PR Next

Monthly eZine for PR Professionals

PR Next, September 2009 issue

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

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Vol. 1, No. 5, September, 2009

PR Next, monthly eZine from Indian PR Forum


Journalism to PR – Is it a right choice?

By Vikram Kharvi

A recent survey conducted by PR Week highlighted that over 50% of media professionals are now considering a career outside of journalism (Maybe even on the “dark side,” as PR is commonly referred to in the journalism industry). It seems as an epidemic of job swaps among the senior journalists, has sparked fears of a vacuum of experienced journalists at the top of the profession.


My Space :

3 Key Messages

By Richa Seth

Every organization that you work for has some key messages that it wants to convey it to its stakeholders through its communications efforts. So what is a key message, and why is it important?


Case Study:
Case Study – THE PRODUCTIVITY GAP – Winner of Cannes PR Lions 2009

Case Study on how Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, Telstra created a media campaign to promote their information and communication technology (ICT) products and services to finance and information executives at Australian organizations


Sector Talk

PR for the Hospitality Sector

What’s different in PR for the hotel industry? Should hotels hire in-house professionals or outsource their PR functions? Read on to know the answers


Media Movement

Join Indian PR Forum

News Bytes
Tech – A – Byte

Online resume: A link to the future!

By Anuradha Kelkar

The mantra of ‘if you have it, flaunt it’ just got more technology friendly. Clearly, many of you reading this have a great deal of achievements you want to talk about, a good deal of contacts you want to show off and probably a large portfolio of work you want to showcase. Here’s a thought.



Interview with Prof. K.S. Ramachandra Rao of SSIM

Rajesjwai Iyer, brings to us an exclusive interview with Prof. K.S. Ramachandra Rao, Director, Placements & Promotion, Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Secunderabad. Prof Rao shares with us his views on the PR industry and how PR helped in positioning SSIM amongst its target audience


Meet The Media

Interview with Kamalika Bhhatacharya of The Statesman

In this month’s column of ‘Meet the Media’, Richa Seth introduces us to Kamalika, Bhhatacharya, Sr. Content Associate, The Statesman.. Read on to understand her view on PR profession

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Posted in September 2009 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Case Study – THE PRODUCTIVITY GAP – Winner of Cannes PR Lions 2009

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009


The Campaign

The ‘enterprise and government’ arm of Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, Telstra, needed a platform to promote information and communication technology (ICT) products and services to finance and information executives at Australian organisations.

Understanding that the key benefit of Telstra’s ICT market offering is enabling companies to work smarter with fewer resources, a ‘productivity’ communication platform was devised. To enable this, an independent white paper investigating technology and business productivity was commissioned along with a survey which discovered 78 per cent of Australian organisations say improving productivity is a high priority, but only half have any systems in place to measure improvements or set targets.

This finding was called the ‘productivity gap’ and provided Telstra with a versatile and thoroughly considered leadership platform. Teamed with Telstra’s Chief Economist and third party case studies, content was created for outreach to traditional and social media, employees, existing and potential customers.

Blanket media coverage was achieved in targeted business and technology media thanks to a strategic use of pre-briefing interviews and embargoed media materials. Telstra took public ownership of the concept, with ‘productivity gap’ becoming media vernacular during the first news cycle. Almost 75% of the annual coverage target was achieved in just four weeks.

Client Brief:

The goal of the campaign was to position Telstra Enterprise & Government as leaders in the productivity space and take ownership of the thought leadership platform. Competitor research showed no telecommunications brand was synonymous with ‘productivity’ in the Australian media landscape, despite the fact it was the main business benefit of ICT investment. Criteria for success was based not only on generating quality editorial coverage in business and technology media, but also developing a platform that was dynamic enough to be used for internal communications, contact with existing customers and strengthening the sales pitch for potential customers.


The key performance indicator was 50 pieces of strategic coverage in 2009. More than 75% of the annual target was achieved in the first month, with the campaign still rolling out. To maximise effectiveness, each story needed to meet the following: – Positive or neutral tone; – Appear in pre-agreed media targets and meet size requirements; – Include campaign messaging.

Coverage highlights included a full page in the Australian Financial Review and coverage in The Australian, major metropolitan dailies, industry websites, was picked up by influential personalities and appeared on business radio and television. A leading commentator wrote an opinion piece in a national broadsheet reporting the spokesperson, “…was everywhere. He was on television, in the papers and the trade rags, promoting new research…” Telstra’s ‘productivity gap’ became part of business and technology media parlance and the messaging was adapted seamlessly for internal communications, existing customer communication and sales tools.


There were five phases of the national campaign.

1. Two pieces of INDEPENDENT RESEARCH were commissioned in October 2008: ‘The Telstra Productivity Indicator: A Report on business attitudes towards improving productivity in Australia’ and a white paper titled ‘ICT as a driver of productivity’.

2. EMBARGOED MEDIA INTERVIEWS accommodated the busy schedules of both Telstra executives and key journalists. This tactic ensured the availability of spokespeople and media to undertake in-depth interviews and achieve cut through in a busy media landscape.

3. Once the embargo passed, a GENERAL NEWS RELEASE was distributed to all media and a TAILORED BYLINE ARTICLE was placed with industry specific publications.

4. A series of SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES were coordinated for key Telstra executives to share more insights.

5. The research was launched on Telstra’s INTRANET for employees and the SALES TEAMS were furnished with new tools embracing the productivity theme. The campaign ran to plan.

Posted in Case Study, September 2009 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

PR for the Hospitality Sector

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

hotelEvery hotel has one goal in common: to satisfy their guests’ requests no matter how odd, peculiar or demanding. If you re a luxury hotel, the number of requests increases and their nature becomes even more complex.

In the midst of daily operations like preparation for arrivals, room inspections, hosting private events, and countless other details, there is a small department that devotes its efforts solely in establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships between the hotel and all its publics. Within hospitality, examples of publics include course guests, VIPs, unions, activists, the government, community leaders and employees, only to name a few. The PR team or an individual professional leverages the hotel’s mission and goals to reflect its interests to these publics and acts as a communications liaison. But a PR manager’s time is more often than not occupied with a certain genre of people known as media.

Choosing the right people to liaison with the press is crucial. Many hotels are torn between spending the extra thousands to hire agencies, which outsource their professional services or to employ a trained professional within the organisation.

PR Agencies are able to act as seasoned representatives for their clients in events, fundraisers, networking parties and can participate in all the glitz and media glamour in order to get their message out to everyone. Agencies also usually have all the tools necessary to create appropriate messages. Typically, they have a graphic designer on staff responsible for updating and maintaining the client’s website, designing collateral material such as brochures, fliers, promotions and advertisements, among other things. Agencies are also experts in preparing general managers and/or executives to handle reporters in public appearances, press conferences and other types of interviews.

But this elite service will cost you plenty, as most agencies work on a monthly retainer fee. Depending on the nature of the hotel, there are some months that are ‘dead’ from a press perspective. For example, Mumbai is very slow in the rainy season, which makes publicity during those months highly competitive. Agencies will still charge the retainer fee during those months, since they are tapping their media contacts regardless of results.

What is the difference between having your own gourmet kitchen and going to a fine dining restaurant? Along with price and service, there is another variable to consider: You can prepare meals in the kitchen, the way you want, whenever you need to and at any time. Most factors are flexible. A similar philosophy applies to in-house PR staff.

More often than not, especially for small hotels, this is a more economical alternative. The on-site PR professional works from an office in the hotel and manages media requests and pop-ups fast. While the agency handles multiple accounts, the in-house person has only one focus, and therefore outreach can be far greater and more customised. Also, there is more time to develop editorial relationships like the ones the agency has and focus on pitching various story ideas.

What is more, the in-house professional is always available to provide walk-in press tours (agencies work with appointments only), therefore maximising publicity potential. Since the on-site professionals are hotel employees, they tend to know the property and its functions in greater detail than an agency would. This fact provides an additional advantage when exploring new editorial angles. Simply because a relationship is established does not always guarantee placement in an issue. The pitch is definitely essential, but it is the quality and timing that need to match the outlet’s editorial focus and audience.

However, the image, reputation, and the foundation of all hotel relationships lie in the formulation of one key factor: the message. What are you telling the media that is newsworthy, and why should they talk about your hotel? What makes your establishment unique? These questions will be answered differently when you ask an agency, which is specialised, and a hotel employee who manages PR on-site. The main difference lies in the method of approach, strategy and tactics. And the tricky part is that both approaches may be equally effective.

Furthermore, the on-site manager most likely lacks the printing, design and web tools and has to work with freelance designers and printing houses to get the message properly planned and executed. Although this situation is not ideal, you may even get someone who is multi-skilled and can easily handle the above tools on his own, which will save the hotel a lot of money. The hotel will also gain from the fact that there is someone on staff, who can handle media-related episodes, which arise quite often.

If anything, a communications plan is non-existent without a clear and concise crisis plan. Few questions that should be asked when outlining a crisis plan are: How does the hotel respond when a story is leaked? How is executive management handling the crisis? Is there a complete statement drafted? Have you prepared a list of media outlets that need to be contacted first? Who is the point of contact for updated information? What tools will be used, and how will they prove to be effective to contain the media?

The agency is experienced to writing strategy plans, although some may lack the inclusion of internal response during a crisis, for example, ‘How will the employees be notified? What will they be allowed to discuss?’ Regardless, agencies can be beneficial in pinpointing the right avenues to take during a media response. They may have a better edge in identifying speaker opportunities and may be more effective in leveraging the media during a crisis. Meanwhile, for an on-site manager, this amount of responsibility may become overwhelming in spite of how well prepared and proactive they may be.

Here are some factors to consider before hiring an in-house professional or choosing to outsource:

  • Size – The smaller the property, the more branding and relationship-building it requires. You should evaluate if you need someone who is willing to take the project on-site and put in 100 percent effort, or if you should trust your property into the hands of an experienced agency who will agree to convey the image what you are looking for.
  • Time and money – Cutting costs is essential but maintaining quality is always the challenge. Find a balanced solution that will not set back your outreach efforts, but not exaggerate them either.
  • Quality of people – As per our earlier analogy, investing in a gourmet kitchen versus always going to a fine dining restaurant certainly has advantages. Searching for the right people is imperative and directly affects your bottom line.
  • Inside Out: A balanced approach – Even with all this advice, some properties may still find themselves caught in the middle. In many cases, it is healthy to have a strong in-house presence that directs all public relations and simultaneously have an agency on a project-based fee, ‘on call’, to supplement outreach efforts, issues and crisis management and assist with media person who may at times not return calls or respond to emails. Over time, you might find one or the other to be more cost-effective and choose the best alternative.

Finally, it is essential to recognise the importance of this specialised group of professionals whose success lies in making everyone else look good and thrive by working in the background. All else cast aside, these are the people who have experienced and appreciate the unparalleled feeling of earning positive publicity for their organisations and smile when their executive’s name makes it in print or on TV. Knowing that their name will not be in the credits.

Posted in Articles, Sector Talk, September 2009 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Journalism to PR – Is it a right choice?

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

2599hatA recent survey conducted by PR Week highlighted that over 50% of media professionals are now considering a career outside of journalism (Maybe even on the “dark side,” as PR is commonly referred to in the journalism industry). It seems as an epidemic of job swaps among the senior journalists, has sparked fears of a vacuum of experienced journalists at the top of the profession.

Interestingly, it’s not just reporters who are crossing over to PR, even mass communication students are opting to study PR over journalism as well, because they feel the opportunities will be better for them in PR. based on what’s happening with print newspapers and other [media], that [journalism] might not be as feasible of a career for them right now.

Speaking informally to some of these ex-journalists who turned to the world of PR, when asked what made them switch. The common explanation given for the migration is money. It is a well known fact that PR pays more than journalism. Then you may ask, how about the passion, making a difference and being part of the ‘fourth estate’. Is the big salary enough reason to just leave this noble career to go the ‘other’ side? Most of these ex-journalists-cum-PR practitioners will tell you that passion cannot pay your bills at the end of the month; they say ‘reality’ has got to them, that is why they crossed over to PR.

PR is evolving and it looks more opportune than journalism. It comes with a big salary together with attractive perks. There are more career opportunities in PR, contrary to journalism which has very thin ranks to move up the ladder. PR practitioners have an opportunity to attend the meeting with the Board of Directors of companies and also sit in some of the lavish offices.

Despite the fact that PR seems to be so much better and monetarily rewarding, it doesn’t mean it’s easy for journalists to make the switch to the other side.

For ex-journalists who become PR people (and I am one of them), there are a lot of new skills to learn. If you’re an ex-journalist-turned-PR person, or an executive who hired one, here are some tips, that would help you to make the transition:

  • Look at PR as corporate journalism: As soon as you become’ a PR consultant, you will find yourself in a highly credible position to advise MD & CEO’s of various companies on what constitutes legitimate news as opposed to marketing hype.
  • Bringing a fresh outlook to the job: Let’s start with the most fundamental element — who you are working for? In your previous job, you report to the editors. In PR, you service the client directly and many a times report to the MD & CEO of the company. The target audience for your client may be as diverse as customers, shareholders, employees, competitors, regulators and the media. And unlike in the media, the peculiarities of each of these audiences has to be factored into your strategies and materials — which is why so much PR information comes out like it was written by a committee.
  • Adopt Customer Service: Journalists are used to being brusque. They’ve got deadlines, they’ve got an audience, and they don’t have time for minutiae. That won’t fly in PR. Most people expect PR people to be nice, even obsequious to a fault. You are now a service provider, and will be expected to do things with a smile that in your previous job. In PR, everyone’s feathers need to be smoothed, and it’s usually your job to do it.
  • Think like a businessman: Many journalists have lived a sheltered existence, with careful separations maintained between editorial and advertising, insulating them from the realities of profit and loss. I know that the current difficulties in the media has been a wake-up call, but once you come over to PR, you’ll be fully immersed in the world of budgets, profits and competitors.
  • The buck stops with you: I was stunned when I got into PR to realize how carefully clients followed what was said about them in the media and how quickly they jumped to conclusions about the motivation of the media when something was said that they didn’t like, or when they were left out of stories. As the PR person, you will find that when this happens — when the media says something your client doesn’t like, or doesn’t cover you when you think you should have been covered — it’s your fault. You’re the bottom of the food chain, you’re the one touting your media relations skills and experience, YOU should have made sure this didn’t happen. Even if there was nothing you could have done.
  • Your friends in the media: Your media experience means a lot to your new clients. But your new clients don’t mean as much to your friends in the media. You’ll probably be able to leverage your connections for some stories but one can’t count on making your living asking your friends to do stories. Which brings us to:
  • Pitching: In all likelihood, you will find yourself emailing or calling journalists you don’t know asking them to do stories on your clients. I don’t mean to be too much of a downer, but let me say that this will be an eye-opening experience. You will now understand what it feels like to be on the other end of the line pitching what you think is a decent story, only to be ignored, hung-up-on, berated or belittled. And that’s if you can even get a response from the journalist you’re pitching, which often times, you won’t. I’ve been on both sides of these calls and I fully understand the frustration of the media getting pitched non-relevant stories by people who have no clue who they are pitching, but this has created an environment in which many journalists view all PR pitches with suspicion bordering on disgust.

There’s one bigger caveat for ex-journalists and the people who hire them: the need for marketing expertise. PR and media relations are subsets of the larger marketing function, and all PR activities are designed to support marketing and ultimately sales. Journalists whose training took place in journalism school and who experience is solely in the media have a great deal to learn about the discipline of marketing.

Just as I advise a would-be media relations expert in the PR field to read journalism books, take journalism courses and immerse themselves in the craft of journalism, so I would advise career-switching journalists making the effort to learn about the intricacies of marketing.

Posted in Articles, PR Insights, September 2009 | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

Online resume: A link to the future!

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

onlinerThe mantra of ‘if you have it, flaunt it’ just got more technology friendly. Clearly, many of you reading this have a great deal of achievements you want to talk about, a good deal of contacts you want to show off and probably a large portfolio of work you want to showcase. Here’s a thought. How about putting it up online? Just one click, one link, and your life’s achievements are up for the entire world to admire. Maybe, its time to take the concept of online resumes more seriously.

Posted in Articles, September 2009, Tech-A-Byte | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Interview with Kamalika Bhhatacharya of

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

kamallikaIn this month’s column of ‘Meet the Media’, Richa Seth introduces us to Kamalika, Bhhatacharya, Sr. Content Associate, Read on to understand her view on PR profession

  1. Could you please update us with your career journey?

I started my career with The Statesman, Kolkata as a reporter in 2006, then became a sub editor cum reporter working with features department. Thereafter worked for a magazine called Mentor which caters to the school principals and the education fraternity. Currently working with – the no.1 educational website in India as a Sr. content associate. I also write feature articles for the education supplement of The Statesman.

  1. What methods do you use to generate/find stories?

Use direct contacts, field reporting and follow up on current stories. Of course leads from PR contacts does add value in generating stories.

  1. What are your views about the PR fraternity?

I believe the PR executives are of great support to all media. PR executives provide a lot of useful information and come up with new and innovative story themes which can be very useful to the media. They are of immense help to reach out various companies and their spokesperson in a much easier way.

  1. How useful / helpful are they to you as a source of information?

As mentioned earlier they are very useful as they provide new and innovative story themes, which can churn out great stories. They are of immense help to reach out various companies and their spokesperson in a much easier way.

  1. What is it that you expect when interacting with a PR professional? Is that fulfilled?

I expect the professionals to communicate correct and complete information about their client and also not push for coverage without the news providing value to the readers. It is somewhat fulfilled but still needs to be worked upon.

  1. What are the most preferred method, mode and time to get in touch with you?

Email is the best way always…

  1. What is the most annoying thing that PR professionals do when pitching to the journalist?

Sometimes PR professionals push to much and keep following up for stories that does not merit coverage.

  1. 8. What is it that the PR professionals need to improve on to meet journalists’ expectations and strengthen the professional bond?

PR professionals should keep the journalists posted on all events before time. They should also introduce and provide complete information about their clients to the journalist of the concerned beat, so that the journalist can get back when doing any industry story or wants to do a feature story.

Posted in Interview, Meet the Media, September 2009 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

3 Key Messages

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

BullseyeEvery organization that you work for has some key messages that it wants to convey it to its stakeholders through its communications efforts.

So what is a key message, and why is it important? Key messages are the core messages you want your target audience to hear and remember. Key messages allow you to give directions to your communications and enhance relationship with your target audience. Key messages are designed to work out what you really need to get across about your company to the audience.

As a PR professional our job is to identify these key messages and communicate the same to the company’s publics.

You may very well be trying to get a slightly different reaction from each of your target audiences, and that’s why you may have multiple key messages pertaining to each of your key publics.

Some criteria for developing key messages

  • Be believable — support with evidence
  • Be understood — reflect stakeholders understanding
  • Be distinctive — clear competitive awareness
  • Be agreed — company strategy
  • Be credible — know your stuff
  • Drive your agenda
  • Avoid negativity
  • Enhance positively
  • Use the brand

The most important thing in communicating key messages is that it needs to be consistent. Consistency gives comfort to people, and public relations professionals are charged with providing a comforting view of a company or client.

Just identifying the key messages is not enough you need to make sure that these selected messages forms the part of every coverage you get for your client in any media.

But the question is how to communicate the messages effectively so that it finds its place in the coverage that you may secure for your client. I will try solving this query with an example, which I believe we all must have gone through at some point in time (or many) in our PR career.

Your client is really impressed – he’s just had an hour-long interview with a reporter from one of the national dailies which you secured for him. You wait with bated breath for the newspaper to hit the streets so you can bask in the glory of the unpaid glowing editorial. After all your client told him EVERYTHING he thought the reporter should know – or did he?

After searching the paper a couple of times you eventually find the article – you were beginning to think you got the date wrong. There it is on page five, bottom left hand corner and it’s all of two column inches! As you find it your client is on the phone and he’s livid – have you seen the article and what happened to all the comments I made and the information I gave? And where did that headline come from – that wasn’t the one on the press release you sent them?

Your explanation to the fiasco

The comments and information went the way the majority of articles written by tired journalists go – cut by the sub-editor and again by the news editor. You see, what you hadn’t factored into the equation was that an insurance company placed an ad it insisted went in that day and a cellphone company said it’d give an order for six weeks of ads but it insisted on page five also.

This meant the sub editor had to find an article to take up what was left of the page – two column inches. The journalist did what he was trained to do – write the story in the inverted pyramid style, starting with the most important information and going down until he was left with the least important. Now depending on how your client gave his information this could be where the problem started.

If he’d chosen to put forth the three key messages to get across and made sure he got those in right at the beginning of his interview and then used the balance of the interview to back these messages up with facts, figures and even anecdotal information, then even if the article was cut at least one or possibly two of the messages would have made it through to the reader.

But then again would they?

Scary part

Research shows that the interviewee gives 100% of the message – the reporter’s interpretation is around 60%. By the time it’s subbed, 40% of the original message has survived (if that) and by the time the editor and anyone else has fiddled around with it there may be 20% left. The scary part is yet to come – the reader’s understanding and interpretation of the article. Yes – this is where the problem really lies – this is 10%!

And what about quotes – how do these get twisted? Well, here’s some advice. Do what we follow religiously when we go for client-media interactions – use a tape recorder so you also have a record of the conversation. Now this may pee off a few journos but it would get the message across loud and clear that you expect the quotes to be accurate.

The problem comes when journalists take the quotes out of direct speech and use them as ‘so and so was quoted as saying he was unhappy with the situation in the industry right now.’ The problem here is what he actually said was “I’m not that happy with the current situation but am excited and reassured with what our industry is about to do.” This is a mild example of what can happen with quotes.

Best form of exposure

This means that the best form of exposure is the controlled one – live radio and TV – but I hear you say that’s scary. Not if you are properly prepared and again decide on three or two key messages you need to get across and then make sure you get these across as quickly as possible. Sometimes you’ll literally have a thirty second chance to answer a question to a talk show host – or five minutes on morning television. You need to take full advantage of that time to get your message across and remember if it’s live no-one can tamper with your message.

Posted in Articles, My Space, September 2009 | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Interview with Prof. K.S. Ramachandra Rao of SSIM

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

ramachandraraoRajesjwai Iyer, brings to us an exclusive interview with Prof. K.S. Ramachandra Rao, Director, Placements & Promotion, Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Secunderabad. Prof Rao shares with us his views on the PR industry and how PR helped in positioning SSIM amongst its target audience

1. How do you think PR is important for organizational growth? Comparing your previous experiences, what made your institution crack with PR as a tool to create the Right Buzz?

PR is important for any organization. PR means not just Public relations but being the public domain in terms of visibility, transparency, publicity etc. It can be achieved through a professional set up with PR departments in any organization. If the organization is not big enough, it can be entrusted to a professional PR agency that is expected to devise a long term strategy for better branding, better visibility to reach out to the right targeted audience. It also helps the stake holders to know more about the company in terms of its market news.

As far as Siva Sivani Institute of Management (SSIM) is concerned, it provides management education along with other forms of higher study for working executives. It focuses on imparting high quality education to serve the corporates to produce the right talent. PR has helped SSIM in creating visibility amongst the students and corporates. It has helped us in conveying the right key messages across to our target audiences. We have successfully been able to enroll dedicated students in our institute and at the same time we also have renowned companies willing to offer placements to our students in their company at high packages.

2. What according to you is more successful using internal PR professionals or hiring external PR services?

It is not the question of internal or external professionals. It depends on the quality and competency of the people concerned who are doing this job. The external agency can provide the advantage of their exposure and expertise. And on the other had there are organizations that depend on their internal talent as they nurture them over a period of time.

3. How do you rate PR practice?

PR as a professional has evolved immensely. It has now become an essential marketing tool for every organization. There are various budding professional PR agencies as many organizations are on a look out for communication their key messages to the right target audience.
4. What is your foresight on industry’s growth?

As mentioned earlier there is huge scope of growth for the PR industry. However the industry lacks dedicated and talented professionals who would be keen to be a part of this industry. This profession requires good communication skills, industry knowledge, hard work, sincerity and dedication. One can pursue some of the technical skills from a few management institutes who are engaged in having specialized courses for PR.

5. As an educational institiution how much value do you think PR has added to your business and brand?

As mentioned earlier, PR has immensely helped us to position ourselves amongst the top management schools in the country. We have taken several initiatives to do gain this positioning. Compared to few years back, SSIM today is one of the reputed institutes of management education nationally.

Posted in Interview, September 2009 | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 09 mid-term survey

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 09 mid-term survey released; predicts better times for the media industry

After seven years of fierce growth, the Rs 21,000-crore media and advertising industry experienced the first bout of negative growth during the first six months of 2009. According to the Mid-term Review of the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2009, the industry together garnered just Rs 7,452 crore in the first half of 09, which is a whopping Rs 1,414 crore less than what it mopped up in the same period last year.

As per the Mid-term Review, while the worst affected was the print media which saw a massive 32 percent decline in its revenue mop-up, television saw a 19 percent drop, with cinema and outdoor getting hit heavily at 37 percent and 30 percent respectively. However, there was only a moderate 5 percent decline in radio revenue. In fact, the Internet media is only media format that recorded a growth during the first half logging in a 16 percent growth.

So, what do our numbers project for the next six months? Though the impact of a looming drought remains very alive, on the macro front there are many positive signs with the economy showing clear signs of pulling out of the morass. While all leading corporate house have reported better-than-expected profits in the April-June quarter, the latest IIP data came as the biggest surprise clipping at a stupendous 7.8 percent in June.

“All these lead us to believe that the next six months are going to be much better than the first six months. Our detailed forecast for the July-December period shows that while the media industry earned only Rs 7,452 crore in the first half, we estimate the industry to net Rs 12,325 crore in the second half. And this is a massive 65 percent jump over the first half,” said Madison Media chairman Sam Balsara releasing the mid-term review of the industry. Balsara, however, notes that “this jump will be driven by a combination of increase in ad rates and an increase in ad volumes.”

Anurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-chief, exchange4media Group said, “It seems the worst is over for the industry. It’s time the media industry got ready for the better times. But it will pay to remain sober in the months ahead.”

But, on an aggregate basis, even this massive increase in revenues in the July-December period will not pull the full year estimate out of the red. “Going by our revised numbers, we expect a negative growth of 5 percent for the full year, against a positive growth 2 percent we forecast in January. As a result, the industry is projected to close calendar year 2009 with Rs 19,777 crore against Rs 20,717 crore in 2008,” said exchange4media Group co-founder & editor Pitch magazine, Amit Agnihotri.

Pitch Madison Media Ad Outlook has recorded that for the past five years and until the third quarter of 2008, the advertising and media industry was growing at a furious pace, averaging around 17-18 percent year-on-year. For instance, in 2004 the industry grew by 11 percent, 15 percent in 2005, and a full 22 percent each in 2006 and 2007. Last year, it grew by a smart 17 percent.

Posted in News Bytes, September 2009 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reader’s Digest, US files for bankruptcy

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009

The publisher of Reader’s Digest, the most popular US general interest magazine, has filed for bankruptcy protection with a plan to swap a portion of its debt for ownership of the company.

Reader’s Digest Association Inc, owned by the New York private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings since 2007, said that it has reached an agreement in principle with a majority of secured lenders to erase a portion of the USD 1.6 billion they hold in senior secured notes.

The planned filing, which does not include operations outside the United States, comes amid declining circulation, an industrywide advertising slump and large debts.

Reader’s Digest, the monthly magazine founded in 1922 as a collection of condensed articles from other publications, has been searching for a niche as the Internet upends the magazine industry’s traditional business models.

Posted in News Bytes, September 2009 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »