Friday, February 24, 2006

Use of cellphones

This happened a couple of weeks back.

I was returning from Mumbai on Indian (earlier Indian Airlines). The flight landed in Chennai and was moving on the tarmac. The pilot during his announcements said that the use of mobile is prohibited until the plane comes to a halt and the doors were opened.

True to our Indian style, a passenger sitting behind started speaking loudly on his mobile.

Now, that is not the story.

As soon as, the plane came to a halt, a flight purser walked up to the passenger and pulled him up. He humiliated our man in front of other co-passengers. He said 'I can get you arrested if I complain to the police'.

Wow! Now that's new.

I am not sure the same would have happened in Jet/Sahara/Deccan or any other airline.

Was it right on the part of the purser to have pulled up a passenger in front of others? The passenger has paid a huge sum for the ticket, should he be humiliated in such a manner?

My personal feeling is that the purser was well within his duty to have done so, he is responsible for the lives of the passengers. (purser (n) : an officer aboard a ship who keeps accounts and attends to the passengers' welfare. Source:

I feel that unless the rules are strictly enforced, people will continue to make fun if it.

Why should journalists contact top managements directly?

I am part of the PR Point and Image Management, online PR community. Recently one of the members raised an issue on why journalists contact top management of companies directly.

Here are my views which I had posted in the group.


Nice topic and often deliberated within the PR industry. Lately, I have seen many clients also discussing the same with the agencies.

I believe that this is just basic human psychology. Journalist have been traditionally close to the top management as there was no active PR function in the past. Having closely interacted with them it would be very difficult for the journalist community to see a young graduate interfering and explaining them new rules of the game. Of course, it is also true that PR is today not (in most cases) capable of adding value.

Let me take an example: A company announces its results, how many of us in the PR community would be able to read a balance sheet and talk authoritatively about client's performance. Another one, let us say an auto journalist wants to know why the braking system of a particular companies model is not as per standards, will I be able to answer it.

Well, having said that PR is maturing and this scenario will change.

In today's competitive business environment, I am not sure how long the CEOs in future will find time to respond to the journalists directly and on-time.

In the meantime, till the PR community is able to think for its clients, journalists will continue to contact CEOs directly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Why Blog?

A thought.

Most of us have already read about blogs and have been PR-ified that it is the greatest tool in the history of PR. Is it?

I am not the adopter of most trends but I did open up a blog and took a resolution that I will make it the most interesting/insightful blog in the world. So did a few of my colleagues in Chennai. Then came the IIPM controversy and it was acclaimed that blogs are here to stay.

Oh are you asking me what happened to my blog? It has rusted. I am not alone, so has it for those 'few of my colleagues'! I am so happy.

Now, it could be said that I am lazy and I did not have the resolve to continue but so are many.

Do blogs really work? Maybe.

When was the last time that you visited any blog? As PR professionals do we really have a set of blogs that we track often (as we do with publications/TVs/portals)? Do we know who are the bloggers whom can be PR-ified! ;)

We know India's PC penetration is abysmally low. Je sais, Je sais, the internet penetration is going up but still how much is it anyway? Kaun hain woh? I think the more important question is whom can we target through blogs?

Also, strange isn't it? The mainstream on-line portals (our sifys, rediffs, which are the other ones) themselves are struggling to get more people on to their portal, how will our niche blogs get the eyeballs? We nowadays don't trust the 'authentic' and 'credible' newspapers, how can we trust a blogger?

Hmmm, is it that I am missing a point or is it that blogs are over-hyped pregnancy?