How PR attracts Governments Investment Agenda

An integral sub-specialty of Public Relations, Investor relations has helped Corporates and Governments alike, across the globe to communicate with investors, and the financial community at large. The ultimate goal of government’s reaching out to probable investors or the ones that have already invested is to build credibility and reduce uncertainties to invest/ stay invested and plan expansions in a region. A strategic and on-going communication not only generates interest in prospective investors, it also builds relationships and trust with existing ones and the key investment analysts and financial Reporters.

Effective public relations especially when a country’s financial prospects are being highlighted, requires knowledge based on facts, deep analysis and understanding of all factors that influence the investor’s conviction. A Public Relations campaign may be proactive or reactive (at time of any national crisis); the first basic step involves exploration and study to identify all the pertinent dynamics influencing the discernment of investors. Post that, an overall campaign is designed by defining specific goals and the desired outcomes. A special attention needs to be given to constrains, if any, under which the campaign would operate.

The recent trend observed is that of creating region specific investment promotion where Public Relations plays a vital role to market a region to national and international investors by building an attractive image, loaded with opportunities. A series of events are planned and organised by Government to promote a particular country/ state as an attractive location for foreign direct investment. Literature is created by Identifying and communicating comparative/competitive advantages and Information is then disseminated by utilizing various PR tools including article placements, press releases and media conferences to large-scale events to contemporary digital communication. Interesting mixes of proficiencies are at play while running a long term PR campaign, particularly for servicing the clients; investors in this case, who need to be, broadcasted the latest information regularly. Policy advocacy highlighting improved business environment also need to be hyped in stories placements, editorial pieces and thought leadership articles. The information needs to be easy to find highlighting numbers and figures with easy to comprehend graphics like Charts, graphs, and data tables to lend credibility to claims and build trust.

Closer home is an example of a special Japanese industrial zone set up at Neemrana by Rajasthan Industrial Corporation and consecutively expanding these to another 12 across the country, with an announcement of second Japanese Industrial Zone in Alwar by then Chief Minister of Indian state of Rajasthan, Ms. Vasundhra Raje Scindia announced at the Tokyo at an investors’ meet citing the success of the initial one. India traditionally carried a relatively higher investment risk for Japanese companies for a variety of reasons than do other nearby Asian countries, such as China. These companies had to make investment decisions based on insufficient decision-making information, for example, the accessibility of infrastructure such as power and water necessary to operate factories, availability skill set and workers and national & local government regulations and directives. Against this milieu, Japan’s External Trade Organization (JETRO) and RICO took the lead in furnishing the information and viability of this Industrial zone to attract primarily, Japanese auto-related companies manufacturing parts and materials to India to strengthen cost competitiveness.

Today many Japanese companies including Daikin, Nissin Brake, Mytex Polymer and Nippon Pipe, among others, have invested considerably in the zone. Public Relations played an Important role in not only initially attracting Japanese investment in the region but also in actively reporting the progress to World media with business stories on investment and expansions sprinkled with soft stories captioning “Neemrana as an island of Japan Inc., an unlikely oasis in the desert-like scrub land of Rajasthan.” Thus, making Neemrana, a very successful sprawling Japanese Industrial estate story.

Governments of many countries deploy PR for in-depth research to create all-inclusive content and then collaborating with proven Public Relations Implements and activities to earn trust and create awareness to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships and healthy investor relations. A well curated content can also be used for promotion on digital platforms and social media.

Written by:

Varun Chopra
Vice President
Ketchum Sampark