Author Archives: Ashish Arora (@ASShishism)

Dear World, digital media and social genes are in PR pros’ blood

Circa 2000: Those famous words of industry veterans, in the air conditioned auditorium of Xavier Institute of Communications, are still fresh in my mind… just like the Subway sandwiches. “Public Relations is strategic management function, though many still treat it like mass communication’s step child. Future PRactitioners like you’ll have to raise the bar”.

Circa 2004: And then the PR pros were confronted with the greatest ego-boosting bible ever written – The Fall of Advertising and Rise of PR, that famously hailed public relations as the marketing tool of the future.

Circa 2012: Second edition of TFM&A in Mumbai and as I walked out of the venue at the end of day 2, I couldn’t help but ponder over the 3-day agenda of the conference. It’s an amazing platform to discuss, debate and share new technology trends & predictions in marketing and advertising. But with most speakers decoding digital marketing and demystifying social media, just one question in my mind stuck with Fevicol – why no PR representation?

(Incidentally, I was given a providential opportunity to speak at TFM&A in 2011 on “Social Media in a PR-ed World”. Admittedly, it took me a while to set the context about what “PR guys” do for 8-10 hours in a day. )

It was just a random thought. I am well aware of several new platforms that have emerged to discuss social media / digital implications to businesses, where “PR guys” are represented too. But the larger question remains… “Do brands / companies / marketers still wonder how a “PR guy” can understand, consult and implement social media campaigns?’

Some Social / Digital buzzwords, phrases & application So why is social in PR pros’ blood?
Social / digital is all about engaging audiences and achieving business goals Check out this age old definition of PR by Ivy Lee and Edward Louis Bernays in 1900s – “a management function, which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures, and interests of an organization… followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.”
Digital / social truly helps in shaping opinions and building positive goodwill PR = perception and reputation management. From Insights to Assessment, we manage it all.
Digital / social is all about integrated approach. Media, events, internal, external, electronic, online –a PR guy has been there, integrated that. (Text100 India’s recent Jaipur off site – Textravaganza was dedicated to digital and integrated approach to communication campaigns).
Social / digital is not about technology, but about sociology and engagement. As we proudly state at Text100, we are not geeks but communicators. We understand all nuances communication – third party endorsements, influencer mapping, media, etc.  A PR guy is a trained communication sociologist!
Digital / social involves specialized functions like blogger relations PR guys have been managing blogger relations since eons. Text100 India has itself implemented several blogger campaigns for global brands as way back since 1996.
SEO is dead, Social is all about third party. PR guys have mastered the art of third party endorsements. In fact, PR by definition differentiates itself from advertising on this parameter (paid vs earned).
In social / digital, content is KING! If content is King, PR guys are king makers by default. Be it press releases, technical papers, employee communication, CEO speeches – we’ve written it all
Digital is about measurement A “PR guy” understands measurement better than most. Traditionally, every campaign is assessed on quantitative and qualitative parameters in great detail
Digital / social helps gauge audience reactions that feeds into product innovation and marketing strategies In 1978 Public Relations Associations defined the field as “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest.” PR thrives on research and intelligence.
Digital / social is an excellent tool to manage a crisis Historically, PR has been leveraged effectively as the primary vehicle to pre-empt, mitigate and prevent crisis situations. PR guys are the true crisis communication experts.

This is just the tip of the PR guy’s social skill iceberg. Just speak to any Textie and you will be surprised with the social / digital orientation, knowledge and experience. it’s not a coincidence that Text100’s articulated vision proclaims “shaping conversations in the digital age and beyond”. A PR guy understands conversations, that is at the core of a digital / social media campaign.

Circa 2013: I sincerely hope the next edition of the fabulous event will be rechristened “TFMA&P”, were P will proudly stand for PR.

As a near-worshipper of the world’s most popular Indian actor, I end my post with a humble tribute to the great Amitabh Bachchan who turned 70 today. An inspired quote from his blockbuster classic “Namak Halaal”. “You see digital sir… PR people can talk social, walk social, laugh social, run social and think social. Coz social is a very funny language that we speak day in and day out.  Enough spoken… now it’s time for digital Textravaganza!

Jaipur hit by hurricane #Textravaganza.. measuring 100 on the Rockstar scale !

What’s in a name? That which we call #Textravaganza by any other name would still connote madness, learning, bonding and awesomeness. We may have completely ruined the great writer’s quote, but the heck! We’ve already violated several rules of sanity and awesomeness to such an extent, that the law enforcers had to come knocking on our digital doors.

So why this brouhaha over a hashtag(#) branded “Textravaganza”? For the uninitiated check out the backstory on this link (Digital #Textravaganza – @Text100India’s most awaited event…. Is finally here!). There was a tremendous build up to the most awaited extravaganza of the year, and boy did it live up to the expectations.

With Mumbai and Delhi teams landing early, the excitement kicked off with room allotments at the Clarks Amer Hotel in Jaipur. “Oh, you are staying with her from Bangalore? I’ve heard she is cool company”. “Hey, who is your roomie? Awesome man, he is a great guy.. just watch out for his snores”. “You’re with me on the 7th floor! All of us can have some kickass fun at night”. Mission Accomplished – the  seeds of what-would-eventually-be a case study in camaraderie were sown well. Familiarity breeds contempt and Distance does make the heart grow stronger. So cheers to the new “unfamiliar” roomies for 2 nights.

Nobody knows what hit Jaipur from then on. With every new introduction and handshake and hug, the decibel levels grew louder than the XF-84H Thunderscreech. And the excitement is not without reason. After all, nothing works better than physical contact at times, even as digital slowly but surely pervades our lives.

The 3-day agenda was smartly designed with a perfect balance of serious knowledge exchange to understand brand Text100 better, hands on workshops to strengthen our digital capabilities, Textravaganza Awards to recognize the “stars”, Spoofies to felicitate the “infamous”, dance nights that would become Jaipur’s loudest-longest-craziest… and ofcourse, some personal time to explore the beauty of India’s first planned city (Jaipur!).

If every picture is worth a 1000 words, the networth of #Textravaganza / #Voxelerate (digital off site at the same location by our sister firm) amounts to 4000000 words. So it’s best not to recount the 3-day spectacle in words, but let the pictures do all the talking. Checkout these links on FB (http://on.fb.me/VtLm1A, http://on.fb.me/UfvqT3) and relive the memorable awesomeness.

The true success of an event is best gauged by the impression it leaves on the minds of the attendees. Here’s what #Textravaganza meant / did to Texties around the country…. It brought us together as a single unit, it made us relive our unified vision to shape conversations in a digital world…. And it made us unleash our Textuality.

I leave you with these digital footprints to assess the true impact of #Textravaganza. We sincerely hope Jaipur recovers soon from the after effects of hurricane #Textravaganza that rocked the city… measuring 100 for sure… or shall we say “T100”.

 

And no activity is complete without reactions from the participants. So here goes…

“After Ganesha immersion, it was truly a ‘digital’ immersion for me at the Textravaganza. Special thanks to Anne, David, Ashish and Joshy for those fantastic workshops. My head is buzzing with a million ideas now.”

~ Bhavana R

“One of the most exciting times on the digital front for @Text100India, it was definitely much awaited. The format of the sessions made us feel like we’re back to college – changing rooms every hour while the trainers run sessions across B2B, B2C, Events and Social Media Releases – was a refreshing experience in itself. Combine this with the interactive workshops, and the knowledge brought in by @DavidLian and @ACostie and it was a perfect globally integrated digital #Textravaganza. The learnings were invaluable – something that we’re going to be implementing across campaigns and new business pitches. In short – YES, WE CAN! J”

~ Hardik Sanghani

“The well structured training modules with an unhurried pace really helped to take the digital quotient across teams, irrespective of what stage each was. There was something for everyone to take back. Regarding the evening activities, it can be summed in just one word … MADNESS! Thoroughly enjoyed!”

~ Manjunath Padiki

“The digital sessions were far more helpful than I was expecting them to be. Really glad to know that our SM practice is not being limited to Facebook or blogs, and teams are being encouraged to outsource tasks such as SEO or designing – with our consulting expertise, this can potentially help us create a competitive service offering in digital. Overall, the sessions really provided us with the digital ammo we need to take our clients digital…”

~ Omar Farooq

Textravaganza was about spending two great days in an informative, friendly, relaxed learning environment. I have struggled with the digital program in Bangalore, but deconstructed as it was in Jaipur, it seemed simple, easy and very can do. Thank you David, Anne, Ashish and Geetaj for making it look so easy and motivating us to begin the journey!

~ Suchita Ullal

Digital #Textravaganza – @Text100India’s most awaited event…. Is finally here!

Imagine this – a homogeneously motley (yup! we are full of incredible Paradoxes) bunch of hundred and thirty odd communication consultants & operations personnel congregate in one of India’s most beautiful, majestic and historic cities, for Digital Immersion, Infectious Craziness and Memorable Camaraderie…. (out of breath already!). So what do you get?

Digital Textravaganza – Text100 Group’s most dramatically anticipated spectacle of the year in India (Sep 29 to Oct 1). The last time this world witnessed pulsating energy of this nature, was probably 5 years ago when Text100 India held its off site in the beach capital of India – GOA.

Much has changed since then. Text100 India has embarked on one its most ambitious and exciting digital journeys, with an articulated vision to Shape the most Influential Conversations in the digital age and beyond. What does this translate into? Creation of arguably the largest group of “digital communicators” in the industry with a shared goal to stay ahead of the new-age communication paradigm curve and lead the adoption and implementation of truly integrated approach to communications.

The above requires some ongoing practice, honing of skills, discussions on new theoretical frontiers of traditional and digital confluence…. And of course, some crazy fun. After all, we have been consistently rated “one of the coolest communication consultancies to work at” for nothing. And this is precisely what we plan to indulge in during the 3 days in Jaipur. Relive the “Text Factor”!

Are we excited?? Just get on to Text100 India’s Facebook page to witness the “competitive spirit” reach feverish pitch. Among all the camaraderie and brouhaha, Jaipur’s first Clarks Amer Hotel (trivia – it was Rajasthan’s  first 5-star hotel) will also play host to several competitions of unprecedented scale – #TIDE100 (the largest digital competition), Spoof Awards and some Serious Awards too. You can also follow the excitement on Text100 India’s twitter handle.

We leave you with some reactions from Texties who are all geared up to take off for the Pink City. Watch this space for some cool updates.

________________________________________________

There is so much excitement and enthusiasm across offices, with mails going across every day. It’s so overwhelming that I really don’t know what to expect… but without a doubt I’m placing all my money on Bangalore and “Mind It” we are going to take Textravanganza by storm. This being my first offsite at Text100 is personally an exciting one and I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of new, exciting and interesting people. ~ Rishika D’anto

Can’t wait for the offsite to kick off! (though technically in terms of preparations it has!) The ‘dance’, the ‘drama’ and all the surprises in store, Textravaganza is sure to be a blast with Texties from all over India coming together to learn and share ideas. The prospect of meeting our colleagues with whom  we’ve only been talking to over phone or chat makes it something to look forward to! ~ Abhilash Kumar

Super Excited about #Textravaganza. Really looking forward to meeting Texties from other offices and catching up with friends and colleagues. This is a special meet, exactly 5 years after I had gone for my first Text offsite. Have fond memories from that Goa offsite and looking forward to more wonderful memories from this one. Digital Textravanganza with friends, fun, music and training will be an absolutely hit combination. ~ Liza Saha

My mind is already switched off….in the excitement of offsite.. ~ Sunit

Seems like Textgravaganza is on fire just like the Mantralaya in Delhi.. Jaipur here we come!!! ~ Hiti

I am excited about the whole thing…lotsaa packing to do and so little time…runnnn!! ~ Abhilasha

Never knew what excitement is till I got to know that we are going to Jaipur…yayyy!! ~ Bhawna

Its gonna be a rocker this time… Gallons of daroo to be consumed and beware girls – hum yahaan ke robinhood hain— robinhood pandey-:) ~ Amit

Hearing the words ‘Text100 offsite’ painted a picture of all things fun, stimulating and adventurous to me even before I joined the Text Family! Many of us consider ourselves really lucky to be given this chance at an early stage of becoming a Textie. The upcoming Digital Extravaganza promises to be an enriching, exciting, fun filled and a real learning experience! Personally, I’m really looking forward to meeting all my colleagues from all the different offices, learning all the Digital Gyaan that is sure to be an eye-opener for us; and most of all I’m eagerly waiting to be a part of the warm, fuzzy feeling that we call – the Text Factor! ~ Sanskruti Gada

My 4th offsite in 10 years at Text100… and it's likely to be different in many ways. The focus on digital is one but more important for me is to finally have the chance after many years to see our crop of youngsters truly take in the Text100 experience. It has meant a lot of things to me over the years and I would love to see what it means to them now. I want them to see, feel and experience everything I have had the good fortune to. ~ Shahnaz K. Jain

It is all about togetherness, lots of fun and learning of course. Can’t wait for Textravaganza. I’m totally Texcited……… ~ Nadisha Roche

All set for the Textravanganza and can’t wait for the super kewl stuff planned for us!! Two more days to go for the kickass offsite of the year 2012. ~ Priya Stephen

Text100 India celebrates 16 glorious years of Textuality!

Texties celebrate 16th with Teenager enthusiasm – mad videos, cake smashing, creative contests et al

Happy 16th Birthday to us!

Turning 16 is always a special feeling- for the adventurous it is about liberation, for the restless it calls for a creative expression, for the emotional it spells nostalgia,  for the intellectual it is time to recalibrate goals, while for the mavericks the milestone is the perfect reason to have unlimited fun. Well, for us it was all of the above and much much more. And why not, it is only once in a lifetime that you turn 16, so why not mark the occasion in our trademark “Textuality”. In 2007, when Text100 India was ranked among the 25 best employers in the country by Hewitt, across industries, the world sat up and took notice of our inexplicable ability to create a mad, fun, committed, learning, exciting, intrapreneurial and invigorating work culture.

Pooja Parikh, a fitting ambassador of Text100’s “responsible craziness”, and HR Director by designation, captures it beautifully in her quote – “I think Text has some craziest bunch of people. They are diligent, hard-working, creative, love to party, play pranks, carry a chip-on-their-shoulder and are great professional. When it comes to delivering on clients – they are the best. I remember in 1996, there was an article in Business World where the erstwhile  HR head of lever had said that ‘We have given 500 CEOs to India – he meant that senior marketing level people when they leave Lever they join as CEOs of medium to big size companies’. Today I can proudly say that Text has given the best professionals to the PR profession in India.” 

It’s always been about the people at Text100. For a boutique consulting firm with a rich legacy in technology communications, it’s the people who have expanded the focus and made successful forays into non-technology sectors and industries. Entertainment, Pharma, Healthcare, Finance, Consulting, Aviation, Travel & Tourism – we have left an indelible mark. As Disha Hoskote, Account Director, cheekily remarks, “At 16, hope we lose virginity to the new sectors we are pursuing”.

Disha Hoskote with her gang of girls!

Enough of subtle self PR. So how did we celebrate our 16th year of Textuality?

Suchita Ullal, Managing Consultant (South) provides a delightful summary of the Bangalore party.

“Text100 Bangalore’s 16th birthday celebrations rocked with a style and pageantry that was great to witness and be a part of. Abhilash, Nadisha and Pallavi, the gang of three behind the event, toiled together for a week before the event to plan the minutest detail and ensure that everything went like clockwork. Influenced by our new colors, the theme was “Painting the Town Orange (and Grey)”; popular themes such as Manmohan Singh’s turban, Marilyn Monroe’s billowing dress and Bugs Bunny were given the orange treatment, reception and office areas were festooned with orange and grey balloons and streamers and EVERYONE wore the new colors. There were costumes galore: Pallavi came dressed as a pirate, Nadisha was a gypsy and Abhilash was T-Man to the T! Nadisha in her flaming orange outfit and perfectly accessorised beads and headbands made for a perfect Med gypsy and Abhilash was Text Man in keeping with the Dark Knight theme. He was fitted out in an orange cape and removable orange chaddi. Needless to say, they waltzed away with the Best Dressed Awards. In keeping with the digital journey, the message board was plastered with little Twitter birds on which everyone penned their birthday messages for Text100 in the form of tweets. The Bangalore message board was voted the best (see pic). The camaraderie and bonding continued well into lunch which was accompanied by orange Tang and a cake with orange icing.”         

Suchita Ullal & Bangalore gang goes Orange with enthusiasm!

 

Shashank, BigRock

But this is all incomplete without acknowledging the rock solid support provided by our client partners over the years.  Read on for some congratulatory wishes graciously shared by our partners.

“Text100 has been a wonderful partner to us at Directi and at BigRock. Through our association with them they have worked closely and proactively with us to help create our PR stance and then work aggressively with top tier media  towards building this. Congratulations team on reaching this milestone!” – Shashank Mehrotra, General Manager & Business Head, BigRock.

Minakshi, IDA Ireland

Minakshi Batra, Director-India, IDA Ireland – Text100 is one of the most professionally managed PR firms we have seen. I had been warned, when we were on the verge of selecting one, that PR agencies make the clients do most of the work. While Text100 really made me work in the first year by getting a lot of media interactions, I and my organization are deeply appreciative of their efforts. I would like to mention, that though I don’t know the rest of the organization, I feel I have one of the best teams allotted to us! May you grow from strength to strength!!

Lubna, McAfee

“Here is wishing a very amazing team a very happy anniversary and a fantabulous sweet 16…. Your energy and enthusiasm is infectiousJ “ – Lubna Markar, Sr. Marketing Manager India & South Asia

McAfee, India.

We are humbled, touched and proud to work with such considerate, loving and supportive clients. Big big thanks to everyone for making our 16th a truly memorable and momentous occasion.

For a sneak preview of the “Textuality” that we pride ourselves on, check out these indigenously produced, scripted & directed masterpieces. A unique take by Texties on our 6 corporate Principles. What a mad mad family we are!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5r04EmWSF8&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mUbp22rh94&feature=youtu.be

http://youtu.be/3U09n8WZZEM

http://youtu.be/e028lRkUz6s

http://www.sendspace.com/file/r5wh96

http://ge.tt/4ZVKhKL/v/0

Sixteen till I die!!

India Shines at @Text100′s own “Olympics”

At the time of writing this, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal, boxers Jai Bhagwan and Vijender Singh, archer Laishram Bombayla Devi had kept India’s medal hopes alive at the London Olympics 2012. But the anticipation was over at Text100′s regional FY12 EXC1TE Awards – our own communications Olympics of sorts, held on 26th July. Out of the 8 categories awarded to Texties for their exceptional performance and dedication, India had bagged 3 coveted titles. And the awards went to….

  

Hardik Sanghani for “Excellence in Digital Consultancy”.

  

Rafi Qadar Khan for “Excellence in Cultivating Client Relationships”.

  

Raj Rathi for “Excellence in Improving Business Efficiencies”.

 Delighted at the impressive tally, Sunayna Malik, Text100 India’s Managing Director, Exc1tedly remarked – “The Exc1te awards are a wonderful way of recognizing stellar performances across the Text world and also serve to rally teams and individuals around new initiatives and focus areas. Peer acknowledgement is always the best form of recognition and the “feel good factor” of these awards is palpable! Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners for a fantastic performance. Raj, Rafi and Hardik you do India proud. Looking forward to many more nominations and winners from India in the forthcoming rounds as well.”

 And here’s what our medalists had to say…

Raj Rathi, Finance Director – “ First and Foremost,  my thanks to colleagues in India Finance and Operations team who are the bunch of committed, hard working and loyal individuals. Without their dedication it is not possible to meet expectations of senior Leadership team. We deserve this award collectively.  Secondly, I would like to thanks India Leadership team (ILT) who is always very supportive and understanding. ILT is a mix of interesting individuals and I get lot of positive energy from this group .I also would like to thank all my wonderful and outstanding coworkers in Text and Vox I consider myself privileged to be working with them. Last but not the  least thanks to the regional leadership team for considering the India Finance team for this award.”

Hardik Sanghani, Account Manager – “It’s an honour, really. To be pitted against such strong competitors across APAC and emerge a winner is a shock, without doubt, but a delightful one. The best part of this experience is the recognition that Text100 has given to its people and understood that digital is indeed that way forward. Now to gear up for the global awards! :-)

Rafi Qadar Khan, Principal Consultant – “A relationship is built on a strong foundation of quality work that is delivered by my teams, I am proud to lead a bunch of the brightest people at Text 100 and it is their work, day in and day out, that has helped me to get this award. I am grateful to whoever nominated and voted for me.”

 Big congratulations to all our nominees and winners. May the magic rub off @ #London2012 too.

The Immortals of Creativity @Text100India

ACT I, SCENE I: The “Creative Sanetist” who got abused

Task at Hand: Conducting a workshop on “Creative Thinking” @Text100

Be the The Creative Sanetist !

Be the The Creative Sanetist !

Mumbai. It was stimulating to witness a group of 20 odd enthusiastic Texties park themselves in the conference room, but probably wondering why this man chose such an esoteric topic. That many among them were relatively newer additions to the Text family was more refreshing, coz I believe that fresh ideas come from fresh minds. So there, I wore my lecturer’s hat and embarked on an intellectual mission to make the world a more creative place. I summarize what transpired next in a conversation format. Some excerpts**:

CreatiWITTY professor: So friends, what’s creativity acc to you? And can you contextualize it in the context of PR?

Enthu Textie #1:  It is about doing new things. E.g. launching a product differently

CreatiWITTY professor: Cool. So if I launch a new cola drink through a unique song and dance extravaganza, is that being creative?

Enthu Textie #2 (beaming with confidence) :  Of course.

CreatiWITTY professor: And what is there is no coverage the next day?

(murmurs across the room): “Hmmmm”. “Ya, may be not that creative then”.

CreatiWITTY professor: Moral #1 – Creativity is about leveraging innovative means, tools or techniques that help achieve a predefined objective or map onto your clients’ biz / marketing goals.

(forced nods across the room, probably as a mark of respect for my stubble): “You are right”. “Makes sense”.

CreatiWITTY professor: Now tell me, your client, a large multinational firm, is undergoing a major image overhaul and asks us for creative ideas.  Any thoughts?

Enthu Textie #3 :  A large press conference in an even larger 5 star banquet in South Mumbai. Alternatively, back to back interviews.

CreatiWITTY professor: How about organizing a 2 day off site with the media, creatively designed as an experiential tool, more engaging, conversational, thematic  and all messages delivered in theatrical style by the spokespersons themselves? Does this sound creative?

Enthu Textie #4 :  Wow, sounds good. But how could we have thought of something like this? never heard before.

Enthu Textie #5 :  Sir, I don’t think it is creative. It is nothing new. Attempted before by companies.

CreatiWITTY professor: Moral #2 – Creativity is about contextualizing. It is usually defined by our personal experiences, or the lack of it.

(muted snarls all around, but again, respect for the stubble). “Correct”. “Right, agree Ashish”.

CreatiWITTY professor: So what prevents us from being creative?

Enthu Textie #6 :  BUDGETS.

CreatiWITTY professor: How much does it cost to create an innovative media familiarization mail that captures the essence of your client, and excites them to know more? What are the damages for studying international trends, contextualizing it for India and approaching a journo with a killer pitch note? I bet it’s super expensive to dream of a cover story for a client by scanning the ecosystem, brainstorming with team about the core story theme, suggesting non competing players and pitching it to the journo? Securing an opinion article or industry story opp for a CEO basis your ability to create a thought leadership proposition can make you bankrupt right? Social media is the costliest tool to have hit mankind… mapping audience behavior, creating social media releases, studying Google trends to capture key words in all client communication, participating in LinkedIn discussions to provide a point of view expressed in a blog, leave us as wretched paupers????????

(if looks could kill, I died at least 15 deaths post my smart @#$ comment). “True that”. “Nothing it costs, all about thinking smartly”.  (thank you grey hair in the stubble).

CreatiWITTY professor: Moral #3 – Creativity knows no boundaries. It is not a slave to budget constraints, nor is it limited by your sun sign or the locality you were born in. Creativity is about knowledge… about insights… about passion.. about inquisitiveness and curiosity… about questioning the obvious… about wanting to push your own intellectual limits.  

(you over smart #$%^^%@, #$%%@#$%, ^@#$%%. Though in bated breath, the expletives echoed in my ears like a throbbing saxophone ).

 

ACT I, SCENE II: The mega creativity challenge

And putting an end to the misery of my fellow Texties, we moved onto some really crazy and fun activity. Each individual was challenged to a “creativity test” with a unique client problem (hypothetical of course). “Unleash your creativity” was the only rule of the game.  Each Textie was given 10 mins to come up with a game changing idea that would help the client achieve its goal. some examples…

  • Launch a sandalwood perfumed hand sanitizer  in the rural market
  • Elevate profile of Santa Clause in an age of technology invasion
  • A rural outreach programe to educate villagers about Tablets
  • An education campaign for a  sweat absorbing footwear device
  • Launch of a Yoga channel through a social media campaign
  • Manage a crisis for the Tea Board as reports of “tea drinking increasing fertility” cause a national stir

At the end of the session, I had the last laugh – literally and figuratively. Literally, because the creativity (of solutions proposed) exuded by every participant in that room – Neha, Prateek, Anshul, Firdos, Vidhi, Manav, Rebecca, Sanskruti, Nandini, Priya, Ravindra, Anish, Pallavi, Lohit, Manish – was mind bogging-ly creative, humorous and original. Figuratively, because it was successfully proven that Creativity knows no designations, budgets or time constraints.

Moral #4 – The future of Text 100 India’s creative PR renditions is in amazing hands.

The author is a Principal stooge (aka Consultant) & a digital student @ Text 100 India.

Picture courtesy: http://bit.ly/IYHeQt

On the path to Rediscovery – Text 100 India’s Leadership Blogathon this February

The Oscars are just around the television corner. Keeping with the flavor, Text 100 India proudly presents the Oscar of Blogathon in February. A cornucopia of experiences, perspectives and learnings from the returnees of the Text 100 India Leadership Off site. To quote the legendary American footall coach Vince Lombardi, “As Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile”.

And thus began the historic journey of 22 men and women in the artificially natural surroundings of the Golden Palms Resort in Bengaluru. Our minds focused, our hearts pulsating and our visions blurred with what hurdles and challenges lay ahead for the next 3 days that would transform us into formidable leaders. The stage was set, and the Actors were prepared to play any role that would help rediscover their strengths, rediscover their weakness, rediscover their humour, rediscover their curiosity, rediscover their beliefs, rediscover their creativity…. Rediscover the Leaders in them.

So what transpired during the 3 days? Why did we dump on our Smelly socks into an earthen vase? How did we manage to unlock our true potential? Did we travel down the road of Digital Leadership? What made the leaders rebond and achieve newer levels of camaraderie? Who made us discover the colours of leadership we represent? And was it all boring Leadership sermons or did the evenings unleash the wild, musical and groovy side of all participants?

Watch this space for the answers as the Leadership gang of Text 100 India unleashes the story tellers within. And the Oscar for the Leadership Offsite Blogathon goes to…..

Rediscovering Leadership

 

Anticipatingly yours,

A Rediscovered Textie

 

 

Image courtesy: http://bit.ly/yTOaoP

Text 100 India “EXC1TES”… bags 3 coveted FY12 APAC Awards

Monsoon is a good 5 months away, but it is already raining awards in Text 100 India. Nothing encourages more than a pat on the back from your own colleagues – the global Text 100 family to be precise.  The much anticipated FY12 APAC EXC1TE Awards – truly of, for and by the Texties – were announced on Thursday amidst cheers, screams and applauses.

In contrast to the Indian cricket team’s disappointing no-show down under, Text 100 India scored a hatrick by bagging 3 EXC1TING awards. Ketan Jain won an EXC1TE for “Improving Business Efficiency” and Sonia Mansata & team took home an EXC1TE for the “Campaign of the Year”. The third recognition came in the form of “Digital Consulting” of the year award. Big congratulations to Text 100 Mumbai in particular for the awards coup and here’s  hoping the deluge continues, seasonal fluctuations not withstanding.

The EXC1TEment is summed up in the words of Ketan Jain.. “In a young and vibrant industry such as ours, its critical to keep our people motivated through frequent and innovative recognition programs, and EXC1TE does this brilliantly for our people at Text 100.”

Awardees Ketan Jain, Sonia Mansata, Karishma Shah sporting their EXC1TEment !!!

Har Ek Pal Zaroori Hota Hai – #Text100India’s Blogathon (submission 2B)

What is the similarity between Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Riyanka Khanna?

  • All 3 never planned to be where they landed
  • The first two created history
  • The third one will create history ;)

One never knows where one will land. Planning is essential, but the essence of life lies in living every moment, to the fullest, “Kyunki hare ek pal zaroori hot hai”. Here is the story of a girl who has gone from shooting German 2.2 rifles to shooting pitch notes.

Having been brought up in the ‘Defense’ set up, I was always fascinated by everything around. The spic uniforms, awesome artillery and the entire aura of the defense setup. Being a gullible young lady I always wanted to join the Indian Army. And so began my zest to dawn the ‘Olive Green’ Uniform.

The ‘preparations’ began real early – I joined NCC, attended zillions of camps, joined artillery classes and practiced shooting. Every ‘Pal’ was worth a thousand memories. It was so awesome.

The artillery classes were especially awe-inspiring. Contrary to my earlier belief, they were actually very technical with a need to have an eye for the minutest of details – wind speed & direction, direction of sunlight, reflections, shadows, distance, moisture in the air, an endless list. Imagine this complexity coupled with long practice hours under the fire breathing ‘Rajasthan’ sun and suddenly  it did not look very exciting but I still loved every ‘Pal’.

This taught me an eye for detail and multitasking – skills so important in today’s fast paced hyper competitive PR world .

I was awakened to the reality of the world when I came to know that I will need to choose a new favorite color– the ‘Olive Green’ was not coming my way. Some ‘smarter’ kids had outscored me in the SSB exam…  L

Now for what this taught me – Life is a Cos Curve – trough & crest always follow each other… J

I was down and out – But was pampered to the core by my folks – and I loved that Pal” [Who wouldn’t ;)]

So it was Ground Zero again…

Location – Jaipur

Venue – Taj, Rambagh Palace – India’s premier heritage 5 star hotel

Interview Candidate – yours truly

Attire – Saree (yes, you read it right)

As with Text 100, Rambagh loved taking risks – for they hired me, that too in the marketing department.  The heritage property is so amazing, it could have easily qualified as the eighth wonder of the world – and of course, me being me, I accepted the offer without looking at the fine print.

Day 1 – Tom Boy to Bhartiya Nari5:30 AM – wake up (first time in my life)

6:15 AM – Now have to wear a sari (this was the fine print)

Mom gets to work, calls the maid, neighboring aunt comes home – co-ordination at its best… I finally wear the sari… J … reached Rambagh and had to rearrange sari for next 1 hour … rest of the day went in trying to understand things, and of course managing the sari

Now for what this taught me – Life is all about adapting – I wore sari everyday / got up @ 6 AM… (It still sounds impossible) / worked 14 hours a day…. But more importantly… I loved every ‘Pal

Life was good, but soon it got better, I met my prince charming. I had to relocate to Delhi – as Riyanka Khanna from Riyanka Arora.

Now for what this taught me – God exists J & I loved everyPal

And when in Delhi – Text 100 happened….

Now for what this taught me – Believe in Bejan Daruwala when he tells that you are getting a Job this month J…. & honestly I loved every Palever since

Now to something serious – yes I mean it…..

I could have been in the Himalayas guarding the boarders OR been a Saree clad marketing manager at a 5 star hotel but here I am , sipping a cup of ginger tea at 6 AM in the chilling Delhi winter writing this ‘nostalgic’ blog….. And soon will be getting ready for another awesome day @ office;

Looking forward to all the amazing moments that await me , Kyunki har ek pal zaroori hota hai.

 

Authored by Riyanka Khanna, Text 100 (New Delhi).

 

 Image source: http://bit.ly/zCzTIO

PRODUCT REVIEWS: 8 QUICK TIPS TO GET IT RIGHT – #Text100India’s Blogathon (submission 2A)

With CES 2012 just having reached a glorious end, it saw all kinds of products being launched – from cameras to wristwatches, from tablets to folding strollers, and augmented reality planes to car accessories!

I’m also certain that as I write this blog-post, a bevy of PR folks (just like me) are now pushing the media to ensure maximum exposure for their clients. With every client being larger-than-life and every product unique from the rest, how do I convince the media to believe that my client’s product is truly awesome?

The answer obviously lies in the obvious, but often under-rated, Product Reviews – an opportunity for the media to get a hands-on experience with the product. With the past two years spent doing this and delivering consistently, here are my quick tips on how to do it right:

Understand your product

Ensure that you know your product very well – the category it belongs to, its features, the USPs, right down to the target audience it has been created for. Knowing what competing products are available in the market and how those compare to your products will give you an added advantage.

Limited resources, unlimited requests

The media like to review products while they are still hot, but it is up to us to ensure we’re getting covered in the right media at the right time. Prioritize your target media keeping in mind when the review will appear. Typically, given their frequency, dailies get first priority, followed by online portals, and magazines last.

You test, before they test

Ensure products are checked if they are in working condition before they go out. It is frustrating to go back and forth with reviewers if damaged products are sent out…not to forget the negative media flak you may get.

Media coordination

Every reviewer you speak to should be aware when the product will reach them and how long they can have the product to review. Be honest with product availability. It is important to keep communication channels open through the duration of the review.

Anticipate the output

Always email product prices, hi-res pictures, specifications, review guides and app links proactively. Also, in conversation, gauge the reviewer’s opinion of the product.

Additionally, keep in mind that reviewers, being gadget enthusiasts themselves, follow your brand and company very closely. Chances are, they will know about the product long before it is launched. Check on earlier coverage or ‘rumour’ stories they may have done.

Both of the above will help in anticipating the end result, and accordingly maintaining client expectations.

Document it ALL

We all know that relying on human memory may not be the best way to keep track of where your products are floating around. Be sure to have an Excel sheet in place to document all details – product name, serial number, publication house, journalist name, date of delivery, and date of pick-up.

Take back what belongs to your client

The hardest part with good products is that media may not want to let go of them! However, unless these products are give-aways, it’s an important hygiene task to have all products collected and locked in the safe. Saves us a lot of trouble when our clients start demanding all their products back J.

Check before you pester

Please don’t call the reviewer without checking for coverage first. And – since coverage matters to us, we follow up vigilantly to ensure reviews are out. Unless you sense that a reviewer may not give a positive review. Review ratings are always based on a simple formula: “Performance + Features vs Price”.

So, there, some quick tips from me. I know this might not have covered everything you need to know. Feel free to contribute with comments and questions and add on to this list.

Authored by Pooja Shah, Text 100 (Mumbai).

 

 

Image source: http://bit.ly/z4D2cp