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Interview with Kamalika Bhhatacharya of Minglebox.com

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, Minglebox.com. 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 Minglebox.com – 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.

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Meet the Media – Sourina Bose, Tara Newz

Posted by prnext on July 20, 2009

Sumantika Choudhary, in an exclusive interview with Sourina Bose,
Asst. Producer, TARA NEWZ explores a journalists’
opinion about role play of PR in journalism

Sumantika Choudhary, in an exclusive interview with Sourina Bose,  Asst. Producer, TARA NEWZ explores a journalists’  opinion about role play of PR in journalism.

How has been your experience with the PR industry?

Of-late PR is doing quite good. It is proving to be very beneficial for the media by helping us to network well with the industry and also helps us churn out good story ideas. I feel that the PR industry needs more young knowledge based individuals who can share their fresh and innovative ideas. One of the most essential requirements from the PR pros is the transparency factor, in order to keep the relationship healthy and strong.

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

It seems to me effective PR isn’t about flogging a ropey product launch. It comes from a deep understanding and mastery of the issues around the industry and business you represent and the ability to express those powerfully and honestly. And that, like good journalism, takes time.

What is your preferred method of contact? What is the best way to pitch a story to you? Email or phone?

The best way to pitch a story is to present the idea to me first over the phone and make me aware that an email will arrive shortly with the details. There needs to be a clear news angle in the release. Journalists don’t respond well to blatant attempts to ‘get a plug’. It also helps if there is a photo opportunity. Flexibility in timing as well as ideas is also favourable.

How to Follow Up a Pitch?

If your information is relevant and time sensitive, it’s okay to follow up. Particularly if you’re offering an exclusive to a journalist and need to know if they’re interested before going to plan B. In this case, it’s also fine to explain the details and your intentions, asking for a response within a reasonable time frame (24 hours is good these days). If your pitch or press release has marginal news value, forget about following up. It’s true, if the journalist is interested, they’ll call you sooner than later.

What is the most annoying thing that PR agents or other individuals do when trying to get publicity with you?

Ring to see if I received a press release after it has been sent. It’s best to ring before to tell me to expect it and then if I don’t receive it and I’m interested, I will call you.

Why do think most journalist think of PR, while considering a profession change?

I believe one always likes to try something new professionally as well personally. A journalist is well versed with the job of a PR executive and hence might want to try his hands at PR. Moreover being in the media industry for sometime a journalist also develops a good network with the other journalists. Also one of the most critical things is that being a journalist himself one would understand the kind of stories media would be interested in, hence would pitch in the same manner.

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