Here we discuss the basic ingredients of Public Relations: Topical Issues, The backdrop - economic and social, What makes PR tick, the pain points, the problems, the positives, the negatives... almost anything under the sun related to the communication industry!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

col cm in a PR campaign

Sharing a personal angst here: Why is that even after more than 30 odd years that the PR industry has been in operations in India, it still is "col cm" that guides any new PR pitch?

Agreed, PR in India began as a subset of Advertising but isn't it time that we moved away from the media-fixation and the "number of clips" to providing total PR solutions???

Be it a small company or a large one, an organisation selling "Gutka" or selling "diamond cuff-links", why is everybody so stuck on media coverage and that too in the top two publications in the country? I mean is somebody going to buy gutka after reading about it in HT/TOI? So why are clients so fixated? Or is it us (the PR guys) who have created the "need" to have media stories as a bench-mark for effective PR?

We tell our new joinees that we are "different" and look at PR holistically and yet most work in office is centred around media - so what is the take-away? Unfortunately, it is a classic case of "Do in Greece, what Greeks do!"

If the rest of the world is offering media clippings as a barometer for efficacy of a PR campaign, do we also follow suit? We have, over the years, met quite a few clients who told us that some of our ilk were willing to commit the "number of clips" that they would give them in the first month / first quarter.

So is a PR campaign justified only by measuring the col cm in the traditional media and other ways to reach out to the target group completely to be overlooked? What about social media, BTL activities, synergistic alliances, relationship management, direct contact programmes, etc.??? What about reaching out to the customer directly???


  1. The crux of the Pain that any PR professional feels has been aptly captured. By propagating media centric PR strategies the only thing that we are doing is increasing the brand value of the Publications and the 'I am next to God" attitude of most of the journalists

  2. The Col Cm criterion is the only thing that can seemingly satisfy the customer in the initial phases.

    Top bosses in the corporate world feel so good when they ask you about the amount of coverage your agency can generate. You have to watch that smile on their face that says "Now i got you”.

    One of our potential leads in Delhi asked specifically for a matrix that can judge a PR Agency's output with details of the articles in which publication before the account had been awarded.

    The account went to someone else and I still wonder what the criterion of their selection was as the only media coverage that i have monitored for the company was the personal profiling of the head of the company making style statements rather then talking about the company. And on enquiry, I find that the client is very happy with the agency. This completely beats me!

    So if the clients are so interested in col cm before the award of the account, how come they forget all about it once the account becomes active.

    Boss, inhe zindagi mein chahiye kya???