2

You save yourself..or….

You save yourself…or you remain unsaved.- remarked Alice Sebold, and this was in connection to that one horror word- ‘Rape’.

Suddenly, why this post? Oh, wait… India has been once again shaken up due to rape. ‘#Delhigangrape.

Yes, after months of the Assam molestation case, Indian once again shuddered due to a similar case. This time a gangrape of girl child in Delhi.  What a shame. An incident needs to happen, to wake up a country suddenly from its slumber. So, this country wakes up only when some incident happens. Tweets pouring in. #Stopthisshame is the latest trending topic on Twitter. Everyone wants to suddenly blog about it, get $0.02 space in leading newspapers, magazines and debate on national T.V shows.  Suddenly the elite of the country (including the media) wakes up. They’ve found a new topic. #Stopthisshame . One more country to slam the government. Fine, you do it. Ask them about, which government should then come to power, they’ll say- “Let’s remove these bunch of idiots. And then we’ll see.”

Absolutely wonderful.

Some people are talking because they feel hapless. This is one moment of which they can take advantage, in a hope that their stories of terror and horror would be heard. And perhaps- the only hope that may be their  attackers would meet their justice. Then there is another brigade- who watch silently. Perhaps they have defaulted in some way. Perhaps, someone close to them has been traumatized some day, somewhere.  And then there is a category- which will not be recognized as rape.. because it is unnatural..

Yes- man raping a woman is rape! What would you then say about- woman raping a man, a man raping a man, a woman raping a woman??!

That- Now that is not rape? How many such incidents happen. Are we even aware of it? What is rape?- A rape is a ‘sexual act forced’ by one human being on another human being, irrespective of gender, caste, race, country, etc. But we see, only women case coming to the light.. or sometimes not coming to the light.. shaming them publicly…

And there lies my argument. In our global world, with special mention to India, because I live here… ‘woman’ being raped is a darling subject. However, what we forget is rapes can happen with anybody, anyone. Men, who rape of women can also be raped. It’s not that rapes happen only to women. Women are soft targets. May be! But that doesn’t mean men are not raped.

Don’t believe me?? Consider these:

  • About 10% of rape victims are men
  • Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, US points out that 71% of male victims were first raped before their 18th birthday; 16.6% were 18-24 years old, and 12.3% were 25 or older
  • Human Rights Watch Report suggests that 22% of male inmates have been raped at least once during their incarceration; i.e. around 420,000 prisoners each year.

Seem foreign statistics, consider this media report:

An India man in Dehradun was raped by a gang of girls. Full rport here (http://www.indiatribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8737:man-raped-by-a-gang-of-girls-claims-perpetrators-shot-mms&catid=125:general-news&Itemid=400)

Case can be held legitimate that any body can rape anyone? That men can rape women and women can rape men? The ratio of women raping men might be less. But that doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist.

Now what does this mean.  Are we obsessed with sex? Are we sadists, who take pleasure in troubles and cries of others?  Perhaps, the problem lies here. The problem is with one word ‘sex’ and our definition of ‘sex’ , ‘rights and wrongs.’

Sex is for men. Sex is not for women. Women can’t enjoy sex. Women can’t pleasure themselves. It is men’s right to have sex. Men are superior to women. Right? No! The definition problem is not with sex, but the problem lies in the human brain. That one human being is superior to other. That, human being is superior to another on the basis of sex, caste, education, gender, occupation, age, experience and etc. etc. That since one human being has an advantage over other human being in some or the other form, therefore he has the right to tell you what is wrong or what is right. Since he is superior to you in experience and age, he knows the ways of the world. Since, he is superior to you in terms of occupation, status and money, he can say whatever he wants and do whatever he pleases. Since, he is superior to you gender wise- you are supposed to cook, you are supposed to take care of the family, or not wear short skirts.

We cry out loud – when someone said- Chowmein causes men to rape?! Oh! Is it really? Then who asked you to eat chowmein, don’t eat it. The Chinese and Americans, might give you to eat noodles, fries and Chowmein. But god or whoever, your biological conditions rather, have given you brains. Use them! Don’t eat chowmein, if you think, it causes rapes! For god sake, it is so clear- It is not about superiority or being meek as it is about owning up. We human beings- Just don’t want to be responsible.

The beautiful city is full of garbage. Government at fault. Balika Vadhu tops the K-Serial charts. Ekta Kapoor is to be blamed. Kids talk rudely to parents. Western culture influence. You get pimples. Blame the junk food. You are being mistreated, under underutilized or over utilized at work- blame your colleagues. The world did not end, blame the mayans! Rape happens- blame the chowmein.

But, conveniently, we are not at fault. We did not do anything, it is always the responsibility of the government, the prime-minister, etc. etc. If you argue logic, they will say “why have we elected them. What have we voted them for?” Just electing them, voting for them doesn’t put an end to your responsibilities. You want to end a brutality like rapes, here’s what we can do collectively together:

1. Sex education at the grass-roots: Tell your 10 yr olds- Sex is not an object of gratification. It is a need. So fulfill it. Don’t be ashamed to talk about it in a meaningful way.

2.Respect the other human-being: You have a need, ok. But you don’t have to kill other person to achieve your need. Always ask. Don’t force.

3.Injustice doesn’t have criteria: Injustice happens with a human being, irrespective of gender, caste, religion, nationality, etc.

4. You are responsible: We live in a civilization. Every action has a reaction. Voting and electing people doesn’t mean you are free. Making sure that they do your work for which you elected them is even bigger a responsibility. You are as much as responsible for anything that happens, as much as your government.

5. Stop the blame-game- Yes, stop blaming the government. You are as imperfect as your government. You are as imperfect as your country. Everyone is responsible. We are responsible to each other. Paying taxes, doesn’t mean end of the world.

Yes, it is the responsibility of the government of to punish the criminals. But as a part of the society, it is your responsibility to stop manufacturing your criminals. Stop pleasing everyone. Stop talking about ‘issues’ only when things happen.

Stop blaming the government now and take action. Kids, talk to your parents about sex. Parents talk to your kids about practicing safe-sex. Talk to your kids about who are lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, cross-dressers. Tell your boys and girls, how to protect themselves. Tell them, the hazards of raping each other. Tell them about ‘self-respect’, tell them about ‘respecting each other’s opinions’, voice and thoughts.

Tell them, why there are women reservations, why there are six seats reserved in a bus compartment. Why some women feel that there should be no reservations because they are equal. Tell them, why some feminists feel a contradiction. Tell them, why some men make faces, when told them about ‘ladies seat’, or ‘ladies special trains’.

Tell your boys and girls, moms and dads that ‘why rape shouldn’t be shameful.’ Tell them that rape is not invited. Tell them that ‘rapes don’t happen because of clothes. But because of mindsets.’

Tell them- “Talk! Speak up, if you are raped or someone tries to. Because it is not shameful. It is our right to protect ourselves and loved ones.”

Tell- “We don’t marry to have sex and procreate or keep our generations -to-generations alive. We are together, because we live each other. We human beings need love and someone to take care of and to be taken care of. ”

Tell them,  talk now! Take action. Tweet to vent your anger. But, simultaneously, contribute to your society, your family.

Get your ideas clear and pass them on to your people- kids, families, friends, colleagues, irrespective of sex.

And see the world change—– to be a better place!

better-person

0

If I could speak, you would have known,

If I could speak, you would have known,

Green is the grass, blues are so the skies..

If I could speak, you would have known,

The ocean is so deep, streams of it don’t let me sleep

If I could speak, you would have known,

Hustle of the grass is what all I seek

If I could speak, you would have known,

 I don’t like to squeak,

If I could speak, you would have known,

Makes no sense, whatsoever I speak,

If I could speak, you would have known,

I don’t like to cry, but annoy you…

If I could speak, you would have known,

 Why am I darling of my dad, while mom refuses and calls me a meek

If I could speak, you would have known,

 I dream, dream lot about the ground beneath

If I could speak, you would have known,

I want to speak, speak so much the way river could overflow…

If I could speak, you would have known,

 I have dreams, dreams in my dreams,

If I could speak, you would have known,

That you are not alone, that I live with you like the brightest star of the north pole,

Alas, not a word remains now.. I think but why..

Perhaps, only , if I could speak, you would have known..

Hurt not you I, hurt only myself so…Image

 

 

0

What are some of the best travel industry PR campaigns you’ve ever seen?

Do we have any from India? Please share.

Answer by Paul T Gant:

The best one I have been is by Tourism Queensland for its campaign on 'The Best Job In The World'

The premise of this campaign is that Tourism Queensland invite people all over the world apply to be a 'caretaker of islands' in the Great Barrier Reef for a period of 6 months.

The job responsibilities mainly entails producing web video, blogging, unloading photos, etc. highlighting the experience living in the island. It's mainly publicity driven.

The renumeration is quite generous, with £70000 salary, luxury accommodation and transportation around the island in the reef.

The result of this campaign:

With a budget of US$1M, this campaign managed to generate publicity worth over US$100M. This advertisement received 34,684 applicants from over 201 countries. The promotion website islandfreejob.com had 6,849,504 visits, 47,548,514 page views with an average of 8.62 minutes spent on the site [1].

The company that came up with this campaign also won several awards such as D&AD Black pencil, Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, etc. [2][3]

For more information on this campaign, click on the following link:
http://blogs.ionis-group.com/profs/drillech/pub/queensland/Best-job-in-the-world.pdf

[1]  http://blogs.ionis-group.com/profs/drillech/pub/queensland/Best-job-in-the-world.pdf
[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jun/04/dandad-awards-2010
[3]  http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/25/best-job-in-world-cannes

View Answer on Quora

0

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If there is fire in your wings,

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If you love a rose and get pricked by a thorn,

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If on the path of light, you meet darkness,

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If in your basket of colour, white is the only colour that repeats,

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If you love someone, but they don’t reciprocate,

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If you only lose and there are no more wins…

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If they cheat and call you the culprit

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If you lose yourself in that gamble, with nothing more to win

Don’t worry- you are still alive..

If you lose your job,

If someone breaks your heart,

If your eyes only cry with no tint of a smile,

Close your eyes, tell your heart, the world will always wins… That’s just the way of things…

At last, tell your heart,

Don’t worry- you are still ‘alive..’

Image

15

Public Relations- The Comedy Circus

Disclaimer: Yes, I am a PR consultant. This blog does not reflect my employer’s opinions. Being a passionate practitioner and a human being at last, I feel sad at the state of Public Relations as a profession. This blog is not intended at any community or any entity in this world. It is a reflection and passionate effort to may be put some light on the life of a ‘PR consultant’- which is not easy.

Also a pledge and promise to all the stakeholders- media, clients and consumers that in whatever individual capacity, I can, will always try to provide you value through my profession 🙂
P.S- Read at your own peril and time. Too, long a post   😉

Public Relations is a comedy circus. At least  that is what certain people would tend to think so. Honestly speaking I too feel the same. But I would also like to give some reasons as to why I think so.

For the sake of making this a neutral write-up without taking any sides and willingness to hear all the opinions equally, I am going to incorporate some thoughts of people who might be connected directly or indirectly to any kind of ‘Public Relations.’

I have been in the ‘communications business’ for more than 2 years now, and honestly speaking I have been enjoying my stint, having made some beautiful memories with my clients, colleagues, co-workers and the media. Yes, this is the profession, has also helped me ‘earn’ my friends in the media, ones whom I value and adore. Not because they are in the media, but they have been through my ups and downs, both personally and professionally.

The reason, I felt like writing this piece today is the incident that happened with a travel brand- Cleartrip- (http://www.cleartrip.com/).

Details here: http://blog.cleartrip.com/2012/12/05/why-we-fired-our-pr-agency/

___________________________________________________________________________

What happened next is this:

Fired! Cleartrip discharges Buzz PR after “three strikes” of spamminghttp://tnw.to/h0Z5N  by

@shlema

Then the supporters:

Perfectly done. “@Cleartrip: We fired our PR agency yesterday, here’s what happened: http://bit.ly/QGxv83 

Kudos @cleartrip “Why we fired our PR agency”. Everyone else, take note. http://blog.cleartrip.com/

 ‏@puneetsays

Awesomeness RT @Cleartrip: We fired our PR agency yesterday, here’s what happened: http://bit.ly/QGxv83 

___________________________________________________________________________

Having seen all these tweets and the blog, I was quite curious and thought about the incident hard. After a lot of thinking and confusion caused due to my timeline on Twitter (Twitter is the confusion creator in my life!), I clearly felt that what Buzz PR did was completely wrong. Yes, being a communications consultant, they should have tweaked their communique and shared it with a ‘targeted audience.’ In short, identify audiences who would really care to receive the note in question.

Having been here for a little long now, I am guessing that most probably, this was done by some poor junior chap, who might be on fire now, because he’s probably going to be fired at for this ‘blunder.’ Poor fella will in turn curse his seniors for not ‘advising him in advance.’

Cut to what Cleartrip did- Well, respect them for their stance to keep the customer at the highest pedestal. But seriously, there was no need for them to shame their ‘partner’ publicly. Agree, that Buzz PR already had been given ‘two warnings.’ However, I don’t understand this:

@greyoceanblues @mojorojo We had no intention of announcing this until @BrandStoryboard picked it up: https://twitter.com/BrandStoryboard/status/276226775313420288 …

They did it because, some channel tweeted about it? I clearly don’t understand this. They could have been more graceful about it perhaps? Why not clear your stance because you believe in it and not because somebody tweeted about it? This is perhaps called being ‘opportunist’ and not really ‘customer-caring?’ Huh!
Also on another note, wouldn’t it be called ‘customer data’ breach if, Cleartrip shared the customer details with their PR agency, without prior permission from the bloggers? And why is Buzz PR not responding to what is perhaps one of its greatest undoings?
And to top it all there is now confusion over which agency did it really fire 😐

@tinucherian Now I’m confused. I also have confirmation email from @Cleartrip saying they’ve sorted it out with Perfect Relations.

Being a PR consultant, it is perhaps high time that they ‘communicate’ their side of the ‘story’. But perhaps they will not for reasons, best known to them.
I was going to let this topic rest in peace. Until these tweets, caught my attention-

So I guess one shouldn’t hire Buzz PR because they spam. Or any other PR agency because they do the same.

@VikasTexts

Not sure if @cleartrip will ever find an Indian PR agency that never spams.. All The Best!

Another ex-consultant and a good friend expressed his expressed his consternation at Cleartrip’s approach:

“While Cleartrip may have acted in a manner in keeping with their internal commitment to customer approach and communication standards, this particular case – of naming the PR agency, whose services they have since discontinued, on their blog – comes across as unprofessional, and should ideally be liable for some manner of legal action from the aggrieved agency. While there is no doubt about the point that the agency was in the wrong, using Cleartrip’s contact lists as they did for other clients, naming the agency will impact not only the agency’s business, but its employees as well – particularly those wishing to proceed with their careers in other consultancies and agencies in the future. By publicly tarnishing the name of the agency, Cleartrip has also cast doubts on the integrity of the agency’s employees, and this in itself should be considered defamatory in a legal sense. Cleartrip would have been well advised to keep the name of their agency out of its official blog post, which they failed to do, thereby reflecting not only a sense of unprofessionalism in this regard, but also causing potential damage to the reputations of individuals currently employed by the agency.”

Woah! That was it. I had to write this post. What kind of generalizing where people doing? I am scared. I am worried for my profession and therefore decided to tell you-

Image

Public Relations- The word is self-explanatory no? We have clients and we manage their ‘relationships.’ Unlike, what most people think, clients don’t have only ‘media’ as their ‘sweethearts’, PR people are also dealing with their relationships with customers, investors, critics, competitors. industry bodies etc. We are multi-taskers. We have to maintain multiple relationships. Sometimes, it causes stress. Especially, when your boy-friend lashes at you, because you spend more time with your family. Understand the analogy?

If yes, let’s come to point number-2. If no, I guess you need to understand that all I am saying is ‘Public Relations’ is not a profession. You yourself, use it in your life day-in day out. Think of yourself as a brand- Have you been to keep all your relationships happy, at any given point in time? You have your answer  🙂
I will try and make it more simple for you….

Image

Image

Image

Yes, these are the kinds of client briefs we get and these are the expectations. Sundar, sasta and tikaav. (Beautiful, cheap and sustainable!) 

On this, the obvious reaction is:

Image

Even more obvious reaction then is:

Image

And then off course responses from the media such as ” Yes, I will include your client’s quote” and then not including it in the copy of the article, or arriving late for an interview scheduled with a CEO of a top-notch corporate firm, not carrying a corrigendum, even while the email proves that the writer might be at fault, does not help a PR consultant.

Also, just to clear the air- When a PR consultant spams you with phones and calls with a ‘pitch’ usually, they themselves may not be fully convinced of it, and are doing it simply  because ‘paapi-pet ka sawaal hai.’ Don’t publishers sometimes ask the editors not to publish something, because there is an ad coming?? Yes, samething. Hope you got it 😦

Also, when we tell you that the client is  “not available”, most of the times, it is true. Can I swear on my mom for this? 😦

And thus, you find spammers and creeps reaching out to you. 🙂

PR consultants sometimes have to do things, even when they are not in agreement. Critics might argue and say, “Tell no to them, but you won’t because you will lose business.”

Just one question – “This happens only in PR? No, hold on. Don’t we see this everywhere. Editorial teams, marketing teams, etc etc.

As I had posted in one of my earlier posts, in PR, unlike what some sections of the society would like to think- not all ‘outcomes’ are controllable.

In such situations- the best thing a PR person can do and invariably does is this:

  1. PR consultants don’t get disheartened
  2. Learn from such PR case studies. Observe and analyse- what could have been avoided and use this experience when faced with a similar situation
  3. Be open and honest. Accept that your are human and mistakes can happen. The trick is to ‘learn, imbibe and move on.’
  4. While in any agency, junior consultants are in charge of media relations, be in the loop, oversee their working styles and create systems and processes that would simplify the process of ‘getting the right news to the right people.’ 

As a senior colleague and a mentor remarks, ”

” Training training training with a dash of common sense along with a better understanding of the profession and sensitizing the client. Accept the problem and learn to communicate effectively rather than spam. Let desperation get the better of you but only if you have the credibility of your stakeholders will you get away with it.”
And change this———->
Image
Off course, just taking these examples, will not ensure that such incidents are avoided. However, hopefully, sense will prevail and finally people will understand that
0

Alone

Alone are my eyes

Alone are my dreams,

Alone only, I keep playing in  the river streams

Alone are my fears

Alone are tears

Alone only I walk down the alleys, alone I walk on the beach

Alone I keep on hearing the world scream

Alone are my roads, alone are my boats

Alone are my journeys,

Then again alone are our pathways.

On this alone road, if I meet you some day,

Would you say that two’s a crowd?

Alone-8

0

Musings of a ‘PRed’ animal

After seeing a lot of earth-shattering, tiding through the lurking apocalypse, floods of ‘anti-corruption’ sentiments, going crazy over the ‘rise of human being into a god’ (Yeah, I have been reading a lot about the Melhuan dude!), I finally decided to get back to business- I decided to come back to the real ‘digital’ ocean, thanks to the ‘blogathon’ initiated for Texties (Text100 employees, we are! 🙂 ) in India.

With 2 eventful years under my PR belt, I thought the timing was just right – to spill some PR ‘gyan’. 

While I was at it, I decided not to do that! As a PR consultant, you tend to hear a lot of “HOW” to do things, (Amazingly, I work with a client, whose entire organizational philosophy is based on doing things- ‘HOW’!), therefore I wasn’t sure writing a blog, giving “tips” to my peers, seniors and the “experienced lot” on “how to execute a campaign”, “how to create media databases”“how to write a ‘win-win’ press release”“how to pitch a story to the media”, et al??- Nah! How boring!

To cut the long story short, instead I decided to share my personal experiences that have moulded me from an amateur college going kid to a smart professional who understands the “tricks” of the trade (feels good ! :)). While, I have on purpose “refrained” from citing any particular experiences, I will try and share my understandings from it.

  1. The realization- “PR NEEDS PR”: From Day 1 of your job, the irony would be evident. The awesome intellectual debate – are we the sexy “communications consultants”, or should we persist with the plain jane “public relations executive” tag. Then comes the immortal debate of defining the PR profession. Apart from industry peers, no one will know what you are doing in your cubicle all day around. Believe me- Not even client, media or your own family!

Moral of the story: Most of the times, reaching a consensus with your peers and seniors on the definition of your own work could be a challenging  task.

 2. In PR, just like Life- There are NO rules: The most important learning that I have derived out of my varied interactions with industry experts, clients, peers, superiors is that in PR- there are NO rules!  Yes, there is no one way in which you interact with people, no specific way to deal with  snobbish media (Not all of them are! ;)), and demanding clients. Slowly, I also realized that there was no particular way in which you “pitch” a story to the journalist.

 Moral of the story: There are guidelines & precedents, but no specific rules ! Key to flourish in PR is to ‘try’, ‘learn’, sometimes push our way, and sometimes backtrack from our natural course. Eventually, we all end up getting it “right”. And if we don’t?? Then we try again, till we get it right!

3. Media knowledge is not everything: It’s a common belief harboured by newbies and beginners in the profession that having sound media intelligence is enough to survive the rainy season of PR. Having “media champs” or getting coverage in the “coveted business publications”, at the most may earn you the “love of your client” and“envious glares” by peers. But if you want to earn “respect for yourself” and want to be looked upon as an “asset to your organization, client as well as the media”, then it is necessary to treat them as your “personal relationships”.  Dealing with people with care and nurturing them with respect is the trick!

Moral of the story:  Relationships- be it media, client or internal within the organizations are made over a period of time. Therefore don’t worry if in case you are ever pressed by a question- “How good are you at communicating with media or client?”

 4.  You can’t control outcomes: In PR, there is nothing right or wrong.  Sometimes, the media will want to get in touch with your client. Sometime, the client will want to touch base with the media directly, without keeping you in loop.  There will be at least one such time, when you will be faced with such instances. So what do you do?? Chill! Do not fret! It’s just a normal process of moving up the professional ladder. At times, you might realize that even after planning and executing a great “event” or achieving publicity for your clients in the premier media houses, or ensuring that the media gets the “required” information on time, people still turn out to be upset. Eventually, the learning dawns- one-off incidents like this will not really matter; will definitely not impact your “presence” in the long run. In fact, there is a complete universe of clients and media and peers, who will recognize you for your patience, hard work and sincerity.

Moral of the story: The ultimate goal is to get the client the “deserving visibility, due credit for its performance and recognition of “delivering value” by core stakeholders- instead of worrying- what if the media calls my client directly and leaves me redundant.

Most important of all- as a PR consultant, you eventually come to realize that there are no two ways! You either love your job- or you don’t! People who don’t quit eventually! But people who navigate the early days of this struggle, blossom into ‘brand custodians’ -who advise and act as “consultants” to their clients. They are the ones whom the media turns out to respect and admire! At times, “such brand custodians” leave a deep imprint on people’s hearts creating life-lasting friendships and passionate bonds.

Drop a line to me, if you can relate, agree, disagree to the post or have experiences to share at @Miss_Nautanki  🙂 

Originally Published on: http://text100india.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/musings-of-a-pred-animal/