10 things about PR to slash & burn this Dusshera!

It’s that time of the year. The evening chill, hopefully, announces a cooler autumn temperature, festivities, feasting and fasting is in the air. And this lovely Dusshera weekend let’s take a look at what part of PR one should slash and burn! Happy Dussehra every one. Off with the old and on with the new.

Journalists, cold calls, gifts and more!

Soumi Bhattacharya, PR manager, CSS Corp

“I would like to put media follow up calls to bed. I think all PR professionals dread following up as they inadvertently end up being on the receiving end of the journalist's ire. I understand that journalists are inundated with calls everyday. And they prefer emails. Unfortunately, they often end up not responding to emails that they don't find relevant. While most PR professionals understand that silence means 'no' in this case, they are constrained to pick up the phone at the boss or client's insistence. And often get an earful from the journalists.”

Kavita Lakhani,  president, GolinOpinion & executive vice president, Mullen Lowe Lintas

“Junk the old style ‘traditional media’ approach…to adopt an integrated, new media approach! With the role of agencies evolving so rapidly, the only clear definition of what a PR firm does, might just be whatever it takes to make a client successful.”

Ayesha Bachaw, senior executive — corporate communications, SoCheers Infotech Pvt. Ltd

“Burn cold callings this Dusshera ! In this industry, PR's face immense pressure on doing cold calls every single day to various journalists. The result of cold calls only results in some journalists snapping back at you or ignoring you in a subtle way. With the boom in the digital industry, the PR-Media relationship has also boomed from a traditional approach to a digital approach hence, email and SMS work best.”

Avnee Jena, branch head – Mumbai, Ideosphere Consulting

“This Dusshera, I would like to trash the mindset of we being seen as mouth piece of a brand or client [ by the journalist) but be able to collaboratively, as it shall only result in producing rich content for the  audience. In this respect, communication professionals must understand that journalists are bound by editorial policies, and all these aspects must be introduced and reinstated to the client.”

Astha Thapliyal, Independent Sports PR Consultant

“Media Gifts!!! More than anything during an event, efforts go into managing that riffraff media doesn't turn up for those gifts being given away! Lol! In fact, what is noticed is that the genuine media always is left out and all gifts go to people who are only going to show up at next big event again for gifts only. Ideally, there has to be some resolution to this, gifts should  just not be a part of media events.”

The AVE conundrum!

Geetika Gulati, head — luxury-lifestyle, WordsWork

“I would want to destroy the  whole system and process of AVE. no matter how much we all say that we have done away with it, multiple agencies still pursue it. We all know that. It does not take rocket science to understand that the numbers which we take as equivalent to some crores spent from the marketing or communications budget are actually not even close to justifying the ROI or the impact. So, if we say that we are in the business of driving mind share then we should truly abide by it. This Dussehra, please burn the evaluation sheet with LxB in it!” 

Ajay Muliyil, partner, Ogilvy Public Relations

“I would like to destroy misconceptions around PR, in that we can sell any story, that the client thinks is a 'story' in the first place.”

About the future of the PR business!

Atul Sharma, COO, Genesis  Burson- Marsteller

“Apne Mann se Ravan jo nikale, Ram uske Mann mein hai...'

On the eve of this Dussehra, we need to stop negative publicity for the industry and step-up PR for the PR industry! I hope people gradually understand that PR is beyond just press releases and thick dossiers. It is about build and nurturing corporate reputation for the company and yet being able to influencer stakeholder behaviour.”

Garima Sharma Nijhawan, senior account manager, Text 100

“I would burn down the perception attached to it that PR is restricted to a certain set of tools and abilities which help connect with and manage just a particular set of stakeholders [essentially media). With growing abilities in digital media, social media, community & influencer engagement and advocacy, PR is a holistic solution which every business needs.”

And last but not the least, about the future of PR, this great suggestion from someone who prefers to stay anonymous:

“One thought: PR is mostly taken by corporates as part of marketing department / budget. It should be an independent department with a budget of its own.”

Serious Issues faced by Freelance PR professionals

Ankita Vaid, PR manager, Brand Visage Communications

“No offence to anyone but sometimes when you are working as a freelance PR person and there are people who say that they have some projects that they want you to do. But they are not concerned with your work profile that has been shared with them but are more interested in taking you out for a coffee or a lunch. As per them they liked your work but will be giving you the work only after that coffee date.I would love to destroy such practices where your face is given more importance than your work.”

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