Dragon flies home to Dorset for Game of Thrones, and pay Rs. 5 to attend Narendra Modi’s rally

Great PR

Mumbai Police sets up social media lab to monitor sentiment

The image of the Mumbai cop has taken a beating from the continuous flow of Bollywood gangster movies set in Mumbai. The recent ‘Shootout at Wadala’ shows, dramatizes the first-ever registered encounter by Mumbai police, where gangster Manya Surve was shot dead.

In a bid to be responsive to public sentiment Mumbai Police has set up India’s first social media lab by a police agency, along with NASSCOM for technical infrastructure and training, while SocialAppsHQ.com has provided the law enforcement agency with a social monitoring app.

The social media lab will help Mumbai police to track public sentiment and prepare for an appropriate response on sensitive issues.

Anything that help’s the police treat the public with greater concern and sensitivity will help to make over its image, let’s hope it doesn’t turn into over monitoring.

Video on demand service, Blinkbox, brings giant dragon skull to Dorset for Game of Thrones

Imagine roaming on Charmouth beach at Dorset and stumbling upon a giant dragon skull taking in some sun. This is video streaming service Blinkbox’s way of telling viewers in UK that the third series of HBO’s Game of Throne will be available on Blinkbox.  A great PR stunt for a show that is also very popular in India. Why Charmouth beach? It’s well known to be a spot for actual dinosaur fossils. The dragon skull, references one of the characters from Game of Thrones stumbling on a dragon’s skull.

This is not the first time, this month, that TV shows have grabbed the headlines with larger than life stunts. Last week, a 12 foot high statue of Colin Firth emerged at London’s Hyde Park to publicize the  recreation of  Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by UKTV's new Drama channel.

The statue is of course, a reference to the iconic scene of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy rising from the lake. Watch the video here:

Would be great to see such stunts in India as well. While I shudder at the thought of encountering any of the simpering characters from the “Saas Bahu” serials, I wouldn’t object to a hunky “Devon ke Dev Mahadev” at the shores of the Ganga.

Want to watch Narendra Modi speak? Pay Rs. 5!

Now, you could love it or hate it, depending on which side of the political spectrum you are. For the first time, ever, in India’s political history, a politician has asked people to pay Rs. 5 for the honour of hearing him in person at a “Youth “rally scheduled for Hyderabad on August 11th. When I first read this, I thought it was a fakingnews.com story. But, it seems, Narendra Modi, will ask you to dish out Rs. 5 for attending his rally in Andhra Pradesh next month.

Congress party has naturally swooped in to take pot-shots at the value of a Modi speech. It’s pretty much an open secret that participants often have to be bribed and rolled in via trucks with a combination of carrot and stick, threats and gifts to make up the numbers for a political rally.

PR professionals will be familiar with that sinking feeling when confronted with an empty press conference room.

After all the hue and cry, and miles of PR, the BJP has now toned down their big idea saying that the Rs. 5 contribution is voluntary.

Modi’s move seems counter intuitive, but if the rally is well attended he will gain brownie points for his popularity. Internationally, people do pay to attend benefits with politicians’.

The BJP has promised to submit the money raised from the rally for Uttarakhand relief effort. I wonder what the Election Commission rules say about making money from campaigning. Though the Code of Conduction is not in place till elections are officially announced, it’s still very unusual to ask for any money, voluntary or otherwise for attending a political rally. Crowdfunding of an election rally is certainly a new tactic.

Have you seen any great or even bad PR?

Write to Paarul Chand at paarul@prmoment.in or tweet @PaarulC or @PRmomentIndia throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.