Corporate misconceptions and ideosyncracies


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Corporate's misconception on media and communication

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Corporate misconceptions and ideosyncracies

  1. 1. India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 2 Issue 3 – May 07 Published by Prime Point Foundation (Supported by Chennai PR Club) PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor “Many CEOs assume high knowledge even in grey areas“ Vice-President of a mid- Corporate CEOs do not understand the sized Corporate calls up communication dynamics. a PR Agency and wants to hold a Press Very unfortunately, the Business Conference on the Schools do not provide sufficient ensuing Saturday night knowledge of PR and Communication to announce their sensibilities. Many Indian Corporate branch opening. The CEOs ‘assume’ themselves to be more official informs that their Chairman competent and knowledgeable even in would be free only on Saturday nights. many unknown areas, including He expects National media, including communication, beyond their Televisions to cover this branch competent field. opening announcement. This leads to lot of misconceptions and In another instance, a CEO with forty idiosyncrasies while they deal with years of corporate experience gets media and other communication angry if the release is vetted by the PR related functions. Instead of assuming Agency and insists his version is final. to possess more knowledge, in their grey areas, they should try to take the When we discussed such numerous guidance of competent communication instances in the group, our Editorial professionals, as they do with other board decided to focus on the theme professionals like lawyers, doctors, “Corporate Misconceptions and company secretaries and Chartered Idiosyncrasies” during this issue. Accountants. Indian Business Schools should include proper curriculum to With the advent of liberalization and make the future managers to globalization, Corporates are facing lot understand nuances of communication of competition both locally and at dynamics properly. . multinational level. It is a matter of K. Srinivasan great concern that many of the PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine • An exclusive interview with Mr K • Ramasubramanian, Mg. Director, Extracts from the wiki views • Masscom PR, Coimbatore Views from Senior and Junior • Expert views on by Mr professionals R.Gopalakrishnan and Mr R.Ramamurthy
  2. 2. 2 PR-eXCLUSIVE “Corporates should understand media dynamics ” Listen to the full interview through podcast at Mr K. Rama demanded that their CEO's interview subramanian, should be carried by a leading English Founder and daily with picture in the front page. I Managing declined to handle that assignment. Director, He was also not interested in learning Masscom PR (I) on the dynamics of media. Pvt. Limited, • Many of them are under the Coimbatore is one of the senior impression that PR can do hardcore PR practitioners. selling of their products/services He has been handling clients of replacing advertisements. different segments from different parts • At times, many companies even of the country. demand that their contact numbers, In an exclusive interview to PR-e- website address and email ids need to Sense, he lists out few ‘Corporate be carried with the news /feature Misconceptions’ from his experience. stories, which may not happen always. Excerpts: • In the recent times, many • Many of the CEOs and Corp Com Mumbai/Delhi based Corporates just personnel are not aware of the media send a release (that would invariably dynamics, structure of media have no local relevance to our organisations and their functioning. region) asking us to quot;somehowquot; get them carried in leading publications. • Few of them also carry wrong This trend is on the rise nowadays. perception that journalists could be • Few Corporates say that they bought over for few hundred rupees or other means of inducements. heavily advertise in a particular newspaper and hence that paper • Many of them expect the press to should publish their news prominently cover their organisation's internal as a reciprocal gesture. events that would have no news value • Most of the CEOs want to shield or information in the public interest. themselves from the communication • Some CEOs try to check the loop of PR and media personnel for professional competence of journalists reasons best known to them. They by demanding their profile before think that they can wield some power setting /sitting for interviews. only by being inaccessible to media. This often proves detrimental to them • Many expect the PR person to at the time of crisis. quot;pushquot; the press for carrying their stories prominently with pictures. A Mr Ramasubramanian may be reached huge construction and engineering at company's corp com person once
  3. 3. 3 PR –e- STIGE – Expert views Mr R Gopalakrishnan, Business Editor, The Hindu “Corporates should understand media priorities” Corporates and PR Some Corporates focus on the release Agencies offer of products in the name of press media opportunities release and corporate functions. This like press will not work really. This type of conferences or practices should be avoided. exclusive interviews to all the media and PR Agencies and Corporate expect all of them communicators, when they work as to respond intermediary between the Corporates positively. They and the Media, should understand the should understand that every needs of each other better. television channel or newspaper cannot take advantage of such media I suspect, some times, few Corporates opportunities offered. It all depends and Media Agencies plan media events on the priority, focus and space or press releases to counter the impact available in the concerned media or of media events or press releases publication. Media can respond only to planned by their competitors. This some of the opportunities. type of practices will not help anybody. We cannot respond to the business Some of the Corporates insist on plans or financial results of closely held publication of Awards or rankings. or private limited companies, the same This depends on the media’s way, we respond to the financial assessment of the importance and results of listed companies. credibility of the organisations who give the award. Mr R Ramamurthy, Industrialist, Member of CII and FICCI “Corporates should take suggestions of competent professionals” Corporates take decisions at Managing exposure of the subject to be Director level, implemented. particularly in the new subjects, like For example, they may insist on a media relations, press conference to be arranged in the press conferences, same evening, just because they are press releases, etc. available on that day. They may not Now Corporates be aware, that arraning a press have to face new conference involves lot of procedures situations, which and preparations. were not there earlier. Corporates may not be aware My request to the Corporates, who of nuances of particular domain. may not be having full exposure on Inview of this, some of the Corporates the subject, is to take the advice of may insist on their own knowledge and the competent professionals and act according to their suggestions. . Podcast: You can listen to the audio of Mr Gopalakrishnan and Mr Ramamurthy in the podcast at
  4. 4. 4 PR –e- Views – From the Wiki We had requested the members of ‘Image Management’ and ‘prpoint’ groups to share some of the misconceptions, based on their past experience. We had provided an exclusive Wiki for this purpose to record the views in the link Excerpts from the Wiki Mr T N Ashok Corporates ( CEO's.CFOs) believe that speculation a press release about an that could be announcement should be written in a damaging to fashion that will please its the company. shareholders and not the news media which is expected to project.. The fact Corporates is, if a news release is presented in a feel that they news form it is picked up by can present newspapers and also better their viewpoints better to the world understood by shareholders. through the media, only through five star lunches, dinners and expensive Corporates believe that meeting the gifts. The fact is that it proves counter media frequently is a dangerous productive with the serious minded practice . The fact is that if you meet journalists -- if you have nothing big to them regularly you are seen as say don’t meet the press; if you have transparent and willing to share something to say even a cup of tea information. You buy goodwill and would do; you can be on the front avoid a hostile press. Corporates feel page depending upon the news you that avoiding the media during a crisis make. is the best option. The fact is it is the worst thing to do. You end up creating suspicion in the minds of the media and open up unnecessary media Anonymous Recently, Journalists in turn were provided pick there was a up and drop to the venue. The event launch of a witnessed delay in the start of the brand new Car conference and end result was less as held in expected. It was late realisation but Chennai. The the agency was helpless. venue for the launch was fixed near the airport, that A small discussion with the agency too in the evening so that the CEO would have averted loss of extra would find easy to reach the place to mileage out of the launch. address the media.
  5. 5. 5 PR –e- Views – From the Wiki Mr Tushar Some senior management officials of and with a confirmation from MR. CEO many companies (read CEOs) have that he met the big boss of other more than 200 company. numbers of journalists on Our dear friend had a tough time their cell phone retaining his job and the other party and they pick up did not hire him - stating that we have any incoming call no poaching agreement with that from them in company and we dont hire people from order to give them opinion or views on there. Mr. CEO is working with a third the company, competition, policy and company now and he doesn’t have any so on.. They are always available to journalists' numbers in his cell phone. media. However, as PR professional my advice is never do it Having a media friendly One such CEO had the similar ability CEO is a boon to PR guys but he or and he boasted about his PR skills to she should understand where to draw the agency. One day Mr. CEO told a the line and behave with responsibility very friendly journalist that he went and care. and met Chairman of the rival company ‘X’ for the position of CEO. Golden rule is: be always Next day - it was a Headline quot;X on accessible but not always expansion, plans to poach CEO from Yquot; available. Mr Gerry McCusker 'Them' and 'Us' mentality - Some corporations (and unfortunately PR personnel) view a lot of their stakeholder relationships as essentially one way and adversarial, rather than two way and mutually beneficial partnerships. the participation of other activist groups. A leading US fashion retailer, for example, received substantial negative Lesson to learn: Today's internet- feedback from the media and key linked communications environment stakeholders because of marketing no longer needs to be about the one sexually inappropriate material to way push of information; it's an children. In responding to the ongoing dialogue. So forget 'them and criticism, it went on the attack saying us'; PRs, clients, stakeholders, media that any 'inappropriateness' existed and activists are all dining at the same solely in the dirty minds of those table. As with having friends over to making the allegations. This dine, be polite, be cordial to ensure defensively entrenched position only your hospitality is reciprocated. served to fuel the fires of additional (critical) media coverage and stir up
  6. 6. 6 PR –e- Views – From the Wiki Mr Arun Arora It is tempting on part of the media and be ready with info on the company, CEO to interact occasionally. PR industry and perhaps trends in the professionals in such cases just sector. A journo needs information - become mute witness. One way to we can build our credibility by being avoid such happening is to learn and able to provide information - time and gather sufficient knowledge - to be again. able to value add to a journo's query - Anonymous initiatives which showcase the Corporates and agencies are to companies drive towards a cause understand that importance is to be makes news worthy and also from the given to news worthiness of an media perspectives valuable reporting. initiative rather than PR for PRs sake. Agencies are required to become Corporates are to understand that all more mature in putting their foot down their marketing initiatives cannot be if the initiative is not worth it. leveraged through PR - but rather Anonymous All Management bodies like CII, FICCI important issue. They should organise and other Chambers conduct seminars programmes to CEOs to sensitise them and workshop on various issues. But on various PR and communication they never show any concern on this challenges. PR – e- Groups – Have you joined discussion groups? Image Management Group – Second largest yahoo group on PR with nearly 1500 global members. Click here PRpoint Group - The largest Indian group for PR/CorpComm /academic professionals with 700 plus members. Click here New Media Forum Group – A group for Indian journalists with around 350 members. Click here India Vision Group – A group for Indian youth on India Vision 2020 with around 1200 members. Click here Subscribe to this ezine PR-e-Sense – Click here
  7. 7. 7 PR eTTY - Relax –Self-confidence can lead you to success by John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest men in the world! quot;I can erase my money worries in an instant!quot; he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the un- cashed cheque in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again. Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the un-cashed cheque. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the cheque and share his success story, a nurse A business executive was deep in debt came running up and grabbed the old and could see no way out. Creditors man. were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the quot;I'm so glad I caught him!quot; she cried. park bench, head in hands, wondering quot;I hope he hasn't been bothering you. if anything could save his company from bankruptcy. Suddenly an old man He's always escaping from the rest appeared before him. home and telling people he's John D. Rockefeller.quot; And she led the old man away by the arm. quot;I can see that something is troubling you,quot; he said. The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he'd been After listening to the executive's woes, wheeling and dealing, buying and the old man said, quot;I believe I can help selling, convinced he had half a million you.quot; dollars behind him. He asked the man his name, wrote out Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't a check, and pushed it into his hand the money, real or imagined, that had saying, quot;Take this money. Meet me turned his life around. It was his new here exactly one year from today, and found self-confidence that gave him you can pay me back at that time.quot; the power to achieve anything he went Then he turned and disappeared as after. quickly as he had come. Source: unknown The business executive saw in his hand a cheque for $500,000, signed
  8. 8. 8 PResenters of PReSENSE Consulting Editor Consulting Editor Editor Associate Editor Ms S Vidya, CES Onyx Ms Uma, Corporate P A Narrendiran, S. Sakthi Prasanna Commu nicator Blue Lotus PR Hanmer and Partners PR Associate Editor and Senior Web consultant Student, Anna University PodJockey Pod-Jockey M M Sevakumar N Satish Shvetha Sridhar Ms Veena Vinod PR Executive Good Relations PR Publisher and chief Editor K. Srinivasan (Prime Point Foundation) Feedback and contributions to: All the earlier issues may be downloaded from Listen to India’s first pod-magazine one stop shop for podcasts on all subjects Do you want to subscribe to this ezine. Please click