Corporate Reputation Management – The Importance and Significance

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You may have an outstanding business plan. You may have a product that is brilliant. You may also have the greatest workers in the company working for you. But should you not need an excellent corporate reputation management strategy set up;.

Among the most significant parts of any company is its brand image. How can other folks see it – positively or negatively? If you’ve a company yourself, you should question how much control you really have over it. It’s essential to understand that outside powers can have just as much effect on your own company as possible, although that might seem like a strange statement.

A recent survey revealed that only 9% of companies in the Fortune 100 list had actual control over their branding. Working out how many of the ten listings revealed on the first page of Google were possessed by that business found this. So for example, let’s assume nine out of the first ten listings on Google were other sites where the owners remarked on the company in question. This would mean the firm itself had only 10% of management on that first page – the 10% maybe coming from its website. Read the rest of this entry »

Alpesh Nakrani, Paradigm Shift PR, wins laurels

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Alpesh Nakrani, age 27, a Paradigm Shift PR – A Division of Ulyssys Promotions Pvt Ltd, loyalist for the last 7 years has joined the PR Alpesh Nakraniindustry’s under 30 Hall Of Fame!

NSEL Investors’ Forum Case Study

Many of us would remember the Rs 5,600-crore  National Spot Exchange_Limited (NSEL) scam last year. Alpesh led an aggressive PR campaign to help investors recover their money. This included media engagement and planning peaceful protests in various parts of the country to show that investors were losing patience. Read the rest of this entry »

The good that men do…

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One of the first Public Relations professionals I knew has just died. More, I suspect, of a broken heart than any medical reason. But Nishit Kumar was a true PR man – he always promoted the good parts and played down the bad. The fact that he was a good guy allowed people to take advantage of him. And he would always let them. He liked people. He trusted people – very often, he trusted them too much. He lost money, went to the brink of bankruptcy, clawed his way back. But did he dwell on all this? No.

Outwardly always the happy-go-lucky guy, his immediate response to a ‘Thanx!’ message was always ‘So now you owe me three barrels!’ That meant beer – draught beer, which he always said tastes so much better than the bottled or canned stuff. Now he’s gone, and I don’t even remember how many barrels I still owe him for things he’s done for me.

We used to be fairly regular at Diamond Beer Bar & Restaurant on Mahatma Gandhi Road in Pune – which we old Puneites still refer to, decades after it was renamed, as Main Street or just Mains. One day, it rolled down the shutters. The owner decided that the licence fee, and the overheads including bribes to inspectors of various types, was not worth it – so now there’s a multinational apparel brand showroom there instead. Read the rest of this entry »

Biggest Obstacle for the Modi Government

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It is expected that the new government at the Centre will make haste to kick start the floundering economy. Among the best options available will be the removal of road blocks that have obstructed for many years huge investments in major projects involving infrastructure, mining and manufacturing. Some oft-quoted numbers put the scale of such potential investment at over Rs. 15 lakh crores.

The primary causes for the holdup of these projects are land acquisition and clearances involving forest and environment issues. Just as the previous Congress government found it extremely difficult to clear the stuck projects, so will the Modi government. Why? Because the three issues mentioned above are closely interlinked. Let me show how.

Take a map of the country. Overlay on this a map of the forested area of the country. On top of this mark the areas with large mineral resources (coal, iron ore, bauxite etc.) and, on top of all of this, mark the places with significant tribal population. At once, it will be clear that forests, mineral resources and tribal population occupy common tracts of land. In other words, you cannot disturb one without encroaching on the others. Read the rest of this entry »


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“Good morning, Sekhar! Is this a good time to talk?”

For one thing, it’s not morning – it’s 3 p.m, the middle of my siesta which, I’ve told every PR person I know, is from 1 to 3. For another, we have never met: what gives this bubbly infant the right to call me by my first name? Whatever happened to good old ‘Sir’ or at least ‘Mr Seshan’?! Or even ‘Uncle’, as the shopkeepers and auto-rickshaw drivers call me – on second thoughts, maybe not that much familiarity either…

Ok, I grunt. You have called, so tell me.

“Sekhar, my name is Anu, from Expert PR. This is about my client Zip Inc. Would you like to meet them and do a story?” Read the rest of this entry »

Changing Facets of Public Relations

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Changing Facets of Public Relations

Discerning newspaper readers must have noticed that the Congress Party did not even spare the communications agency that handled the election campaign for them. This was Dentsu, one of the most respected and topnotch global agencies which got the end of the stick for the party’s recent electoral debacle. Had the party come out with flying colors, it was unlikely that the agency would have got a pat on the back. Then all the credit would have gone to the RaGamThanamPallavi people and fossils in the party for doing a marvelous job!

The advertising and PR agencies have in fact a thankless job on hand. Maybe that’s what they mostly get paid for. Bouquets they seldom get, but there is no shortage of brickbats. This is especially true in the Indian context when over the last three decades or so the corporate sector startedincreasingly tapping the PR talent to put across their views, projecting them in proper light. But there is a problem. Many a company in the Indian corporate world have an in-house PR setup, or hire one on assignment, more as a piece of imitation jewelry without any store value than anything else. Read the rest of this entry »

India Votes

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The Politics and PR of BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party

India Votes

Pic courtesy:

As a voter and as a PR professional, this is how I look at Indian elections.

For the first time, I am seeing three parties fighting it out, three ideologies and three possible Prime Ministers. I am entering this argument without fear or favour to any of the parties.

The regional parties have no pan Indian footprint even though they might play a part in the final game of numbers before President Pranab Mukherjee calls in the party or coalition with the maximum seats to form the Government.

Talking of the President, whether he plays in a fair or biased manner will be a very important fact should situations requiring him to be a true upholder of the Constitution arise. Read the rest of this entry »

PR perspectives of Narayan Murthy and the Pope

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As a public relations professional, I can’t but compare and contrast the images and styles of Infosys’ Narayan Murthy and Pope Francis. Both have come up from mediocrity, both have struggled hard and both are today opinion leaders in their own right.

But there are many differences between them and their methodologies from a PR perspective.

Pope Francis is a simple man devoid of complications. He had a crush on a girl very early in life like most of us endearing him to us as a true human being.

Pope Francis was once a bouncer in a bar which exposes him, warts and all, quite apart from his lofty image today as the head of the Catholic Church.

Do you know that he paid for his own hotel bill while standing in the queue behind Fathers, who had lost out in the Papal race, after being anointed as the Pope? He could have thrown rank and moved ahead in the queue.

Most important of all, despite tremendous opposition and even the wrath of the Mafia, Pope Francis is cleaning up the Augean stables in the Catholic world. He has a gentle way of delivering not-so-gentle blows and nobody is spared, least of all the Priests themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Good Reputation Management

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Once again my client almost got conned. An agency from Spain told him that he had won an award. After making him agree via email to coming to Paris, yes Paris, at his own cost to collect the “prestigious” award, they said, at the penultimate moment, that some 5 lakh INR would be payable to them by him for “event management” and miscellaneous charges. Thank God my client, for whom my agency Paradigm Shift PR, rated amongst the leading public relations agency in India (I have testimonials to prove this), had the wisdom to consult me on whether he should really make the trip and fork out such monies.

Luckily for my client above and me, the same agency had just contacted another prestigious client of my PR firm in India. I had won both clients after a high pitched multi PR agency battle and Paradigm Shift had won both clients because we were able to provide more than plain vanilla PR. This meant that we would rise above plain press releases, giving value additions like strategic advice, investor relations, reputation management, one on one media interviews and the like which only good PR firms can provide. Both clients had said during the pitches that even if chosen our agreement could be terminated by them in one day if we were found to be lacking in any of the above qualities. Read the rest of this entry »