Monday, December 21, 2009

Copenhagen: Where do we stand?

"We're going to have to build on the momentum that we've established here in Copenhagen to ensure that international action to significantly reduce emissions is sustained and sufficient over time. We've come a long way but we have much further to go."
- Barrack Obamam

US President Barack Obama has reached what he called a "meaningful" deal with China, India, Brazil and South Africa on climate change.But according to John Sauven of GreenPeace UK- there were no targets for carbon cuts, the Copenhagen conference does not set specific emission reductions and is not legally binding. In his words "it seems there are too few politicians in this world capable of looking beyond the horizon of their own narrow self interest."

The NGO world has had a similar reactions to the summit deeming it a failure.

To summarize - what came out of the summit (hardly!)

  • No reference to legally binding agreement
  • Recognises the need to limit global temperatures rising no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels
  • Developed countries to "set a goal of mobilising jointly $100bn a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries"
  • On transparency: Emerging nations monitor own efforts and report to UN every two years. Some international checks
  • No detailed framework on carbon markets - "various approaches" will be pursued

The summit did not even meet the modest expectations that were set by the 

leaders. More on our analysis of what did and did'nt happen at the summit......

Monday, December 14, 2009

United Nations Climate Change Conference Dec 7-18 2009 The drama continues…..

Last Sunday, the chilling news that climate change talks could break down completely led to apprehension in the Danish capital and around the world.

Negotiators and ministers from 192 countries took the day off from formal talks to discuss the looming possibility that they could fail the world in the search for an agreement to prevent disastrous climate change.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Premier Wen Jiabao,  made it clear that they were not going to come in at the end of the talks to crack the fine details, they would agree only if the industrialized world was ready for a deal by December 16. Many industrialized countries remained firm in their stand that Kyoto Protocol must die and emerging economies must undertake international obligations under one name or the other regardless of their historical burden of emitting greenhouse gases, or the lack of it.

The negotiations continued and so did the drama. The heart of the Danish capital was taken over by environmentalists and anti-capitalist demonstrators on a 6km march to the venue of the ongoing UN conference. Also, Island nation Tuvalu led a group of developing countries in a walkout last Wednesday, forcing an unprecedented closure of the conference for a few hours.

Tuvalu and other small island nations - most vulnerable to rising seas as a result of climate change - wanted a far stronger treaty out of Copenhagen than is currently being considered. When, at the start of the morning's plenary session, the chair did not take up the Tuvalu proposal in this regard, the Pacific nation's representative led some other developing countries in a walkout, forcing a halt to the session.

The walkout was the most dramatic demonstration of developing countries' frustration that rich nations are unwilling to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases.

These differences continue to stall the negotiations and a possible global treaty to combat climate change. We will be monitoring the news closely as is everyone else.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The need for Online Reputation Management

As it turns out, nothing can kill your prospects for fast growth  than a few unkind words posted by an alienated employee, “wronged” customer,  competitor or even a prankster. And its ease for anyone to do that given the ease and the anonymity of online communication. What’s more, if the comments are in  interactive communities , you can have a crisis in your hands.

 Most companies and executives don’t have any level of online reputation monitoring.

Yet, one simple thing that a company can do which will enable them to take corrective measures and a prevent a crisis: monitoring online reputation.

Put in place an online reputation monitoring system. For starters one can go to Google Alerts now, set up an account for free and put some keyword phrases  like the company name, products/services, and top executives.

That’s at least a start to getting your new online reputation protection program underway and can prove to be exceedingly valuable information.We will be talking more about online PR in the blogs to come.....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Interactive Games Teach Kids Diabetes Self-Management Skills

There is a Nintendo plug-in from Bayer called Didget, which helps encourage children with diabetes to build good blood glucose testing habits. The DIDGET meter from Bayer Diabetes Care links to the Nintendo DS consoles and is designed to help children with diabetes manage their condition by rewarding them for consistent testing and meeting personalized glucose target ranges.
It is the first of probably many more examples to come in the healthcare industry of creative and inspiring marketing with a purpose. This initiative has caught the attention of everyone in the pharmaceutical sector. There is no doubt that today it is more important for companies to get into “to the heart of the consumer”. Bayer successfully managed to do this by understanding the mind of a child and the fact the regular blood glucose testing although important is not fun for a child. The game attracts children and also at the same time manages to provide children with information that enables them to learn more about diabetes in general and the relationship between food, insulin, and blood glucose control. To sum up , there is an Entertainment Value, Target Market Engagement and Relevant Education. These 3 elements — Entertainment — Engagement — Education — are the Secret Sauce to build a strong campaign.

Definitely, it is a great case study for Indian healthcare companies and should help drive them into a new ways of encouraging education, testing, and treatment of conditions for all ages.

-Aman Gupta

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More than PR:Air New Zealand flight attendents get naked

Air New Zealand cabin crew stripped off for a new advertisement where they carry out their duties wearing nothing but their uniforms painted on with body paint. More than 90 Air New Zealand staff members featured in the bold campaign, with eight having only body paint. The advertisement was created to promote the airline’s fares, which "have nothing to hide" - there are no extra fees for things like in-flight drinks or checking in. It was designed to differentiate Air New Zealand from their competitors which it succeeded in doing! On this video has already received over four million Internet views.3,394 people have rated this video giving it average of 4 and ½ stars.Air New Zealand also developed an air safety video titled “Bare essentials of safety from Air New Zealand” to recapture the attention of passengers who often ignore the safety instructions.

This is a great example of a company going beyong traditional PR in its campaign. More are now devoting time and funds to creating campaigns loaded with features and content to lure potential clients. Gone are the days of relying solely on print ads, brochures and billboards. As companies and industries compete, the need to promote brand awareness also rises.The marketing guys at Air New Zealand understood that nudity sells and developed a unique and ingenious advert around this. Unique being the keyword- No airline has done anything like it before.The campaign then took a life of its own with news and media channels picking it up automatically. The safety video clocked 1.2 million views in the 4 days it was up. Those are pretty impressive figures. The video is fun to watch and it manages to keep your attention. The video also does something else – it positions the airline as an innovative and open-minded organization.

The bottom line: its important for any PR campaign to go that extra mile and truly drive home the message & connect with its audience. How does one do that? It has be creative enough to capture attention which is not an easy feat today .

- Aman Gupta
CEO, Imprimis PR

Friday, January 9, 2009


Its stickier, interactive, effective, viral, highly visible, grabs eye balls, your competitor is already using it and you don’t even need to spend on it. No wonder, social media has moved from “buzz word” status to a strategic tool. In the ever-evolving world of social media, public relations professionals (PR) have more opportunities than ever to build strong relationships.


BLOGGING- More than 60 million blog posts exist on the Internet. For companies, bloggers represent an immediate source of information and feedback, but also an opportunity to engage a rapidly expanding global network of influential, credible, passionate and involved group of real people who communicate constantly, Blogs can extend the conversation beyond the press release, provide a platform for thought leadership, and in the case of a crisis, prove an invaluable channel for direct community communications. Most bloggers are typically powerful sneezers, so to pass on the virus you need to sneeze powerfully.

A well executed corporate blog will

• Increase your footprint on the Internet with a cloud of content on your subject.
Create top ten search results on many keywords relevant to your industry
• Establish you as an expert on these subjects
• Raise awareness of your company, product or service
• Create interaction with your customers
• Give your company a human voice
• Make the company more real to your customers, raising the affinity and understanding.
• Increase your brand value
• Raise your visibility with the mainstream media.
INTERACTIVE NEWSROOM-Create an interactive newsroom where traditional media and bloggers can find links to the company’s social presence. This may include high resolution product photos hosted on Flicker, a link to the company’s Twitter profile, a bundle of RSS feeds for the company’s blogs, a searchable repository of pod casts, or even social profiles for media contacts (AIM/Skype/Avatar).

PODCASTING- Podcasting is a great medium for public service announcements, especially in a shrinking media market. The next generations of adults have shown that they go to the web for everything including local, regional and national news. Letting the public know is more difficult than ever without a web presence and soon just a web presence won’t be enough - podcasting or video will have to be the method of delivery.

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES- Social networking sites such as Face book and My Space have become the party lines of this young century. They are inviting and intriguing and a powerful communication tool. Now however people of all ages and professions read blogs, tag articles, join online discussion groups, have profiles on professional social networking sites and post video files. In fact, according to a recent industry report by COM Score, more than half of the visitors to social networking websites such as MySpace, Face book, Flicker and Live Journal are now 35 and older. In terms of PR, social media is a maturing business tool, offering new and innovative ways to drive business and communicate to customers--often using less expensive techniques than traditional advertising or marketing campaigns. It's worth being aware of the various elements that make up the social media landscape, and concentrating on the ones that are particularly.
No wonder, it’s called the reality TV of the net.

Virtual Worlds – This is an interesting category unto itself. Many companies are extending their presence into virtual worlds, with Second Life ranking as the most popular of the bunch – but certainly not the only world to participate. This truly requires participation prior to any form of marketing, as these worlds have a unique culture that requires experience – the kind of experience only possible through residence and participation.
Wikis – Wikis are important to facilitate collaboration in a friendlier, socially-focused content management system. It’s not just about teams and document management. It can now provide a forum for inviting content and suggestions from customers.

VNR 2.0 - Video is the new frontier, again. I recently introduced the idea of reinventing the VNR (video news release), which is designed to help viewers humanize companies and also explain the value of their products or services in a way that speaks to them directly.

‘Un’ produced videos that tell stories are incredibly viral when placed in online communities and also on the corporate Web site. The more produced they feel, the lower the interaction and sharing ratio. The more real they are, the greater the dynamic and propensity for sharing.

These videos can be short demos, screencasts (a demonstration or walkthrough on screen), entertaining snippets or collages, mini episodes, etc.

Create a channel on Youtube, tag each video with the key words you think people are searching, and watch the views skyrocket. I recently uploaded a simple screen cast, which generated 55,000 views in one week.


Thursday, January 8, 2009


December 16 - Satyam announces plan to buy two building firms part-owned by the outsourcer's founders for $1.6 billion. It does a rapid U-turn, killing the deal just 12 hours later following a 55 percent plunge in the company's share price in hectic U.S. trading (SAY.N).

December 17 - Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju says the about-turn reflected negative investor reaction. Satyam shares continue to slide, falling by a third on concerns about corporate governance.

December 18 - Satyam board says will meet on December 29 to consider a share buyback in a bid to restore confidence.

December 23 - Satyam barred from business with the World Bank for eight years for providing Bank staff with "improper benefits." Its shares fall another 14 percent to their lowest in more than 4- years.

December 24 - Satyam shares rally amid market talk the outsourcer may have become an attractive takeover prospect given the steep share price fall.

December 25 - Satyam says it asked the World Bank to withdraw "inappropriate" statements.

December 26 - Mangalam Srinivasan, an independent director, resigns.

December 28 - Satyam defers board meeting until January 10 to give itself time to consider options to shore up investor confidence.

December 29 - Three more directors quit, but Satyam shares rise on hopes for moves to improve shareholder value and corporate governance.

December 30 - Shares extend gains on talk of private equity interest and a management change. One of Satyam's largest investors says it could sell its stake.

January 2 - Satyam says its founder's stake fell by a third to 5.13 percent. Analysts say this means the company is a more attractive bid target.

January 5 - Satyam shares tumble 9 percent on concern that corporate governance issues could hit new business.
January 6- Shares rise more than 7 percent on a newspaper report Satyam had been approached by smaller rivals Tech Mahindra (TEML.BO) for an all-share merger.

January 7-The chairman of Satyam Computer Services (SATY.BO), India's 4th-biggest software services exporter, resigned on Wednesday, saying the company's profits had been inflated over recent years, sending Satyam shares plunging more than 70 percent.

If 26/11/08 shook our hearts, then 7/1/09 should shake our conscience. Hopefully this time we should have the nerves to blame ourselves and take the responsibility, otherwise it will reflect the strength of our character.
Its easy, when the trouble is outsourced, at least it bestows you with the illusion that your world is perfect, but its scary when there is a trouble in your paradise.
Let’s ask ourselves that after 60 years of freedom, are we really free?
Are we free from corruption? Free from greed? Free from exploitation? Free from dishonesty? Free from deceit?
It’s an age of-
More knowledge but less judgment
More experts but more problems
Multiplication of possessions but reduction of values
Conquering outer space, leaving out the inner space.
Higher incomes, lower morals
Tall men and short characters.

True patriotism: "Our country -- when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right!!!!