Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gear up for the New Media explosion

“Watch out! The New Media is seeing a spectacular rise!” That message has been loud and clear in several posts of this blog as also the one on Digital Communications.

The New Media explosion is round the corner, if the NRS findings are any indication.

”NRS revealed that the number of homes taking up cable and satellite connections is on the rise,” agencyfaqs reports. “For instance, the number of C&S households has increased to 6.8 crore from 6.1 crore last year. The connectivity in homes are also on the rise, be it in the form of computers, laptops, mobile phones or Internet. In fact, today there are more than 2.62 crore homes with mobile owners, which is a huge number compared to 0.66 crore last year.

“An important inference, therefore, is that consumers today access content from whichever medium that is available to them in the depth they need and at the time, manner and place they want. Media consumption habits have also changed over time. Readership of dailies, viewership of television, listenership of radio and mobile usage are all on the rise, whereas cinema viewing and magazine readership have declined across India over the last year.

“Looking at the overall mass media reach, it appears that the reach of conventional media such as press and television is narrowing down and other media (mobile, Internet, and radio) reach is on the surge.

”Another interesting aspect was NSRC and AC Nielsen’s finding on media reach in various age groups in SEC AB: the most active media consumers are individuals in the 20-24 age group. They have identified five segments within SEC AB 20-24 individuals based on their varied media habits and affluence – Hi flying Metrosexual, Effervescent Info seeker, Me Too Cult, New Age Woman and Small Town Conservative. And among this segment of consumers, it is seen that the reach of other media is almost close to 90 per cent.”

Professionals in the media and communications sectors should watch these developments closely and gear up for the challenges before it is too late. As for public relations, the focus will be on New PR.

Power of new PR

From the West to the East to the Middle East…, the prophecies are getting bolder. The New Media will rule the roost, several experts have been predicting.

“People are talking about New PR,” says Alexander McNabb in CampaignME. “And no, it's not a reaffirmation of PR with added truth or something daft like that. New PR is about using the new communications techniques of today's world, the web and mail, RSS, blogs and wikis.”

Make no mistake. As we have been discussing in this blog, technology is bringing about radical changes in message delivery and reception. Unless we wake up now, our message will have no medium.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ethical reasoning: PR professionals score high

A study on ethical reasoning ranked PR professionals at number six -- behind seminarians and philosophers, medical students, practicing physicians, journalists and dental students and ahead of nurses, graduate students, undergraduate students, accounting students, veterinary students and Navy enlisted men.

The study had been conducted by journalism professors Lee Wilkins and Renita Coleman. They interviewed 129 PR pros at PR firms in the US in recent months, according to Jack O’Dwyer of

At the bottom, ranking 15 to 19 were business professionals, business students, high school students, prison inmates and junior high students.
Seminarians/ philosophers had an ethical reasoning score of 65.1 while PR pros registered 46.2% and prison inmates 23.7.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Edelman quits Council of PR Firms

Edelman, the largest independent PR firm, has quit the Council of PR Firms.

“We have the utmost respect for our competitors that remain members of Council,” says Richard Edelman in his blog. “We have an abiding and shared interest in the issues facing the PR industry, from diversity to ethics. However, we disagree with the Council on a few fundamental points. Nevertheless, we will continue to be advocates for the PR industry to help all of us achieve the full potential of the business.

In India, Edelman has a tie-up with Roger Pereira.


Omnicom, the world’s largest communications group, controls global PR giants like Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli and Brodeur. Yet Omnicom CEO CEO John Wren does not seem to think much of PR.

Wren has been drawing flak for ‘ducking the press’. According to New York Post financial columnist Christopher Byron, he has given only three interviews in four years.

Wren himself said he rejected advice from his PR firms after the June 12, 2002 Wall Street articles on Omnicom’s accounting practices, according to Jack O’Dwyer of

‘PR industry lacks visionary leadership’

“We lack in visionary leadership, and there is a dearth of talent” in the Indian PR industry.

That is Rajiv N Desai, eminent columnist and PR professional. Desai was instrumental in establishing India's first PR consulting firm IPAN in 1988. Leaving IPAN last year, he had launched Comma Consulting.

In an exclusive interview with exchange4media's Sumita Patra, Desai says, “At IPAN, I trained young professionals and groomed them into PR executives. But now agencies are not able to attract such people because nobody is willing to invest time on them. I think the PR industry will continue to grow, and there will be leaders who will stress on quality rather than quantity.”

Talking about Comma, he says, “At Comma, we believe that branding is about credibility and not visibility. We practise communications management to ensure that whatever brand you build, its values are communicated to both external and internal audiences…. We want to be a major player, and we want to be part of the changing India.”