Indian Regional language Media


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November 06 issue of Corporate ezine PR-e-Sense deals with the strength of Indian Regional Media and how corporates can make use of them. This issue is also integrated withpodcast interviews with two eminent media persons. The ezine is published by Prime Point Foundation and edited by K. Srinivasan

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Indian Regional language Media

  1. 1. India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 1 Issue 9 – November 06 Published by Prime Point Foundation (Supported by Public Relations Council of India and Chennai PR Club) PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor “Corporates and Regional media to build Nation jointly“ A recent survey conducted exclusively Media houses have already taken for this ezine, revealed a some proactive steps. large gap between Corporates and Regional On the other side, Corporate Houses, language media. including MNCs have not realised that Corporates and Regional they are in ‘public domain’ and their language media perceive accountability to the entire society. that ‘corporate Their information is more relevant to information’ is irrelevant the language speaking public also. to each other’s audience. The Corporates and MNCs, who have ignored the language media in the In the past decade, there has been normal time, face difficulties, at the tremendous growth in the language time of crisis, when the language media in terms of circulation and media takes up the lead. readership. It is estimated that Indian regional language media is larger by If the Corporates think that “suit clad five times in circulation and ten times Manager’ alone can build the company, in readership than English media. Due they are mistaken. They should keep to technological growth, even the rural in mind that an ‘uneducated dhoti clad and semi urban people are able to villager’ can demolish the company show interest in latest economic overnight. developments. A time has come that Corporates and Unfortunately, majority of the Indian Regional language media should language media has not understood understand each other’s strength and their strength and reorient themselves role in the development of the Nation. to the changing needs and K. Srinivasan expectations of the public. They are yet to come out of their ‘traditional’ thinking. However, it is quite heartening that some of the leading PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine • • An exclusive interview with Mr B Expert views from Mr T P Sridharan Srinivasan, Mg. Director of Vikatan and Mr Venkatnarayana, eminent group of publications. language journalists • • Exclusive interview with Mr V Survey on Regional Media - report • Balasubramanian, Asst. Resident PR events Editor of Economic Times.
  2. 2. 2 PR-eXCLUSIVE ‘Reader connect’ is the biggest advantage of Regional media” Listen to the full interview through podcast at Mr B Srinivasan, Managing Director of against any competition. It is difficult Vikatan group of publications, in an for the foreign media to set up exclusive interview with K. Srinivasan language media. • Regional language media is weak of PR-e-Sense, explains the present in presenting its case to Advertising growing trends of Agencies and to the Corporates. • Presently, Regional media is Regional language media and the need capable of carrying the corporate for Corporates and messages more effectively with language media to quality reporting, than English media, understand each when compared to its position 15 other. Vikatan group is the largest years back. • While English media is important, publisher of Tamil magazines, Tamil books and Tamil TV serials. They have Corporates cannot ignore language a circulation of more than one million media, because of its growth. • ‘Reader connect’ is the biggest with readership exceeding 10 million. The full interview may be listened single advantage for the language through podcast (link given above). media. • Regional language media has not Excerpts form his interview: understood the power of ‘branding’ • Regional media is bigger than the with Corporates. This is the biggest English media in terms of circulation weakness. • It is not true that Regional media by 5 times in circulation and 10 times in readership. While English media is is more skewed to politics and growing in single digit, Regional cinema. Now they have understood language media grows in double digit. the need of the readers. • The readers of language media • Journalists, per-se, are skilled in see it as an ‘extension of knowledge language. They need to be ‘re-skilled’ base’. Regional media reaches them in niche areas like share market, in an effective manner, in a way, economy, etc. Regional media has they can understand. Also there is an started re-skilling their manpower. • Corporates should understand the effective communication between the readers and the language media. power of Regional media. It is more • Corporates view the language closer to ‘hearts and minds’ of the media as low priced, not reaching people, than English media. • In the Corporate set up, the top effectively the audience, and poor quality in printing and paper when Managers understanding only English compared to English media. In the should not be a handicap for them to last one decade, Regional media has understand the power of language matured effectively and match with media. They should quip themselves English media in quality of printing, with better management techniques, paper and layout. Corporates are yet to understand the pulse of the people. to warm up to this idea. They are having the feeling that Regional Mr B Srinivasan can be reached at media is still in ‘stone ages’. • Regional media is set to grow at a faster rate. They are insulated
  3. 3. 3 PR-eXCLUSIVE ‘Develop continuous relationship with regional media” Listen to the full interview through podcast at Mr V Balasubramanian, (Balu) Asst. disseminate the information through Resident Editor, The Economic Times regional media in the local language. • At the same time, Regional media at Chennai has more than 26 years of experience in financial also should give up their negative journalism. He has perception about the Corporates. As Dr served Commerce Kalam says, Indian media should give Publication and up its negativism. They should write Financial Express. For success stories on business and the past 16 years, he economic front. . This will encourage has been with ET. Corporates and give importance to Regional media. •I Economic Times, the largest business see a great change in daily of India has partnered with Daily advertisement profile of Regional Thanthi, one of the leading Tamil media. MNCs also should understand dailies for content sharing. In an the role of Regional media. • At the time of crisis, regional exclusive podcast interview with K. Srinivasan, of PR-e-Sense, Mr Balu media plays a major role. explains the strength of Regional Environment concerns, investor issues, language media. The full interview when they are blown out of proportion, may be listened in the podcast link Corporates suddenly find a big gap given above. Excerpts from his between them and the regional media. interview: They should develop a continuous relationship with the local media. • The experience of partnership • Regional media has a bright future. between two giants Daily Thanthi and Big English newspaper chains will ride Economic Times has been fascinating on the strength and network of the and enriching. For the first time, a regional media. There is going to be a business paper has lent its Masthead convergence between English and to another paper. Many readers have regional language media in the coming access to business information. years. • Regional media is very powerful. • Regional media should give equal English readership is growing fast, but importance to the happenings in need to penetrate a lot. The Regional business and economic front, as they media’s penetration level is high. give for politics and crime. The They dominate in all languages the reporters can be reoriented for writing readership and advertisement business stories. A good political revenue. They play a major role. journalist can become a good • Corporates and Regional media economic journalist. It is India’s have not understood each other. time. Indian economy is booming in Indian Corporates have rediscovered all sectors. We are competing with their strength. Indian companies are giants like China. Regional media acquiring foreign companies. India will should bring out more of success become economic super power by stories. Good economics has come to 2020. drive good politics. • Corporates should understand the Mr Balu may be reached at strength of language media and
  4. 4. 4 PR –e- STIGE – Expert views Mr T P Sridharan, Business Editor, Daily Thanthi (ET Pags) “Corporates have lot of information that can interest language media readers” During 1989-90, journalists took up the ‘watch dog role’ when there was to alert the people. After 2002, market stock market boom picked up well. There is a stability. in India, language National economy is growing. There is papers started a lot of awareness amongst the writing about the language readers about the stock stock market to help market and economy. This is a great the small investors. opportunity for the language media to Between 1990 -03, Capital Market provide economic information. brought out editions in five languages and Dalal Street in two languages. We get a lot of responses from the Even after the stock market scam, the remote places for the ET page. The interest amongst the investors got Corporates have lot of information that sustained till 1996. is needed for language readers. The journalists should do some homework Between 1996 and 2002, when the and pick up such stories that can NBFCs were growing, the financial interest the readers. Mr Venkatnarayana, Editor, Usha Kirana, (Kannada) Bangalore “Awareness level has gone up amongst rural and semi urban people” There was a time when the Corporates month, by mistake, we received many were neglecting the middle and lower calls from the remote places pointing class. After the globalization, there is out the a lot of change in the life style of the mistake. public. Socio economic changes have taken place. Even a sweeper has One Mr T M started carrying a mobile. Small Guruprasad remote villages have telephone, wrote series of computer and internet facilities. Even articles on the educated people have started ‘share market’ moving towards villages. Many in Kannada. consumer products have started When he compiled and published these targeting rural places. articles in a book and CD form, there was a great demand from the remote Regional media commands a high places. Thousands of copies were sold credibility amongst the semi urban and in a short time. rural people. They have started observing the economic growth. Shortly Times of India will be coming Awareness level on economic and out with a Kannada Edition. This stock market issues have gone up edition will have the ‘feel good considerably. positive’ stories of all Times of India Editions to cater to the ‘upper mobile Some time back, when we published Kannadigas’ segment. Regional the stock market position of the language media will play a greater role corresponding day of the earlier in developing the economy.
  5. 5. 5 PR –e- Survey – Survey on Indian Regional language media Recommendations • There is an urgent need for Corporates and Regional Media to undetstand each others importance in the growing Indian Economy. Due to technological growth, even the semi A quick survey was conducted by urban and rural people are having Prime Point Foundation, as part of access to new media and try to utilise November 06 issue of Corporate e- the new opportunities. Corporates zine PR-e-Sense. The survey was to and Regional Media cannot be ‘mute get the perspective of PR/CorpComm spectators’ for this ground reality. professionals and the journalists on They donot have any right to deny the the ‘Indian Regional Media’. A set of information to the large population of questionnaire was prepared and were our country. uploaded in site. The information was circulated in • Corporates, including MNCs the various PR/Media groups, inviting operating in India, should first the responses anonymously. 54 understand that they are in public respondents across the country domain. Lack of local language participated in this survey. knowledge amongst the top management, should not drive them to Conclusions treat the Regional Media as undeserved. Many such companies, • Presently, the Regional Media has a who have ignored language media at larger reach to the grass root level the normal time, have understood They also command a credibility their folly at the time of crisis. amongst the readers. But because of Corporates should start treating the their traditional approach, they are Regional Media at par with English unable to understand importance of Media. Corporates. • In spite of enormous strength, • Corporates have not understood Regional media has not understood its the ground reality and do not provide role fully. They are still living in the the importance to Regional Media, illusions of ‘pre liberalistion days’. what it deserves. Corporates are They need to realise their new role in under an ‘illusion’ that the Regional the liberalised economy and facilitate Media does not reach their relevant the economic growth in the Semi audience. urban and rural segments, which constitute around 75 percent of India. • There is large gap between Only Regional media can take up this Corporates and the Regional Media. task. Hence, they need to reorient Both have not understood that jointly themselves to the ‘need of the hour’ they are denying valuable information and start taking up the new roles, like to the large number of people. few other successful regional media. Download the full report from the following link
  6. 6. 6 PR –eViews – Opinions from the groups Mr R Gopikrishnan, Chief of Bureau, Mangalam Daily (Malayalam) “Corporates and Regional media cannot ignore each other” The Corporates ignore regional media want only the salient features affecting because they are seldom aware of the their day to day lives. influence of it. Many view Regional media as Since the traditional division is clear backward or even we have to think of novel ways to barbaric. That overcome it. Earlier, the Regional perception must Media was not that strong or wider. change. They But now they run millions of copies should take into and spread through many states and consideration the even in Gulf countries. They are no limitations of the more local or regional, except in their Regional media. perception, which they have to shed. The space - page- constraint is there. Lack of interaction between these two So is the reader profile. No Corporate groups is also a major hazard. There house can expect a better coverage of should be proper discussion and an event unless it caters to the understanding of the problem. One Regional needs. No reader expects a thing is clear. If both the Corporates full fledged coverage of a corporate and Regional media tend to ignore event or even the national Budget each other, both will have to pay a lot. from their Regional newspaper. They Mr S Gopikrishna Warrier, Media Officer, ICRISAT, Patancheru “Re-craft your communication to different media” We design a communication in for journalists on English, and then get it translated to agri-biotechnology. the local language (since the The first and the organization where I work, the fifth workshops International Crops Research Institute were held at our for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is headquarters at headquartered in Patancheru near Patancheru. The Hyderabad, the local language is clientele was Telugu). However, to be successful the different. The first entire communication has to be re- one was aimed at journalists who write crafted. I know it because the same in English for national, regional and communication I offer to international international media. The fifth one was journalists, national journalists aimed at journalists who write for working in Delhi, regional and national Telugu and English media. The entire journalists working in Hyderabad, and approach was different. While the first local journalists working out of group was interested more in the 'mofussil' locations. The entire policy and regulatory issues, the priorities are different. The way the second groups consisted of reporters journalists want to understand the who have covered the GM debate from news is different. the ground - from the districts - and Since we are working on agri- their concerns were more on the biotechnology products such as quality, safety and cost of the genetically-modified crops, we have technology. Their worldview was been organizing a series of workshops different.
  7. 7. 7 PR –eViews – Opinions from the groups Ms Meena Vaidyanathan, Director, Corp commn. Honeywell, Delhi “Regional media has more power to influence masses” Use of the term "Vernacular" itself is has more power to influence local very demeaning. "Verna" in Italian masses as opposed to a Hindustan means "Slave". So Times or a Times of India, this will by implying that only become more and more apparent "local languages" are in the days to come. vernacular and English or Hindi as Companies that have big stake in Tier official, one is 2 cities and Tier 3 towns as well as the actually doing rural countryside, proactively reach disservice. This is out today to agencies (Both nothing special to advertising and PR) who have either India. Similar situations are faced by upcountry contacts or at least a tie-up several other countries as well. with a local outfit. Why else would you see creative agencies flourishing in Having said that, I have to say that I cities like Aurangabad, Madurai and am a big champion of the English Indore? language. I think it's a wonderful way to bind the world and open our As professionals who have a stake in avenues of communication with people this business, its our of various cultures. But local responsibility to be aware of the languages have their own place in changes that are sweeping around us society, and as we see more and keep our business leadership and federalism creeping into the Indian agencies abreast of the changing state, when a Dinamalar or a Sandesh needs of our customers. To advertise in this ezine. Contact PR – e- Groups – Have you joined discussion groups ? Image Management Group – Second largest yahoo group on PR with 1400 plus global members. Click here PRpoint Group - The largest Indian group for PR/CorpComm /academic professionals with 600 plus members. Click here New Media Forum Group – A group for Indian journalists with around 350 members. Click here
  8. 8. 8 PR eVENTS – Forthcoming events A Three day meet at Bangalore at Hotel Chancery Pavilion from 15th to 17th February 2007.Delegate fee.Rs.3500/= for each delegate .PRCI Members… Rs 3000/= only. Contact PRCI organises a Global Summit on Corporate Communications— METAMORPHOSIS’ as India Emerges. Rs.1500. After 20th November, the registration charges shall go up by Rs.500. The 28th All India Public Relations Conference, is being held at Lucknow For further information you can on 8-10 December 2006. PRSI/IPRA contact: Mr. Ratan Mani Lal, Chairman, Members: Rs.3,000; Non-Members: PRSI Lucknow Chapter. Rs.3,500 Students : Rs.500 Spouse: email: Rs.1800; Former PR Professionals: PR eVENTS –Events completed The final year Post Graduate Public The students produced documentaries Relations students of MOP Vaishnav and short films supporting the cause, which were screened to their target audience. The various other PR tools employed included posters, banners, brochures, pamphlets, danglers and badges. Radio City 105.8 FM and MOP FM 91.2 aired the messages on cancer for the whole week and helped the students reach a wider audience. College for women, Chennai organised The students took part in a Cancer a Cancer Awareness Campaign for a Awareness Walk as a fitting finale to week from 11th September 2006. This their week-long citywide campaign on was part of their curriculum to give cancer awareness. Actor Jeeva flagged hands-on experience to the students. off the walk and joined the students till This year, students concentrated on the finishing point. cancers like cervical cancer, oral cancer, esophageal cancer, lung - Reported by Rashmi, one of the cancer and leukemia while targeting students - audiences ranging from corporation schools, private schools, women’s colleges and men’s colleges in the city.
  9. 9. 9 PR eTTY - Relax "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and A group of alumni, highly established were eyeing each other's cups. in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Moral: Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and Now if life is coffee, then the jobs, life. Offering his guests coffee, the money and position in society are the professor went to the kitchen and cups. They are just tools to hold and returned with a large pot of coffee and contain Life, but the quality of Life an assortment of cups - porcelain, doesn't change. Some times, by plastic, glass, crystal, some plain concentrating only on the cup, we fail looking, some expensive, some to enjoy the coffee in it." exquisite - telling them to help themselves to hot coffee. So, don't let the cups drive you... enjoy the coffee instead. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: (Source : unknown) PResentors of PReSENSE Chief Editor and Publisher: Podcast K. Srinivasan (Prime Point) M M Selva Kumar, Sr. Web Consultant Consulting Editor Editorial Advisors Uma G (O&M PR) M B Jayaram, (Chairman, National Editor: Council, PRCI) P A Narrendiran (Blue Lotus PR) T N Ashok (Alstom) Associate Editor: Arun Arora (GMR-DIAL) S. Sakthi Prasanna (Hanmer & Uma Bhushan (SIMSR) ) Partners PR) R. Jai Krishna (Senior Journalist) Editorial Board: Veena Vinod (PR Executive) Feedback and contributions to: Satish N (Anna University) All the earlier issues may be downloaded from