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In the past I have talked a bit
about #journalists, but
what about #PublicRelations boys
and girls? Who are they? What is their mandate?
Well, let me take you back to the
late 1980s when I was working with a very powerful English daily, the #HindustanTimes in
the business bureau. Many PR persons, some of the CEOs of PR firms, used to
visit me. Many of them were young ladies and we used to spend time chatting
about news and views. Their mandate was clear: befriend powerful journalists so
that you can push a story through them. Since I was young, I thought it was a
kind of hunky-dory world out there, and PR persons were just friendly blokes.
When I moved on to #indianexpress and
then to Pioneer, the visits dwindled and the lovely ladies disappeared. When I
joined an auto magazine, visits from PR top honchos came to an absolute zero. I
did not mind that all. I got out of Hindustan Times and finally became a
small-time entrepreneur just to experience reality.
When I established #MotownIndia to
some extent, young PR boys and girls began calling me almost on a daily basis,
pleading with me to use the reports/ stories they had sent out. The seniors
never bothered. I realised they spent their time with the more
"powerful" journalists. Since I was born with a kind heart, I was
never really rude to anyone. One day I had gone out with a friend to the #PressClub and
I saw a very senior PR person hosting a journalist from the newspaper I had
started my career in. I smiled to myself. The quality of PR persons has taken a
big-time hit in the recent past and their jobs have lost much of its sheen.
I can't blame these boys and girls,
especially those taking care of automotive news. Every other automaker wants to
be interviewed in some leading newspaper or magazine so that they can gloat
about it! That makes the jobs of PR boys and girls a lot more difficult and
frustrating. Like the jobs of journalists, PR jobs too involve all kinds of
wheeling and dealing! Sad, indeed!!
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