Mahindra’s Spark the Rise campaign shows great PR potential

Rise above the PR clutter with Mahindra & Mahindra

In India’s current environment of entrepreneurship, the national business media has been quick to flag of entrepreneurship and change through entrepreneurship as a running story, with papers like Economic Times dedicating weekly pages to this subject and running their own funding campaigns. Mahindra’s Spark the Rise campaign has the potential to ride this PR trend.

For many consumers, Mahindra & Mahindra conjures up visions of rugged SUVs and jeeps. But the Mahindra group, a large group of companies spanning cars and IT software, has now managed to create a new talking point for  the brand. The company is running Spark the Rise, a social entrepreneurship platform for resources and funding matchmaking. People can submit an idea or a “spark” that can lead to social good and seek resources for that, including monthly grants from Mahindra. The current round of entries (Round 3) is on till November 30th 2012, where potential “change makers” can submit their ideas.

A "get featured" link on the site drives the PR further, and promises the winners’ national media coverage with Times Now television.

An idea with potential for sustained PR.

Go blue to be in the pink of health

An interesting PR stunt puts the spotlight on diabetes in India in the run up to World Diabetes Day on the 14th of November 2012.  Close to a hundred monuments and landmarks, across the country, will be lit blue, the colour chosen by International Diabetes Federation to signal the fight against diabetes and to create awareness about this deadly lifestyle disease that affects 61.3 million Indians. This is what the monuments will look like as this sample collage, demonstrates.


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This two week programme called the Sanofi Diabetes Blue Fortnight 2012 has been organised in partnership by a number of organisations such as the Union Ministry of Health and Family welfare, International Diabetes Federation, Sanofi Diabetes and HEAL Foundation.

Monuments that joined the Sanofi Diabetes Blue Fortnight campaign include Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Old Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun Tomb in Delhi, Sidhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata, Shaniwada Fort in Pune, Britannia Garden in Bangalore, Kangra Fort in Manali, and Ellora caves in Aurangabad.

This is a good idea, and certainly deserves better coverage than it got. Several factors affected its coverage: the fact that Diwali fell a day before World Diabetes Day and with no papers being published on 14th of November, robbed the issue of a good peg. Other factors that could have affected it is the fact that this is the third year in a row this event is being held; perhaps some ennui has set in and it could do with some tweaking. A link with childhood obesity, diabetes and Children’s Day (which also falls on the same date as World Diabetes Day), and predisposition for diabetes and paediatric TB would have got the story the editorial depth needed to push the story further.

This story may have also got more coverage if it had taken advantage of its natural match with TV news. It was hard to find any videos or pictures of the lit up monuments on the organisers’ sites, or in fact online, that one could tweet or share, or a dedicated page where people could share their own snap or video and experience with fighting diabetes. That is a really big missed opportunity.

Good thought that needed a bit more strategic PR effort.

Have you seen any great or even bad PR?

Contact Paarul Chand by emailing or tweet @PRmomentIndia throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.