Principles of PR…

Public Relations, begins with psychology. A part of PR is about building and maintaining Reputation. Reputation in simple terms can be described as my perception in your consciousness.

For perception to be established, start with awareness.

Ensure the client always stays alive even when the organization’s ability to grow stops.

Effectively assess ROI and ROO.

Always be perennially prepared.

Share stories contextually and occasionally.

Analytically correlate conversations to client space.

Be energized to share them always.

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Art of storytelling…

We all love stories, be it listening to or narrating one. We all have that one person who always has awesome stories to tell. Din’t we all want to be one?

Now that I’m in a profession where everything is all about storytelling and keeping it engaging, it is very important to be able to come up with interesting unique and creative story idea. So, what makes a good story which interests people?

Here are 10 tips to make a story interesting:

  1. Practice writing regularly. With practice comes perfection.
  2. Keep take away’s in mind.
  3. Keep the story short.
  4. Everyone loves stories about challenges and conflicts.
  5. There should a beginning, middle and end.
  6. Have an element of human interest- Have a protagonist in mind.
  7. Be creative!
  8. Ensure good grammar, good language and punctuation.
  9. Try and incorporate stories that go with graphics and images.
  10. Keep stories authentic!

Lagaan…

Lagaan is many movies rolled into one!

It is hard to quantify Lagaan. Lagaan is about a sport, where a win is crucial not just for self-respect but also for sheer survival. It also gently blends issues of casteism, patriotism, nationalism and freedom..

A cricket pitch created at the rain starved Champaner becomes the battleground. If the residents win the match, the angrez laatsaab will forgive them the lagaan and if they loose, the lagaan would be extracted at twice the going rate. The game becomes a stirring metaphor for winning and loosing.

Lagaan is a glorious heady entertainer powered by brilliant performances from every character. Aamir played the challenging role of Bhuvan, the playful villager ready to go head-on with the mighty Britishers effortlessly.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge…

Raj Malhotra, a young, rich and privileged, lives in a swank London mansion with his jovial father. Simran Singh, young pretty and also a Londoner, lives in a polar opposite universe. And then the two meet!

“Bade bade deshon mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hai!”

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) is a London based movie. It about a young pair, Raj Malhotra and Simran Singh played by Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. They meet, they fight, they fall in love and as is with the other Yashraj movies, finish up with each other after a series of tears and dramatic sequences.

DDLJ is a simple story, simply told with some nice touch ups and smart dialogues. Shah Rukh and Kajol bring out the best in each other. Credibility is one of DDLJ’s biggest strength. Especially the first half of the movie feels so real that it could almost make us believe it was a true story of two real people.

Some movies are destiny… They change everything. And DDLJ is one of those movies. DDLJ made Shah Rukh Khan what he is today and also gave Bollywood its evergreen romantic pair – SRK and Kajol.

 

Top 5 favorite eateries in Bandra

While I can’t stop talking about the zillion eating joints in Bandra, I do have a few favorites around here.

5. Punjabi Rasoi, Linking Road– No matter which corner of the world you are in or how sophisticated you try to be, just the mention of Butter Chicken and all the Indianness will start flowing. These are my go to guys for butter chicken and roti days.

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4. The J, Carter Road– The most amazing and yummilicious varieties of french fries you’ll find ever. Its worth cheating over! ❤

3. Sheron, Hill Road– This is the place to go for anything chicken!

2. Theobroma, Linking Road– “A party without cake is just a meeting”. Not just any cake, the red velvet cake here is worth dying for. The only place which introduced me to red velvet cake and left me wanting more every time. Although the service here can kind of tick you off, the first bite of the cake will erase it all off.

1. Coffee by Di Bella, 24th Road– My most favorite dessert since I’ve moved to Bombay are the Waffles at Di Bella. I can have them at any time of the day. And the friendly staff here make the whole waffle experience better even if its the 100th time you’re eating here. I can’t think of what would I do if and when I move out of Bombay or for that matter any area even in Bombay which has no Di Bella outlet!

Just Bandra things…

Every city has that one place or area we consider as above all… Like I’ve had friends who thought of Koramangla as the centre of Bangalore city. For them everything else was based on Koramangla as the central reference point. And of course, the air around people living in either Koramangla and Indiranagar is so high and mighty, even if they lived in an area smaller than the local Kirana store!

Anyways, coming back to Bombay, its just the city that has changed… Not that attitude… And the difference is, here I’m one of the people I was just complaining about in the start of this article. 🙂

Although its been just a few months since I’ve moved to Bombay and Bandra to be specific, I already feel like a typical Bandra-ite (minus the money and the fancy cars and houses!). I can’t think of living in any other area coz I feel its too overcrowded for me. Infact, even the roads of Bandra somehow seem more motorable than the rest of Bombay. 😀

What I like the best about Bandra, atleast from my experience here is that any and everything is just around the corner. Wanna enjoy the sunset, there’s Carter Road and Band Stand… Confused about what to eat, you’ll find a restaurant at ever second step you take. Infact there’s a whole line of them at Carter Road. So that’s like enjoying the sunset and dinner so you don’t have to rush back home to cook. 🙂 Travelling tomorrow but you forgot to carry something for that annoying little sister who won’t let you enter the house without a gift? Well thank god Linking Road and Hill Road shopping markets open until atleast 10 in the night!

You even experience small rounds of mini treks in Bandra. The whole of Pali is so hilly that a walk around the area is almost like going on a trek!

The sea link also starts from Bandra(depending on which side of it you’re on).

And yes, Bandra also has the highest number of crows I guess..! 😦 The only one thing I do not like about the place.

While Bandra is an expensive or rather extremely expensive place to be living, I still would rather stay here than any other area. Keeping all other reasons mentioned above aside, just for the fact that I feel its a very safe place where I can walk even at 12 in the night the same way if it was 4 in the evening!

Excuses… Our lifelines

Forced to attend a family wedding – you suddenly remember that very important forgotten assignment to complete… Deadline to submit the assignment and suddenly very mysteriously that bottle of mineral water you had, almost puts you on your deathbed… Had someplace to be but leave home only at the time you were to reach there, and the whole country’s traffic decides on take your route…You name it, and there’s an excuse ready for it… 😉

Although some times it really is the universe and Mr. Murphy conspiring against you, most of the times they’re just plain excuses to avoid situations you don’t like or want to be in. In the words of my father, girls have a thousand excuses ready for every situation. I strongly disagree with him coz this trait is surely not gender specific. Guy and girls both are equally talented when it comes to giving excuses. :-/

So I got this idea of writing this article from a comment made by one of my instructors recently when he said I could write a blog just from all the excuses I’ve given so far.While I’m not very proud of being said that to and that was mentioned very sarcastically, I thought it would actually be interesting to write about it.

Maintaining Relations…

I never was able to figure out why my mother kept insisting on maintaining relations be it with relatives or with friends -old and new. What my mother could not make me do in 30 years, the world of PR has in just over 3 months.

The only constant and consistent point we were told in almost every session was that along with communication, the other most important aspect in Public Relations profession was building and maintaining relationship with the media. Infact if ever you were to choose between your client and the media, it would be wise to choose media over the client. ‘Coz while clients will come and go, media remains the same. And boy, aint gonna be easy!

I had a new learning in a session I attended on media relations and engagement recently. Its not few journalists from a particular beat or a sector but with the whole media house you have to build relations with! Here I was fighting with my mother about not wanting to talk or visit a relative and now I have to not only build but also maintain my relations with every media house. And mind you, it does not involve only phone calls or a few customary Whatsapp messages.

While the whole concept of building relations with the media is very new to me, I also am looking forward to it. For all you know, I might actually make some new good friends out there … 🙂

Crisis Management

There are broadly three aspects of communication during a crisis:

1. Preparedness towards the crisis.

2. Management of the crisis.

3. Recovery from the crisis.

Five ways to go about effective crisis management:

  1. Identify the crisis.
  2. Identify the approach to manage the crisis.
  3. Share the brand’s view/holding statements with the media.
  4. Coordinate meetings with media/journalists to share your brand’s opinion.
  5. Maintain transparency in your communication during the crisis.

Always keep in mind – Every crisis is an opportunity!

For effective communication during a crisis

“A crisis cannot be managed; it can only be contained”.

The extent to how well the crisis can be contained however, depends on a lot of factors. It is first necessary to know what is a crisis and how a crisis is born.

There are broadly three parts that go into communication during a crisis:

1. What is happening.

2. What is being done.

3. What are the key messages being sent.

10 things to remember during a crisis:

1. In the immediate communications after a crisis is born, it is very important to use the right key words keeping in mind the relevance to the situation.

2. In certain situations, it is better to send out press statements than media statements.

3. Localizing the content in the communication is also equally important.

4. Always remember, you don’t talk to the media; you talk through the media.

5. Focus on facts and key messages.

6. Say it all and Say it fast.

7. Do not keep exclusivity in your communication.

8. Get communication around your brand’s point of view on the crisis in the media.

9. Credibility and investing in relationships with the media will ensure of your brand’s point of view.

10. Plan the content of communication, spokesperson and the mode of communication in par with situational details and intensity of the crisis.