India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 2 Issue 5 – July 07
Published by Prime Point Foundation
(Supported by Chennai PR Club)
PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor
“Individual talents have no value, unless combined in a team“
In some of the earlier to analyse this phenomena as to why
group discussions, many there is a hesitation in coming out and
of the youngsters raised working in a team, pooling all the
the ‘serious concern’ resources. The combined talent is
about the lack of youth more beneficial to the industry.
empowerment and not Individual talents have no value,
involving youth in many unless they are pooled for the
of the decision making betterment of society. In turn,
activities. Based on that, we working in a team, helps the
dedicated this July 2007 issue of PR-e- individuals to develop ‘team spirit’ and
Sense for the youth. We requested Mr ‘leadership skills’.
Tushar, one of the enterprising youth
to be the ‘Guest Editor’. Messages This is a very serious challenge before
were circulated repeatedly for youth the youngsters. A time has come that
volunteers to participate in making this both seniors and youngsters should
ezine. come together to identify the reasons
for such ‘indifference’ and involve the
Surprisingly, we could get only three youth in the mainstream team.
volunteers to be part of this ezine. I
feel that the youth of today, have The Editorial Board places on record
great potentiality. The contributions the appreciation and initiative taken by
made by these young people in this the Guest Editor and other three
ezine are really excellent. This is only young professionals.
a sample of youth potentiality.
Individually, they have great talents in
them. When the opportunity was
given, there was a hesitation in firstname.lastname@example.org
accepting the responsibility. We need
PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine
An exclusive interview with Mr Al Expert views by Harish Bijoor,
Ries, Co-Author : “Fall of Brand-domain specialist & CEO,
Advertisement and Raise of PR” Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.
Expert views by Mr Roger C B Expert views by Anurag Batra,
Pereira, CEO & Managing Director Managing Director and Editor-in-
R&PM:Edelman. Chief, Exchange4media Group.
PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Guest Editor
“If you don’t speak, you don’t have right to complain“
When we decided that we would bring We have collected guidance from some
out the special issue of ‘PR-e-Sense’ of the most talented people in the
focusing on communications business today, which
young I am sure, will help you to shape up
generation your future. It will help you to decide
in public whether you want to pursue your goal
relations, of creating a career out of a PR job or
we were look for another job.
many of our This is my first effort as an editor
young (though I contributed and produced
friends will many in-house journals) of such
come forward and share their views on wonderful publication and I look
the business and seek clarifications. forward to your feedback and
We were hoping that they would suggestions, which may help me shape
convey their needs and desires. But my skills as an editor. I would like to
unfortunately, very few people came thank all the contributors and
forward. motivators for their valuable time and
Don’t you think that it is reflective of
our business culture where just born Parting wisdom: Those who do not
PR professionals don’t speak? This speak when the right platform is being
reminds me of a great line penned by provided, do not have a right to
a well-known author Gracie Allen: complain that I was not consulted.
“When I was born I was so surprised I Converse.
didn’t talk for a year and a half”.
With a hope to hear from readers, I
I think most of our just born PR remain.
professionals are equally surprised to
see the ‘very’ different world in the
real PR business.
In this issue we have tried to capture Vice President, Rediffusion DYR Pvt.
the PR world that exists today and Ltd. email@example.com
going to emerge tomorrow.
PODCAST TRIBUTES TO DR ABDUL KALAM – HE REDEFINED INDIAN
Dr Abdul Kalam after glorious five years of tenure as President
of India, has stepped out of Rashtrapathi Bhavan and started
continuing his journey to motivate the young people Please
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“PR will be the driving force in marketing programmes”
That notion has not been accepted by
most companies here in the U.S.
Today, more companies look to their
advertising agencies to develop the
strategies for new brands.
Actually many PR agencies are
reluctant to be involved in strategy.
Al Ries & Laura Ries need no
introduction. The duo authored a much
debated book “The Fall of
Advertising & Rise of PR”, which
created ripples in the world of
communications and established the
importance of PR in a never before
manner. Here in an exclusive email
interview with Tushar for PR-e-Sense
Al talks about the future of PR and
how we should be preparing ourselves
for the same.
Q: Its quite some time now since
you have written the legendary
book on PR Industry. The world is
moving at a speed of light and in
this fast changing world where
does PR industry stand today? They seem to feel that if they did, they
would be blamed for the failures of
A: While the PR industry might be new brands. They seem to believe
moving at the speed of light in your their job is to deliver media clips for
part of the world, the same thing isn't their clients and not to be responsible
true here and in many other countries for the success or failure of brands.
of the world.
However, we believe that the PR
It was our concept (in the book, The industry will eventually move in the
Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR) direction we suggested in our book. As
that brands should be introduced by we said in the book, it's going to take
PR and only when the brand is some time for this to happen.
established should the company switch
to advertising. Q: As it has been increasingly said
that PR builds the brand, what in
Furthermore, we believe that PR your opinion are the ideal traits of
people should be primarily responsible a successful PR Manager to be able
for the strategy of a new brand, not to replace the traditional brand
advertising people. managers?
A: A successful PR manager has to in India. Much more so than in many
look at a brand from the consumer's other countries.
point of view. And then try to figure
out what attributes of the brand would Q: Where do you see the Future of
make the best impression on PR and what advice would you
consumers. like to give to young and aspiring
PR professionals to become the
Actually, looking at a brand from the future-proof?
consumer's point of view is quite
similar to what media do when they A: We see the future of PR to be the
decide whether or not to run a story future of marketing. In other words,
about a brand. So in many ways, a PR will become the driving force in
good PR manager already has the most marketing programs.
traits necessary to become a good
brand strategist. Young and aspiring PR professionals
should take a great interest in strategy
Q: You visit India quite frequently rather than just in the traditional PR
and I am sure you must have got a skills. quot;Getting your name in the
chance to observe Indian PR paperquot; is not the goal of a marketing
business as well, what is your program. quot;Building a powerful brand in
opinion on Indian PR business? consumers' mindsquot; is the goal of a
marketing program. PR is just a tactic
A: While Laura and I have visited India in the broader goal of winning the
a number of times, we still don't feel battle in consumers' minds.
that we know about Indian PR
business to comment on this question. Website: www.ries.com.
We have been pleased, however, that email: firstname.lastname@example.org
there seems to be great interest in PR Laura's blog: www.originofbrands.com
Laura’s email email@example.com
PR – e- Groups – Have you joined discussion groups?
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“PR industry needs more commitment ”
Roger C. B. Pereira, are just fabulous. They have many
CEO & Managing more opportunities, both in terms of
Director professionalism and technology than
R&PM:Edelman, a well we had, and they are exploiting them
known communication to the hilt. They also have the
professional of India, in advantage of shared experiences that
an interview with ‘PR-e- have worked. Regretfully, that
Sense’ shares his views represents just about 50 - 60% of the
on the business and today’s PR professionals. The remainders treat it
professionals. as just another job.
Q: You are amongst the few Q: How do you look at the future
legends who started PR practice in of PR business in the country?
India and you have seen how it
has evolved over a period of time. A: When I switched from advertising
What do you think about Indian PR to PR, quite honestly, I was not
industry today? terribly happy. I did it out of necessity.
I was bored working as a consultant,
A: Whilst I am grateful to you for the spending more time on writing reports
credit, I can't honestly claim to have than on doing the work. But today, it
started the PR practice in India. I can seems the PR business has an even
think of Anand Akerkar, the true doyen greater future than advertising has, in
of the profession who set the pace in the country. The challenge is to
India. navigate the many pitfalls that are
strewn along the way by different
About the PR industry in India today, stakeholders (read: vested interests).
quite frankly, I am disappointed. I
have seen both industries - Advertising Q: What would be your advice to
and PR in its infancy. The advertising today's generation of PR
industry, fortunately, has always had professionals to remain relevant
more dedicated professionals all the time and become a
who were willing to raise the bar and successful PR manager?
take the business to greater heights,
intellectually and business-wise. A: I don't think I am qualified to give
Unfortunately, I don't see the same advice to anyone, but if I were starting
commitment in the PR industry. Isn't it my career afresh today, I would do a
a pity? couple of things:
Q: What is your take on today's a) Stay ahead of technology.
young generation of PR b) Stay ahead of what's happening
professionals? around the world, in every respect.
A: I can only speak about those who I Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
have interacted with. Some of them
What is Public Relations? When the elephant tramples the
When the circus comes to town and mayor's flower garden and a picture
you put up posters announcing it, shows up on the front page of the
that's advertising. When you put a paper, that's publicity. When the
sign on an elephant and parade it mayor laughs about it --- THAT'S
down Main Street, that's promotion. public relations!
“Future PR is all about niche PR and not mass PR”
Harish Bijoor, I do believe that any successful person
Brand-domain needs to be a successful
specialist & CEO, communicator as well. Does not
Harish Bijoor matter whether you are a scientist
Consults Inc. working on an oblique bit of cutting
shares his views edge science, or whether you are a
on the role PR brand manager.
has to play in the branding,
Q: What's your advice to today's
Q: You are amongst India's most young generation of PR
respected Brand Gurus and I professionals?
believe PR plays a very important
role in Branding - what's your My advice to young gen PR personnel
observation? would be to stick to the knitting of
integrity all the while. Never sell your
I do believe PR has a potent role to personal integrity level for short term
play in the process of building brands. goals of any kind. The company is
The point is simply this; advertising is important and so is the client. But
getting trusted less and less. The remember, what you will carry with
advertising medium is a medium that you all the while is your personal self
is accepted with some degree of and its reputation. Manage your
cynicism, even in new-gen advertising reputation well and manage it with
markets such as India. integrity. Everything else will fall into
Advertising is therefore working best
at the level of creating awareness Never allow PR to get the bad name it
among consumers. Other marketing just might be on the verge of getting
roles such as the need to get due to the behaviour of a generation
consumers interested in the offering, of people who have used it rather
desirous of possessing the offering, wrong.
the actual physical action of sale and
indeed managing post-sales Q: According to you, what is the
dissonance, often requires other tools future of PR and how we should
to help out with. PR is one such useful prepare for it?
tool to date. Today of course it is
overdone, just as advertising got The future of PR is all about niche PR.
overdone! Not mass PR. Old PR is all about a
mass approach with publications of
PR done with subliminal respect for the every kind and media of every kind.
consumer at large always works. PR Future PR is about niche media, broad-
needs to however take care not to based media and indeed about the
repeat the mistakes of mass larger community as well. PR that
advertising at large. This is golden seeks to impact on the larger
goose that must not be squeezed dry community 1:1 is true blue PR of
with insensitive use. tomorrow.
Q: Successful brand manager Email: email@example.com
should be successful URL:
communicator as well, is it true? http://www.harishbijoorconsults.com
“Lead your clients; don’t follow them”
Anurag Batra, Understand Media issues.
Managing Understand Readership and
Director and Viewership. Learn how to run
Exchange4media PR is also an intellect and
Group, in an knowledge driven business. Its
interview with not just about wining and
shares his views on the future of PR Understand that writing a press
industry from the other side of the release is a small part of your
• You are a business advisor. Do
Q: You have seen the business of you understand the business
communication closely than many environment?
of us would have. You are witness It’s not about looking good. It’s
to the evolution of PR business in about intellect.
India. Would you please share It’s about breakthrough ideas.
your views about Future of Indian Be a professional who
PR business? understands business issues
and imperatives. Rest will
The Future of PR and Communication follow
Business is very bright in India as the
business is booming and so many new Q- 3: You are associated with the
launches and initiatives are happening. business of media. We have seen
PR and communication business in many earth-shattering changes in
India is also under the throes of the media field, how does it impact
change. Global PR agencies are looking PR profession?
at tie ups with Indian companies.
There is a paucity of well trained PR Internet and Mobile devices is
professionals. The spends on PR in changing our world. Reputation
India are the lowest in world and are Management on the internet space is
likely to go up tremendously. most important. Dissemination of
information and retrieval of
Q: It sounds like a great future information, both are changing, how
ahead. What do you advice to does one leverage it is the challenge
today's young PR professionals to
cope with this kind of scenario? Q: A final word of advice for
today's young PR professional?
I would advice today’s young
generation with following points: Go for it. Become a business leader.
Lead your clients don’t follow them.
• Understand the Brand
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
August 07 issue - Theme : PR 2.0
Guest Editor: Ms Bhavani, President, IPRS, Singapore
PR –e- Views – Professional experiences
Ms Subha Ganesh, Account Manager, New Media Marketing, , London
“Traditional concepts need to be understood, to move to next-gen PR”
I am an online The companies are no more satisfied
marketing with just people who are looking for
professional, them, but they want to target to the
working everyday people who might become interested
on getting a good in them.
promotion for our
clients business on With the number of options in the
the web. I was reading some articles market, the businesses are no more
and blogs on PR and was really interested in the contents, but about
surprised to see that what I do the conversation and conversions. This
everyday is nothing but advanced PR push in the industry led to the new
or in other words PR 2.0 and I have mediums of PR which included online
been just terming it as online mediums like SEO, blogs, social and
marketing. I got really interested in business communities, online press
what was written on the blog and also releases in the related web sites to the
I was enjoying because in my devils face to face mediums like focus
mind I was seeing my next new idea groups, talk show, newsletter, email
for promotion of my clients business. campaigns.
But for a split second I wanted to Company’s ignorance and innocence
know what exactly then is PR and PR are making them to forget that PR 2.0
2.0 and what is the difference between is not a discipline in itself but just an
them? extension of the traditional PR and its
not just about technology but how we
The major PR tools during that time use the technology for our purpose.
were the press release in the
newsprints to publicity by means of It’s very important for any PR person
word of mouth campaign. Later on to have an insight and knowledge into
with the development of PR field as a the overall PR concept and not just
profession, the need for planning, about PR or PR 2.0. But the worrying
evaluating and understanding the need part is that though we used to have
and targeting of the audience became excellent PR professionals, with the
an integral part of the process. new technology and trends, the
younger PR persons are focused just
With the domination of internet, the on the new development and forget to
entire way people think, do and see strengthen their roots in the field by
things have changed, which got about exploring and understanding the
a revolution the way business thought traditional concepts.
PR and promoted themselves.
First as a PR professional, its
PR 2.0 is the enhancement of PR due important to understand the traditional
to the industry push towards more mediums and modes of communication
influential mediums for corporate and explore the new mediums and
communication. With the advent of combine the knowledge and come up
internet age, no more the focus of the with their unique style of PR…
communication is on the audience, it is Generation Next PR.
about people whom we need to reach.
PR –e- Views – Professional experiences
Ms Rupali Kalav, Manager, Corpcom, SBI Capital Markets Ltd email@example.com
“PR executives should understand employers’ contemplation”
We always talk about the beyond regular press release, and
problems, challenges we conference. Story ideation and
face as a PR Professional weaving new ideas around the
from our various organization’s activities.
working, we always look Media familiarization: Every
at stakeholders, who organisation feels that they should
matter to us, but in the process we get quoted in each and every
tend to forget that even our employer, story, and this is what he expects
our immediate reportee also becomes from the PR professional. Here, it
our stakeholder. is necessary to educate the people
how publicity works. “Every news
Since, this issue is concentrating on may be a worthy news to the
the issues faced by youth, I thought it organisation but not for
would be appropriate to talk about the publications”
employers expectations. I know the
topic will create an upheaval but Measurement: Management
nevertheless wanted to give few tips expects ROI (Return on
to our fellow professionals who are investment), and PR being the
planning a shift or recently shifted to most intangible, they expect it to
the corporate world. be measured and present a plan
incase if corrective actions are
• Sector Knowledge: Its imperative needed.
to have sector knowledge that you
are working in, as this will help to Not that the PR professionals are not
plan the right strategy based on following it up, infact few must be
strong objectives and present the already practicing it, but thorough
plan showing your knowledge and understanding of the organization
perspective. environment is equally important and
a lot depends on it to be successful in
• Training and Interactions: Top your organization.
management expects PR person to
be proactive, provide proper So in short, employer expects you to
training, construct key message, be Advisors, to be Educators and to
brief them on media nuances and make it Happen.
how to handle the media.
• Opportunity Identification: New
media opportunities, which go
Exclusive Blog on Corporate Podcast – How to use
Podcast to brand and market your products
For enquires – firstname.lastname@example.org
PR –e- Views – Professional experiences
Ms Debanjali Chakraborty, Manager – Corpcom, Elixir Web Solutions
“PR executives should guide the client based on their need ”
A very general myth about proper knowledge about the industry
PR industry is that it can and its working pattern. I have done it
sell, be it a person’s image myself for my clients and believe me it
or be it some goods for a helps. If somebody wants to have his
company. It’s been almost or her own identity in this vast field of
three years in this PR, the groundwork should be perfect.
industry and one thing PR is not a hard core marketing stunt
that I have come to know very but managing of outside
strongly is that PR is still looked upon communication of an organization or
as one of the marketing pattern. There business to create and maintain a
are clients who use Public Relations positive image.
merely to fortify their selling gimmick.
When I had joined as a trainee and the When someone reads a third-party
kind of lifestyle clients I was handling, article written about any product or
at the end of the day the clients used views coverage on TV, they're seeing
to come back to me and ask “why my something client didn't pay for and
things are not selling?” Same thing view it differently than they do paid
had come from three clients of mine. advertising. In public relations, you
At that time I had decided that I have have to have a nose for news and be
two options. Either I help them sell able to generate a buzz through that
their thing or guide them how to sell news. Public Relations need patience
their things. and perseverance that leads to
I very truly believe in an old adage:
“light a candle instead of cursing the I would like to wind up by saying those
darkness”. who are in this field should take the
plunge to make PR a credible and
The PR industry has reached its organized profession. We should be
threshold where it should start guiding the one to guide the client with what
its client and demarcate between kind of PR they have to go for as per
advertising and PR. The clients should their need and the media on the
be well consulted and not just to be various kinds of trends going on in the
followed. And to become a true industry. It’s us to decide and to give
consultant we should have our a proper shape on how this industry
research strong and well grounded. should look like.
We should be well equipped with
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PR eTTY - Relax – Light bulb story
PR Firm answer:
Hmmm…light bulb. That depends. Is
this a launch? Are we taking it on
tour? Let us think about it and we’ll
get back to you with a proposal.
Hollywood PR Firm answer:
Just one light bulb? Goddamn it! When
How many PR people does it take I set this shoot up I told you explicitly
to screw in a light bulb? that we were to have no less than 20
light bulbs, a technical advisor and
PR Manager Answer: catered lunch for the talent. You want
screwed? Give me the name of your
Two. One to screw in the light bulb, boss! You’re through in this town!
one to write the press release.
Brand communications answer:
answer: Let’s not focus on the people or bulbs.
Let’s own “light”.
We are aware of the light bulb and
should we choose to participate, look
forward to its implementation.
PResenters of PReSENSE
Guest Editor Editor Associate Editor Senior Web PodJockey
Tushar P A Narrendiran, and PodJockey consulta nt Shvetha Sridhar
Rediff PR Blue Lotus PR Veena Vinod M M Sevakumar PR Executive
Good Relations PR
Publisher and Chief Editor
K. Srinivasan (Prime Point Foundation)
Feedback and contributions to:
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