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Top 5 Podcasts That Will Make You Go Wow

American podcaster Jordan Harbinger once said, “Most people that I know are interested in on-demand stuff; Podcast is essentially audio Netflix.”

When we compare the podcast to Netflix, we must remember that the latter did not reach the top of the ladder in a day. Similarly, while podcast may still be a mystery to most people, the day is not far, when the world will witness a podcast revolution in full swing. The journey to that day is long, but we urge you to be the one to kick-start it!

For all those who are planning to embark on this podcasty adventure with us, we are hereby listing down 5 podcasts that will flag-off your journey in an ultimate manner.

WTF with Marc Maron: WTF with Marc can qualify as one of the most interesting podcasts, with several positive reviews and write-ups in acclaimed magazines like The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. Maron shot to fame with his interesting pieces about famous comedians like Louis C.K. and Robin Williams. He has even had Former US President Barack Obama step into his garage to record an episode! This podcast is a sunny affair and has had the honor of being listed as #1 on the 20 Best Comedy Podcast Right Now, by the Rolling Stones news network.

Serial: For anyone looking for the perfect suspense, non-fiction crime story, Serial is the one! It has American journalist Sarah Koenig telling a non-fiction story over a series of episodes. The podcast is an intriguing blend of love, death and truth. The first season came with Adnan Syed’s story and left everyone amazed. With such a great start, the series became popular in no time and acquired fresh audience with every new episode. Now that the third season is out, we ask you to binge it soon.

The Canon: This is the best go-to podcast for every Hollywood movie buff. With famous film critic Amy Nicholson there to give you brutally honest movie reviews, you can bid goodbye to watching bad movies. The format of the podcast is such that the hosts tell you if last week’s release received enough votes for it to be included in their canon of great movies. Once they have decided whether a movie deserves to be canonized or not, they let out some information about the movie.

Invisibilia: The Latin abbreviation of ‘All The Invisible Things’ is a strange but popular podcast. One try with this podcast can leave you with a different perspective on life. It is hosted by Alix Spiegel (American public radio producer and science journalist) and Hanna Rosin (American author and writer) and talks about the unseeable forces of the world that have the power to control human nature and shape our ideas, beliefs and perspectives. Invisibilia is the perfect fusion of gripping storytelling and science, leaving you questioning the forces outside as well as within you.

A Cast of Kings: Anxious about the upcoming season of Game of Thrones? We all are. When season 7 ended with the Night King breaking down the wall, it left all of us questioning – Is this the end? Well, the answer to this question comes next year, but we have just the way to make the wait easier. A Cast of Kings brings to you semi-weekly discussions on the Game of Thrones plots, stories and themes. The hosts Dave Chen and Joanna Robinson are always ready with a balanced amount of quirky praise and criticism. So, while the 8th Season is still far away, we suggest you entertain yourself with A Cast of Kings.

The podcast trend is growing gradually across the globe and having a versatile variety of podcasts like the above mentioned ones is the best approach to an unhindered growth of the trend. So, we suggest you to bucketlist them all, put on your headphones and get podcasty!

The art of storytelling in PR

Approach 1: “This is an organic acne removal product. Buy it.”

Approach 2: “My friend Mini used this product since it is safe for the skin, being natural and organic. She loved it and has been raving about its efficacy in reducing the acne on her face. I think you should give it a try too.”

Of the above, which one would you find more convincing? Approach two, right? In this piece of writing, let’s understand why that is so.

Storytelling is an art that has been in existence since time immemorial in the form of folklores, parables and myths. Over the years, the fine art of storytelling has found its application not just in the field of entertainment but also in the corporate world. In fact, one avenue where storytelling has made a strong hold is Public Relations.

In a PR Campaign, delivering a simple, straightforward sales pitch will do you no good. Instead you need to have a proper insight into your client’s brand as well as entrepreneurial story and deliver just the right message to their customers in a credible and authentic manner. While different brands may tell a different type of story, the basic structure of all stories remains the same.

• Structure of The Story – Every story is like an adventurous journey. It has a beginning, a middle section and an end. Now it is up to you as a PR Consultant whether you convert that journey into a boring one or a fun and inspirational one. The beginning and middle are undoubtedly important, but with a ‘bang’ ending you will leave the readers, aka the brand’s customer base, happily surprised and make them connect with the brand better.

• Plot of the Story – Public Relations can turn out to be quite a complicated maze, if one works without an objective. This objective is what storytellers term as the ‘plot’. The plot answers one of the most important questions of your PR story, i.e. Why? When your plot is clear, your story is able to clearly explain to a customer why he should be loyal to this brand rather than the numerous other options available in the market.

• Hero of Your Story – Establishing the hero of your story is a basic but vital step one needs to take right at the beginning while planning a PR Campaign Strategy. Thereafter, the campaign should focus on developing stories that highlight the virtues of the hero. In most cases, your brand itself is the hero of your story. Moreover, when one tells a brand story, the objective is not to increase sales or the share value of that brand but popularizing the identity (or the so-called hero) of the brand.

• Hitches & Glitches in Your Story – A gripping story is one that leaves the readers wondering about the turn of events that took place. Same is the case with the story that you write for your public relations campaign purposes. Letting the target audience know of the brand’s journey and the challenges it has overcome in order to reach its current position helps in building a bond with them. This bond is strengthened over a period of time with consistent yet diverse stories related to the brand. In most cases this bond is strong enough to stand the test of time and make a customer believe in the brand even during crisis situations.

Storytelling is an art that only a few have mastered but with the above fundamentals done right, you can do wonders for your brand equity and promotion by making use of this art. So, Happy Storytelling to you!

I travel to show: A comprehensive guide to modern-day Instagram travel bragging

“My stomach feels so empty that I would have died if this food hadn’t come on time!”, she said, as she grabbed her Hummus & Pita platter from the table; took it to the restaurant balcony; religiously corrected the coriander leaves topping on the avocado hummus; and instgrammed a magnificent-looking picture with the backdrop of snow-covered Galu Pass. She captioned it “#TravelGoals #HimalayanFoodPorn”. That very moment was the inspiration behind this satire.

The whole tourist v/s traveler v/s explorer argument is so confusing in itself; the truth is that all of us are legitimate explorers. From those of us who pose in infinity pools in a sub-zero-chilled Shimla, to those who wait for their turn to get clicked with furry rabbits in Solang, we are all explorers in our own right. Everyday we explore things we didn’t know about earlier.

Therefore, as responsible explorers, it becomes our duty to let the world know about it. And what better way to let the world know than photographs? Photographs provide tangible evidence that the trip was made, that the showcased program was executed and that the fun was definitely had.

The phenomenon of clicking pictures and sharing them in social circles isn’t new, but with the advent of Instagram, both have become relatively easier, cheaper and faster. Forget about enjoying the fresh breeze as it touches your face; with a simple user-interface and clean-cut squares, Instagram has enabled us to easily extend the light of our freshly-gained knowledge and the serendipitous joy of traveling to the vast audience of the further world.

Therefore, Instagram is a tool for extending one’s hard-earned knowledge and validating one’s life. It has made our otherwise boring laid-back travel experiences into a source developing a glittering travel-resume!

Keeping in mind the tough brag-contest you face from your online social circles, we have prepared a 9-step guide on how to live your travels and show-it-off like you’ve had the time of your life, on Instagram.

1. The Plane Wings
“I’ll miss the Delhi air, see y’all later lovelies!” For this one, we suggest getting right onto the surface of the window and try, if you can break through, to reach even further, as you can capture the dreamy pastel clouds embracing the plane’s wings. Awaken the brightness in the picture, highlight the shadows and you are good to go!

2. It-is-normal-for-me Brag a.k.a. the ‘HumbleBrag’
“Just another weekend @Kasol! #TravelLife #Backpacker”, or else “OMG accidentally used my Eurail pass at the Rajiv Chowk Metro and I just won’t get why it didn’t work!!! ROFL #SwissNostalgia #memories”, should work. Just ignore how farce that sounds and just do it. I mean, the last 8 weekends you spent around 384 hours wrapped in and around that minions blanket of yours; but never mind, people must know you’re always hooked on to traveling.

3. Don’t always click the Selfies by yourself
“When bae photobombs you! #Sunkissed”. You don’t always want to be seen as clicking all your pictures by yourself. That leaves an impression that you’re more into clicking selfies than actually enjoying the trip (sometimes; not always dear). Moreover, clicking a group selfie by yourself makes you look fattest among them all (which you definitely won’t want) as you’re standing right in front of the camera. Therefore, it is advisable that you request the tall friends in your group, preferably those who are guys or gullible, to click all those group-selfies for you. It really does the trick!

4. The swimming-pool!
“Time to Tan!” Courtesy Hollywood, what is the best place to spend 8 hours pretending to read a book over borrowed wine? A swimming pool! Hotel swimming pools amount to the best photo-ops while you’re traveling. Though a bit less fun when your girlfriend makes you dive over 17 times to get the perfect shot, but hey! It’s all worth it, no?

5. The explorer soul
“Not all who wander are lost!! #Wanderlust #explorer #solotraveler #solotrippin #MahLyfMahRules #Nature #Friends #TravelersofInstragram #Naturegram

This is where the real game comes on the main stage. You absolutely have to tell people that you’re an adventure-seeking soul who not only loves the pool and the books, but would go to any extent to explore. Spend days on motorbikes and accidentally run out of fuel in a secluded area; hurt your knee but continue the climb despite the huge bandage; wear loose clothes; make your friends click you from behind as you trek around forests. If you’re a true explorer, these things must happen and must be aptly captured on-the-go.

6. The Sunset Flash
“You don’t love mountains if you don’t love the sunsets.” No travel brag is complete without sunset. Time and again, your profile MUST reflect you’re here for witnessing nature in raw. Try to make the frame as less crowded as possible, use ‘Amaro’ with medium intensity, and kaboom! You’ve the perfect sunset post on your profile. Don’t forget to tag @natgeotravel @condenasttraveller; your sunset is definitely the best, who knows you might get famous for it.

7. The Breakfast Flash
“This looks soo Yummmmmaaayyy!!” Pictures of good food are as important as good food itself. What is the whole point of ordering Acai smoothie bowl with activated granola and honeyed figs if it does not goon Instagram?

8. The Philosophy
“Take memories, leave only footprints.” Some deep and philosophical quote should be attached to the last picture, marking the culmination of your week-long brag.

9. Become an Insta-Influencer!
“thatguywithzerocreativity; 21; nomad, bibliophile, wine connoisseur, blows candles on 31st of February; For queries and collaboration please drop a mail on clichédwanderer@gmail.com”

Now that you’ve had your first real trip, and now that you’ve collected all the above-mentioned pictures in 1.765 trillion ways, you’re fit to be called a complete ‘Travel Influencer’ in your own right; you deserve it. Your wanderlust is so different that it has the power to influence an entire generation of holiday-goers. The world must know the story behind your making and how you transformed into this great and knowledgeable traveler that you’re today.

So upload it up, all of it; use filters, use hashtags, occasionally put in your valuable money (organic or inorganic, who cares), ask your friends to support your travel blog (even if it is a mere insta account); of course, in return of your un-conditional love & support to their fashion blog; and you’re good to go. No matter whether you actually write about things, or understand the places where you travel, or even own a blog separate to your Instagram account; you look and wear fancy, right? Congratulations, you’re now a legitimate travel blogger. Ignore those media-heads who belittle you by calling you a mere influencer.

Pro Tip: Even while you’re not traveling, don’t forget to put an insta-story about that exquisite restaurant (READ: Burger King) you visited last week. When out of content, make synchronized nods on boomerang with your best bud. You can also rely on Musical.ly; because obviously, everyday in your life is as good and fun-laden as real travel.

DISCLAIMER: This article is purely a work of satire; it is not meant to discourage the hard work and passion of aspiring bloggers & influencers across the country. It is our take on those content-creators who, despite lack of unique content, gain traction by means of paid likes & inorganic reach. As a media agency, we have absolute respect for all fields of media-work.

Blurred Lines: Bathtub Journalism v/s Responsible Reporting

On 25th of February 2018, India woke up to shock and disbelief at the unexpected news about the sudden demise of Sridevi, one of India’s most celebrated faces on the celluloid. While her untimely death in Dubai brought fans from across the world together to express their solidarity with her family, it also brought the world’s attention to sensationalism-craving practices of certain sections of the Indian media. Hours after the news of Sridevi’s death broke out, numerous journalists turned it into a grotesque circus of pathetic and insensitive reportage, which not only neglected important national issues but also overstepped its moral boundaries.

Journalism is a medium of collating, structuring and reporting information to the masses, so as to make them aware of the issues that directly or indirectly affect them. Unfortunately, the present state of Indian Journalism is heavily plagued with sensationalism and over-dramatization. Rather than making people analyze the larger issues, it focuses on an over-exaggerated, distorted and perverted version of the lesser issues.

Insensitive and irresponsible reporting
While the insensitive and exhaustive reporting on the demise of Sridevi has brought the content-hollowness in Indian media to the limelight, this deterioration has been happening since several years. A large number of journalists and media platforms seem to be interested in just grabbing TRPs, even if it is through distasteful and cringe-worthy headlines and coverage.

A glimpse at many Indian news channels would make you nostalgic about the days of crisp and concise reporting. Media nowadays often projects insignificant topics with sensational headlines as their main stories. Rather than highlighting issues that public must be informed about, like the farmer suicides, rapes, international crisis situations or economic upheavals, there are special hour-long episodes on national news channels about how ‘Simar’ efficiently reincarnated as a housefly!

Neglect of relevant issues
During the 72-hour nonstop reporting on Sridevi’s death, Indian media outlets reached an all-time low to what is popularly being termed in counter-opinions as ‘Bathtub Journalism’; all this, while several important issues were being utterly cornered. If you look at the timeline of Sridevi reportage, we were simultaneously witnessing the massive Syrian crisis, Indian GDP’s first major jump post demonetization, corruption allegations in a major competition exam of our country, allegations in INX Media scam, bombings in Tral (Jammu & Kashmir), etc, all of which were effectively sidelined by Indian media to the bottom-most panels of their screens or front pages. Some even neglected these affairs completely, giving the entire space to commemorating their beloved actress.

Summing it up
An increasingly large section of the Indian Media breathes, eats and feeds on sensationalism. The irresponsible reporting continues to give undue publicity to less-relevant issues. As a Public Relations agency, we sometimes find it hard to convince media professionals to consider relevant pieces of information. The very same slots are happily provided to paparazzi pictures of celebrity kids’ ‘cute smile’.

The Media is popularly termed as the ‘Fourth Pillar’ of Indian democracy. If it has been given such an honour, it must truly abide by the responsibilities that come with it. Perhaps, this is the time for us to get our priorities right.

3rd International Young Chef Olympiad at IIHM, Delhi : Flavors from the little fingers!

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Ever wondered why you are chirpier than usual on the day your mom cooks the most scrumptious food? That’s because food has the magic of lighting up everybody’s mood.

And what if you get to see a variety of scintillating dishes being made under one roof by emerging culinary stars from across 45 countries? Nirvana, isn’t it?

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The International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), India’s largest hotel school chain, along with Incredible India recently hosted the 3rd International Young Chef Olympiad, the biggest culinary battle on Planet Earth between student chefs. The 6-day long intense competition was a top-notch culinary event that showcased the prowess of the next generation of stars of the global food and hospitality industry.The competing chefs had the privilege to be judged by our evergreen and most loved food guru, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, along with some well-known domestic and international chefs. Continue reading

O be careful little mouth what you say

“O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above
And he is looking down to judge
So, be careful little mouth what you say.”

Our very own version of the song we grew up singing in schools holds so true for the public leaders of our country today, who have assumed that their power and position give them the liberty to express themselves in whatever manner they deem fit.

In the recent Bangalore molestation episode it was not only the incident that sent shockwaves across the nation, but also the callous reactions and defensive attitude of our officials. Harshest of all being by Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara, who said, “Such incidents do happen on New Year and Christmas, western style of dressing by girls and imitation of western culture are responsible for such incidents of molestation.” Continue reading

Influencing perception and networking is what you like? Then PR is your cup of tea

Public Relations is a dynamic field and requires one to be perseverant along with an ability to tackle the worst case scenarios sensibly. An effective PR professional has great potential of transforming the perception of an individual/organization in the society in a positive way. Undoubtedly, PR has an extraordinary quality of building a brand in the community. Just like Direct Marketing and Advertising, PR too requires good communication skills and convincing powers. However, the task of pitching gets more difficult in the latter case as influencing a journalist to publish or telecast unpaid articles or news packages is quite an uphill task.

Every job comes with its own challenges and specific targets to be accomplished within a specific time. However, PR is unlike the monotonous ‘9 to 5’ or stressful ‘Sales Target’ job and is just like doing marketing ‘off-field’. It opens up avenues to interact with people with different interests and from diverse regions. It allows building and establishing relations with journalists and editors of major publications, news channels and web portals. Not only it helps in networking, but it also enables the PR professionals to understand the mindset of the people they are dealing with. Continue reading

Some quotes that might help you understand PR a little better!

If you are skeptical about hiring a PR agency and handing over the reputation management of your organization to an external resource, then the following quotes by some prominent personalities will make you understand what exactly Public Relations is and its significance. Moreover, the quotes might make you believe in the power of PR and boost your confidence to try yours hands at it. Continue reading

Delhi Government’s Odd-Even Scheme: A Dreadful Memory

Aam Aadmi Party has always been a party of U-turns. From its 49-day autocratic rule to its present day undemocratic functioning, all AAP has in its bucket-list is its obsession with name calling and plenty of unfulfilled promises. Blame game has been their ‘vajra’ and intolerance towards any rebellion against the party has been their mode of survival. Today after one year of the party’s coming to power, all it has remained is a herd of workers and politicians who seem to blindly agree with Arvind Kejriwal on all his decisions. For such people AK’s stance is a gospel truth, his yes is a yes and no is a no. Continue reading

The Pendulum

“Hello, is it Miss Archana?” Came the voice over the telephone.

“Yes. Who is this?” Replied Archana, a bit irritated at the interruption. There was much work to do, and she had calls of her own she had to make. Being a PR executive was not an easy task.

“This is Arshad here, ma’am.” The voice said, respectfully. “I am doing a story on rehabilitation of cancer patients and just wanted to ask you if your client would like to contribute.”

Archana stared at her screen in silent surprise for a moment. This was the same journalist who had many a time rudely turned down a story idea without ever listening it through. In fact, Arshad, being the Delhi-NCR healthcare editor of a top publication, was famous for treating PR personnel like dirt. Slow anger bubbled up in the pit of Archana’s stomach. Continue reading