Here’s a quick summary of the top 10 posts (based on pageviews) of 2012 on this blog.
1. Ayesha Takia Vs. Sidhartha Mallya and a lesson in PR on Twitter (February 7, 2012)
I do agree that Ayesha Takia is not that big an actor, but I?m sure Sidhartha knows who she is. Forget that she is an actor ? she is first a customer, like any one of us. Her sister is a customer, like any of us. And the Mallya scion tweeting sarcastically is seriously uncharacteristic of the kind of service we otherwise receive from Kingfisher. Even as he tweets that there are 2 sides of the story, I?m wondering if he can?t get the other side of the story from his staff, who can?
2. Google?s 2012 Valentine?s Day doodle is actually anti-Google! (February 14, 2012)
Yes. You see the love-sick kid Google for ideas to impress the girl and he tries everything suggested by Google. But what worked in the end? Something he did not Google ? or, at least, it is not shown that he Googled the skipping idea! So, we assume he got this idea on his own and won the girl in the process. Now, what does that tell you about Google search?
3. The pointless viral that was Kolaveri? (April 18, 2012)
Kolaveri was a movie promo, not the movie itself. Social media virality needs to be tuned towards the product?s/brand?s success ? a viral video becoming viral (!) for the sake of it is largely pointless at the end of it ? like the famous ?15 minutes of fame? or ?one-hit wonder?.
4. That niggling thing called job search (February 9, 2012)
I have never got a job from a job consultant or an online job service. But, at that point in time, with almost a month-long job search process, I learnt a few important things about networking. Considering the number of people I seem to be helping out informally even today, here are some job search tips and observations.
A PR agency creates content, but looks to get it published it on a neutral, 3rd party website ? not on its own website. It could be a media website (or media print publication; PR agencies don?t own print publications anyway), or it could be a newswire service etc. The point is, you don?t see a PR agency publishing a client?s news in online platforms owned by them.
6. A customized invite by an auto driver! (April 5, 2012)
Considering the distance (about 2-3 kilometers), Rs.50 was indeed high, by normal Indian standards, but I loved the auto driver?s effort to sugar-coat it in something so personalized! As I sat in the auto, I pondered about the kind of premium we pay for small additions by marketers ? better packing, faster delivery and so on! It was wonderful seeing an auto driver using that technique to entice a customer ? I was indeed enticed!
7. I?m not talking to you (February 6, 2012)
More than all the hoopla around Sahara India Parivar withdrawing their support to Indian cricket team, what interested me in yesterday?s lead story in The Times of India is the last sentence. It went, ?we haven?t received anything in writing from them officially. We heard about it only through a media release. We can react only after they communicate with us in writing?, quoting IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla.
8. PR lessons from The Cleartrip Hurry Algorithm incident (January 31, 2012)
Unlike the Kiruba Incident, The Cleartrip Hurry Algorithm Incident is something that impacts everybody using the site. Kiruba Incident is a one-off instance and other customers were being served adequately even at that time. This one, though, is across the website and needed more scrutiny?which is what it also got, eventually.
9. Feeling UP and Feeling cheated ? The Viewspaper and 7UP (January 23, 2012)
The very idea of asking The Viewspaper to make its new tagline popular through this tweetathon seems like a bad one. Assume the tag trends (as it perhaps did) for 2-3 days and people notice it all over the place. How does that help 7UP? One, The Viewspaper goofed in not fully disclosing the association and two, even if it did, very few people connected the trending hashtag with 7UP?s new tagline. The only party that gained is The Viewspaper, first in terms of visibility during the tweetathon and next, notoriety, when the lack of client disclosure went viral.
One of the oldest and most useful techniques PR and marketing folks use, to promote a product or a product?s positioning, is surveys and survey results. There was a time when survey results helped set perceptions about brands and their positioning, but in recent times, I have seen brands grazing through the results, only for marketing benefit ? one brand even announced something mighty bombastic while the fine print actually said, ?Survey result among 99 women?! This morning, there?s an interesting and equally bombastic claim from Parachute Advansed.