LAVASA, INDIA—The digital revolution is reshaping the relationship between the PR industry and the media, said a panel of Asian agency heads at the Praxis 2013 Summit in India last week.

The event, which is run by the Promise Foundation, drew a substantial audience of leaders from the PR industry, in-house comms sector and media to Indian hill station Lavasa.

In a session focused on the rocky relationship between the media and the PR industry, delegates heard that while digital is changing way information is accessed, traditional media remains of critical importance in India.

The panel featured MSLGroup Asia-Pacific president Glenn Osaki; Text 100 regional director Anne Costello; and, Sconaid McGeachin, president and CEO of Hill-Knowlton Strategies. It was moderated by Essar group president of corporate branding and strategic initiatives Shivnath Thukral.

Osaki noted that the way to bridge the increasing gap between the media and PR industry is by trying to understand the mindset of today’s journalists. Their preferences and interests, he said, are largely influenced by the presence of social media. 

Osaki added that while the self-declared war between the media and PR industry will continue, the importance of traditional media, especially in a country like India, will never dip drastically. He also said that the PR industry must address its poor perception with the Indian media.

" We need to act upon it," said Osaki. "Shame on us, we don't make changes when we hear feedback. We need to professionalize our services, our work; approach them in more strategic methods, not traditional methods, and work as allies."

His view was supported by both Costello and McGeachin. In the Middle East, pointed out McGeachin, PR professionals are often treated as trusted source of content and information by the media.