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India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 2 Issue 3 – May 07

Published by Prime Point Foundation


(Supported by Chennai PR Club)
PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor
“Many CEOs assume high knowledge even in grey areas“

Vice-President of a mid- Corporate CEOs do not understand the


sized Corporate calls up communication dynamics.
a PR Agency and wants
to hold a Press Very unfortunately, the Business
Conference on the Schools do not provide sufficient
ensuing Saturday night knowledge of PR and Communication
to announce their sensibilities. Many Indian Corporate
branch opening. The CEOs ‘assume’ themselves to be more
official informs that their Chairman competent and knowledgeable even in
would be free only on Saturday nights. many unknown areas, including
He expects National media, including communication, beyond their
Televisions to cover this branch competent field.
opening announcement.
This leads to lot of misconceptions and
In another instance, a CEO with forty idiosyncrasies while they deal with
years of corporate experience gets media and other communication
angry if the release is vetted by the PR related functions. Instead of assuming
Agency and insists his version is final. to possess more knowledge, in their
grey areas, they should try to take the
When we discussed such numerous guidance of competent communication
instances in the group, our Editorial professionals, as they do with other
board decided to focus on the theme professionals like lawyers, doctors,
“Corporate Misconceptions and company secretaries and Chartered
Idiosyncrasies” during this issue. Accountants. Indian Business Schools
should include proper curriculum to
With the advent of liberalization and make the future managers to
globalization, Corporates are facing lot understand nuances of communication
of competition both locally and at dynamics properly. .
multinational level. It is a matter of
great concern that many of the
K. Srinivasan
prpoint@gmail.com

PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine


• An exclusive interview with Mr K
Ramasubramanian, Mg. Director, • Extracts from the wiki views
Masscom PR, Coimbatore • Views from Senior and Junior
• Expert views on by Mr professionals
R.Gopalakrishnan and Mr
R.Ramamurthy
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PR-eXCLUSIVE
“Corporates should understand media dynamics ”

Listen to the full interview through podcast at


http://www.primepointfoundation.org/presense0507.htm

Mr K. Rama demanded that their CEO's interview


subramanian, should be carried by a leading English
Founder and daily with picture in the front page. I
Managing declined to handle that assignment.
Director, He was also not interested in learning
Masscom PR (I) on the dynamics of media.
Pvt. Limited,
Coimbatore is • Many of them are under the
one of the senior impression that PR can do hardcore
PR practitioners. selling of their products/services
He has been handling clients of replacing advertisements.
different segments from different parts
of the country. • At times, many companies even
demand that their contact numbers,
In an exclusive interview to PR-e- website address and email ids need to
Sense, he lists out few ‘Corporate be carried with the news /feature
Misconceptions’ from his experience. stories, which may not happen always.
Excerpts:
• In the recent times, many
• Many of the CEOs and Corp Com Mumbai/Delhi based Corporates just
personnel are not aware of the media send a release (that would invariably
dynamics, structure of media have no local relevance to our
organisations and their functioning. region) asking us to "somehow" get
them carried in leading publications.
• Few of them also carry wrong This trend is on the rise nowadays.
perception that journalists could be
bought over for few hundred rupees or • Few Corporates say that they
other means of inducements. heavily advertise in a particular
newspaper and hence that paper
• Many of them expect the press to should publish their news prominently
cover their organisation's internal as a reciprocal gesture.
events that would have no news value
or information in the public interest. • Most of the CEOs want to shield
themselves from the communication
• Some CEOs try to check the loop of PR and media personnel for
professional competence of journalists reasons best known to them. They
by demanding their profile before think that they can wield some power
setting /sitting for interviews. only by being inaccessible to media.
This often proves detrimental to them
• Many expect the PR person to at the time of crisis.
"push" the press for carrying their
stories prominently with pictures. A Mr Ramasubramanian may be reached
huge construction and engineering at coimbatore.ram@gmail.com
company's corp com person once
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PR –e- STIGE – Expert views

Mr R Gopalakrishnan, Business Editor, The Hindu aarjee@thehindu.co.in


“Corporates should understand media priorities”

Corporates and PR Some Corporates focus on the release


Agencies offer of products in the name of press
media opportunities release and corporate functions. This
like press will not work really. This type of
conferences or practices should be avoided.
exclusive interviews
to all the media and PR Agencies and Corporate
expect all of them communicators, when they work as
to respond intermediary between the Corporates
positively. They and the Media, should understand the
should understand that every needs of each other better.
television channel or newspaper
cannot take advantage of such media I suspect, some times, few Corporates
opportunities offered. It all depends and Media Agencies plan media events
on the priority, focus and space or press releases to counter the impact
available in the concerned media or of media events or press releases
publication. Media can respond only to planned by their competitors. This
some of the opportunities. type of practices will not help anybody.

We cannot respond to the business Some of the Corporates insist on


plans or financial results of closely held publication of Awards or rankings.
or private limited companies, the same This depends on the media’s
way, we respond to the financial assessment of the importance and
results of listed companies. credibility of the organisations who
give the award.

Mr R Ramamurthy, Industrialist, Member of CII and FICCI gemini@eth.net


“Corporates should take suggestions of competent professionals”

Corporates take decisions at Managing exposure of the subject to be


Director level, implemented.
particularly in the
new subjects, like For example, they may insist on a
media relations, press conference to be arranged in the
press conferences, same evening, just because they are
press releases, etc. available on that day. They may not
Now Corporates be aware, that arraning a press
have to face new conference involves lot of procedures
situations, which and preparations.
were not there
earlier. Corporates may not be aware My request to the Corporates, who
of nuances of particular domain. may not be having full exposure on
Inview of this, some of the Corporates the subject, is to take the advice of
may insist on their own knowledge and the competent professionals and act
according to their suggestions.
.
Podcast: You can listen to the audio of Mr Gopalakrishnan and Mr Ramamurthy in
the podcast at http://www.primepointfoundation.org/presense0507.htm
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PR –e- Views – From the Wiki

We had requested the members of ‘Image


Management’ and ‘prpoint’ groups to share some of
the misconceptions, based on their past experience.

We had provided an exclusive Wiki for this purpose


to record the views in the link
http://editthis.info/wiki/corporate

Excerpts from the Wiki

Mr T N Ashok

Corporates ( CEO's.CFOs) believe that speculation


a press release about an that could be
announcement should be written in a damaging to
fashion that will please its the company.
shareholders and not the news media
which is expected to project.. The fact Corporates
is, if a news release is presented in a feel that they
news form it is picked up by can present
newspapers and also better their viewpoints better to the world
understood by shareholders. through the media, only through five
star lunches, dinners and expensive
Corporates believe that meeting the gifts. The fact is that it proves counter
media frequently is a dangerous productive with the serious minded
practice . The fact is that if you meet journalists -- if you have nothing big to
them regularly you are seen as say don’t meet the press; if you have
transparent and willing to share something to say even a cup of tea
information. You buy goodwill and would do; you can be on the front
avoid a hostile press. Corporates feel page depending upon the news you
that avoiding the media during a crisis make.
is the best option. The fact is it is the
worst thing to do. You end up creating
suspicion in the minds of the media
and open up unnecessary media

Anonymous

Recently, Journalists in turn were provided pick


there was a up and drop to the venue. The event
launch of a witnessed delay in the start of the
brand new Car conference and end result was less as
held in expected. It was late realisation but
Chennai. The the agency was helpless.
venue for the
launch was fixed near the airport, that A small discussion with the agency
too in the evening so that the CEO would have averted loss of extra
would find easy to reach the place to mileage out of the launch.
address the media.
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PR –e- Views – From the Wiki

Mr Tushar
Some senior management officials of and with a confirmation from MR. CEO
many companies (read CEOs) have that he met the big boss of other
more than 200 company.
numbers of
journalists on Our dear friend had a tough time
their cell phone retaining his job and the other party
and they pick up did not hire him - stating that we have
any incoming call no poaching agreement with that
from them in company and we dont hire people from
order to give them opinion or views on there. Mr. CEO is working with a third
the company, competition, policy and company now and he doesn’t have any
so on.. They are always available to journalists' numbers in his cell phone.
media. However, as PR professional my advice
is never do it Having a media friendly
One such CEO had the similar ability CEO is a boon to PR guys but he or
and he boasted about his PR skills to she should understand where to draw
the agency. One day Mr. CEO told a the line and behave with responsibility
very friendly journalist that he went and care.
and met Chairman of the rival
company ‘X’ for the position of CEO. Golden rule is: be always
Next day - it was a Headline "X on accessible but not always
expansion, plans to poach CEO from Y" available.

Mr Gerry McCusker gerry@prdisasters.com


sexually inappropriate material to
children. In responding to the
criticism, it went on the attack saying
that any 'inappropriateness' existed
solely in the dirty minds of those
making the allegations. This
defensively entrenched position only
served to fuel the fires of additional
(critical) media coverage and stir up
the participation of other activist
'Them' and 'Us' mentality - Some groups.
corporations (and unfortunately PR
personnel) view a lot of their Lesson to learn: Today's internet-
stakeholder relationships as essentially linked communications environment
one way and adversarial, rather than no longer needs to be about the one
two way and mutually beneficial way push of information; it's an
partnerships. ongoing dialogue. So forget 'them and
us'; PRs, clients, stakeholders, media
and activists are all dining at the same
A leading US fashion retailer, for
table. As with having friends over to
example, received substantial negative
dine, be polite, be cordial to ensure
feedback from the media and key
your hospitality is reciprocated.
stakeholders because of marketing
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PR –e- Views – From the Wiki

Mr Arun Arora

It is tempting on part of the media and be ready with info on the company,
CEO to interact occasionally. PR industry and perhaps trends in the
professionals in such cases just sector. A journo needs information -
become mute witness. One way to we can build our credibility by being
avoid such happening is to learn and able to provide information - time and
gather sufficient knowledge - to be again.
able to value add to a journo's query -

Anonymous
initiatives which showcase the
Corporates and agencies are to companies drive towards a cause
understand that importance is to be makes news worthy and also from the
given to news worthiness of an media perspectives valuable reporting.
initiative rather than PR for PRs sake. Agencies are required to become
Corporates are to understand that all more mature in putting their foot down
their marketing initiatives cannot be if the initiative is not worth it.
leveraged through PR - but rather

Anonymous

All Management bodies like CII, FICCI important issue. They should organise
and other Chambers conduct seminars programmes to CEOs to sensitise them
and workshop on various issues. But on various PR and communication
they never show any concern on this challenges.

PR – e- Groups – Have you joined discussion groups?

Image Management Group – Second largest yahoo group on PR with nearly 1500
global members. Click here
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Image_Management/

PRpoint Group - The largest Indian group for PR/CorpComm /academic


professionals with 700 plus members. Click here
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/prpoint/

New Media Forum Group – A group for Indian journalists with around 350
members. Click here
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/New_Media_Forum/

India Vision Group – A group for Indian youth on India Vision 2020 with around
1200 members. Click here
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/India_Vision_2020/

Subscribe to this ezine PR-e-Sense – Click here


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7

PR eTTY - Relax –Self-confidence can lead you to success

by John D. Rockefeller, one of the


richest men in the world!

"I can erase my money worries in an


instant!" he realized. But instead, the
executive decided to put the un-
cashed cheque in his safe. Just
knowing it was there might give him
the strength to work out a way to save
his business, he thought. With
renewed optimism, he negotiated
better deals and extended terms of
payment. He closed several big sales.
Within a few months, he was out of
debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to


the park with the un-cashed cheque.
At the agreed-upon time, the old man
appeared. But just as the executive
was about to hand back the cheque
and share his success story, a nurse
A business executive was deep in debt came running up and grabbed the old
and could see no way out. Creditors man.
were closing in on him. Suppliers were
demanding payment. He sat on the "I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried.
park bench, head in hands, wondering "I hope he hasn't been bothering you.
if anything could save his company
from bankruptcy. Suddenly an old man He's always escaping from the rest
appeared before him. home and telling people he's John D.
Rockefeller." And she led the old man
away by the arm.
"I can see that something is troubling
you," he said. The astonished executive just stood
there, stunned. All year long he'd been
After listening to the executive's woes, wheeling and dealing, buying and
the old man said, "I believe I can help selling, convinced he had half a million
you." dollars behind him.

He asked the man his name, wrote out Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't
a check, and pushed it into his hand the money, real or imagined, that had
saying, "Take this money. Meet me turned his life around. It was his new
here exactly one year from today, and found self-confidence that gave him
you can pay me back at that time." the power to achieve anything he went
Then he turned and disappeared as after.
quickly as he had come.
Source: unknown
The business executive saw in his
hand a cheque for $500,000, signed
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PResenters of PReSENSE

Consulting Editor Consulting Editor Editor Associate Editor


Ms S Vidya, CES Onyx Ms Uma, Corporate P A Narrendiran, S. Sakthi Prasanna
Commu nicator Blue Lotus PR Hanmer and Partners PR

Associate Editor and Senior Web consultant Student, Anna University PodJockey
Pod-Jockey M M Sevakumar N Satish Shvetha Sridhar
Ms Veena Vinod PR Executive
Good Relations PR

Publisher and chief Editor


K. Srinivasan (Prime Point Foundation)

Feedback and contributions to:


ezinepresense@gmail.com

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