Friday, December 10, 2010

The new trend: Marketing with a Cause

Each year, the Cause Marketing Forum honors one business and one non-profit organization for their leadership and outstanding efforts in the pursuit of doing a noble cause. This initiative began in 2002 awarding General Mills in Business Golden Halo Winner and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in the NGO Golden Halo Winner. 

For the year 2010, Macy’s received Golden Halo Award in Business category for initiating programs and supported them with substantial promotional budgets at the time of recession.  They partnered with American Heart Association, Feeding America; Make –a – wish Foundation, National Park Foundation, Reading is Fundamental and more 10,000 local and national charities raised more than $ 36 million in 2009 and $32 million in 2008.

In the non-profit category, Feeding America was honored. Bold marketing moves with research and analysis and recession at doorstep, it raised the profile of hunger in America, have made one of corporate America’s most sought-after nonprofit partners. It’s difficult to keep track of the numerous new and renewed corporate partnerships the group has inked in the last two years.

Ebay was awarded in the Best Transaction Category, for raising funds for their favorite charities through eBay Giving Works in 2003. In 2009, eBay was spotlighted with more charities and upgraded Give at Checkout and Donate Now much more. he number of sellers with charity listings increased 60% over 2008. The number of charity listings increased by 150%. The overall program raised $50 million through transactional activity in 2009, nearly a third of the $162 million total it has raised since 2003.

Further, NBA (in association with UN) received Silver for raising funds. They have raised many partnerships and projects but not compared as per the year 2009. They launched a holiday campaign which offered fans two complimentary NBA game tickets for every $10 or greater donation with a cap of 10,000 tickets. From December 14 to 31, the program raised over $300,000 online, 29% of the foundation’s total online revenue for the year with an average donation of $45, far more than the $10 minimum.

In the Best Health Campaign Category, Gold was awarded to the partnership between NBA and UNF with UN High Commission on refugees to fulfill an urgent need for long-lasting insecticide – treated bed nets in African Refugees Camps in 15 countries. Another campaign organized by Cybex, teamed up with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation was honored with Silver Halo Award. They introduced new products for athletes and educate consumers for need of exercise in order to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

The winner for Best Environmental Campaign Gold was Sunchips in promoting the concept of Green Brand with association of Frito Lays. More awards were given out to General Mills for associating with biggest Loser TV show and Feeding America for Social Service and Best Message focused campaign was done by Ben & Jerry’s “Freedom to marry” speaking their thoughts on Gay Marriage being legal. 


Monday, November 29, 2010

Who gets your email account when you die?

Our lives are becoming more virtual by the day with email, social networking, internet banking accounts and digital photo albums and data stored on our PCs, but what of death? Who gets access to those passwords and usernames? Who can log on as the digital heir? This is why everyone needs a digital will. This is the document that bequeaths a person's digital assets to his heirs.

How can this be done? The first step is to create a digital inventory – an index of your "soft" assets. Second, get your digital signature authenticated. "Then, it won't take more than a day and a couple of thousands (of rupees) to have your digital will ready," says Supreme Court advocate Pavan Duggal, who specializes in cyber law.

Duggal says a digital will is important because there have been many disputes about digitized data in recent times. "Most of us never think about making arrangements to name an heir for our digital assets, and it becomes a Herculean task for legal representatives to get a succession certificate for such data. It could take years in court." There have been fights over a dead writer's manuscript on his PC, a deceased photojournalist's digital photo library and a businessman's financial records in his email account.

Service providers have different policies about passing on digital information after an account holder's death. For example, Yahoo! terminates accounts and Google, which manages Gmail (email), Orkut (social networking) and Picasa (online photo-sharing), gives conditional access to kin.

Google India spokesman Gaurav Bhaskar says, "Account details of a deceased can be passed on only to someone who furnishes proof of authority under local law that he is the lawful representative of the deceased, and presents the death certificate and other documents. The process may take up to 30 days."

But most people, says Mumbai-based cyber behaviour expert Neeta Mehra, don't want personal stuff such as email, social networking accounts or blogs to be passed on. "To avoid this, one can use the services of 'do-it-yourself account guardian' websites where one can upload all secret data and opt for account incinerator services (getting your account deleted in the event of death)," she says. Such websites need a death certificate and a copy of the obituary. However, they are not governed by any law.

Duggal says Indians are gradually waking up to this issue. "For the first time in India, in April, a Delhi businessman opted for a digital will. Since then, six more have followed suit. Many have approached me to discuss their digital estate and to make their wills."

Courtesy: Times of India, 21 November 2010, Divya A, TNN

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Media: Time to tame it by Vineet Madhukar

The Twentieth century is responsible for a lot of things. That part evil, part awesome thing called globalization has given us a lot to chew upon…Literally.

Now take for example the Web 2.0: a tiny word with a massive world behind it. There is no limit to the scope the virtual world offers us. A plethora of information and knowledge with capacity to store even more! There is no better way to reach out to the target audience and connect with various stakeholders unless we take over their dreams.

But most of us neither understand the significance of New Media nor do we realise its tremendous power. Like the rest of the newbies, this medium too is a child of the Twentieth century. Broadly termed ‘New Media’ or the ‘Digital Media’ in PR parlance, to distinguish it from other forms of media; it has since its inception, turned the world on its head. To put it simply: New Media is the perfect blend of Print and Broadcast media with the added advantage of its global reach, much longer shelf-life and on-the spot –feedback from the viewers

One feature that distinguishes New Media from other forms of journalism or media is its ability to constantly update itself. Unlike the world of the printed paper where words once printed, cannot be changed and unlike the world of television and broadcast which can only showcase moving pictures; New Media has no such hassles. In case you still haven’t got what I’m trying to point out: it has the elements of traditional media forms like videos, films, still images, music and the written word along with the added advantage of the communications technology of a computer.

Take the example of micro-blogging sites like Twitter, Digg, Facebook or MySpace. Now skeptics might scoff at what on first glance seem like networking sites for the every young or the very bored…wrong on both counts. The ‘Pink Chaddi’ campaign is proof that if you have publicized right, you have campaigned right.

Unlike in other streams, through the internet you reach out to even those audiences that traditional marketing misses. Even if you are only connected to a group of close friends on a blog or a networking site, through them you are also connected to hundreds of potential target audience. You never know who might ‘share a link’ or ‘social bookmark’ your blog post ultimately creating that new clientele base you had hoped for. Add to this the one-to-one interaction with end user through their comments which in turn gives you the opportunity to improve your products and services as per public demand and it seems like sunshine on the desktop!

But beware! Social media marketing is more demanding than any high maintenance socialite you could think of. The content needs to be supervised constantly, correctly and updated as demands change. You need to be on the top of your game because your Public Relations strategy is there for all to see...or steal. It will also invoke criticism from rivals and critics alike. The Web 2.0 in other words is no docile Indian house-wife. She is demanding, fast, ever-changing and extremely moody. High time we learnt to tame it. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

‘India Health Progress’ launched; to address the critical issue of healthcare inaccessibility in the country

‘India Health Progress’, a first-of-its-kind initiative with the aim to ensuring health for all, was launched  on August 15 .The vision behind IHP is to provide a health policy platform to various partners who will work in unison to achieve a common goal --- access to healthcare.

This initiative will be led by various individuals and organizations, both public as well as private, that can directly or indirectly play a role to not only raising awareness levels among all concerned, but also ensuring access to healthcare in India. Mr. Aman Gupta is the Principal Advisor, India Health Progress.

India Health Progress intends to create a nationwide awareness on the three crucial aspects of healthcare – prevention, cure and healthcare infrastructure. The working model of India Health Progress will revolve around engaging role players in the healthcare system, involving them in discussions around the identified aspects and resolving the setback by finding a solution. It will also focus on providing the resource and knowledge support to partnering organisations on the various critical issues related to healthcare after conducting research studies.

 For more information you can visit the India Health Progress website  @ and stay updated on its progress.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Imprimis chills out !

Where: Days of the raj
(To see all the pictures visit the Imprimis facebook page)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Designs 13 and 14

Vote for the NEW Imprimis logo

Which one do you like best?

Vote for the one you like best on the voting poll ..

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

CWG = Common man’s Wealth Gone

When work on the Commonwealth Games began in 2006 the mega budget was Rs 22,000 crore. Four years later the budget is Rs 30,000 crore. It has swollen by nearly 40 per cent forcing the Delhi government to increase taxes and roll back crucial subsidies.

All projects have been delayed, primarily the Commonwealth Village, which had a budget of Rs 465 crore in 2004 and now Rs 1400 crore, losses have occurred also because many apartments remained unsold. The government was forced to buy them off contractors.  The budget for 11 stadiums was Rs 1200 crore in 2004, it has risen to Rs 5000 crore and the government still huffing and puffing its way to meet the deadline. Work on flyovers was altered mid-way several times and now the budget: Rs 1,650 crore. Streetscaping is another unplanned expenditure with a budget of Rs 1,000 crore. Security too has been an added expenditure with a budget of Rs 370 crore, but that's because of the terror scare that has pitched in recent times.

The list is exhaustive………in a bid to develop Delhi for the games, the government forgot one very small entity called the ‘common man’.

They claim to have done all this and more not only for the games but with a thought of giving Delhi and the ‘Delhites’ a world class city and infrastructure but with such callously spent money and resources for a 13 day event surely has made ‘Delhi-light’ from its pockets.

While on my way back home one late evening in the new DTC high capacity low floor buses with AC (bling bling!!) with comfortable seats (bling * 3!!) and automatic doors (bling * 4!!!!) I could not help overhear someone comparing the Asiad games to CWG 2010. "After the Asiad Games it took them 25 years to sell off the players' buildings. It took them 20 years to sell off the Asiad Village. For these games, my guess is it will take them 40 years to break even.” He said.

My take is that the amount of money the government has spent (read pocketed) on the games was much more (tempting) than the amount they could have had access to (again read pocketed) in their government’s 5 year tenure considering such hue and cry and their constant ’efforts’ to make Delhi a better place for ‘all’. With money being spent like the aam adami’s sweat and blood (cant compare to water….that’s a luxury now days) on anything with CWG attached the Games which should seem to have brought with them happiness seem forced and subjected to in the current scenario.

Shera the CWG mascot is an office boy at Organizing Committee’s office
With its very act of making an office boy do double the work as a clerk in the morning feeding the hard working (pun intended) Organizing Committee workers with tea and snacks and in the evening donning the 10 kg mascot dress, the government has made its intentions, of double jacking  everybody’s life in the city, quite clear.                                ( pic taken by Bharat Joshi)

While the other day travelling in our world renowned auto rickshaw to office (with the auto wala agreeing to travel by meter) I read a couple of graffiti’s at the recently carpeted moolchand underpass (now 4 fatalities old) in English, question the Games’ focus. It read “Pro-rich anti-poor CWG sucks” and “I hope the Games are a disaster”.

Is digging and redigging up pavements and building and rebuilding them a good use of resources? Flyovers may help the cars zip by, but lack of infrastructure and funds in schools and abysmal condition of sanitation in the city haven’t seen much Common man’s Wealth come their way.

Though one cannot argue that no expenditure is justifiable till poverty is eliminated but it needs to be asked if the infrastructure boom in the run-up to the Games middle-class or aam aadami centric or Does the graffiti draw attention to something other than itself?
- Bharat Joshi, Imprimis PR