Tales from the frontline of media relations

All the razzle dazzle today is centering around integrated PR. There is a tendency to undervalue the dogged work put into media relations. We, at PRmoment India, know that your blood, sweat and tears goes into getting the media to pick up any story; so here we are with your tales from the battle front of working with journalist and getting that one bit of coverage that makes your client jump with joy.

Surf’s Up!

When you think about surfing, the sun, the sea, the sand; India probably doesn’t come to mind. Which is why, Absolute Sports Pvt. ltd. - an integrated communication consultancy for sports  coverage for their client, “Surfing Federation of India”, is so interesting.

Absolute Sports pulled of this cover story in Mint Lounge for the “All Cargo Indian Open of Surfing” in June this year.

Abhoy Chattopadhyay,  vice president - Sports Solutions
Absolute Sports Pvt. Ltd says, “A cover story means a front page lead followed by double spread coverage, making it full three pages on water surfing in the financial daily Mint.”

Abhoy says the approach was straight, to pitch facts about the sport that would interest any good journalist. He adds, “The Indian coastline has many marvelous stories to speak about and water sports are just one aspect of it. Our objective was to tell this story to the audience which has been ignored for long. Of course the pitch involved a lot of research and many questions, which was patiently answered by the client, and once we were clear with our queries the job ahead became a lot easier.”

Men can wear jewellery too –with a little help from a film star ambassador!

The Bollywood male superstar is usually a cautious creature, careful of his image and averse to experimentation. Ranveer Singh, with his exuberant advocacy of condoms, quirky fashion sense and ability to pull off gender fluid clothes is an exception.

Which is why Amrapali Jewels’ PR use of the actor to demonstrate the universality of its’ jewellery, jewellery you would normally expect to see on a woman is so interesting.

This pitch angle, of men wearing ornaments, was backed by strong client belief and support.  Nimita Kapadia, senior consultant, EL SOL Strategic Consultants, says , “We have always positioned Amrapali Jewels as a brand that caters to both men & women. The CEO of Amrapali Tarang Arora also believes that men too can pull-off jewellery & sometimes even better than women. Doing that hasn't always come easy. The mindset of individuals needed to be changed around to include men wearing jewellery. Relevant & strategic associations with Hollywood & Bollywood blockbuster movies like Troy & Ram-Leela respectively had superstars like Brad Pitt & Ranveer Singh adorn some of Amrapali Jewels signature pieces. This made the brand gender neutral & created top-of mind recall on a global platform.”

Srinagar Ahoy!

Srinagar’s pristine beauty is not a hard sell, but a hotel there certainly is.  Neha Bahl, founder, Qube Communication, says , “For Hotel RK Sarovar Portico Srinagar when I mailed my pitch note to the editor, Outlook Traveler, I never thought that he would plan a cover story. When I did not hear from him after almost 15 days, I called up him again and shared the details about my client over the phone. After listening to my pitch, he immediately said, please resend the mail and I will revert. At that moment, I thought it would definitely take almost a month now to go ahead with him. But I received a confirmation from his end in 5 minutes over the mail which was quite a surprise for me. And the story was a cover story on Srinagar with mentions & details about my client right from the beginning till the end. And not only this, in the Editor’s message, the journalist wrote a message about his visit with a picture of my client.”

Neha says her client’s reaction in a word was “Wow!”

Targeting financial coverage

Sometimes the coverage is unexpected.
Says Divya Siraj Menon, senior manager, Alphabet Media, “When project clients come on board they are like the winds of change from the monotonous hygiene work we do on retainer clients.”

Alphabet Media handled Contiki’s, a youth travel company, official launch in India.

Says Divya, “We sold our soul for Contiki- working closely with the team on brain storming sessions, development and implementation for the post –pre event stories. I was handling the business Stories, and creating the buzz around Contiki's official launch in financial publication, not an easy task with thousands of new brands and re-branding happening in the market. The “DNA Money” was my favourite. “

“It was a last minute interaction between the journalist and client after persistent follows-ups. Hence, I was very skeptical of the familiarization-meeting turning into coverage. But, it took me by like a bolt from the blue to see the article published.”

The much wanted ET story!

If you got paid every time a client said, “I want an ET story”, well you would be rich!  Shashank Rathod, Senior Account executive with 20:20 MSL, pulled off this task and lived to tell the tale!

Says Shashank, “In the PR circle, it is usually said that it is difficult to crack an enterprise technology story with a publication such as The Economic Times, which I think is untrue. As I service the Dell enterprise business unit, there were two major components of enterprise that I wanted to communicate to the audience through the publication. One, was to talk about Dell’s positioning in the enterprise storage space and the other on enterprise server space. To tell these stories, I approached the journalist, and provided interesting information on what Dell has to share in these spaces. I ensured that subject matter experts from Dell addressed these two stories. As a result, I achieved two stand alone, large format stories in “The Economic Times” in a span of three weeks.”

For Sanya Bajaj, co-founder, Column Inches, the ET moment happened when her client Curofy were featured in ET’s "Hot Startup" section last month. 

Says Sanya, “I was working on an expansion story Curofy, a health tech startup. I was pitching the story to the Economic Times journalist and she agreed to have a con-call with my client and the call went really good. I had no clue what was the story that she was planning to do around it and then suddenly the very next day itself, I get like an almost half page profiling story in to the " Hot Startup " section of Economic Times. Whhuuhooo !!!”  

Adds Sanya, “The story turned out be to really prosperous for Curofy as well as they approached by multiple business prospects after that.”

Times of India comes calling

Rishi Bammi, PR consultant with Value 360 Communications, managed an equally high profile story in the "Doubt Fire" Column, Sunday Startup Page for Venture Catalysts.
She says, the co-founder was positioned as a key industry leader in the “Doubt Fire” column addressing concerns of a young entrepreneur.

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