Rewind 2022: This year was of complete resurgence – Ameer Ismail

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It’s time to review the most significant industry developments as 2022 draws to a close. Adgully is reviewing the year 2022 for M&E, Advertising, Digital, Marketing, PR & Communications, along with leading names in the industry as part of its annual Rewind series.

Recapping the year 2022 for the PR and marketing communications ecosystem, as well as predicting some key trends for the coming year, Ameer Ismail, President, Lintas Live, is bullish about growth and the continued resilience of the industry, along with Indian PR agencies getting significant scale in the next few years. He also highlights the accelerated pivot to digital and its implications, among other trends.

The year 2022 for PR & marketing communications

This year was of complete resurgence, says Ameer Ismail, adding we witnessed clients and brands gain significant confidence, which they exhibited by spending and investing. The market was growing in most sectors – whether it’s auto or jewellery. The entire marketing communications ecosystem saw disproportionate growth. The growth will continue into 2023.
If you look back on 2022, clients are also understanding the ecosystem of communications a little better and, therefore, lines within the ecosystem are blurring.

Today, PR agencies like us have powered their offering with creativity. With the creatives being done by PR agencies and advertising agencies, I think lines overall are blurring and that trend is going to continue. It’s going to be fuelled by clients. So, that’s the second trend and in that context, everybody is realising that an idea can come from anywhere. It is not just the creative agency that has to churn out the big idea. Today, the impact can even be through a social media post that gets virality.

The last dynamic, specifically talking about PR, scale is becoming a reality. If you look at the global PR size and scale, it is about $100 billion. If you look at the size of the overall industry, it is hardly a few thousand crores. But you are going to see Indian PR agencies get significant scale in the next few years.
So, that’s going to become another agenda, in my opinion.

Key trends & developments in PR

The fundamental core of the agency world is its talent. This past year has been a complete talent reset. The reset has happened in people’s minds because, post pandemic, many people didn’t want to get back into a regular working routine. So, there has been a change in the mind space of talent. And in the reality of our world, a hybrid work system has become a new normal. The other thing is this whole pivot to digital. What was supposed to take five to ten years has cascaded ahead in one year and that’s going to continue. Within that, there is data. Clients have understood the value of mining data to get insights to target their audiences.

The other trend that I see emerging is the future of technology like Metaverse. We have already seen brands that are dabbling with it, but it’s going to become more and more real.

So, in my opinion these are the dynamics that will play into key trends for our business in the future. There are two small trends, which are: you have to know how to capture attention, because if you don’t see something that interests you in a world where you are inundated with information all the time, you might lose your audience. You have to have content that is really compelling, but that’s not enough. The content has to have ‘talkability’ and ‘shareability’. That is becoming the new currency of relevance, because if you don’t share, it doesn’t get cascaded, it doesn’t get the attention and you lose relevance. This is becoming a measure of success.

The last thing in trends related to the PR world is crisis handling. Suddenly everybody realises that the context is so aggressive. There are conversations and political issues happening. You could get caught in the crossfire and that could affect your reputation, your brand, your success. We saw it with Nestle and then it went on and on. There are many other brands that have got caught in the crossfire and it has damaged reputation in a certain sense. Therefore, you have to be well prepared for a crisis. That’s the other trend that I think will continue to play out in 2023 and beyond.

Overall performance of Lintas Live in 2022

I have been in PR for 30 years now, and in this agency for 27 years. So, I have seen PR in its infancy and I have seen it evolve.

Some of us at the agency including our new group CEO Subbu who is the mastermind of this architecture decided to relaunch our PR brand by adding the power of ideas and creativity. We have added digital and social media capabilities, which starts with listening to conversations and getting insights from conversation data. So, all this is coming together beautifully.

We have performed exceedingly well. In fact, it has been a fantastic journey over the past year, building out this new proposition of Lintas Live and seeing that come alive. Looking at growth and profitability numbers, those have gone up significantly now. I can’t give the exact figures because we are a part of a group entity, but it has been disproportionate and very good and that’s going to continue into 2023.

(The article was first published on