- #PRdebate: Can PR step up to the digital challenge? – If by ‘the PR industry’ you mean traditional agencies or ‘the dinosaurs that run PR who don’t get the significance of digital’, as James Warren put it, then i agree PR has already lost. But if we’re talking about the growing band of smart new agencies and the intelligent approach of the larger agencies of which a few were represented last night, then no. These sorts of comms professionals know they still have a lot to learn, but they are building digital skill sets by hiring in experienced individuals or looking beyond the boundaries of what would traditionally be PR. Yes, the social media specific agencies and digital agencies have a lead in understanding the environment, but they also need to skill up in terms of comms strategy and delivery.
- The Great Online PR Debate (#PRdebate): PR Agencies are Losing the Right to Learn – The skills required in the Online world are very different to those practised in Media Relations. What clients need in the Online domain is a set of direct service offerings. They need direct management of reputations amongst communities and forums. They care for direct, bottom line events like sales and bookings conversions, and other direct, tangible outcomes like traffic acquisition. This involves a specific set of direct Online skills: Online people talking directly to lots of other Online people (customers, partners, influencers, stakeholders, etc), not people talking through people (the media). These aren’t Media Relations activities and I don’t think that a traditional Media Relations agency can carry them with any level of assurance. More to the point, most traditional PR firms aren’t comfortable with this kind of work.
- Ignore Twitter? Major brands learn they’d better respond — and quick – Los Angeles Times – “Our social media marketing approach is that we want to be everywhere our consumers are,” said Michael Donnelly, Coke’s director of global interactive marketing. “There’s significant risk in being perceived the wrong way.”
- Difference between PR and publicity – Regis McKenna was great at PR. Yes, he got Steve Jobs and the Mac on the cover of more than 30 magazines in the year it launched. That was just publicity. The real insight was crafting the story of the Mac (and yes, the story of Steve Jobs).
- How to Demo Twitter – One of the great challenges for anyone who loves Twitter is to show other people why they should love it too. You can start off by showing how businesses use Twitter. For example, AmazonDeals increases Amazon’s revenue, and ComcastCares provides support to Comcast customers. Zappos promotes the caring brand image of the company because its CEO, Tony Hsieh, is doing the tweeting.
- How to create a hosted Wordpress blog – a step by step guide from booking the domain to getting your blog seen – Everything you need to know to create a blog, seo it, and promote it well. This has a step-by-step guide and dozens of resource links.
Archive for the ‘industry’ Category
- The Domino’s Effect – Domino’s brand cultivated over 49 years…damaged in 30 minutes or less. The latest viral video on the Web today isn’t related to an upcoming summer blockbuster, nor the next Chocolate Rain sensation or even the next Obama Girl. Today’s social video frenzy is a real time case study of what happens when the employees of a franchise use online video to inadvertently cause a global domino effect that financially and emotionally impacts other franchises, employees, customers as well as bruising the corporate brand overall.
- Savvy & Energetic: Keys to Real PR – If you think you’ll annoy the media then STOP. Reporters need PR people. We give them stories. Even though members of the media may be busy, prove to people that you’re the real thing, and this genuine, concerted approach will open ears. You will establish yourself not only as a source of useful information, but also as a person in a helpful relationship. Often, the most important part of the PR cycle involves what happens after the pitch! It’s all in the follow-up. Say that last sentence a few times. Please.
- Hanging Tough – In the late nineteen-twenties, two companies—Kellogg and Post—dominated the market for packaged cereal. It was still a relatively new market: ready-to-eat cereal had been around for decades, but Americans didn’t see it as a real alternative to oatmeal or cream of wheat until the twenties. So, when the Depression hit, no one knew what would happen to consumer demand. Post did the predictable thing: it reined in expenses and cut back on advertising. But Kellogg doubled its ad budget, moved aggressively into radio advertising, and heavily pushed its new cereal, Rice Krispies.
- The Rise of Asian Brands | Reputare – Between 2001 and 2005, the number of Asian brands in the BusinessWeek top 100 has doubled to eight. This is no small achievement – especially if you consider the fact that this period has also seen intense and merciless global competition in which powerful incumbent brands from developed economies could delve into their deep pockets to win market share in the new emerging markets. What’s happening? What’s changing?
- A letter to young job seekers – Be prepared with an elevator pitch. Most interviews will start with “Tell me about yourself.” Prepare a one-minute spiel that highlights your strengths and personality, then practice it before your interview. You don’t want to recite mechanically, but you also want to sound ready and polished.
- PDF: Social Media Tools Popular Among Marketers & more – Michael Stelzner interviewed some 900+ Internet marketers to determine how they are using social media to promote their businesses, what social media tools are more popular among marketers, how much time are they spending on social media sites and so on.
- 5 Essential Traits for Community Managers – As corp comm managers today need to play role of community managers for their companies and engage with communities online, they might as well gear up and know what it takes to be a good community manager.
- The 6 stages of Twitter media coverage hell – The media does this with every truly major Internet phenomenon that comes along. It happened with the Internet itself, then e-mail, then the Web, then the tech bubble, then social networking and now Twitter. Here are the 6 stages of media coverage hell that the press and the TV networks are putting us all through.
- 5 Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page – For many companies a FacebookFacebook reviewsFacebook reviews fan page is an integral part of their social media campaign. But, what elements help fan pages build up large followings and what can brands do to emulate the success of others? I’ve put together a list of specific elements that I believe have helped create fan pages with large, engaged, followings.
- How a Jewellery Store Can Use Social Media to Promote Their Brand | WATBlog.com – Web, Advertising and Technology Blog in India – Have an online jewellery design contest. If your target is youth, the college crowd then have them design the kind of design they love to see. Have a community on Facebook where the participants could interact and showcase designs. Give the winners some coverage and of course have prize. You have just used social media not just for branding but also for market research and feedback as well, not to mention a collection of designs.
- How to Build a Reputation Monitoring Dashboard » aimClear Search Marketing Blog – This post is a guerrilla tutorial for building a totally free reputation monitoring dashboard, suitable for personal/corporate use or reselling to an agency client. You’ll be able to easily build a tool where nobody can even whisper your business keywords, in a positive or negative light, without your awareness.
- Nielsen: Twitter’s growing really, really, really, really fast | The Social – CNET News – A small new survey from Nielsen about the five fastest growing “member community destinations” in the U.S. reveals what we all kind of knew already: Twitter is at the top. From February 2008 to February 2009, it clocked in at a whopping 1,382 percent growth rate. That’s to be expected, considering the amount of press the still-without-a-business-model microblogging service has gotten in recent months.
- Getting Optimized Press Releases Approved – Optimizing press releases can be an important part of any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program. It’s usually pretty easy to convince clients of the need to optimize news content since these kinds of releases can reach journalists and bloggers as well as consumers.
- Moving PR forward – Press releases will be dead within 24 months. The smart agencies are realising that they have to play in this world and anyone can now play in it….. 70k people are doing their own PR using these tools. Dedicated people read the blogosphere just like you used to read magazines. The beauty is that young PRs have been doing it already. Search twitter.com find ways to get involved – don’t try to own the conversation, engage and listen.
- 35 Must-Read Articles for Social Media Marketers – “As an active social media user and marketer, I’m always interested in learning new things to improve my knowledge and abilities. This is a collection of some of the best articles that I’ve found on a variety of topics related to social media.”
- How To Develop A Facebook Page That Attracts Millions of Fans – Facebook Pages present a massive opportunity for brands to directly engage with their existing and future customers, even the occasional passer-by. Below, I have outlined 10 tips for creating engaging Facebook Pages.
- How to use Twitter for PR – Weisgerber details 8 ways in which Twitter should be used by brands and begins to detail how they should act for each one: 1. Tracking 2. Monitoring 3. Live-reporting 4. Journalism 5. Activism 6. Public Relations 7. Political Communications 8. Crisis Communications
- Tweet Advice from Area PR Pros – Twitter has a variety of PR uses, but it all boils down to relationships. Clark sees it as another information outlet and likes the way it is organized as a stream versus a batch of separate emails. Koole refers to it as an enhancement to other channels, calling it a sort of “real time billboard” with company updates. Droog notes that Twitter served as a crisis communications tool when Amway Global dealt with a product recall and tweeted regularly, mostly alerts with links to more information on their web site.
- Social Media Marketing Tops Digital Marketing Tactics for 2009 – What 3 digital marketing channels & tactics will you emphasize in 2009?” Here are the top ten tactics selected:
* Blogging (34%)
* Microblogging (Twitter) (29%)
* Search engine optimization (28%)
* Social network participation (Facebook, LinkedIn) (26%)
* Email marketing (17%)
* Social media monitoring & outreach (17%)
* Pay per click (14%)
* Blogger relations (12%)
* Video marketing (10%)
* Social media advertising (7%)
- Twitter Links for February 2009: Social Media and Twitter Resources : The Get Smart Blog – This list is a collection of social media and twitter resource links that were shared and retweeted by @GetSmartWomen in February 2009. In this list you will find the best, most interesting, and most useful of our favorite shared Twitter links.
As the parliamentary elections are coming to a close, I happen to connect some interesting analogy with cricket and soft drink. I have been a strong follower of cricket and cricket is almost a religion in this part of the country. Over the last 3 decades, each time we infused young blood in our team the results have been different. It dates back to the 70’s when Pataudi and the Wadekars of the world were replaced by the Gavaskars and Vishwanth followed by the Kapils and the Azaaruddin followed by Ganguly, Sachin and Dravid and now the Dhoni’s and Yuvraj has produced results. The approach and thinking to the game has been totally different and we are able to see India climbing the ladder in the world in both of forms of cricket.
Even in the case of soft drinks they keep on changing and introducing energetic youth as brand icons with Pepsi being a very classical example. From Juhi Chawla to Dipika Padukone, the brand has changed their strategy and tried not to move from the youthful positioning.
These are live examples that our voters should learn and understand that India needs a very young parliament. US already have demonstrated by electing Obama. We have the bench strength when it comes to youth but it is time we handover the baton to these young and bright parliamentarian to bring a change in the way we think.
Even in the early days in England their cricket team had a bunch of oldies some of them made their test debut at the age of 38 years but that is no longer happening. Today, even they have a very youthful side. They have changed that theory. Why because youth is working and it is time we in India should also infuse young blood to Indian parliament to take our great country to the next level.
Weber Shandwick, in association with The Economist, today came out with a report entitled ‘Risky Business: Reputations Online’ based on a survey conducted among 703 senior executives within more than 20 industries in 62 countries spanning North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and other markets. The report revealed interesting insights:
1. Reputation threat level is high: The perceived damage of reputational threat is even higher in Asia than any other region, with 74% of executives regarding their company’s reputation as vulnerable. Those surveyed in other parts of the world are less likely to regard their company reputations as vulnerable – 64% of Australian executives and 67% of executives globally.
2. Reputations are revealed online, but not completely: Nearly all executives in the Asia Pacific (Asia + Australia) markets surveyed (99%) “use” the internet to evaluate company reputation. However, fewer than 6 in 10 (58%) find the internet “useful” for making such judgments. Executives in Asia are more likely to use banner ads as a reputation arbiter than executives in other parts of the world. Nearly 9 in 10 Asian executives (88%) rely on banner ads for reputation appraisal compared to 82% of global executives and 70% of Australian executives. Again, despite this high utilisation rate, only 9% of Asian executives find banner ads trustworthy.
3. Naivete can lead to surprise: Similar to executives in other parts of the world, executives in Asia and Australia tend to think more often about their company’s reputation than their own. The exception is China, where executives think almost as frequently about their own reputation as they do that of their company. Executives across Asia Pacific worry about their personal reputations, but could be somewhat overconfident by neglecting to check their names online often enough. Only 26% of those in Asia and 25% in Australia have run their names through a search engine in the 30 days prior to taking our survey, lower than the percentage of global executives overall (38%).
4. What…me worry?: Preoccupation with company reputation is not exclusive to the C-suite in Asia Pacific. Members outside of the top executive team think about it just as frequently as those at the very top. Despite this common concern for company reputation, top executive team members perceive a lower threat level to their company’s reputation than those reporting to them or below them.
5. Executives are online reputation sleuths: Like executives worldwide, executives across Asia Pacific used search engines in the past 30 days prior to taking the survey to uncover activities of business rivals and partners, product quality issues, and even their own organisations. Chinese executives, to a much greater extent than executives anywhere else, are going online to investigate company corporate responsibility records, company critics (“badvocates”), and NGOs.
6. Traditional media outranks new media as reputation referee:In spite of their frequent recourse to internet search engines, executives throughout Asia Pacific still agree with global executives that traditional media (television, radio and newspapers) plays a greater role in deciding reputational fates than new media (websites, blogs and social networks).
7. First stop: Company websites: According to 99% of executives in Asia Pacific, the leading online source of company reputation information is the corporate website.
8. Old and new reputation spoilers: By far, the greatest perceived cause of reputation damage according to executives across Asia Pacific, and the world over, is negative media coverage. The next two top-ranked reputation busters are customer complaints in the media/online grievance sites and negative word-of-mouth. To a surprising and alarming degree, executives everywhere vastly overlook new media’s potential as a reputation spoiler – only 12% or less of Asian executives and 6% or less of Australian executives mentioned online videos, social networking sites, Wikipedia and photo-sharing sites as potential reputational hazards.
9. Leaks gush dangerously online: More than half of executives in Asia (55%) regard confidential or leaked information to the internet as the top online risk to their company’s reputation, a much greater concern than for Australian executives (31%) or global executives overall (41%).
10. Reputation assassins are hard at work: Today, the internet provides innumerable platforms for current and former employees to strike, usually anonymously, at a company’s reputation. As employees wrestle with declining pensions and possible layoffs, reputation “badvocates” will be hard at work online. In Asia especially, employee criticism is considered a clear risk to a company’s reputation (53%). The importance of employee loyalty and recruitment to companies in Asia means that any employee criticism would be a particular reputational affront.
11. Emails are on the loose: Similar to global executives, a sizeable 88% of executives throughout Asia Pacific admit to having erroneously sent or received at least one electronic message (email, text or Twitter). However, emails do not always fall into the wrong hands or inboxes accidentally – approximately one quarter of executives (23% in Asia and 25% in Australia) say they have intentionally forwarded a private email to someone else.
12.Monitoring is needed far and wide: Executives in Asia and Australia believe that among the best ways to reduce the number of online assassins and protect reputations online is to monitor what is said about companies in the traditional media (ranked #1 in Asia and #2 in Australia). These managers consider traditional media monitoring a more important safeguarding activity than global executives overall (42%). Asian executives are exceedingly more likely than Australians to believe search engine and social media monitoring tools effectively help safeguard reputation online (42% vs. 25%).
13. Acting on employee feedback is wise defence: Australian executives consider acting upon results from employee satisfaction surveys to be the most effective online reputation shield (55%). By comparison, Asian executives believe employee feedback is only the second most effective (43%), after media monitoring (48%). Australians are the world’s strongest proponents of employee feedback.
14. Executives are still blind to the blogosphere: Like executives elsewhere, those in Asia Pacific believe that the least effective way to protect corporate reputation online is to build relationships with influential bloggers. Only 12% of Asian executives and 6% of Australian executives consider this strategy helpful for keeping reputations secure.
15. Online reputation management (ORM) comes of age: Six out of 10 executives in Asia Pacific say their companies are now rigorous about online reputation management and expect to be more rigorous three years from now, in line with global executive estimates.
15 RULES FOR ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
1. Conduct an initial landscape analysis of your professional and company reputations online: Take a 12+ month look back into online sources such as blogs, social networks, forums and chatrooms to benchmark and obtain a clear understanding of what has been said historically about you and your company.
2. Monitor your digital reputation regularly and embrace SEO: Search engine results, blogs and other forums can help determine what exists in the public view since competitors, customers, allies and the media are making split second judgments about your and your company’s reputations. Make online monitoring and search engine optimisation (SEO) a critical element of your ongoing reputation management process.
3. Engage in the online community: Identify one or more passionate employees who can participate in the social networking arena on your company’s behalf.
4. Build reputation shield early on: Plant the seeds of genuine positive content or stories in multiple destinations across the web as soon as possible to create an enduring online reputation. Realise that journalists may be getting their reputational intelligence from the internet, too. If a company delays its efforts until a crisis unfolds or other negative news appears on the horizon, its reputation will not be strong enough to repel the flood waters that can engulf and wash away years of strong performance.
5. Know when to respond online: Create a plan for incidents that takes into account all categories of issues: those requiring an immediate response, a wait-and-see approach and no response at all.
6. Get inline using all your media assets: traditional and online: Recognise that reputational power lies in using all available communications channels. Also, the growing number of new online media sites and new technologies are only going to increasingly wreak havoc in the corporate world. The core of any successful public relations programme will be a combination of online and offline (“inline”), not one or the other.
7. Identify reputation threats early on. Plan for the worst-case scenario: Rule out any surprises and always be on your guard. Many companies now have, or need to consider building, a ready-to-launch “dark site” that can be activated if a worst-case scenario suddenly occurs. Remember, whoever talks first is in a better position to set the tone.
8. Endlessly listen to your employees: Listen and respond to employees before they potentially attack you online, intentionally or unintentionally. Listening means more than fielding a survey or putting a suggestion box in the lunchroom. It means reviewing employee satisfaction surveys and exit interviews, and monitoring your reputation daily using key words that can be searched on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Turn your employees into advocates!
9. Multiply your bad news online by 100: Realise that once bad news reaches the corner office, it may sound like a whisper but it’s already a shout. You can take this news and multiply it hundredfold.
10. Don’t neglect industry discussion: Boards and blogs: Enlist your senior management and other members of your workforce in digital boot camp. Ignoring influential bloggers and complaining customers causes reputational harm. Reach out to bloggers and posters with solutions to problems with your products/ services.
11. Review your website as if you were a prospective customer or competitor: Road test the user experience of your company website in terms of functionality, interactivity and transparency.
12. Customerise the online reputation of your products and services: Ask for and respond to customer feedback, and include customers in new product development. Boost your company’s credibility by including on your website negative customer comments (excluding those that may be slanderous or similarly inappropriate) as well as positive comments. Use technology to build consumer trust.
13. Accept your employee nation: Understand that employees will go online to criticise and praise your company—so prepare, review and communicate your corporate employee blogging and social media guidelines. Online conversation will only increase in the years ahead as online conversation continues to heat up.
14. Be on the lookout for errant emails: Use technology to audit outbound email content and monitor text in webmail and other HTTP traffic. Also use technology to detect intellectual property that should remain within corporate firewalls. Regular employee training in electronic message liability and propriety must be enforced at all levels.
15. Find your online advocates. Prime the pump for badvocates: Create an ongoing dialogue with your supporters, fans and enthusiasts before problems spread via word-of-mouth or on the web. These brand champions are a company’s best defence against badvocates, whose words and actions detract from
brands or products.
You can download this report’s executive summary in pdf at the Online Reputation Management site.
With 2009 upon us, we decided to ask some of the leaders in the Indian PR industry on what they foresee in this year. Check out what they have to say. What do you say? Let’s discuss in the comments.
Ashwani Singla, CEO, Genesis Burson-Marsteller
The recent Satyam saga has demonstrated the close inter-linkage between good corporate governance, transparency and an unblemished corporate reputation. As the science of influence, public relations plays a central role in building and sustaining corporate reputation through powerful communication of a company’s good work. As we look forward into 2009 and beyond, we will see public relations being leveraged far beyond traditional press relations to enable deep stakeholder engagement on a sustained basis, forming a key to protecting and enhancing corporate reputation.
As more and more brands compete for the consumers share of the wallet, the emergence of buying power of the youth of India will form a pivot for change and innovation. This ‘youngistan’ will continue to grow in the coming year the information and influence sources will increasingly shift to ‘New Media’ and the internet will become a dominant medium for the Gen Next to share information and express themselves. With the advent of 3G networks and the growing penetration of notebooks, clients would need to effectively harness these new developments to connect and converse with their audiences. Virtual media such as online journals and magazines, personal blogs, podcasts, community radios, and other fast growing ‘social media’ like Facebook, Orkut, Flickr, etc. thus need to be understood and leveraged effectively by public relations professionals.
And finally, the engagement with government will grow as the momentum towards accountability, transparency and responsiveness grows. This will lead to a growing demand for Public Affairs expertise as the Government evolves from a player in the arena to a referee and the third umpire our journey of nation building.
Madan Bahal, Managing Director, Adfactors PR
I see a robust bounce back of business in the first quarter of financial year 2009 – 2010. This will be driven by two factors: a growing realization that PR delivers cost efficiencies that no other marcomm tool does, and increasing uncertainty & scrutiny that corporates are faced with. The PR industry should not feel gloomy in the light of the events of quarter October to December 2008. Focus on capacity and resources and be prepared for the opportunity which will be regardless of the continuing economic slowdown.
Sunil Gautam, Managing Director, Hanmer MS&L Communications
PR is now going to be more innovative and creative. It’s going to get better at identifying the big story and get going with it. Driving PR in the context of the consumer, the last man standing is today’s challenge amidst the clutter and I am excited to see how we go about doing that. Of course PR has to get more credible and show some well defined results to get more business as we all face an economic down turn… It’s Darwin time… Survival only of those who are the fittest and we are ready.
Some great work has gone into the digital PR campaign of the US presidential elections and I wish some thing so cohesive and well directed could be done here. 2008 was surely the year of Digital PR breaking even and what best than Obama’s campaign.
We have come a long way now. We are practicing at a time when Public Relations is considered as a core management process not only in theory but also in practice. ‘Remarkable’, the most nominal adjective which denotes the evolution of PR. From being mere press agents to established image managers. Almost. It’s not only a specific subject or a distinguished firm which needs PR now. Concepts, ideas, and premature notions need PR as a stepping stone to emerge as fully functional establishments.
Now let me highlight PR in one of my senior’s definition “PR is a one of those great professions, which does not involve education. If you had studied when needed, you wouldn’t be working in PR.”
Repulsed? I am sure. However, no matter how much this surprises our loyal IPRB readers, I would like to agree with the above definition. I understand we are living in a futuristically tech advanced age in which software are enough to make a person empowered with anything and everything. However, basics still prevails. No one can teach how to act, how to write poems, how to draw, etc. I believe (my teachers are going to sue me after this, I am sure) written words and authors irrespective of their enormous experience, can’t teach anybody how to be a good PR professional. Numerous accounts of their experiences are featured in books to make a student dream about Lucifer in his shiny red attire.
There are professions, which only and only depend on the accounts and reports of their pioneer’s experiences. Insurance, for instance. Books or references can surely teach you how to sell an insurance plan, what to say, and what not to say, to get the message across. However, the same cannot teach you how to go in and come out of the media chakravyu IANS. Take medicine for instance, books can teach you how to dissect a human body and take out a heart from it. However on the contrary, no book can teach you the much needed explanation when your client is practicing medicine at you, piercing your body taking your heart out due to a shiny proposal ideated by the client itself and accusing you on its collapse. Take Architecture, for instance, books can educate one on making blue prints for sky scrapers, however, they can’t enlighten one on fashioning and moulding data as per preference in those critical review presentations.
I can go on and on with these examples, however much to my dismay, the editor of this space doesn’t allow its writers to enjoy their Quantum of Solace. Anyways, I would like to mention something about the new age teachers of PR. Again, due to environment which dictates us to have an education portfolio with more word bullets than words, it’s of an paramount importance to have a formal degree. However, to have a comprehensive overview of our subject, there are some new age gurus that can lead us to some light. These gurus are omnipresent in the universe of communications, showcasing their opinions and outlook about the industry in the virtual world. The points I am going to showcase might surprise you to an extent, still I would look forward to your comments for the same. Some of the new age gurus are mentioned below:
* Linkedin groups: Baffled – right? Well your very own professional portfolio source consists of a world of information. Try going to any of extraordinary Linkedin groups and you’ll find the magic carpet to fly straight to global PR practices. Network of PR Processionals, Public Relations and Communications Professionals , and Public Relations Professionals are some of the groups, which truly elevates PR to develop on a global platform.
* India PR Blog: You don’t need me to describe this one, I know. Ok I just didn’t want you to show you my profile link but this blog has been a platform to discuss many issues and trends int he PR industry in India.
* Afaqs: Well, this advertising and news site gives you stories that can spark ideas for you in practicing PR well. It highlights how companies carry out their PR and marketing processes. Sure, you’ll have to experience everything to perfect the same however, this space can offer an useful insight.
Other informative blogs and spaces to look out for are int he sidebar of this blog. Check them out.
To conclude, Steven Marcaphelus once said “Living in prison is really fun if one gets perfectly acquainted with its environment”. Sadly PR is not the same thing. PR is never simple on any subject, regardless of the one’s expertise, stature or know how of the field. The simple reason for that is as the functions of water and ice is different every company along with its PR is different. It’s like the difference between a doctor and a chemist. A chemist while playing an important role by eventually giving you the medicine which bring you back on the tracks, it is actually the doctor, who is the savior. He is the one who diagnoses, evaluates the problem, and prescribes the medicines to eradicate the disease. Likewise, PR functions as the doctor as it comprehends a subject, does a detailed SWOT and than chalks out a plan to give maximum leverage to the subject.
Few days’ back I happen to read a piece in one of the news papers which had highlighted how clients are seriously viewing about their relationship with their PR consultants and partners. I completely disagree in what was mentioned in that story. On the contrary brands must seriously view other communication tools to keep their brand top of mind during turbulent times when the market has slowed down for various reasons. PR is one of those tools.
Over the past few months the buzzword has been recession and in the name of recession companies are revisiting their marketing budgets to keep a tight control on expenses. This is one of the old tricks most companies apply when there is recession and the first thing they do is to slash the marketing and promotion budgets. While the global meltdown and inflation has reduced the spending power of the Indian consumer but the recent terrorist attack has further shifted the gears of most companies in all sectors. All this is fine but brands still need to in the minds of consumer but at what cost is worrying the brand teams in most organization. And which is where the power of Public Relation can play a significant role.
Why PR and not other expensive medium?
The general mood has taken a deep dip after series of incidences. Today shopping and traffic at malls has dropped considerably in spite of Christmas and New Year around the corner. Even if marketers come out with killer strategy in terms of promotion the urge for shopping is being deferred due to various economic factors. With big ticket events like Champions league in cricket has been deferred has made the advertiser to rethink as to what new communication tools will help to keep their brand alive. Although GEC programs have given fairly good viewer ship the return on investment is not encouraging for brands to spend big bucks on the electronic media.
In this scenario brands must effectively use PR to maintain the some presence in the market. While I agree it will not generate rapid awareness for the brand the way advertising does through mass media it will most certainly help clients to look at a cost effective tool. And what is important here is brands should balance their strategy while using PR by judiciously managing advertising spends. This is where PR agencies also need to chalk out new strategy to pitch stories with the journalist to get favorable stories which will help not only brands to raise saliency but also build strong credibility.
PR cannot work in isolation:
Having said that companies should not completely depend on PR. Companies must use the 360 degree approach where PR will supplement and boost the brand awareness through sustenance mass media advertising and other innovative tools which is beyond advertising. For example companies can use branding through cybercafé by resting on the desktops of PC’s. With more cybercafés mushrooming both in cities and tier 2 and 3 cities brands need to exploit this new medium. Interestingly many brands have moved to this space as clients are able to capture the hits to the brands through well supported technology which is able to monitor the traffic. Also this is able to help marketers to extend their consumer outreach to smaller towns.
There is always a concern when one uses PR. Is it measurable? Yes it is measurable if companies seriously view in measuring this in a scientific manner. We have strong processes to measure this which not only helps in effective messaging but will also able to throw consumer insights which will help brands to check if the communication strategy and their messaging has met their defined objectives.
Finally as a brand custodian of the brand the brand manager has to believe in what he is doing and should have a complete faith in PR. Miracles may not happen but well thought out PR strategy will definitely yield results.
Recently a colleague forwarded me a mail that was supposedly sent out to dozens of media persons by a renowned media personality criticizing a certain journalist about her misbehavior with PR folks and saying PR and journalism are part of the communications industry and should go hand in hand. For a moment I was surprised to see such a mail. Then I realized the mail was fake. He wouldn’t have used a spammy Gmail address to address his media colleagues. So my guess was someone who probably had a tiff with the journalist decided to get back by faking her boss and sending out a strongly worded email.
In another incident, a mail was sent impersonating a colleague of mine, using another Gmail address, to some 40 plus journalists, including senior editors and COBs claiming that certain journalists and a PR person have been involved in bribery to get press releases covered in newspapers. My colleague had to send out a mail to everyone explaining it was not him who had written that mail.
I don’t know who have been doing these, and whether the sender of such mails are from the PR industry or not. However it certainly brings bad reputation to the industry, for the misdeeds of a few unprofessional lot.
Check the content of the mails below. Please note: All names have been removed to protect the identities of individuals concerned.
Fake Mail 1 text: (see screenshot)
All the journalists being a part of this communication industry MUST READ IT……..
The communications industry in India is growing by leaps and bounces. It has gathered an unbelievable momentum and the credit goes to all the pillars – media, advertising, public relations, corporate communications, etc.
However, it is hard to segregate the whole industry into parts as these parts are totally interlinked. Though, it seems that some of the people working in the industry do not realize this fact and tend to believe that they are running the industry on their bare shoulders.
It’s funny to see how some journalists feel so logiclessly above the people who are working in the corporate side. And in this fool’s paradise, they tend to behave not only in an unprofessional but also in a very uncivilized manner with the professionals from public relations and corporate communication consultancies. They must remember one thing that they can only get respect if they are willing to give respect to others.
Recently, there was an incident where Ms. vjvjvjvj from vjgvjvjvj had displayed such a behavior. This is just to remind Ms. vjhjbjbb that if she continues this uncivilized behavior of hers, she may lose out on any stories she is doing through agencies and even of the clients with whose communication agents she misbehaves with. This is a strict warning for not only her but all such unprofessional people in the media fraternity.
All the PR consultancies across India have been informed about this step and any misbehavior with any of the members of these consultancies shall be at the personal risk of the journalist.
The media people who have done anything significant in their careers realize the interdependence of all sectors and always behave in a professional way. The PR industry hopes that you are one of them, because if you are not, it won’t be tough for them to strike you off our list completely.
Fake Mail 2 text: (see screenshot)
I wish to bring this to your notice.
Three people – sfdvdfv (sfvfv), rvevevi (Tsevefnt) and aevfdv (a PR manager with fvfvsfdvsdfv) who are extorting money to write press releases and to publish them in their newspapers.
Recently, I experienced it myself, was shocked and ashamed to see their behaviour.
These persons, who claim to be journalists, demand cash and if delayed on account of no reason, use the most vulgar of language and go to the extent of blocking the news in getting it printed. If money is paid on time, without a word, they see to it that it gets prominent display and go to the level of writing it with their names on it and in turn advise us to release it a couple of days later.
Please in future, please be careful while engaging them.