Navigating the Digital Landscape: A Comprehensive Analysis of Social Media Advisory and Public Relations Tenders in India (2023-2024)
Social media advisory generally refers to guidance or advice provided by experts or professionals to individuals, businesses, or organizations regarding their social media strategies and presence. The services provided by social media advisory cover a broad spectrum of topics related to social media platforms. These include strategy development, content planning, platform selection, engagement strategies, analytics and metrics, crisis management, influencer partnerships, advertising and paid campaigns, as well as training and workshops.
While social media advisory services specifically target online platforms to enhance visibility and engagement, public relations (PR) services have a more comprehensive approach. PR encompasses a wider array of communication channels and strategies to shape public perception and maintain a favorable image. It’s crucial to note that these two areas often overlap, as social media is a significant component of modern public relations. A seamlessly integrated communication strategy will harness the strengths of both social media advisory and public relations services, establishing a unified and influential brand presence across diverse channels, both in the digital realm and offline.
Social media advisory
In India, government agencies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) enlist the services of social media advisory to promote, advertise, and enhance social awareness. Given the extensive audience reach of social media, a variety of sectors prefer it as their primary platform for promotional endeavors. The application of social media advisory extends across diverse sectors and industries, including healthcare, education, technology and startups, professional services, retail and e-commerce, travel and hospitality, sports, real estate, fashion and beauty, and the automobile industry. It’s important to note that the utilization of social media advisory services can vary widely based on specific goals, target audience, and the unique characteristics of each industry or sector.
This analysis highlights the procurement of social media advisory tenders by government agencies in India during the preceding year, 2023. A total of 424 tenders were issued by 222 agencies spanning different states, with Delhi leading at 71 tenders, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 68 tenders and Maharashtra with 38 tenders.
A total of 87 tenders related to social media advisory were released for the implementation of campaigns, including content creation, response, moderation, and basic reporting and analytics in multiple languages across various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and YouTube. For instance, the Uttar Pradesh Environment Department issued a tender seeking the services of a social media agency for tasks like content creation, response and moderation, campaign management, response management/helpdesk support in Hindi and English across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Similarly, the Gujarat State Handloom Handicrafts Development invited a tender for the hiring of a social media agency, specifying requirements like content creation, response and moderation, campaign management, response management/helpdesk support, and basic reporting and analytics. The tender included language specifications in Hindi, English, Gujarati, Kannada, and Telugu, with platforms encompassing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The healthcare and education sectors also seek social media advisory tenders to promote new features and initiatives. Social media advisory services are instrumental in assisting these sectors in successfully navigating the digital realm, connecting with their target audiences, and accomplishing their communication and awareness goals. For example, the Gujarat Health Family Welfare Department issued a custom bid for communication and social media agency services. The Health Family Welfare Department of Tripura released a tender for a social media campaign for Agartala govt Dental College & IGM Hospital through the SNIQ process. Additionally, the Directorate of Public Instruction in Madhya Pradesh published a tender for the hiring of a media agency for the Education Department.
Social media advisory plays crucial roles in the context of organizing and promoting “mela” (fairs) and “utsav” (festivals). These include pre-event promotion, content creation and curation, event schedule and information dissemination, audience engagement, real-time updates, feedback collections, collaborations and partnerships, post-event highlights. Social media advisory is instrumental in planning, promoting, and enhancing the overall experience of melas and utsavs by leveraging the power of digital communication to connect with a wider audience and create a lasting impact.
Tenders for social media advisory are also sought to promote “mela” (fairs) and “utsav” (festivals), wherein social media advisory plays crucial roles. Social media advisory is integral to the strategic planning, promotion, and enhancement of the overall experience during melas and utsavs. This is accomplished by utilizing the capabilities of digital communication to connect with a broader audience and create a lasting impact. The pivotal activities encompassed in this process include pre-event promotion, content creation and curation, dissemination of event schedules and information, audience engagement, real-time updates, feedback collection, collaborations and partnerships, as well as post-event highlights. As an example, the Haryana Board Corporation released a tender for the enlistment of an agency tasked with overseeing social media platforms during the Diwali Mela scheduled from 3rd to 10th November 2023. Similarly, the Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Local Bodies issued a tender for the selection of a Creative Media and PR Agency to handle responsibilities such as branding, content strategy, content creation, content moderation, communication, and channel management for the Prayagraj Mela Authority.
As of January 16, 2024, there are currently 18 active tenders for social media advisory services in India. Among these, Delhi leads with 7 tenders, constituting 39% of the total and holding the top position. Maharashtra follows with 3 tenders, while Bihar, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh each have 2 tenders. Additionally, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh each have 1 tender.
Public relation services
Social media advisory and public relations (PR) services share a close relationship, as both involve the management of communication strategies, albeit with distinct focuses within an organization’s or individual’s overall communication efforts. The emphasis of social media advisory is on optimizing communication through social media platforms, encompassing strategies for content creation, audience engagement, and the effective utilization of social media tools. In contrast, public relations services cover a broader spectrum of communication channels, including traditional media (TV, radio, print), digital media, events, and, to some extent, social media. The primary objective of PR is to manage and enhance the overall reputation and public perception of an entity.
Public relations (PR) services play a crucial role in promoting transparency, credibility, and positive public perception, and government agencies procure these services to establish effective communication, build trust, manage crises, advocate for policies, engage with communities, and maintain positive relationships with various stakeholders. In the preceding year of 2023, a total of 470 public relations services tenders were issued by 220 government agencies across various states in India. Among these tenders, the top-ranking states were West Bengal with 63 tenders, Assam with 54 tenders, and Maharashtra with 51 tenders.
Numerous public relations (PR) tenders are issued by the tourism department, underscoring the importance of PR services in the tourism industry. These services play a vital role in shaping perceptions, handling crises, cultivating positive relationships, and effectively promoting destinations to attract a diverse and engaged audience. For example, the MP Tourism Board published a tender to choose an agency for international public relations and marketing support services. Likewise, the Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Tourism released a tender to select a public relations and brand development agency for promoting UP tourism.
In the sports sector, numerous public relations tenders are published, encompassing media relations, team brand building, event promotion, sponsorships, international relations, and fan engagement. These services are fundamental to the sports industry, serving a crucial role in influencing perceptions, navigating crises, constructing positive brands, and nurturing connections among athletes, teams, and their audiences. For example, the Department of Sports in Delhi issued a tender to select an agency for digital branding and communication. Similarly, the Pune Directorate of Sports Youth Services in Maharashtra published a tender for engaging an agency for the execution of venue branding.
Moreover, DIT Goa released a tender for the appointment of a service provider to offer Public Relations (PR) and Marketing Support to the Department of Information Technology, Electronics, and Communications. The Gandhinagar Railway & Urban Development Corporation Limited (GARUD) in Gujarat invited proposals through a tender to choose services for Public Relations and Media Relations Marketing. Additionally, the Kerala Technopark Technology Business Incubator published a tender to select agencies for Public Relations and Digital Marketing.
As of January 16, 2024, there are a total of 26 active tenders for public relations services, spanning across different states. Delhi accounts for 6 tenders (23%), Maharashtra has 5 tenders (19%), and Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh each have 4 tenders. Madhya Pradesh follows with 3 tenders, while West Bengal and Punjab have 2 tenders each.
This analysis indicates that government agencies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India frequently publish a considerable number of tenders for both social media advisory and public relations services. In practical terms, achieving effective communication often requires a blend of both social media advisory and public relations services. These two elements synergize to create a comprehensive and integrated communication strategy that addresses the diverse needs of today’s complex media landscape. Therefore, it is advisable for firms providing these services to actively monitor and engage in relevant tenders.