Beating the heat…

Summers… Just the thought of it brings out beads of sweat off our mind. The scorching heat… The dry burning rays of sun… The prickly heat… The list just goes on and on… However, as a child, I always looked forward to summers for many reasons.

Although heat was a spoiler, summers came with a lot of fun. To begin with, summers meant longggggg vacations. No school means no daily homework! 🙂 Come summers and it was time to pack our bags and go out travelling. Whether it was travelling to new places with family or a long visit to the grandparents, it was always looked forward to.

Summers meant fun and mastii with cousins. Pampering by grandparents and mostly importantly the freedom from the reign of the parents. Summers gave you the freedom to do what you want(well almost!), eat what you want- to a certain extent you could even fuss about the food you wanted. 😉

And the best part about summer is that summer is also the season of my favorite – The king of fruits, Mangoes and the super yummy Jackfruit. Summers of my childhood have been mainly mango milk shakes and the sweet yellow bulbs of jackfruit.

My grandparents as well as my house in Mangalore had a couple of mango and jackfruit trees in our backyard. Our ears were trained to hear even the faintest sound of a mango falling from the tree and we would run to the backyard in search of that mango and the one who found it would proudly flaunt it as though it were a medal earned at the Olympics! 😀

So yes, this was what I did last summer, and the summer before that and the one before that and every summer before that! 🙂

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.

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!

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!

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.

Know about Crisis

We’ve all been hearing of people and/or brands undergoing crisis. But what do you really mean by crisis and when can it be assumed that a person or brand is said to be in crisis?

When something w.r.t to a product or service has gone wrong and the media has started writing about it, is when a crisis arises.

Crisis can be broadly classified under five categories:

1. People Crisis – When there’s an abuse of any kind , violence,unethical practices or fraud involved.

2. Environmental Crisis – When there’s an issue with emission or pollution.

3. Financial Crisis- Issues relating to bungling, bankruptcy, losses, bad management, unethical bribery.

4. Contamination- Issues related to food, drugs, adulteration etc.

5. Disaster – Any kind of crashes (aircraft,train etc), natural/man-made calamities.

Easy on the brains – Are they?

I was watching TV and half of the showtime was taken by the commercials, some good and cute ones, some annoyingly irritating and some just irritating stupid. So I decided to write up on one the ads I happened to see.

 

The Byju’s ad is about improving the getting the young children to increase their interest in the most dreaded subject Mathematics. The Ad shows how interestingly something as boring as circles and areas related to circles will be taught very interestingly and in the most simple manner at Byju’s.

What I liked about the Ad: 

Byju’s is trying to emphasis on the fact that if the children are sent to them, they would fall in love with the boring Math. I liked the way the Ad has used the illustration of how the area of a circle is related to the area of a triangle. Finding the areas of mathematical figures is quite a confusing topic. Using this topic to catch the interest of the audience which include children and the parents is a smart move. The transitions between the visualizations is also very smoothly done. The only way to make mathematics interesting is by finding connects between the concepts which will make the subject easier to learn and remember. Through the ad, Byju’s has very effectively communicated their ability to find connects which are quite interesting as well as easy to remember and relate to, thus, increasing the prospects of having more parents and children enrolling with them.

What I did not like about the Ad:

I did not like the presentation of the ad in terms of the presenter used. The presented has a slight regional accent which at times can get a bit concerning to the parents as they would not want their children to pick up any sort of regionally effected accent. Also, in the ad it is very obvious that the presenter is using a reading aid to read out his lines. Parents always prefer confident individuals teaching their children so that their kids also turn out to be confident individuals. Hence I feel that this is a very strong negative point against the ad. I also did not like the colors used in the visualization of the circle and the triangle in terms of being too bright. The colors are too bright and to a certain extent hurts my eye. Hence, watching the ad on a personal device other than the TV, I find it as strain to my eye . I had to watch and listen to the ad at least a couple of times of understand the exact purpose as there is no mention of reference to the activity illustrated.

How would I make the Ad better:

First of all I would begin with changing the presenter to a more confident looking individual. Someone who even if reading the script with the aid, would still manage to seem more confident and smart. Also, I would ensure that the presenter I select would not be influenced with any sort of accent. In the beginning of the ad, I would make the presenter announce what is the purpose of the example and the connection. For e.g add a line which mentions the purpose being finding the area of a circle using the triangle. I would also use a more subtle colors or reduced brightness for the visualization to make the ad easy on the eyes.