Agency Feature: Pepper Interactive

Pepper Interactive

How do we define Pepper Interactive?

We are a communications firm, specializing in PR, Communications, and Digital Media services. We started our operations in mid-2011, expanding to Mumbai in 2013 and Delhi in 2018.

We work with clients across automotive, technology, startups, healthcare, hospitality, Retail/FMCG, sports, and lifestyle domains.

What’s in the name?

When we were thinking of what to call ourselves, we realized we didn’t want to be conventionally named and hence, Pepper. The ‘interactive’ word was an early shout-out to the social media deluge that was to eventually integrate into traditional PR and Communications mandates.

To sum up, Pepper is a mix of a traditional PR agency and an IMC company with a liberal sprinkling of emerging communication practices drawn from diverse disciplines.

What do we do?

Well, in one word – communicate. We think of ‘communications’ as a single entity with multiple approaches and vehicles used. The end goal is to successfully convey the story and the message of a company to various stakeholders. Our strategies blend PR, social media, and other modes of marketing communication.

Social media and conversations are also very critical to grab the attention of audiences. And these work effectively when one blends into the other.

Why we do it?

PR was essentially believed to be all about media coverage. We never really agreed with this approach, especially as social media was gathering pace in India. We believed that communication cannot be approached in a silo and wanted to prove this theory and practice it. Hence, Pepper – where we’ve always attempted to take a non-traditional but successful approach.

How has the role of PR changed with the digital ecosystem coming off age?

We’ve always taken a Communication 2.0 approach, right from our early days. We believed in community and influencers before these became buzzwords. To the audience, whatever you are doing – be it on any of the PESO (Paid, earned, shared & owned) platforms – you are sending a message about who you are and what you do.

Digital platforms and social media have also made it easier for news to be shared, regardless of its veracity. Public Relations becomes critical here to ensure the message is shaped and shared in the right manner, while also combating fake news. PR, in its traditional avatar, deals with earned media – the toughest form.

The key change with the growth of social media is that we now segment our clients’ messages further – all of which are tied to different and appropriate business objectives of the client.

CSR in PR?

CSR is always a tricky subject. At Pepper, we take the ‘impact-first’ approach. It is not enough to be starting something and talking about it. It is about what impact the CSR program had, what problems it has solved, how it has affected lives, what positive change it has helped bring in society, etc.

The need of the hour

There are two factors we believe are very important and need regulation. One is related to privacy. With the growth of digital media, we need to ensure the digital privacy laws protect individuals and companies.

The second is related to fake news. A lot of time is wasted in fighting fake news, especially on social media. It would really help to have some regulations in place for this!

We learned the hard way

Processes are critical – and implementing these processes is more critical.
Most of us have processes in place but in the daily humdrum, forget that processes are no good if they are not implemented in the right manner at the right time.

Be it updating a media list, or sending a report to a client, these are in place to make everyone’s life easier!

Also read: Agency Feature: WishBox Studio  

Did we just share that?

The real fun happens behind the scenes. There are those typos and gaffes that happen during a LIVE event, a little bit of scrambling to ensure that things appear smooth on-screen.

But one of the most memorable ones is our SM team responded to a late-night message on a social handle of a hospitality chain. One of the guests was asking for water to be delivered to their room through DM! This when the room has a one-touch request facility for room service. I guess we are all addicted to social media.

They work with us

Continental Automotive, SIGMA, SourceTrace, SleepyCat, Pixel Pictures, Vitesco Technologies, Silicon Road, and more.

The industry as we foresee

We think the Indian social media scene has immense potential. We, Indians, absolutely love technology and social media. It is not just about how many people are in the country. It is about how quickly we adapt to the technologies and put our own spin on it.

We think the growth will move to address Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Sharechat has been growing quietly among regional language speakers.

It’ll all about creating social conversations – and more importantly visually.

A day without Internet

Well, we’ve been through this at our offsite team sessions.

We enjoy the first hour or two. Most of our managers kick back and relax. But slowly, the lack of messages and emails starting gnawing at you. By lunchtime, we are mostly running around frantically trying to find some form of internet.

Let’s accept it – we are calmer when we are connected.

Lastly, are you hiring?

Yes

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Media Samosa is an online publication reporting trends, insights and breaking stories on various verticals of media marketing.

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