma and taboo surrounding menstruation and make it a normal conversation at the workplace.

Why 6 days?

It is a medically established fact that young girls, women and gender non-conforming persons can face up to 14 menstrual cycles in a year. Accounting for cycles that may fall on weekends or holidays and that a full day’s leave may not be required on every occasion, 6 days offers adequate relief to employees without forcing them to dip into the 26 other paid leaves in the year.

Why only menstruators? (Kya Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota?) 

It’s important to level the playing field so all genders have an equal opportunity to perform and deliver the impact the organisation is seeking to create for its clients and its teams.


The policy is designed to be flexible depending on the employee’s needs, providing for the following options: 

  1. Up to 6 days additional paid leaves will be entitled to all the eligible employees during the year. This can be a full day or a half day leave as per the need 
  2. The leave can be availed either on 1st, 2nd or 3rd day of periods depending upon the situation and need 
  3. To avail the period leave, the employee needs to inform their line manager and send an email to HR mentioning that they are availing leave through the Period policy

Speaking about the initiative, Girish Balachandran, Founder, ON PURPOSE said, “ON PURPOSE was founded to use communications to drive social change in India. Menstruation is a taboo topic in most of India and this is our attempt to break the stigma and normalise conversations, starting first at home (our work place). Nobody should feel uncomfortable telling people internally that they are on period leave. If anyone faces any kind of discrimination or harassment because of it, they must immediately report it to HR and our Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) committee will take this up, immediately.”


Media Enquires

Girish Balachandran 


Aastha Anand

Practicing ‘Gratitude’ Kept me Afloat During a Dark Phase

We all have been through those ‘dark phases’ at some point in our lives. While some pass in a trice, others stay.

I was diagnosed with depression in 2018. Back then, I thought just a couple of sessions with the therapist would help get my ‘sanity’ back. Clearly, I had no idea how ramified it was. Also, what I was not aware of then was the need to practice habits that helped restore normalcy/ made the healing journey smoother, and further ensured healthy vitals.

With mental illness, every day was a revelation to something I never understood. I realised, ‘I don’t have control’, ‘I am tired’, ‘I don’t feel like doing so and so’ might be mere platitudes for others, but this was the result of ruminations, endless ruminations. Amidst all this, I came across a random post on Instagram on practicing gratitude. What seemed like a futile effort back then turned out to be fruitful. The post talked about maintaining a ‘Gratitude Journal’ year around. Different people cultivate gratitude in various manners. For me, it started with listing 3 things I was grateful for before bunking down for the night. 

I would like to clarify here, practicing gratitude didn’t treat my mental illness; it made the journey easier. For someone who persistently had horrid thoughts and that awful feeling in the pit of the stomach, it indeed brought about a change and much-needed positive emotions. I remember my mother telling me once, “Why be grateful only during momentous occasions? Why not practice it daily for something as simple as helping someone out?”

I can keep yapping about how this simple technique has helped magnify the positive emotions during trying times but let me mention just the vital things it brings along and why I consider it essential for people battling mental illness.

    • Gratitude helps you celebrate life– Being grateful for the most minor things helps us actively participate in life. Recalling ordinary moments of gratitude magnifies the pleasure and changes the way we perceive situations. 
    • It has a social aspect to it– Building the habit of being grateful takes time. Once you are at it, you automatically start sharing your gratitude with others. Acknowledging the role others play in your life nourishes relationships that often get wrecked due to depression. Also, the affirmation of goodness can help someone build the habit.
    • Counting kindness- This simply means to be kind to your own self. Even for something as trivial as having the meals on time, complimenting the self can be a mood enhancer. This simple habit goes a long way in improving overall body functions.
    • Increased sense of self-worth- Cultivating gratitude forces you to pay attention to your positive aspects and nourish it well. It naturally helps heighten self-worth. 



This practice has helped me to pause when needed and be kind to myself and others. On certain days, I am just grateful for being able to breathe without choking myself and on certain days, it’s a long list. I can not say I am out of a dark phase, but I indeed have started feeling the right way.   

Written by Uttirna Gnanadipta


Here’s why gratitude is the biggest gain in 2020

As we stand at the threshold of the New Year, we seldom brood over the year passing by. Mostly, the only things that one carries forward, from the old to the new, are the New Year resolutions. 

I believe that the New Year resolutions are like that warm mist that releases from our mouth on a cold wintery night of the 31st of December, and evaporates right away without leaving any signs whatsoever. Often, resolutions not backed by the science of willpower, fizzle out as quickly as made.

The pandemic year has made many people realise how they had been taking the comforts in life for granted. The suffering and isolation forced by social distancing have taught how important it is to cherish simple joys in life.

However hard-hitting the year may have been right from the start, it also proved one more time that good always triumphs over evil. The year is replete with so many stories of kindness and selflessness. The year is a testimony to the unconquerable human resilience and how the world community united to combat the common enemy called COVID-19.

2020 showed that gratitude is no more a relativistic view of morality.  Standing in our balconies and applauding the front-line or essential services workers was not about expressing one-time gratitude but spreading the spirit of optimism, positive feelings, and boosting happiness.

Believe it or not, but gratitude has the power of healing. Studies have shown that practicing
gratitude releases good feeling hormones: Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphins which pump in more energy in the body. Gratitude helps in sleep better, improve focus and attention, manage stress, and heal mental pains. Gratitude indeed turns into what we have into enough.

Corona Virus Disease not only became the first pandemic of the 21st century. It brought the world to a stand-still. The disasters like wildfires, cyclones, and floods in different parts of the world became the double whammy for people already facing the direct brunt of the pandemic like financial loss, loneliness, uncertainty, or the pain of losing a loved one. When asked to describe 2020 in one word, many defined it as lost, relentless, exhausting, chaotic, hellacious, apocalyptic, 404, delete, unstable. The list can go on.

After the period of uncertainty, there is light at the end of the year with the vaccine in sight. Practicing gratitude will expedite the healing. There is no reason that we should not usher in the New Year with lots of positive sprits, deny the pandemic to steal our joy, and celebrate what Girish said in an email to Team On Purpose,  “our biggest gain in 2020 – the year we learnt to support each other, through thick and thin”.

Here’s wishing you all a peaceful year-end and time with family.


Written by: Archana Khatri Das

The Metamorphosis of Teachers

Can you think of a profession where a boss is tracked down by many on a social media channel only to be told that how much value he or she has brought into their life? I have heard this happening to people in only one profession and that is teaching. A neighbour who happened to be a teacher shared with me how her fan following has been rising. Some 20 plus whom she had taught when they were in grade 1 or 2 have been sending her friend requests and connecting with her. They have filled her with so much love and admiration that she feels they have made her life so worthwhile. I can confidently say that the case applies to most of the teacher if not all.

We are a Family

The pandemic has changed professional life of almost everybody, but nothing like the way it has transformed for the teaching fraternity. But the admiration that students reserve for their teachers hasn’t changed at all. Almost in all cases, where students are accessing online learning, they moved to their new grade in April and since then have been interacting online with their teachers who were probably new to them. But, in a matter of 5 months they have become a close family. All was made possible by the affection and hard work teachers have been putting in to make the learning seamless.

A Communicator or Teacher? 

They wouldn’t have imagined even in their dreams that would ever have to metamorphose into communications professional. A teacher these days is expected to be digital savvy, marketing strategist, a communications professional who knows how to invite and connect prospective customers (read parents) and conduct a business meet or an event on social media sites connected hundreds and remain competitive in the market place.

A Digital Strategist

It was quite interesting when a friend, also a teacher shared with me that the biggest challenge before teachers during this time is how to create customer engagement on digital media? So the focus on them is not just how much and how to impart learning to their students, also how to create online engagements with prospective students or their parents!

Teachers Empowered

I am sure they miss in-person interaction with students as students miss being in school and college. Online learning has definitely made communication challenging for teaches. I wonder how helpless they feel when there are children displaying all seven emotions, some highly distracted, some sitting in different yoga postures, some of them highly distracted, others making the best of the opportunity to evade the lecture! Despite going through the demands of online teaching, ensuring that learning happens for all, they share files and videos on specific platforms, or on YouTube or groups in WhatsApp.

Education Warriors

MOOC may have failed to live up to the hype or online learning was never given a serious thought before covid, teachers have adapted well to online teaching. I would call our teacher community our education warriors. They have adapted to the technology so well that surfing through the technology is gradually becoming their second nature. They have become digital experts and can organise business summits gathering of 200-300 people and making all efforts that learning for students stays in progress.

The technology has even empowered the education warriors in keeping the adventurous students under discipline. Those who do not pay heed in the class or create disturbance, keep their videos off, are eased out of the meeting room, or silenced by deactivating the chat box. This is that army which goes on with its regimen without any complaints.

They are ready to conduct classes any time of the day, even when their throats get dry with classes running back-to-back or long screen time taking a toll on their eyes stressing them out. They are always happy to teach. More power to the education warriors.

Happy Teachers Day

What Would Donna Do?

Cash burn, clients on wait-and-watch mode, budget cuts, deferred payments, fewer onboarding of new clients on one side and on the other heightened communication requirements from customers, shorter deadlines, and immense pressure to deliver and also from the confines of our homes! Sound familiar? Welcome to PR in a COVID19 world. 

We are all amid difficult but interesting times. Client requirements are evolving with each day and what they need is a nimble, and adaptive PR partner that will respond to their needs with complete understanding of the situation and with precision. This is the good side of the situation we are in as we are continuing to stay relevant with differentiated services and helping our clients communicate in newer ways. Meanwhile, how do we keep ourselves not only afloat but also grow as a business?    

One could assume the situation we are in will certainly get stretched and would require a business continuity plan for at least the next 6-8 months, so where do we draw inspiration from? 

How about Donna Paulsen – the iconic TV character from the famous US legal drama series – Suits? Far from an ordinary assistant, Donna is unapologetic, full of ideas, focussed, persistent and displays exceptional problem-solving skills that we could take a leaf from too.

So here are top 5 things on priority that Donna would do: 

  1. Protect people first:
    Take required preventive measures for ensuring the well-being of employees first. Proactively communicate health risks and precautions that everyone must exercise from their homes. In addition, at ON PURPOSE we procured COVID-19 medical insurance for all team member, spouses and children.
  2. Keep ‘em close and stay relevant:
    Build lasting customer relationships during and in the post COVID world. Empathise and listen more to your clients and to their needs. Brands will appreciate relevant and tailormade strategies in the current times and teams that are listening in to trends, market updates and are quickly responding with sound counsel and the right message dissemination. The world post COVID will also see a tremendous shift in consumer behaviour and choices including how they consume content or connect with brands and will require a real-time shift in how we approach PR for our clients.
  3. Help clients disrupt their own way of communicating with newer services and formats of engagement:
    Now is the time for clients to rethink and reimagine their roles in the lives of their stakeholders; customers, partners, employees et al. It is imperative for them to not take a back seat but proactively reach out to their stakeholders and constantly communicate with them. Consult your happy clients on alternate areas of focus that should be an equal priority. Internal communications, employee communications, videos, newsletters, government relations and policy advocacy, crisis communications are areas many organizations need to start investing in.
  4. Re-prioritise your spends:
    Go back to your drawing boards and look at every single piece of expenditure you incur and do away with discretionary spends that you can avoid: marketing budgets for the year, travel, negotiate your rental terms with your landlords for your offices et al. Be careful though, not to be penny wise and pound foolish i.e. don’t reduce costs if in any way it would impact the quality of work you are delivering for your clients.
  5. Utilize human capital efficiently:Freeze hiring if you can and try to in-source by either upskilling or look for more projects better suited to current skillsets. Move outsourced freelance work in-house as far as possible and provide your teams with all the support they need to do their jobs.

Lastly, let business continuity measures and approach not rest with your leadership alone, involve your teams to participate, hear them out and you will be surprised the ideas these young minds come up with! The ever-enthusiastic, always charged, and innovative minds at ON PURPOSE presented some of the most creative ideas that we cannot wait to implement for the next leg of our journey.

Here is a quick snapshot of how we let the teams bring out their inner ‘Donna’

  • Launched a Business Continuity Challenge: What Would Donna Do (WWDD). Teams were provided a brief on the revenue and cost drivers of the company and were asked to come up with plans for cash flow and profitability management for the next 6 months
  • External coaches were recruited to challenge the team’s ideas and provide constructive feedback
  • A jury of senior leaders scored the teams based on 4 criteria:
  1. Disruption: How disruptive are the ideas? How strongly do they reflect a new way of doing business? Reframe our business model and differentiate from the traditional agency model?
  2. Feasibility: How easy will it be to implement? Doable? Less grief?
  3. Purpose-driven: How will it impact our ability to fulfill our mission to drive social change in India?
  4. Creativity in the presentation: How uniquely were the ideas presented? Engaging? Attention-grabbing?

Everyone on the winning team was given a voucher of INR 2,500/- to spend on any online training of their choice 

Our success will be in how we implement the ideas suggested, as a team, together.

Stay tuned for more!


By Shalini Gunashekar