Courtesy: Exchange 4 Media
Knowing the correct platform and audience is quintessential: Rishi Seth, Six Degrees BCW
Rishi Seth, Group CEO, Six Degrees BCW shares about his journey in the PR industry, need for integrated agencies and the core issues in the industry
by Nafisa Shaheen
Rishi Seth, Group CEO, Six Degrees BCW, co-founded Six Degrees PR in 2009. He along with Zacharia James leads Six Degrees BCW and Alphabet consulting’s business in India. Prior to starting Six Degrees, Rishi was leading the operations of Text 100, (now archetype) in India (Belongs to the Next Fifteen Group and listed on the LSE) in his position as the Managing Director of the company. During his earlier tenure with Perfect Relations and Genesis BM, he has worked on brands like Sony Ericsson, Motorola, IBM, Ashok Leyland, DLF amongst others.
Rishi is an MBA in Marketing and has done Graduation in Commerce with Honours from Delhi University.
An interaction with Rishi Seth on his journey in the PR industry, need for integrated agencies and the core issues in the industry.
How has your journey been in the PR industry?
My experience has been really good. I feel lucky to have started in the mid to late 90s when the industry was very young. I started my career in rural marketing and supported campaigns from P&G, Kellogs, RCI, JK Tyres and Britannia amongst others.
My understanding of the business side of communication helped me to co-found, Six Degrees PR. Six Degrees was set up with the shared vision of becoming ‘the most respected PR firm in India’. After having worked at both Indian and global PR firms, I believed that there was a clear opportunity to set up a quality PR consulting firm and change the way public relations are delivered in today’s interconnected world. Six Degrees is built on a philosophy where our people are our greatest priority and the team strives to deliver counsel and campaigns that are not just media-centric.
In my 25+ years of experience in communications and marketing in India, my experience spans across corporate, technology and consumer practices. Overall, it has been an enriching, wholesome and satisfying experience.
How do you distinguish Six degrees BCW from other agencies working in the same domain?
At Six Degrees BCW, we make sure that a balance is maintained between the agility of the process and the availability of resources. Even though we are a mid-sized firm, we have strong leadership on the basis of which, we are able to partner with some of the strongest brands in the industry. Most of the businesses that we get are through word-of-mouth or referrals. The second most important criterion is a good client and people ratio that differentiates us from others.
How do you make sure that the stories you create reach the right audience and are able to make an impact?
Brands have become better publishers than they used to be before. So, we try to understand the needs of the clients, the perfect platform for storytelling which conveys the desired message to the target audience of the brand.
How important is the amalgamation of traditional and digital media for your right audience reach?
The coherent unification of both the traditional and digital media has become quintessential now and we cannot do without it. The difference between earned, owned, paid and shared media have started blurring and now integrated firms are on an upswing. Unlike earlier days when earned and owned media used to be under public relations gambit, while paid and shared media used to be digital/advertising firms. Now , integrated firms have equalized the work of all the agencies by incorporating both traditional and digital media.
With the coming of the Internet, communication has undergone a massive shift. Can you tell us about the challenges and opportunities that the Internet has brought along for PR professionals?
According to me, the Internet has brought both challenges and opportunity for PR professionals. For example, with the coming of the Internet, communication has become faster and easier now. However, the major challenge lies in the control factor. We cannot control the narrative on the Internet, so a lot of caution and fact-checking is required nowadays.
In terms of opportunities, the Internet has given huge engagement opportunities to people. The interaction and engagement factor have grown exponentially which has made a very positive impact on the PR industry.
What has been the growth spectrum for Six Degrees BCW over the years?
Six Degrees BCW has experienced a 15% CAGR over the years. We have a 90% client retention ratio with almost 30 active clients. We are about 80+ people in India and are a part of the BCW group which is the third-largest communications consulting firm in the world.
What is the core problem that you find in the PR industry currently?
According to me, kind of talent and skill in the industry is a core problem. The industry is disrupted now, so we need the right set of people with the right kind of skills in the industry. PR is a very dynamic and relationship-oriented industry and to flourish, the right kind of attitude, skill and talent is required to be successful.
What is your 5-year growth plan?
We aim to be the most respected PR consultancy in the country and the partner of choice for organizations that believe in the power of communications.