Vivek V Kumar, CEO, Lexicon Public Relations and Corporate Consultants
Vivek has more than 25 years of experience in Public Relations spearheading client relationships, business development, strategic communications, global PR and crisis management.
It is very easy to tarnish someone’s image. Especially with the introduction of social media, the job has become easier. But it takes real efforts for an individual or a company to build or rebuild their goodwill in society. Today, we have Mr. Vivek V Kumar with us, who has been working to build a brand image for 25 years now.
Vivek V Kumar is the CEO of Lexicon Public Relations and Corporate Consultants. He has worked with several multinational corporations and helped them establish a good image in the market.
Importance of Public Relations
Vivek says that generally confuses Public Relations with advertising, but both of them are completely different fields. Managing Public Relations is helping an organization protect and project its image in society and create trust among the stakeholders.
Difference between PR and Networking
Vivek tells us that networking is a function under the umbrella of PR. Networking is meeting the right people. PR goes beyond that. There are other functions in PR which are not about networking.
Mistakes made by different organizations in handling PR
Vivek tells us that the most common mistake organizations make is not listening to the external voices about their companies. Secondly, they underestimate PR and put it under marketing function. Another thing he talks about is confusing networking with PR.
What does it take to build a strong Corporate Image?
Vivek believes that earlier if you do good work that was enough, but today, you have to be perfect in every lens. So it is about being consistent, being transparent, and living upto your words are very important. Another thing he talks about is setting up the direction where you want to go. One of the most important things is the alignment of the internal behavior with the external image of the company they want to portray.
How does a company judge the right time to call for PR work?
Vivek tells us that the moment a company realizes that a situation is emerging which can impact their immediate or future business, they judge that they are in a crisis. It depends on them when they want to ask for help from the PR groups.
How does PR handle the trolls on Social Media for someone?
In Vivek’s opinion, companies should be aware of the moral and social compass of society while handling social media. Sometimes an individual or organization is being specifically targeted by trolls on social media, at that moment they should listen to them and judge whether to react or not. Even if you are not reacting, that also gives a message. Vivek says that the best thing about social media is that it does not stick to one topic for long and the trolls would go away after some time.
Technological advancements in the PR industry
Vivek tells us that technology has always impacted PR. He recalls in the initial days of his career Fax machines were introduced. Instead of handing the documents to the journalists, he could Fax them. Later, it was connected to the computer making it easier to do. Today, with more technological advancements he has everything he wants to know about on his computer automatically on his timeline. However, the fundamentals of PR are still the same. It still is about handling human emotions and perceptions.
Old rules of releasing good and bad news versus the new rules
As our host, Ashutosh recalls that it was a pattern in the 20th century to release bad news on a Friday and good news on a Monday, Vivek tells us that things have changed now. His advice to his clients is to release impactful news either good or bad as soon as possible so that the bad news might not get leaked and the competitors might not take advantage and release the good news prior to them.
Working with the ‘Kailash Satyarthi Children Foundation’
Vivek claims that working with Kailash Satyarthi has changed him as a human being. His mindset shifted from being transactional to more humanitarian. He started to understand human beings more deeply and started to emphasize them.
Three key milestones in Vivek’s life
Talking about the milestones in his career, Vivek was very confident that his first milestone was joining the PR industry when it was in its initial days. Secondly, he considers working with Kailash Satyarthi as his second milestone. The third milestone of his life was buying the company he was working in from its owners.
Core values that Vivek believes in
Core values Vivek talks about is transparency in work, being true to his words, and trying to work for the good. He also tells us that he will consider himself successful if he could work to make the world a better place.
Vivek has more than 25 years of experience in Public Relations spearheading client relationships, business development, strategic communications, global PR, and crisis management. He has worked with multiple MNCs, Indian corporates, start-ups, and VCs helping position and manage their reputation and brand and has to his credit the launch of many first’s in India (Plain paper fax machine, Instant modem, White Label ATM network, Caller identification service, Video advertising enabling network, etc.)
Vivek’s most fulfilling assignment has been with Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. Notable milestones at the foundation included (a) formulation of the communication strategy for Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and the Foundation (b) Influencing policy, regulation, and positioning of Mr. Satyarthi with respect to Child Labour Bill and Juvenile Justice Bill (c) Managing key international tours including Lindau Nobel Laureates meet and the petition to UN Secretary-General for action against child labor (d) Creating a comprehensive social media platform for the Foundation (e) Creating a favorable fundraising environment and help mobilize the very first large group funding.
In 2016 Vivek took charge as the chief executive of Lexicon Public Relations-the most experienced Indian PR firm and in 2019 he acquired the firm to chart his path as an entrepreneur.