Thursday, 1 December 2016

From C K Sardana: A P R Veteran

Using the opinion-formation/image-building bodies

PR function envisages information dissemination for opinion-formation/image-building. Apart from the oft-said and used tools of PR, I have experienced the use of bodies of media persons for bringing them nearer to the top brass and, also, in getting favourable stories carried in their media from time to time apart from knowing the Organization at first hand. 

I had spent life time in PR in BHEL  Units before moving to Corporate Office at New Delhi years ago as Head of Corporate PR. Function was not new but the place -- that too India's Capital - new. So, I looked to my colleagues in Corporate PR for an update on the media and its functioning. They were forthcoming and opened out frankly.

Dr. KS Jayaraman, Science Editor, PTI and  Balbir Punj, Special Correspondent, Financial Express -- to name just these two -- were very enthusiastic in laying hands on exclusive/in-depth stories about key aspects of the economy. My colleagues suggested 'why not take initiative and suggest to them to start a professional body of their fellow-journalists.' That is how Indian Science Writers Association and Forum of Financial Writers came into being in early 1990s with very humble initiative from PR. 

We, in and from BHEL, offered them help in the establishment of these bodies. They commended this. A session each was organized as a 'Meeting the journalists' with our CMD, Directors etc. It was not at all a press conference but an informal get-together with founder members of these bodies. Such meetings paid dividends in bringing media persons closer to BHEL and its Top Management and getting them have information from horses' mouth. We did not solicit stories in their agency/newspaper. But these came on their own and that trend continued. After all what is PR? A sustained programme of building relationships with stakeholders. Media, surely, is among the most important stakeholders for any Organization and its PR outfit.

Over the years, such bodies have come come up in New Delhi and Metro Cities. Nevertheless, PR professionals are well advised to take initiative and get Media persons set up such bodies for their own professional requirement and progress. This needs lot of ground work. More than this, this requires courage on the part of the Top Managements to keep channels of communication open with the Media for helping build Organization's image. PR Heads, themselves, have got to be very bold and candid in convincing their bosses that this is in Organization's interest.

Information dissemination through informal meetings with members of such professional bodies will be authentic and ready-for-use coming from the top bosses in an Organization. If in a year, PR persons can get one story, in a quarter, on some specific aspect, it will help image-building. All those sitting in positions of decision-making in Government and elsewhere do read such stories and form opinion about issues and organizations. This is PR job. Let our friends ponder over this suggestion and get going. Good luck.

C K Sardana
General Manager (Corporate PR) - Retd., BHEL
Settled at Bhopal. email id: M - 09893556483

Friday, 25 November 2016

Dilip Padgaonkar: A Pune Lad

Dilip Padgaonkar was a star for us students  in the department of communication and journalism at University of Pune (then Poona) in 1969-70.) We the students had no occasion to meet him because he had left the city to work in Paris as the Times of India correspondent. Our head of the department, Prof. L N Gokhale, would often speak about Dilip whom he had seen woking in the city as the reporter of the now defunct Poona Herald. Prof. Gokhale used to ask us to read Dilip's bylined stories and treat him as our role model.
To our teacher, Dilip was a local lad who studied in the Fergusson College. His father was a top official of the Bank of Maharashtra and a big name on the cultural and literary scene of the city.
Years later Dilip was the Editor of The Times of India based in its headquarters in Delhi. Our department used to invite him as a guest. Occasionally, I would meet him as a special correspondent of the UNI, the Indian Post, and the Observer of Business and Politics.
There was something pleasing about him. He did not have any airs though he was the Editor/Managing Editor of the country's most influential and largest  circulated  English daily. We the local journalists and journalism teachers were happy when he shifted from Delhi to Pune to live here permanently.
He continued to be a simpleton and an unassuming journalist. When I invited him to address a seminar in the FLAME campus, he willingly agreed to spend about an hour with the faculty and students. Once there, he spent almost two hours because he was highly impressed with the campus. and, more importantly, with the concept of Indian liberal education.
A couple of years later, we met again at a function in the city of Pune  and on his own, he said he would like to spend some time at the campus. This did not materialize.

Journalists Wanted in Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore

Following from Mr. Vijay Thombre and Mr. Sachin S. Mokashi of MM ACTIV Sci. Tech. Communications Pvt. Ltd:

Wanted Sr. Reporter / Correspondent for our three magazines BioSpectrum India, BioSpectrum Asia and NuFFooDS Spectrum to be based in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore (three posts)

Remuneration for the posts: As per qualifications and experience

The detailed Job Description is as follows:

Essential Job Requirements:-
-          Conceive story ideas.
-          Closely monitor the functioning and developments from the industry as well as policy……
-          Develop financial and business understanding of the industry as well as the general economy, research and science & technology.
-          Should develop ability to track regulatory/policy developments.
-          Should be able to present financial analysis.
-          Should be comfortable in working on all media platforms from print to online.  
-          Report and write stories/articles/features for magazine/portal, describing the background and details of the events. 
-          Interview people who matter and who provide information.
-          Review and correct errors in content, grammar and punctuation as per prescribed editorial style and formatting guidelines.
-          Research and analyze background information related to stories in order to be able to provide complete and accurate information.
-          Gather information about issues by research and interviews.
-          Evaluate leads and tips in order to develop story.
-          Discuss issues with editors in order to establish priorities and positions.
-          Check reference material in order to obtain relevant facts.
-          Revise work in order to meet editorial approval.
-          Photograph or videograph events.
-          Write columns, editorials or reviews.
Any other work assigned by the Management from time to time.
Required Education:-
Science Graduate with Post Graduate Degree in Journalism or Mass Communication.

Required Experience:
-          Minimum 5 years experience in Media Industry as a Reporter or Correspondent.

Required Skills:- 

-          Excellent knowledge of economic issues.
-          Good understanding of …………
-          A thorough knowledge of English language
-          Good communication skills i.e. Writing, Active Listening, Speaking and Reading comprehension.
-          Time Management, Managing time effectively.
-          Analytical thinking, 
-          Good understanding of social and developmental issues.
-          Co-ordination.
-          Persuasion.
-          Team Player.

Equipment Used:-
Excellent computer literacy relating to Microsoft Word, Excel & Powerpoint.Shooting using cellphone.

Working Conditions:-
-Has to work in office environment and in field.

For details. please visit:

 Please send your CV to:

Monday, 7 November 2016

Kannada version of the Book 'THE CHALLENGE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

BN Kumar has sent in the following:

Kannada version of the Book 'THE CHALLENGE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS'

PR Veteran, C K Sardana's book THE CHALLENGE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS is now available in Kannada. It has been brought out by Institute of Media Studies & Research, Banglaore.

 At a function organized by IMSR & Public Relations Council of India at Bangalore on October 23, the book received welcome response from academicians, teachers, students, representatives of corporates and business houses.

 The book has been translated by two Media veterans H R Shreesha & K S Achyuthan. Eminent media teacher and former Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. K V Nagaraj has written a Foreword to the Kannada version.

The book contains the experiences of C K Sardana who superannuated as General Manager/Corporate PR, BHEL - a Maharatna PSU and thereafter Professor & HoD, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism & Communication. English version, in its second edition, is already used as a reference volume on PR in action by students and teachers of UG/PG besides PR professionals. 

Kannada version fills the void of practically no books available in Kannada on actual experiences of Veterans in the PR field. Bangla version is in the pipeline and is expected to be released by March 2017. Earlier, Sardana's book on Mass Communication, in Hindi, had been translated in Marathi. The Marathi version is widely used in Maharashtra.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

One Out of Two in Internet

One Out of Two in Internet
The Internet has just reached another record figure in the world. Our database shows there are 3,675,824,813 Internet users in the world. The Internet penetration rate, equivalent to the percentage of the world population that has access to the Internet, is 50.1%.
The following table below shows the current updated Internet users in 2016 (Q3) for the main seven  World Geographic Regions
World Regions
2016 Est.
Users 2016
Penetration Rate %
28.7 %
45.6 %
73.9 %
57.4 %
89.0 %
61.5 %
73.3 %
50.1 %
Source: Internet World Stats, accessed on October 24, 2016.

Reaching 50.1% Internet user penetration in the world is a historical occasion. The Internet continues to grow in users and in the services available online. The increase in smartphone usage and the lower access costs as well as the growing population will surely keep Internet users increasing in all the world. The following page contains 1995-2016 Internet Growth figures.

462,124,989 Internet users for June/2016, 36.5% penetration, per IAMAI.
spacerIndia_flag INDIA
spacerIN - 1,266,883,598 population (2016) - Area: 3,166,944 sq km
spacerCapital City: New Delhi - 11,279,074 population (2012)
spacer 462,124,989 Internet users for June/2016, 36.5% penetration, per IAMAI.
spacer 157,000,000 Facebook subscribers on June/2016, 12.4% penetration rate.
spacerLocal Time and Weather in New Delhi, India

In India: 
462,124,989 Internet users for June/2016, 36.5% penetration, per IAMAI.

Map of India and country data.

India fact file.

India eGovernment
National Portal of India.

India Broadband Market, Internet Services and Forecasts
India Internet and Telecommunications reports

Sunday, 23 October 2016

SIMC's International Conference Report

The conference organized by the Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication (SIMC), Symbiosis International University, Pune, was attended by a large number of communication scholars. Here is the summary of the proceedings for the benefit of our colleagues who could not be here in Pune

OCT 6-7, 2016
Organized by Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication (SIMC), Symbiosis International University, Pune


The First International Conference on Media and Communication: Prospects and Challenges was held at SIMC on October 6-7, 2016. The inaugural function was held at SIU Convention Centre on October 6 at 10 am.

Chancellor Dr S.B. Mujumdar, Principal Director Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar and Vice-Chancellor Dr Rajani Gupte, along with four internationally renowned professors, inaugurated the conference.
SIMC Director Prof. Ruchi Jaggi, in her opening remarks, highlighted the importance of the first International Conference on Media and Communication to give a fillip to research in media and communication.

 The plenary session was scholarly and intellectually stimulating and inspiring. The conference had four academic luminaries of the media and communication world: Dr Daya Thussu, Dr Nishant Shah, Dr Suresh Ramanathan and Dr Steve McDowell. The theme of the Plenary Session was “The Past, Present and Future in Media and Communication Research” It was aimed at setting the agenda for the two-day conference. It examined the conceptual issues as well as future directions for media and communications research.
Our four plenary speakers spoke on the theme of emerging research paradigms in media and communications research.
Dr Daya Thussu enlightened the audience on global media and communications research in particular, drawing lessons from his scholarly work over the years. In particular, he examined the areas of international communication and soft power. 
Dr Nishant Shah focused on the emerging methodological frameworks that are shaping research on digital technologies in the political, social and cultural contexts. Additionally, he spoke on the challenges that scholars in the field of Internet Studies must be prepared to encounter.  
Dr Suresh Ramanathan spoke on the theme of consumer behavior research. He particularly focused on Innovation which holds the key for consumer behavior research. Innovation holds the key and in today’s place there is no place for mediocrity, he said.
Dr Steve McDowell spoke on the theme of emerging research paradigms in media and communication research. He enlightened us on global media and communications research in particular.

Skype Session with Dr Nick Couldry
In the evening, Dr Nick Couldry, Professor of International Communication, London School of Economics and Political Science, addressed us on skype on the theme, ‘The Social Construction of Reality’. Speaking on his long-term interest in the social consequences of the concentration of symbolic power in media institutions, he said the issue of media institutions’ role in the social construction of reality now goes much wider. He cited four examples to substantiate his thesis:
1. The rise of social media platforms as alternative foci of attention
2. The increasing interdependence of mainstream media and social media
3. The increasing push across the wider corporate sector
Dr Couldry said we can and will change the reality. He raised the pertinent question:
Is it enough to deconstruct the myth? It is important but insufficient to deconstruct the myth of us (and identity at work). It is a part of reality.

Skype Session with Dr Patrick O’Donoghue

On October 7 at 9 am, we had another brilliant address on skype by Dr Brian Patrick O’Donoghue of University of Alaska, Fairbanks. 
He said governments, businesses, marketing professionals, community and social organizations are encroaching, if not entirely displacing, traditional news organizations as sources of information about events, even breaking news today. News media no longer serves as society’s news gatekeeper, deciding what the audience needs to know, when and how.
The vital role for journalists today is getting unfiltered answers about issues and questions troubling readers and viewers. We can and should add value to information channels: putting our fact-collecting and analytical skills to work. That starts with listening to concerns raised by the audience. Success requires getting and reporting answers, earning the public’s trust.
In December 2016, convictions against four Native Alaskans serving decades in U.S. prison were overturned in a settlement fueled by 14-years of investigative reporting by Dr Brian and many years of student journalists
The impetus for investigating innocence claims by the Fairbanks Four began in the most traditional of news forums: letters to the editor from readers in Native villages. Dr Brian discussed how that came about and case lessons about the importance of public service journalism in the digital age.

Concurrent Panel Sessions
Our concurrent panel sessions in all four tracks spread across 28 panels were a roaring success. Delegates and Track Chairs have appreciated the efforts of the paper presenters and the quality of research.

Media, Culture and Society
Over 45 research papers were presented in 11 sessions during the course of conference.
This track was conceptualised to discuss and argue on one of the most critical facets of media studies – culture and to investigate media discourses on different dimensions of the social, political and cultural framework of society. During the course of the conference, scholars presented and discussed several concepts, themes, issues, and ideas. Paper presenters covered the following topics:
1. Role of newspapers in diminishing knowledge gap, paid news, coverage of social issues, coverage of election in the context of women candidates
2. Use of information, communication, technology for health communication and effect of education on woman and child health.
3. Representation of gender in animated films, Bollywood and regional films and representation of metropolis in Hindi film songs
4. Gender representation in cartoon shows on Indian Television,
5. Analysis of Indian and foreign television soaps and reality shows through the lens of diverse theories.
6. Use of participatory video for social change.
7. Adoption of technology for agro-based industry
8. Media literacy
9. Use of smartphones and Whatsapp
10. Studies related to various segments of the audience.

Media Laws, Ethics and Policies
This track generated a lot of interest because of the increasing importance of law in modern-day world. The importance of media laws and ethics has been increasing day by day. There has been a perennial conflict between a citizen’s civil liberties and societal expectations and goals. In defining the limits of the citizen’s protection, one faces at every stage difficult questions arising from conflict of values. Where does a citizen’s right to free speech begin and end? Of late, the law of sedition, for instance, has become the most controversial piece of legislation as questions have been raised over its legitimate application and enforcement. What constitutes incitement to violence and whether the government can book anyone under this law merely for hate speech (which can be tried under other laws) even if there is no explicit incitement to violence as ruled by the Supreme Court of India? Though the freedom of speech is the sheet anchor of democracy, it is circumscribed by reasonable restrictions. The media – print, electronic and digital -- is free in India and many other countries. However, it does not enjoy a special status vis-à-vis the citizens with respect to laws such as the freedom of speech and expression, law of sedition and law of defamation.
There were 14 papers in total spread over three sessions and they dealt with both macro and micro dimensions of law in diversified areas. The topics ranged from sedition law to television broadcasting rules and regulations, enforcement of the Right to Information Act, corporate frauds and journalistic ethics at the time of natural disasters like the Uttarakhand floods.
While Dr Biswajit Das, Director, Centre for Governance, Jamia Millia University, New Delhi, was the Chair on Oct 6, Dr Shashikala Gurpur, Dean, Faculty of Law, SIU, chaired two sessions on Oct 7.
Focus on New Media
Track III focused on the emergence of new media and its impact on society at large. As brought out by the researchers, new media has created a strong impact on multiple stake holders of the society. The penetration of social media platforms is altering the social behaviour and the changing ways in which communities are negotiating the personal and digital/social spaces.
Just like the digital natives, the aging population considered to be digital immigrants too have accepted and learned to use social media networks as platforms for contact, cooperation and socialisation. Social media is an empowering tool, which are being used by marginalized communities to raise awareness and gather support at the global level.
The manner in which news was disseminated has changed owing to the advent of social media. Now news can be immediate, backed by instant videos and a larger volume of public opinion can be garnered instantly.
New media has helped individuals create a digital identity and the research outcome indicates that each gender exhibits a different online behavior. This is an interesting revelation. The use of smartphone has gone beyond basic telephony and is creating a community culture in society which is beneficial for all stakeholders. However, online safety of vulnerable audiences is also an emerging concern.There is an immediate need to introduce stringent laws preventing mobile cyber crimes.
New media is the new buzz word, and marketers are using this platform to reach out to diverse target groups. However, research papers insights suggest that the user generated content enjoys a higher acceptance amongst the public compared to banner ads and pop up ads by marketers. In a young country like India, even political parties have started using social media for influencing the youth voters and this trend will only increase looking at the penetration of the new media.
New media provides for day-to-day utility also. Rural population too benefits from social media by using if for purpose like health and agricultural information. The lack of formal education may not limit digital literacy. However, the government has a huge onus to ensure social inclusion in this major disruption called the New Media. 

Business and Marketing Communication
In all, 29 papers were presented in this track. It emphasised on the recent trends of consumer research, use of big data in various sectors. It also laid emphasis on the various mediums through which marketing has emerged to the consumers. Special emphasis was put on various digital marketing strategies and how the response of respondents has changed with changing environment.

Looking into this, the session stressed the need to include online branding theories and models as a part of the digital research. The correlation of online marketing with personal branding was discussed. Apart from discussing digital world at large, the issues also revolved around other marketing mediums like celebrity endorsements, cartoons and gender issues relating to online purchase behavior among millennial.