Killing Them Softly
The world has woken up to ethical issues in corporate governance & accounting practices. Corporate heads that were not guillotined were forced hang their heads in retrospective shame. The heads that fell were the victimizers, and the axe that fell, fell too late, and the punishment received, was way too little compared to the suffering, pain and financial losses that the organizations' stakeholders suffered. Trust of millions of investors was lost overnight.
Ethics in governance is one part of the story, the other link in this dubious chain of deceit is usually the professional services like auditing, legal and public relations which work closely with the organization. Such large scale deceit becomes possible only with the active collaboration of these so-called 'professional' services. Hardly professional, really!
The Indian investor has been victim to a lot of companies attempting to make a quick buck in the markets. While caveat emptor - let the buyer beware, is the legal term that organizations to get out of such wrangles, it is necessary to look into how these various scams are done, and to recognize the role of the professional services, especially public relations in creating and sustaining the scams.
Circa 1994. Every Indian remembers the bloody battlefield of the stock markets. While the aftereffects are well embedded in everyone's memory, few remember how it all began. Upbeat stock stories in the newspapers, stories of millions being made overnight, the oldest stock exchange of the country celebrating the index at an unprecedented high. Stock market pages kept the upward arrow next to almost every stock price quoted indicating the trends. Investors scrambled, dinner conversation revolved around the stock prices, 21 year olds were sitting in front of red-blue flashing computer screens, buying and selling tens of thousands of shares in seconds.
While some companies were actually performing well, many slipped through the back-door and slipped up their shares to unwary investors. Why is the investor so gullible? And is the investor really so gullible?
The method that was used to market the fly-by-night companies to the investors combined the well-used public relations concepts of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). Successful FUD pushes to show how you would be the only person who would be left in the race if you did not buy-in into the campaigner's concept, creates uncertainty about your own analysis & gut-feel and generates doubt about the products or services currently under use. This especially works wonders in a greed-struck stock market, where more often than not, mob-psychology rather than knowledge is the deciding factor.
Usually such scams are orchestrated in connivance with some unscrupulous public relations companies. At other times, the PR companies usually have enough pointers to the possibility of such a scam about to take place. Press conferences are called, headlines blare out the superlative performances of the organization, there is talk of new acquisitions, investor meets happen and stock analysts are shown the factory, the plush office to generate confidence in the investor. The PR agency is rewarded for its great 'efforts' by way of a few millions and the investors collective gets duped for a few billions. Case studies of this century in such dubious PR in India would include the CRB scam, MS Shoes, Harshad Mehta & Home Trade fiasco. While these are the few stories which come to light, there are many scams which get away without even getting noticed.
What is the responsibility of the public relations company in such circumstances? The agency must evaluate the client and understand program and take a view that is beyond just the fees that it will generate and take a responsible decision. The PR agency can & must become the watch-dog for the companies, advising them, guiding them and if nothing prevails, then going to the extent of resigning the account for of a larger good. This kind of discussion, though popular conversation in PR cocktail circuits, is still eschewed by the PR intellectuals in more serious forums!
Unless we work as a committed community on the principles that should guide the PR business; and take stringent action against those who use these tools-of-influence to feed their greed, the respectable business of PR will go to the depths of unrecoverable ignominy very soon.
Chandramouli is the CEO of Blue Lotus Communications Consultancy, a leading knowledge based public relations agency located in Mumbai,India. He is an Engineer-MBA with over 16 years of multi-functional experience and has guided Blue Lotus to a core focus in the booming sectors of Healthcare, Finance, Education and Technology.
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
Top Ten Tips For Great Sound Bites
If you're an online business using public relations (PR) to help increase traffic at your site, you've found a great way to gain exposure at little cost. And before you know it, the day will come when you are invited to do an interview with a reporter.
PR Going According to Plan?
Think carefully! You're a department, division or subsidiary manager for a business, non-profit or association and you really need to achieve your operating objectives.But even a yes response to the headline above leaves the really big question unanswered - does your current public relations plan help persuade your most important outside audiences to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that lead to your success?If the answer to that question is uncertain or even no, change is in order.
7 Tips to Get More Mileage Out of Your Online or Offline Publicity
You worked hard to get a story on your business in a popularwebsite or your local paper. Don't let your efforts ends there --here are seven tips to help you maximize your online and offlinepublicity: 1) Reprint, Reprint, Reprint! A favorable article on your company or products is marketing gold- it implies that the publication or website has given itsendorsement.
How PR Makes a Managers Life Easier
Things are pleasant for many business, non-profit or association managers when their public relations people deliver newspaper and talk show mentions, informative brochures and videos, and special events that attract a lot of people.But things could be much more pleasant for those managers if their PR teams were to deliver the kind of behavior change among their key outside audiences that leads directly to achieving their managerial objectives.
Making Great Announcements
When do you use the newspaper for publishing announcements for promotions or new partnerships?Adding an announcement to a newspaper will only bring further recognition to your business. You should always send items such as the hiring of a new employee, the announcement of a new contract, the change of location or any other item that you would like the world to know.
Effective Public Relations: Why Did Bec And Lleyton Do It At 3:15AM?
If you are in Australia at the moment, it is hard to miss the engagement news of superstar couple, tennis ace Lleyton Hewitt and TV soap Rebecca Cartwright.They are everywhere .
When Tactics Are Not Enough
Your public relations people are busy. The buzz is all about hits on a radio show or mentions in a newspaper column.
Managers: Are You PR-Fit?
Can you honestly say that your business, non-profit or association's key outside audiences behave in ways that help lead to your success on-the-job?Or, have you pretty much ignored the reality that target audience behaviors can help or hinder you in achieving your department, division or subsidiary's operating objectives?Truth is, your unit's public relations effort can never be truly fit until the primary focus of the PR people assigned to you is shifted from tactical concerns to a more comprehensive public relations action blueprint like this: people act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving- to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.
The Press Release is Dead (Now Will Somebody Please Tell the Clients?)
In competing for a piece of business not too long ago, my PR firm was asked to supply three samples each of recent clips, bylined articles we'd authored for clients, and press releases.For two of the three requirements, the issue was our embarrassment of riches.
Sure-Fire Recipe for a Successful Public Relations Career
Without a solid, well-designed foundation, few buildings successfully withstand the ravages of time and weather. And so it is with public relations, ever-dependent upon how well its practitioners understand the discipline.
Public Relations Going O.K?
Yes?Good!Still, as a business, non-profit or association manager, if you're not getting the behavior changes you paid for, you're wasting your money.Here's why I say that.
Celebrities Cant Have It Both Ways
Corporations are willing to pay substantial amounts of money to prominent personalities so that consumers will relate the brand with their favorite star, and thus will be more likely to buy the product. The buying public imparts credibility to the celebrity because of his or her charisma as well as the credibility that comes with prominence in the media.
Right PR Empowers a Manager
Business, non-profit and association managers are in a stronger position to succeed when they use their public relations resources in a way that alters individual perception leading to changed external stakeholder behavior.A mouthful, but true.
4th Quarter 2003 Publicity = 1st Quarter 2004 Prosperity
As the year starts to wind down, many businesses and entrepreneurs are making plans and budgets for the year 2004. Those plans could include anything from setting up goals for new products to preparing marketing, sales and PR/publicity campaigns.
A Simple Formula for Success
Leaders in the business world need public relations big time, and they show it every day.How? By staying in touch with their most important external audiences and by carefully monitoring their perceptions about the company, audience member feelings about hot topics at issue, and the behaviors that inevitably follow.
How To Write A Killer Press Release
One of the primary tools still used by PR professionals to garner media coverage is the press release. Now understand the purpose of a press release is to grab the attention of an editor, not to offer a word for word story to a publication.
Doubt PRs Clout? Dont!
Done right, it helps modify the behaviors of your most important target audiences, and that can spell S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L.I don't believe that's an overstatement because a customer who thinks badly of you and your business will not soon be darkening your threshold.
Leveraging Media Coverage - Your Tool For Business Growth
Media relations, simply put, is the business of building and growing reputations. One of the strengths of media coverage is that its free and gives great credibility because it is written by a third party, namely a journalist.
Imagine PR Like This Helping You
As the kids say, how cool is this?You're a business, non-profit or association manager and, finally, you decide to do something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours - behaviors that MOST affect your operation.What you're doing, of course, is creating the very external stakeholder behaviors that will help achieve your managerial objectives.
The Press Release: How to Get the Media to Pay Attention!
As many of you already know, promoting and marketing your business in as many creative ways as possible is crucial to the success of your venture. But finding ways to get noticed presents a major challenge for most entrepreneurs.
|home | site map|