This Valentine's Day, we profile India's PR couples
Love is Love. And PR professionals are no different when it comes to seeking and being in love. This Valentine's Day, PRmoment India talks to a series of couples in communication who share what makes their love story so interesting.
The Journo-PR couple
Priyanka Shetty and Malay Desai did not find it too hard to cross the barriers of the normal adversarial relationship between journalists and PR professionals. Married for six-year after dating for another five, both Priyanka and Malay were careful to establish their personal rules of keeping work separate from the personal early on.
Priyanka says, "What helped was we saw each other as individuals with common values, not as professionals. Also, as we moved along, we tried not to work with each other or even discuss work."
Malay shares that since he has moved on from active journalism to sports writing overlap at work is limited. But he says, "To this day, she does not 'break' or share any news or update with me which is not supposed to be revealed to a journalist", admitting with tongue firmly in cheek that this, "Can be quite annoying."
Malay and Priyanka, also share their pet peeves about each other. Malay says, "I'm quite done with listening to things like 'Let's close this by EOD' :)"
For Priyanka, even marriage has not changed a basic facet of the hack and the flack relationship.
"He might be out of active journalism but ike a typical journalist, he STILL doesn’t answer my calls!", she says.
The PR firm and brand side pair
Anubhuti and Munish Srivastava
Based in Raipur, Chattisgarh Anubhuti Srivastava moved to the city a decade ago following her husband's new job in corporate communications. She dabbled with journalism for a while as feature head of local publication 'Central Chronicle', a sister publication of the well known 'Nava Bharata'.
In 2012, Anubhuri returned to her core skills and set up her PR firm Sanvi Solutions, setting off on the challenging path of convincing companies in Raipur to pay for PR.
The two have very different points of views on virtually everything, to the extent that Anubhuti cheekily describes her relationship with husband Munish like that of Tom and Jerry.
Given that both are in PR jobs, one at a PR firm, the other with the corporate communications vertical at a leading manufacturing firm, Anubhuti says conversation over coffee is very work-related.
But Anubhuti sees this is a benefit enabling them to swap views. Munish, says Anubhuti, is good at cracking tough stories and identifying publications that might be interested in them.
She herself, confesses Anubhuti, has better insights on journalists. And admits to calling journalists to prove she was right about the author of a certain story! It does make for a lively husband-wife chat over coffee.
Trupti Prabhu Roy and Bratin Roy
Trupti works with Six Degrees BCW and Bratin is associate director of communications - South Asia, AB InBev. Both met when they were working at Hanmer (now MSL).
The couple says, "Although, we belong to the same industry, never have we worked for competing brands or agencies and hopefully we never will, so that way we are sorted. Although we do discuss work often like any other couple it helps both of us as we continue to share ideas, media intelligence, industry updates (sounds boring though!) as we hold each other high in regard."
The PR-creative visualiser bond
Chandreyi Bandyopadhyay and Joydeep Mondal relationship began at what they call a typical Bengali 'meet-cute'. They first met at a Pujo pandal. Dating, breakups and 'makeups' (for want of a better word!) followed and now the two are affianced, heading for a 2020 winter wedding.
Chandreyi is a hardcore PR professional with Stellant Communications and Joydeep does creative visualisation for Godrej Properties. Together they also run a well-received travel blog, 'The Moonchasers'.
With both being communicators, the biggest challenge they face says Chandreyi is that "We both want to talk all the time, And that can be problematic. I know as communicators we need to listen. But that equation changes when you know each other well."
They each have their areas of expertise in communications. Chandreyi says Joydeep is the better visual storyteller, able to ideate all parts of a story, while she is the expert when it comes to shaping the overall editorial of a story.
Either way, they are both busy chasing the moon side by side with their communciation jobs.
The writer and the artist
Anugya Sinha is a corporate communication manager at an FMCG firm and Varun N Rao is a content specialist at an ERP software firm. Meeting in the days of Yahoo Chat, incidentally, on Valentine's Day, the two have navigated their way through friendship, dating and marriage.
Anugya says in her book review blog, "It was the virtual room of Yahoo Chat! that sealed our fate. Somewhere between Yahoo Chat! and WhatsApp video calls, we both grew up. Somewhere between ‘ASL Pls’* ‘and emojis’ we both grew up."
Varun is a content specialist by day and a portrait artist by night, Anugya feels that the former excels at creativity while she is the better, crisper writer. With both being content specialists, they are able to help each other with specific insights.
Anugya says once, for example, it was Varun who spotted that the wrong India map had been used for a brand campaign. Helping to avert what could have become a major problem if the ad had gone out with the wrong map.
The PR firm pair
Hiya Arora and Raghav Sharma are just a few years old in their PR job at a Delhi based PR firm. They studied together and interned together. Hiya says their relationship has actually taught them professionalism, with both taking care to maintain a professional demeanour and distance at work.
Hiya says her bosses at work are supportive of the dating couple as long as confidentiality is maintained about professional issues. Hiya is careful to keep information about her clients to herself and doesn't discuss any salary issues as well at work.
Deepayan Roy and Priyankita Praharaj
Both Deepayan and Priyankita work at PR firms. Deepayan believes, "Choosing someone from the same profession as your life partner comes with a lot of excitement and benefits as it creates tremendous synergy and respect between the two."
In this case, says Deepayan, the advantage is doubled as the support you get extends into the professional world and is not just limited to the emotional care and support you get as a spouse.
Kulpreet and Freddy Vesuna
Kulpreet is founder & MD of the Pune based Impact Public relations and husband Freddy is director quality assurance at the same firm.
Kulpreet admits that it's not an easy task to keep work and the personal separate when you work together. She has solved this by, " Setting certain activities that enable us to be friends and lovers – we go on a weekly date with each other, give surprises."
Freddy and Kulpreet have the following advice to offer for other couples who work together, "Do not take work home. Switch to your love quotient after work. Do not talk about work at home or at least try to avoid it. If there is a need to do so, put a time limit and never ever do it in the bedroom. Go to the living room or if you have a working space and then talk. Give respect."