Human element in communication cannot be replaced, technology can only act as enabler: Tanvi Singhal


Human element in communication cannot be replaced, technology can only act as enabler: Tanvi Singhal


Leading PR professional Tanvi Singhal strongly feels that women are uniquely positioned to bring in a fresh outlook and vision towards promoting diversity and inclusion as they seek to carve out a niche in male-dominated spaces. Instead of being seen as a monolith, women with their individuality and personality can become triggers of dynamism and positive change in a rapidly evolving world and corporate environment driven by revolutionary technologies like AI and their associated challenges.

Tanvi Singhal is a communications professional with over nine years of experience in corporate communications and public relations in the public sector. During her tenure, she has executed several integrated campaigns for brand awareness, stakeholder engagement and public awareness. Tanvi holds an MBA degree in Communications from MICA. She spends her free time engaging with art, poetry, music and literature.

How have you observed the PR and communications landscape evolving in recent years, particularly in terms of digitalization and technological advancements, and what implications does this have for professionals in the field?

PR and communications has always been a field driven by innovation and creativity with low resistance to changes in the professional and technological landscapes. We were quick to adapt to social media. With increasing popularity of digital media, there are a host of digital magazines and journals that have sprung up. From augmented reality to artificial intelligence, PR and communications professionals have been embracing all the disruptions. These are exciting times for communications professionals and stakeholders alike. The speciality about this field is that technology can act as an aid or an enhancement but human connection lies at the heart of the profession, which means that the professionals cannot be replaced. However, there are certain challenges that technologies like AI and ML bring in like spread of misinformation, deep fakes, data privacy issues, etc. and the PR community needs to root itself more firmly than ever in ethics to tackle them.

As a women leader in PR and communications, what are some of the key challenges you’ve faced, and how have you navigated them to succeed in your career?

One of the challenges that I have faced as a woman professional is the imposter syndrome. Societal stereotypes have historically presented women as less competent along with the fact that because of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, we internalise the notion that we are inadequate for leadership roles. I have grappled with this feeling throughout my career which led to a sense of self-doubt and the misstep of undermining my own achievements. Through the years, I’ve located and looked towards women leaders in my profession as well as in other fields, and sought guidance, support and mentorship from them. This has helped me become more confident in my abilities and further strengthen them. This is why I actively advocate for diversity at the workplace so that in future, we have more women leaders to connect with and look up to.

In your opinion, what unique contributions do women bring to the PR and communications industry, and how do you see their role evolving in shaping the future of communication strategies and campaigns?

I think it is time we stop seeing women as a homogenous group and start seeing them as individuals with distinct strengths, skills and qualities. Different women, based on a variety of factors, like socio-economic background, ethnicity and field of education bring diverse sets of experiences to the table. That said, because of the unique challenges that they face throughout their lives, women do have the ability to bring in new perspectives and insights. Since the PR and communications industry caters to the whole spectrum of stakeholders spanning across all regions, religions, caste, class, gender, etc., it is imperative that we actively promote diversity and inclusion to forge an authentic connection with them.

With the rise of social media and online platforms, how do you believe PR and communications strategies are adapting to engage diverse audiences effectively, and what role do women leaders play in driving this adaptation?

Social media has democratised the way content is created, promoted and consumed, especially eliminating several barriers for women to enter and progress in the field. Social media platforms increasingly see more diverse creators and audiences, and therefore, it is crucial for PR and communication strategists to demonstrate cultural sensitivity, accessibility considerations, effective targeting, influencer partnerships, etc.

Women leaders often champion the cause of diversity and inclusion, promote marginalised voices and bring in important insights into reaching out to and connecting with diverse communities.

As the PR and communications landscape continues to evolve rapidly, what advice would you give to aspiring women professionals looking to establish themselves and thrive in this dynamic industry?

My advice for women professionals, especially in the PR and communications landscape would be to create a strong and supportive network. It heartens me to see an array of platforms and networking groups coming up with the aim of connecting women professionals. Traditionally, in male-dominated spaces, networking looks like men hanging out after work, which might not be an entirely welcoming set-up for women to partake in. Women professionals are broadening the definition of networking to include travelling, forming hobby clubs, skill-sharing and what not and I urge them to continue doing this to the point that the entire industry takes a cue and makes networking a more inclusive and enriching experience for everybody.

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