Tag Archives: pr agency

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.

Is Guest blogging heading towards extinction?

Kicked off with an eye on being a traffic puller to various blogs via links, guest blogging is now facing harsh criticism by Google Webspam head Matt Cutts over its transformation into a spam practice and link-building technique. Some of us might disagree with him but if we step into Matt Cutts’ shoes, maybe we would know how tough it gets for him to pass on the company’s unpopular policies and bear the brunt of subsequent criticism from the opposing end. Frankly speaking, his recent tweet stating, ‘Stick a fork in it, Guest blogging is done!’ definitely comes out as legitimate.

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Women are from Earth, and so are the men

Working in a PR agency is a tough ask; you have to listen to the clients’ ranting and the journalists’ scoffing almost on a daily basis, and are still expected to work with a smile. It is a female-dominated industry (one of the reasons I joined); women excel at socialising, organising andcategorising (whereas men excel at belching, particularly after a few drinks). No wonder you won’t find many men here; given the amount of pressure PR executives are subject to, most men would either take up drinking or take up a gun (or in some rare cases both) to relieve the tension.It’s a man’s world, goes the cliché; however, the rules of the outer world do not apply in the PR industry, as I came to know unfortunately one fine afternoon.
Brand Promotion

 

“Men!” said Sonal. Recently married, she had been patiently advising all her unmarried soul-sisters of the pros and cons of marriage (which was at that point heavily tilted in favour of the latter) during the lunch break. “It is impossible to live with them.”

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You track, we’ll send clippings; woes of a PR agency

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So many headlines, so little time!

“Hello Mr.IPC? Our coverage had appeared in ABC Times yesterday, but we haven’t received clippings yet.”

“We sent that yesterday only!”

*we frantically check our mail for the clipping*

“Mr.IPC, it’s not there. Can you resend the mail again?”

“Okay.”

Four hours later, still no mail.

Every PR agency faces this problem; every PR Executive has fought with their tracking agency guys at least once and so have we. Almost every day someone from our team calls our tracking agency and rues over missed coverage. No amount of arguing, threatening or reasoning ensures that we get our clippings on time. Every morning we come and scan the newspapers in the hope of good coverage like little children rummaging for candy in a sack. Oh the joy!

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Of sleepless nights and rainy days

Force Gurkha RFC India 2014

Operation RFC India 101

Our agency recently executed the PR Campaign for an amazing event, the Force Gurkha RFC India 2014.

We got to be a part of the toughest motor race in the world when it came to India and it was a proud moment for us.