Every business has an ecosystem and PR has always evolved around media. In India, PR is at a crossroads. I would say that it is little indecisive at the moment—whether to ape western markets and jump directly onto the social media bandwagon, or still come to terms with the ever-expanding traditional media landscape of the country.
Actually, in most parts of my wonderful country, people relish a sweet called ‘Jalebi’ for their breakfast. For those who do not know
what ‘Jalebi’ is, please use Google or Bing (I don’t want to be biased here!) and I am sure you would learn much more than anybody can explain. PR in India is like the Jalebi— a little twisted, sweet, hot, and difficult to know which part is the beginning and which is the end. Each corner of India is different from the other. I last heard that we have close to 52 languages and an infinite number of dialects. Every day you hear about someone launching a new magazine or new TV channel in some other part of the country. Every day you hear about social media specialists crying aloud about finding Indian consumers on the web and death of traditional media. Confused? Don’t be. Remember Jalebi!
In India, most of the PR business is still run on a transactional model. With an ability to get the news out in some leading dailies and business news channels, you can start and run a successful PR business. Many corporate houses have always considered PR as an outsourced operations function and not a strategic business function. I have seen many successful post offices (oops!) agencies doing a remarkable job of sending out press releases and getting stories out on behalf of their clients. Clients devise the complete strategy; they even write the content. The agency is left with nothing but dispatch duties.
But wait a moment! Please don’t think that everybody is like this. There are some exceptional people in our business here in India who fight for the cause of true PR. They run their businesses on their own terms and partner with clients on many core business issues. I think it is difficult to capture what I want to say in one post and I don’t want to go on and on in this ‘twitter’ inspired world. Maybe if my fellow PRBreakfastClub partners permit, I would be back with some more Indian breakfast delicacies. Till then, take care and enjoy the jalebis!
Tushar has been in the business of PR for the past 11 years. He’s a convert from the advertising industry and vows to remain with PR for the rest of his life. He assumes the role of a Jalebi maker for this blog to bring you the hot & sweet tales from Indian PR world. He was the editor of www.indiaprblog.com and used to write a hugely popular weekly column ‘Thursdays with Tushar.’ He is currently the CEO of HANSA Public Relations, a PR agency from the house of R K SWAMY HANSA group and shares his views on www.tusharthinks.com. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or can be found on Twitter (@tushar) or on LinkedIn.