Thursday, September 13, 2018

Communication professionals to mobilse funds for Kerala

#keralafightsback - Communication professionals to mobilise relief funds

Mobilising its mite for the Kerala flood relief, national communicators’ body Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) has decided to donate the entire ‘early bird’ fee collection for the forthcoming 13th Global Communication Conclave to be held in February next, with the theme PR – What’s the Big Idea?

PRCI will donate the collection to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, said PRCI chief mentor and chairman emeritus M B Jayaram. The Conclave venue will be announced in the next couple of days.

PRCI has fixed the first early bird registration fee at Rs 3,000 per delegate for the two-day Conclave and it is valid till September 16, 2018. The registration form and he payment gateway details are posted here.

PRCI has appealed to all communication professionals to generously donate for the #keralafightsback project and send the word across their organizations and clients as well. “This is the least that we can do for the flood-ravaged Kerala,” said Kumar.
The previous Global Communications held by PRCI have seen large participation and delegates number crossing 500.

Headquartered at Bengaluru, PRCI has close to 30 chapters and floated a global platform called World Communicators Council with the aim of bringing communication professionals from various spheres on a common platform.
PRCI has successfull launched social communication projects such as #MissionMumbaiLocal, #SaveParsikHill, #PotholesRforever and #IamMangroveIamDying.

With #keralafightsback, PRCI salutes the true resilient spirit of Kerala - Gold's own country.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Honey Singh's songs scare away wild pigs

Different behaviorial scientists have experimented on the impact of various wild and domesticated animals from time to time, and while many of them do respond and like a certain type of music, especially the classical one, the heavy metal and certain type of sharp music does not go well with many of them.
The fluke worked in a village in Uttrakhand, when the villagers thought of playing some loud rock music, especially the fap singer Honey Singh's songs that scared the hell out of the wild pigs who have opted out of it.
The wild pigs were spoiling the crop and hence the move.
The villagers wanted to make human presence known to the wild ones, and nothing better than communicating their territorial rights than playing music though I don't know what made them chose Honey Singh. 
Did they try other forms of music? 
Or was it their sixth sense that Honey Singh's rap was scary enough to take care of the problem.
Worth researching further. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

"Transform" is the only PR Trend

Photo Courtesy: Pexels

Transform: The Core Strategy for PR Professionals
As I explore the various professional views on the emerging trends, the key message for the PR practitioners, that has been very aptly provided the thematic treatment in the forthcoming 12th Global Communication Conclave at Pune in March is “Transform or Perish
#Transformation is the well-planned strategic action to manage change, and upgrade oneself to meet the changing exigencies in the business environment.
It is time also to have a relook at our own professional standing and practice.  PR being the science and art of managing communication for an individual or organization, the science of communication is an imperative change that needs to be understood and imbibed, and I won’t mind calling the PR practitioners as PR or Communication Scientists.
Looking at the transformation needed in managing communication is to understand some of the emerging trends in the industry, which include :
  • Making the best use of Big Data and data analytics.  Research shall continue to be the mainstay for the organizational success. Deploying data analysts would be sine qua non to predict future courses and meet customer needs.
  • Artificial intelligence would continue to evolve to assist in analyzing brand conversations;
  • Emerging intelligent chatbots may help engage with different stakeholders and even developing creative content under keen supervision of the PR scientists.
  • Paid versus earned media continues to baffle many PR practitioners since paid print media is often detested or kept out of media strategies, while huge sums get allocated on ‘influencers’ marketing, which is also in a way is turning out to be a paid online channel.  Need is to analyise the key stakeholders and their media consumption instead of just playing the number game.
  • Ethics in communication would help us get back to the basic and build credibility and trust in our professional practice would be the key to strengthening reputation and public image of any organization.
  • Fight obsolence in PR education and training would be another key initiative or professional bodies to match the changing industry needs.
  • Mandatory membership of professional bodies like PRCI and participation in training and education sessions in order to earn minimum annual credits as a part of Continued Communication Education & Training (CCET) programme, would be another transformation to be brought in so that professional practice is upgraded. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Standardisation can help win people's trust

Each year the World Standards Organisation brings into focus the significance of standardisation that can help improve lives and, this year, it says, standardisation can help cities become smart cities.

One of the key elements in standardisation of visual identity of the city.  Many cities around the world have created their own unique identity through distinct logos  that represent the ethos of the city and vision of its leadership and people living there.

Chandigarh for instance has Open Hand monument to represent the city, and similar identities exist across the globe.

And consistence use of those visuals across all communication helps the organisation develop a close trust and credibility with the people.

Fadilah Baharin, CEO of Department of Standards Malaysia, and member of the International Organisation for Standardisation, says, “I believe standards instil trust. Standards are no longer about product differentiation but about creating a uniform experience that gives your customers confidence in your products and services. The differentiation and marketing edge now lies in how successfully your brand or organization has been able to build and nurture consumer relationships that are sustainable, solely by promising the same ‘quality’ and ‘experience’ every single time.”

The same holds true for any organisation.  Standardisation in visual identity is the first step towards winning confidence and trust of one's stakeholders.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Life of an Entrepreneur in 90 Seconds-

Patrick Bet-David is superb. His @valuetainment is super. Though #Patrick is closing his #Youtube channel, I'm sure we would continue to receive his motivational insights on fb. Here is the video that went viral. You may check up how many people he has reached? Check it out on you tube. Good luck.

Friday, October 17, 2014

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about...

Famous writer Oscar Wilde once remarked:

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

How true.  Most of the startups or small entrepreneurs are so busy putting their product or services in place, they often forget to communicate with the people they should be talking to. At the pre-launch stage itself, the business plan must also plug in a robust public relations strategy in order to build relationship with diverse groups of people.

The challenge of course is from where to begin. How does one put a public relations strategy for the best visibility in the marketplace?  How the company, or for that matter, the organisation would get perceived?

Here are a five tips to make people talk about you.

1. Begin with the end in mind. Answer the 'whys'
Why are you in a particular activity, project, business idea? Why are you doing this?  Till the time, the why is explained, nothing can be achieved. Answers to 'why' bring in the sustainability of any product or service that you may be building.  The 'why' provides the key to the vision of the enterprise, the ultimate goal and objective, and the human issues that it intends to tackle. The 'why' helps an organisation build its purpose of existence and the route it must take to achieve the goals.

2. Define your key stakeholders.
For any enterprise there are set or group of people who are stakeholders... the people who matter. They can be customers, prospects, business associates, collaborators, dealers and distributors, the bankers or investors, etc.  All these are primarily your external audience, with whom you need to interact with periodically; not essentially face to face, but through a structured periodical communication using diverse tools that are available today.

The process begins by preparing a list of such stakeholders. Create their profiles and contact details so that you can network with them and benefit.

3. USP: What's so unique about you, your product or service?
The USP emerges once you are able to answer the 'whys' at the first instance about your organisation, your product/service.  why is your product important for the users? What challenges it addresses for the people?  And how your organisation helps? 

4. Talk about it
Keep each stakeholder about the USPs, the case studies or the success stories. If the story is really newsworthy, share it with media. Identify the media outlets who would belong to your product/service vertical and would be interested to carry your story.

5. Acquire Leadership Position:
You are the best person who knows about your enterprise, your product or service.  You are an expert in your domain.  But does the world knows about it?  Start sharing your knowledge and expertise with the youngsters, students, and those who can be considered later for working with you.  Network with professional organisations, and your peers, to continue to train and mentor other professionals.  That would help you catapult into a position where you would be a true brand ambassador of your domain.

Go ahead.  Just do it.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Chandigarh to host Startup Weekend

Chandigarh is the emerging Cyber City of India.
With many of the engineering graduates opting for entrepreneurship instead of looking for placement, the scene is turning green for the new startups.

Not only that, a diverse conglomerate of organisations are helping create an enabling ecosystem to support the budding entrepreneurs, in which the local successful businessmen and professionals are chipping in their time and resources. But more importantly, they are holding hands of these startups to reach the next level of success.
The newly formed Startup Accelerator Chamber of Commerce (SACC), which is unique in its own right, has completely engaged itself in supporting bright youngsters of Punjab to transform their ideas into business enterprises.
SACC is a not-for-profit chamber which has brought together like-minded entrepreneurs, angle investors, financial institutions, academics, and the community to empower the youth and propel them into the success-orbit.
SACC recently tied up with world's most renowned group of startups, Up Global of Seattle, USA, to organise Startup Weekends regularly in the region and identify bright ideas for entrepreneurship.
The first one is scheduled 25-27 July at the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) in Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park at Chandigarh...a 54-hour exciting session spread over the weekend to help people see their ideas metamorphosing into an enterprise.
As a precursor to this event a Boot Camp was organised on 18th July at the EDC which was a huge success.

More Details:
Register Now:
Watch Video:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Make the Best of Your Internship

For any student to understand the critical nuances of a profession one wishes to enter, internship is the first step to get first-hand insight. In many professional courses, internship is mandated, while passionate students driven by the desire to get hands-on experience would grab such opportunities.  Brilliant students who are career conscious and determined to make the best use of their free time would scan the industry or businesses where they would like to work, and approach them for internship.
Organisations look forward to interns to bring in new and innovative ideas as well as engage them in projects that otherwise may remain on their backburner, especially conducting quick market surveys, reaching out to their customers, or even making interns try their products or services for quick feedback. 
There are variety of assignments that organizations offer to an intern and more than anything else, internship is a valuable addition to one’s resume. Many a times an organization may pick up a student for regular employment after the completion of one’s internship period, provided the candidate demonstrates real passion to learn, participates and works with the team, picks up the finer elements of team work and coordination. 
If you are just going to collect a certificate of your attendance and not doing anything, the organization may blacklist your educational institution from receiving future interns, and those who excel not only ensure a better career prospect for themselves but also bring in good name to their institution.

Wanting to be an Intern? Here are some Dos, and Don’ts.

  •       Go to the internet and check out everything about the organization you wish to intern with.  If this fits your career profile just go for it.
  •          Brush up your own academic knowledge of the subject and see what knowledge you can share with the organization or the services that you may wish to render based on your own skills that would be useful to them.
  •          Even if you just want to be with the organization to learn more, prepare a list of all the new skills that you wish to acquire at the organization and the questions that you would like answered. 
  •          Keep a diary.  Develop the habit of maintaining a diary not only to record the tasks that are assigned to you but also to jot down your own observations of various processes to accomplish a task that organization adopts.  The manager you are working with may not have enough time to teach you each and everything. You will have to ask to find your answers.
  •          Learn to report back and keep your senior/trainee manager informed about the progress of your assignments, and in case of any challenges in executing them, again ask as to how you could solve it.
  •          Most importantly, understand the office culture and become a part of it, and a team player, always willing to take up any assignment. Avoid disappearing for a day without informing anyone and reappearing with a lame excuse.  You will lose the respect if you are indisciplined.
  •          Respect the project deadlines.
  •          Dress up formally.  Many a times, young boys and girls, straight from the college would either walk in with shorts, painted t-shirts with weird messages emblazoned on their chest or equally bizarre hairdos.  Be formal. Dress up in formals.
  •          In an organization, access to computers is unlimited; don’t misuse it by spending time on social media.

Internship is the time to hone your skills, learn new ones, and become employable, ready for the highly competitive world. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What 2014 holds for PR professionals?

One of the biggest trend in the industry seems to be inevitable equation of PR with digital or social media.
Digital media seems to be predominant in the western PR world, where the digital media professionals are trying to dabble into PR strategies. This may be alright for the western world, though I do not completely agree with this emerging trend, especially when we look at Public Relations function holistically.
Even PR Newswire in one of their articles on PR trends for 2014, limits itself to  "engaging digital audience with engaging content" as a major element.  Somehow the focus on print, radio, electronic, and outdoor has been pushed to the back burner, and has come to be known as "traditional" with digital, mobile and social channels ruling the roost.

  • The major trend for me in the high-speed information exchange global network, imperative too, would remain the PEOPLE.  You may call them publics, stakeholders, targetted groups, and what not; it is the human element that would be the foundation of all communication.  The tools can differ to reach out to them. Yes, the technology is relegating today's reality into obsolence in a jiffy. It is time to go back to the basics of communication management, and review the fundamentals.  
  • For people living in under-developed and developing countries, the information needs to be interpreted to them and involve them for their own benefit and convenience.  Therefore understanding their needs and aspirations is the key to the success of any communication. 
  • Secondly, we are crying hoarse about "engaging" the recipients of our messages through lively content.  The "message" had always been the key element in a successful and effective communication process.  Yes, the PR practitioners need to upgrade their skills and expertise in understanding the technological strengths and weaknesses of various digital outlets and develop content according to the channel for communication being used for delivery of the message. The diversity of social media has made it imperative to develop content appropriate to the channel being used and understanding whether it is ultimately reaching the targetted audience or not. 
  • Thirdly, the outcome of a PR exercise or a communication campaign would be another emerging trend.  No longer the popular measurement tools would suffice. The corporate especially are looking at RoI on each spend on communication, and tangible impact, which is possible only if the PR fraternity moves beyond the myopic selection of media to spread their message.  A campaign needs to have holistic view of the communication issues at hand and how this is going to impact the thinking, and the lives of the people involved. 
  • Lastly, but not the least, it is time for the professional bodies to actively engage themselves in upgrading and standardising the academics, research, continued training, and accreditation.  The professional practitioners would have to come forward to
    demand for it in order to achieve excellence for the PR profession, and have a talent pool of practitioners.

As we move into 2014 in a few hours from now, let us contribute to the success of PR movement.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How does it matter to me?

"How does it matter to me?" or in chaste Panjabi it is often remarked, "Kee farak penda hai?" or even when some of the manufacturers, businesses or service providers are confronted with the short-cuts being deployed in their processes, they would quitely quip, "Sanoo kee" (What to me?).

We confront this issue in Indian businesses day in and day out, the reason it gets a beating in the international markets, and even now are facing the flak from the global MNCs operating within the country who continue to have an edge over local trade and business because of the quality and reliability that they offer.

It is time for the Indian businesses and trade to look beyond their own immediate benefits or profits and take care of the ultimate user of one's products and services by building trust for their brand.

More often than not, the PR agencies everywhere are asked to project a 'good image' of the organisation or its brand, and ensure editorial coverage in media.  And invariably, many of the agencies get into action of pursuing the media persons with their releases to get space, without double-checking the authenticity of the organisation's claims.

In order to meet the global competition, to scale up their own operations and capture newer markets, the mantra is standardisation.  And it is high time that the industry understands it in case it wishes to be a part of the positive change that everyone wishes to bring about of 'India Shining' or that of 'Incredible India'.

But why standardisation? The standards do not mean getting an ISI mark on a product.  It does not mean establishing norms of operations.  Standardisation is a process of self-discipline, a conscious attempt to understand the impact of the product/services on direct consumers and the public or the world at large.  Standardisation means being conscious of one's social responsibility and ensuring that your products or services are safe, reliable, and trust-worthy.  And that is the first step towards creating a great exciting brand.

When the world is engaged in combating environmental issues, energy efficiency, efficient management of resources, and portability of products and services anywhere around the globe, easing the lives of the people, in short, looking for overall positive change, the standardisation is the key, as the International Standards Organisation is focussing this year on the World Standards Day theme, "International Standards Ensure Positive Change".

This change, as Mahatama Gandhi said, begins with us: 'Be the Change that You Want to see in the world',  Because everything that we do matters to someone, somewhere.

Communication professionals to mobilse funds for Kerala

#keralafightsback - Communication professionals to mobilise relief funds Mobilising its mite for the Kerala flood relief, national commu...