Saturday, August 15, 2009

It’s never too late to be great

I remember each and every word of the opening sequence in the movie ‘Troy’ (it inspired me a lot). It goes – “Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity and so we ask ourselves, will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we're gone and wonder who we were? How bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved…” So true! Just like the great Napoléon Bonaparte once stated, “Immortality is the recollection one leaves.” Last but not the least, a quote by Daniel J. Boorstin – “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.”

Turn down the downturn

I’m often asked if good PR can really help in times of downturn. My answer is… when trading is difficult, advertising and marketing budgets are the first to be slashed. PR is the cheaper option to advertising. Moreover, getting attention is getting money. As they say, ‘Jo dikhta hai, woh bikta hai’. The clever ones could enhance visibility to tide over the recession.

Secure return on investment

So what kind of PR could actors and makers do that would add to their image and brand? The number one objective for your publicist is to plan and position you as a stronger brand than before. Whether you are big or on the verge of making it to the top – whether you are looking at a personal PR exercise or film branding – the right kind of planned media coverage is going to help. This, in turn, will be helpful in securing return on investment, which is invaluable.

PR is cost-effective

Many argue that advertising achieves similar results to a PR exercise. Yes, somewhat. But don’t forget that consumers have always relied and believed more in the written word, like articles and snippets, than on advertising. Also, advertising campaigns cost a lot more than PR campaigns.

Smart PR is the cost-effective way to get your message across to the relevant audience. And everyone needs to manage their reputation in front of their target audience. Realising all this, a lot of advertising and marketing agencies have now launched PR divisions. Yes, PR, advertising and marketing combined, do make a better impact, but for obvious monetary reasons, PR is taking the lead now.

And Bollywood is already taking the PR route to get their message across. We know of so many prominent actors who are strategizing to ‘consolidate’ their position in the industry, while their competitors are thinking of ‘survival’ during recession.

Consolidate your brand

The question is, does it make sense to wait for things to get better, or the market to improve? If you ask me, I’d say, it never makes sense to wait for anything. It’s better to get going, pump up your PR and actively market yourself. For those who do, the field will be relatively open at such a crucial time. I would say, this is ‘the’ time for some neat brand consolidation. So don’t wait for recession to end. Start stamping your brand.

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