At the end of every amazing experience of my life, I’m faced with this annoying yet inevitable question of “what’s the next step” or “where to from here”? 9 days away from flying back to India, I’m faced with the same inescapable questions.
I went through the same yet different phase of my life in 2010 when i completed my first masters in Mumbai, getting good grades, adding all the extra curricular cherries on the top…working in the PR industry for 2+ years, only to find I wanted to do another masters. I think University life is an AMAZING experience and I wish everyone could go through it.
Life at University of Westminster hasn’t been a cake walk. Its been one helluva journey. The never ending assignments, sleepless nights at home, nights at the library, mid night snacking to keep awake and texting friends to make sure we’re all awake! A year of trying, failing, learning, growing, taking a few teensie weensie steps and a few giant across-the-universe leaps. Life at university may not have been perfect but it has come pretty damn close to being awesome.
I just realized my post is getting way too cheesy, corny Doritoish. So I’m gonna end it here.. I just wanted to acknowledge and appreciate my teachers and classmates for all the support and love.
I have realized there is a light at the end of every tunnel..that the only direction where life is headed from rock bottom is upwards..all it needs is a few baby steps, a few giant leaps and the Goldspot/Modest mouse voice singing “we’ll all float on ok” at the back of your head 🙂
It’s business time, people! Get your business socks ready! I sure am 🙂
There is an old adage “Silence is golden.” But is it always so?
As a Public Relations student and having worked in the industry for 2+ years I have always learnt the importance of being proactive, and thus i have always learnt, “silence is not always golden”
Crisis happen to everyone, don’t they?
From the BP, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill to Cadbury and their worm infestation crisis. Or Coca-Cola’s disastrous re-launch of its Dasani water, which was pulled back in the UK. And then there was Toyota, which in 2009 recalled 3.8 million cars because of floor mats that trapped accelerator pedals, followed by an additional 400,000-vehicle recall four weeks later
PR blunders and crisis have always spread quickly. They got even worse with all the local radio and 24 TV news channels. Today, its gotten uncontrollable. In the social media age of Facebook and twitter where brands use this as the primary channel of communication in reaching out to their target audience it is increasingly becoming tedious for us PR professionals to deal with a crisis. The one thing that I have learnt is never to remain silent in times of crisis.
I am not going to dwell on brand PR crisis instead I would like to highlight the horrific gang rape incident in New Delhi that hit us Indian’s with shame and disgust.
Communicating with an audience has never been a strong point for the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. He managed to remain silent for a week before he made a public appearance on the sorry episode — also where he appeared off-key.
The leader of the world’s largest democracy needed to connect emotionally with the public and ease the situation, needs but in this case he was found wanting. One only has to consider the contrasting response from US President Barack Obama to the recent Connecticut shooting of schoolchildren.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my country. The point I am trying to make is, SILENCE KILLS!
The way a brand or a party handles its crisis communication public relations in such instances is of critical importance. It is important you respond right away. As Public Relations professionals we are always taught the importance of dealing with PR blunders.
Below are a few points I consider important when dealing with a PR crisis:
- NEVER avoid the media
- If your brand or company is at fault, it is best to admit it right away if you can
- Issue a statement, line up media interviews, show determination to resolve the crisis
These are a few I believe are the most important. I’m sure there are tons you can think of. Please leave a comment and let me know.
Ever heard of the nudge theory?
This concept puts a tag on influences that preserve freedom of choice without engaging the influences. Nudge is a concept that is increasingly being used in Public Relations and marketing.
Behavioural economist Richard Thaler and law scholar Cass Sunstein popularised the term ‘nudge’ in a 2008 book of the same title.
‘Nudge’ is based on research by behavioral economists who discovered, people can be steered towards superior decisions for themselves – and society – by changing the way choices are presented. The idea behind this strategy is to cleverly influence behavior with targeted nudges rather than more red tape.
This concept has gained momentum in different sectors affecting our every day lives, be it the the public health or the private sector. Deep inside every corporate brand there’s a team thinking up ways to ”nudge” you to behave differently without you even knowing it.
use them all the time in the guise of sales, specials, introductory offers and two-for-one deals. Often simple strategies – such as breaking the cost of a good or service into small portions – can be effective. Notice how they place candy and other tiny attractive items at the close to cash counters?
Research into consumer behavior is constantly uncovering new and more sophisticated nudges for businesses to try.
Researchers at Cornell University’s Centre for Hospitality Research found that removing dollar signs from menu price lists (20 instead of $20) in an upmarket New York restaurant increased sales. Another study found that items at the beginning, or the end, of a menu category list were up to twice as popular as when they were placed in the centre of the list.
In an economy where women on an average still earn 77 cents to every dollar a man earns, Public Relations, however is women dominated, particularly in recent decades.
All of which may explain why people often think of Samantha Jones, from Sex & the city as the perfect PR professional
While she is entertaining and chic, she is in no way our profession’s top role model. The image however persists for various reasons.
According to latest membership figures released by the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), women now outnumber men by 60:40 – a massive swing since 1987, when figures highlighted the opposite at 20:80.
I am proud of the above mentioned statics, but I am also cognizant of the fact that there are still far too few women in senior leadership positions. While men continue to run away from our profession at the entry level, a massive number still operate at the board level, but for how much longer?
According to Gidon Freeman, Editor of PR Week, the gender readership split for the industry’s magazine has moved even more in favor of women, but he’s not at all surprised by this. “PR is all about developing relationships and bringing influence to bear, which historically women have always mastered better than men,” he says.
Ragan Communications put out a segment last year about how women dominate the PR industry, discussing the reason why women may be better suited to work in PR. Silvia Davi, VP of corporate communications at NASDAQ; Alayna Francis, VP of communications at Swiss Re; and Gemma Craven, senior VP Ogilvy.
See what they have to say about this:
Wishing everyone a happy Easter.