Media that made news in 2012

SMJ, Kolaveri and Firstpost: Media that made news in 2012

As we come to the last week of the year 2012, it’s time to do a wrap of the most memorable developments in media in the past year. Here’s a look

Satyamev Jayate: Without a doubt to both consumers and media watchers, Aamir’s Khan’s small-screen debut, Satyamev Jayate, was the biggest. I watched the entire first episode, ad breaks, warts and all, and wrote these words within 30 minutes of the program ending.

“In a nutshell, here’s the verdict: Satyamev Jayate works. If the shroud of secrecy on the content of the programme intrigued viewers to want to tune in, the show, once we’ve seen it, involves us enough to want to tune in again.
What’s the show about? It’s clear, now, that Satyamev Jayate will highlight problems in India that we are all familiar with. The construct will be along these lines: a) definition of a problem b) demonstration of the impact of the problem c) the reaction of the authorities to dealing with the problem d) Aamir’s suggested action e) call for viewers’ involvement and support.” More on this article can be read here.

In three months, as the 13 week run of the show ended, my initial assessment was proven to be way off the mark. “As Satyamev Jayate went out with a whimper with the last episode, We the People, it’s an appropriate time to take stock of the programme. For a show that promised to bring out the truth and to ensure truth prevailed, it’s the ultimate underachiever. Small droplets of truth shone through, but the droplets never threatened to become a fall, let alone a downpour. It’s because TV , and not truth, prevailed.” A detailed analysis is here.

STAR BCCI cricket rights:….Sticking to TV, the other stand-out development was the Rs 3850 crore paid by STAR to BCCI for the rights to cricket. “Is STAR’s punt a misplaced one?,” we had asked in Firspost.
“STAR’s taken a brave, considered bet. Indeed, Multiscreen Media (MSM), who bid marginally less than STAR did (Rs 3,700 crore vis–vis STAR’s Rs 3,851 crore) could be kicking themselves for having missed out by just Rs 150 crores – that’s about Rs 1.5 crore per match. The bedrock of STAR’s bet (and indeed, MSM’s) is the change in the revenue pie for television in India thanks to the TRAI recommendations on digitization,” the article had continued.

Last week, we found ourselves to be almost prescient. “According to a report in The Times of India, ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD have hiked their monthly subscription charges on the eve of the India-Pakistan series from Rs 40 to Rs 142 and Rs 120 respectively,” we reported. “The rate hike is the first demonstration by STAR that it will attempt to rely less on advertisers and more on subscribers for their revenues – especially for premium, original, exclusive content,” we added.

Premium premier for Kamal Hassan: Filmstar Kamal Hassan beat STAR to it when it came to attempting to leverage the power of digital. “Kamal Hassan took a decision to release his upcoming film,Vishwaroopam, on DTH (direct-to-home) platforms eight hours prior to its release in theatres. In fact, Hassan is charging a whopping price of Rs 1,000 on the one-time screening that will be available on DTH networks. What will be interesting to watch is if viewers will barter the theatre experience for the drawing room sit-back. Even if tickets for three often add up to Rs 1,000, one is willing to pay for the big screen and not a small TV experience. The large flat-screen that, perhaps,

Kamal is targeting is a luxury that few homes in India enjoy,” Firstpost had reported when Kamal Hassan made the announcement.

Zee-Jindal: The stinger stung: Still on TV, we saw, for the first time, the reverse sting, where a news TV channel was sting by an apparent intended victim, when Naveen Jindal alleged that Zee TV officials were demanding bribes for positive stories – and claims that the entire conversations were captured on video. “If Zee can be stung – as they seem to have been – it’s time for journalists to beware. Journalists will, henceforth, need to be acutely aware of their surroundings, have to have supreme confidence that there is no danger of their becoming victims of stings by people they are talking to or investigating. In a way, the Jindal sting will make Justice Katju a happy man. Willy-nilly, this incident helps the Press Council of India, insofar that it is a check on the possibility of journalists blackmailing citizens or companies into parting with cash or favours in exchange for damaging news being suppressed,” we had saidat that time.

The Hindu-Times of India: The meek hit back: Who would have thought it – The Hindu playing eyeball to eyeball with The Times of India – and The Times of India blinks? “Much has been written – and, doubtless, much more will be written, about the new campaign for The Hindu, which takes The Times of India head on.

The overriding sentiment is captured by the editor of The Mint, R Sukumar, who editorialised, “One reason why I like the ads (and I will be honest about this) is editorial hubris. I see The Hindu as a paper that, like Mint, is fighting the good fight. ”

Another is the aggression on display. For too long, the Mahavishnu of Mount Road has played safe and it is good to see….the paper becoming aggressive about what it does and, more tellingly, what it thinks of The Times of India’s style of journalism,” we had reported in Firstpost.
A month ago, The Hindu moved on, away from The Times of India. “Behave yourself, India. The youth are watching,” says a in a new commercial. Take a look at the commercial here. What is The Hindu trying to say in this commercial – and to whom? Are they warning politicians that this is the state that they have reduced the parliament to, that what we see in the TVC is what India’s youth believe ‘proper parliamentary behaviour’ really is? After all, that is what they see on TV if they had watched clips of parliament in session during the past year or two. Or is The Hindu trying to say that the paper is watching them, on behalf of the youth of the country – and they will report on, analyse and criticise such behaviour?

Whatever the objectives of the pieces of communications, The Hindu has made one strong statement – that it is no longer meek – and is willing to put up a fight.

Bengali newspaper wars. It’s time. The story is repeated in Kolkata, where Bennett, Coleman and Company, publishers of The Times of India, decided to launch a Bengali paper, challenging the domination of Ananda Bazar Patrika. “Now it’s official. It’s war. From the moment there were rumours that Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL), the publishers of The Times of India, were planning to launch a Bengali daily, there were counter rumours that ABP Limited, the publishers of Ananda Bazar Patrika and The Telegraph, would launch a second Bengali newspaper, a tabloid, to use as a flanking title.”

ABP got….off the blocks first, launching Ebela, (translating loosely to ‘this time’ or ‘now’), a tabloid, in mid-September. The paper is not only physically a tabloid, but is tabloid-esque content wise. Firstpost reviewed the paper a few days after it launched. Now BCCL has thrown its hat into the ring, launching a print and TV campaign for their offering – Ei Shomoy (which translates, loosely, to the same as Ebela would: ‘this time’ or ‘now’),” we had reported.

The war is on, it’s fierce, and it’ll be some time before we know who wins and who loses.

NDTV-TAM: Who will judge the judge? “There have been, over the years, a number of instances when broadcasters have been unhappy with the TAM ratings. TAM ratings, to the uninitiated, are the ratings which measure television audiences in India. There have been rumours of broadcasters being able to ‘fix’ the ratings, with the help of corrupt TAM executives. NDTV has filed a suit against The Nielsen Company and other defendants in the US, under New York State laws. According to the suit, the channel had been discussing their unhappiness with various aspects of the viewership data, continuously from 2004 to 2012. Obviously, they do not have any faith that the situation will change, leading to the filing of the suit,” we reported.

As this is written, the merits of the case are scheduled to be heard in February 2013. We’ll wait and watch. Wait impatiently and watch very, very closely.

Why this Kolaveri over Kolaveri? Simply because it’s got – hold your breath – 65 million views on Youtube as this piece is being written. Still haven’t watched it? Watch it here.

Why is this in media? Because it demonstrates the power of Youtube…..

No media cost, and 65 million people around the world have seen it. What would that audience have cost if they had to be bought on TV channels? Hmmm.

Firstpost is about the future. Finally, we come to ourselves. This was a big year for Firstpost – our first full year as India’s first, largest and most influential digital newspaper. “The news has moved beyond a static newspaper. The idea was to make readers entirely rethink their view of news as-it-happens. Therefore the lines around reading news a day late.” More on the campaign we created to put this point across (and a chance to view the campaign) here.

So why am I plugging Firstpost in this review? It’s because it’s no plug. We’re consistently in the top 5 most influential brands on social media as measure by Pinstorm, currently at #3.

Still not convinced of the need for me to write about Firstpost? Here are the ComScore stats for November 2012:

Total Unique Visitors: 5.398 million
Total Visits: 9.445 million
Total time spent: 27 million minutes
Total Page views: 18 million

Now, that’s a digital newspaper.

So what do we look forward to in 2013? That’s another story – and you will see this in the next few days.

Best Regards,
Richa Seth

PR Consultant
Mob: 9930143531
Email id:

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6 Inspiring Social Media Campaigns

As the PR industry is taking a close look at integrating social media campaigns in their communications strategy we seldom come across interesting & successful social media campaigns in India…here is something definitely worth reading…

6 Inspiring Social Media Campaigns

by Prasant Naidu on May 25, 2012 


Reviewing social media campaigns is always a challenge but then curating them is also not an easy task. Since we are reaching mid year, we thought of presenting you the best social media campaigns that we had the opportunity to review. The 6 Indian Social Media Campaigns that I am sharing here had a presence felt across major networks, had depth in creative along with a sound social media strategy.

1. ‘Indian Food League’:

Hippo a brand that is often a favorite example of pundits at seminars is back again with Indian Food League, a campaign  crafted keeping in mind the ongoing IPL madness. Indian Food League (IFL) is funny and catchy and has been designed to capture the emotional rivalry amongst Indian cities, that creeps in during the IPL. So instead of saying that today’s match is between Delhi and Punjab, IFL calls it Papdi Chaat Vs Aloo Paratha. A microsite followed with an amazing Twitter presence and a Facebook presence made sure that they spread the Hippo love everywhere. The contest was a no brainer one but it’s simplicity and uniqueness inspired us a lot. Check out the detailed story here.

hippo_indian_food_league_micrositeIndian Food League

2. Diesel India’s 2 Anniversary Celebration:

On completing its second anniversary recently, Diesel India planned to celebrate and so it organized an April sale for the employees and their near and dear ones. But they had a very short span to promote and Social Media came to their rescue. To gain maximum exposure, the brand along with its agency planned to do a flash mob on Facebook, which was happening for the first time on Facebook. The campaign had designed an amazing microsite which was connected with Facebook connect and QR codes were used too. The campaign saw more than 5000 signs ups in a very short span. Simply an innovative campaign and if you want to know more, then read here.

Diesel india contestDiesel india

3. ‘Once Upon A Vespa’:

Once Upon A Vespa by Vespa India is one of my favorite campaign along with Diesel India till now. The campaign was just the right dose to educate Indians about the brand’s rich legacy and to do so it made an interactive microsite, well crafted Facebook presence and a Twitter presence. The microsite was a delight to see which was the center stage for contests but the answers were hidden in the brands Facebook timeline. Isn’t that cool to keep your fans engaged? Besides this Vespa India is one of the very few brands in India which has taken care to use the Facebook timeline effectively. A great learning for all other brands that have ignored this. A must read social media campaign and undoubtedly the most inspiring one too.

Where_Art_ThouOnce Upon A Vespa

SEE ALSO: 10 Inspiring Facebook  Campaigns

4. ‘Brand New Day’:

Society Tea’s ‘Brand New Day’ campaign invited four people to do new things each day in the course of 10 days. It was like fulfilling the small wishes that you always wanted to do but failed to do so and that’s not all, the participants will also blog about their interesting activities. A very refreshing online campaign and well positioned with the brand. The campaign is not only giving a chance to the four people to do certain things they might have wished for, but also creating a positive word of mouth around the brand. I am really happy to see the brand adopting blog as a main strategic tool and then spreading the words from the blog to social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. A delight to watch how you can design simple yet inspiring campaigns around blogging that was playing the center stage of the strategy. Must read for marketers who are running behind number of fans.

society teaBrand New Day

5. ‘Time to Change’:

Another stellar campaign from Stayfree targeting only females and the whole campaign was planned around the launch of its new product. The brand tied up with Indiblogger  and on Women’s Day, it launched the ‘Be the voice of change’ blogging contest that asked bloggers to share what they would want to change around them. Along with the blogging contest, Stayfree had also tried to run an interesting campaign for it’s community on it’s Facebook brand page. An app was created on Facebook called ‘Bring down the wall of irritation’ which is made up of issues that are irritating to say the least – from child labour, eve teasing and corruption to domestic violence, dowry deaths and begging. The campaign had many takeaways for brands who are engaging on social media. To know the entire story click here.

Stayfree Bring down wall of irritation appWall of irritation

6. ‘Guess Whose Flavor’:

The chips giant from Pepsico inc., Lay’s had started the ‘Guess whose Flavour’ campaign in the beginning of April, where six new flavours were introduced. The contest roped in MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Christopher Gayle, Adam Gilchrist and Kevin Pietersen, as the six cricketers who have co-created a flavor each and you have to guess which cricketer has created which new flavour. 10 lucky guessers can win a trip with a friend to the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 and enjoy the match from the premier stand plus a luxurious hotel stay. Now who wouldn’t want to try her luck on such a contest. The contest has a dedicated website, a Facebook app as well as a wapsite. What better way to introduce new products with a simple guessing game, having cricket as the theme in a cricket-frenzy nation where snacking round the corner is also a national timepass. The overall concept, design and execution as well as the fun games in the app were worth a mention and to know more about the campaign click here.

Lays_Guess_Whose_Flavour_FB_contestGuess Whose Flavour

Source: lighthouseinsights


Best Regards,
Richa Seth
PR Consultant
Email id:
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Research Report on e-Marketing in India 2012

Dear All,

Came across this recent research report on e-Marketing outlook in India by Octane Marketing, the report highlightedinteresting facts. For example, the report reveals that Social Media (68.8%) and Email Marketing (53.1%) are emerging as the top 2 online marketing activities that will see an increase in marketing investments in 2012. And that a high number of India marketers (62%) feel that the Email and SMS marketing programs are effective in meeting agreed goals. Read on the detailed report from the following link:

Best Regards,
Richa Seth

PR Consultant
Email id:
Twitter | Linkedin

VRL Media launches Kannada daily, Vijayavani

VRL Media’s Kannada daily, Vijayavani, hit the stands early this week. It is currently circulated to three prime markets, namely, Bengaluru, Mangalore and Hubballi and is priced at Rs 2.50. The daily is planning to expand its circulation to Bijapur and Mysore. Following which editions from Gangavati, Chitiradurga, Shimoga and Gulbarga will be published in two months’ time.  Timmappa Bhat will lead the editorial division of Vijayavani.

Apart from the regular content, a four-page special supplement catering to various interests will be circulated with the main edition every day. The supplements will focus on a range of topics such as literature, astrology, lifestyle, movies, health, travel, education, etc.


Media Analysis and Evaluation

This gallery contains 1 photo.

In a 1966 lecture at the Kaufman Art Gallery in New York City, McLuhan said, “The medium is the massage, not the message. It really works us over; it really takes hold and massages the population in a savage way.” … Continue reading

Exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards 2011

Hi All,

Please note the result of (Exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards) ENBA 2011:

  • NDTV 24*7 – Best News Channel of the Year – English
  • Smitha Nair – ‘Young Professional of the Year- Editorial’, CNN IBN
  • Suhasini Haidar – ‘Best Spot News Reporting’, CNN IBN
  • Nidhi Razdan – ‘ best anchor’ ,NDTV 24X7
  • IBN Lokmat – Best Current Affairs Programme for Aajcha Sawaal
  • Bloomberg UTV –  Best Business Programme – “Debt to Life”
  • NewsX – Best Talk show “In Conversation” with Shams Naqvi
  • NDTV India – Best News Coverage “Jannbaaz Parinde”
  • Star News – ‘News Channel Of The Year (Indian Language)
  • N. Dilip Venkatraman – ‘ News Television CEO of the Year’
  • Nikhil Wagle – ‘ News Television Editor-in-Chief of the year’ , IBN Lokmat
  • Gaurav Sawant – ‘Best Continuing Coverage by a Reporter’, Aaj Tak
  • TV9 Maharashtra –  ‘Best News Programme in Hindi’, Shakha 9
  • PTC News – ‘Best News Programme in Punjabi’

Vikas Kumar
+91 9811054648
Skype ID: vikas_kumar83

Twitter Benefits for your Business

20 Benefits of using Twitter for Business

Twitter is the perfect platform to keep you updated with the latest happenings in your industry, market or domain.  You would be able to trace what people are talking about, the buzz of the industry, trends, and insights to build your business.  Twitter helps you to stay connected with the world in real-time.

Twitter has more beneficial to business over FaceBook, LinkedIn, blogs and other social networking sites. One of the reasons Twitter is so popular is due to its flexibility to support many other existing technologies and business strategies.  The benefits of using twitter for business listed below would be leveraged by most of the businesses that are active on the social media platforms.  Twitter would give you a priceless way to share your content and get connected with the world.

Benefits of using Twitter for Business

  1. Increase your online presence & build a global network of contacts for your domain
  2. The aim of all social media site is to engage with your target audience
  3. It’s a perfect social media platform to engage your customers and with twitter communities
  4. Reputation Management: Helps you to create and maintain your online reputation through quality tweets and engagement
  5. Brand awareness: It can bring the awareness of your brand globally since 51% of Twitter users follow various brands against just 16% in other social media networks
  6. You would be supported by your network when you are looking for answers; besides you would get new opinions and thoughts from like-minded people in your industry
  7. You can gain competitive advantage and knowledge from your audience by watching, listening to them on your timelines. Listening to tweets can identify market trends
  8. A perfect platform to promote your blog or website content
  9. Directing your tweets to the landing pages help to bring more traffic to your website and enhances conversions
  10. It connects you in a new way to existing members of your network on other networking sites
  11. It helps you to keep an eye on your competitor and on the competitive market at all time
  12. It can be used as a forum. Ask a question and someone will surely return back with an answer to guide you further
  13. You can share your expertise and knowledge globally
  14. Present your promotions on twitter.  Promote your deal of the day to the world through twitter
  15. Most effective word of the mouth marketing where your audience are global rather than local
  16. It helps you to collect feedback from your customers and help them serve better with the right customer service
  17. Following a company/brand on Twitter will keep you informed about what’s going on and upcoming with them
  18. The good thing about twitter is it always keeps you posted with the latest links and updates in your domain
  19. The content on the tweets make your life a little bit easier by giving newer ideas about business and market insights
  20. Following someone you know very little about, would return you getting to know them better

Nikhil Kashyap

Deccan Herald to launch Delhi edition – Mint , 25 Aug 2011

Mint – 25 Aug 2011

Deccan Herald to launch Delhi edition


Karnataka’s English daily Deccan Herald is venturing out of the state for the first time to enter Delhi for a share of its estimated Rs 1,500 crore English print advertising market.

The market is dominated by two major national dailies Hindustan Times and The Times of India, published by HT Media Ltd and Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd, respectively. They have a combined circulation of more than 2.2 million in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR). HT Media also publishes Mint.

The Printers (Mysore) Pvt. Ltd, the company that publishes Deccan Herald, has invited applications from journalists in Delhi for various posts in advertisements in The Hindu and the Hindustan Times.

A launch was imminent and hence it was difficult to comment on plans, said a Deccan Herald executive on condition of anonymity.

“But we are firm in our intent to launch. There is no dithering on that,“ he said.

The newspaper will take at least six months to start its Delhi edition and will launch with at least 15,000 copies, another executive added. K.N. Tilak Kumar, editor-in- chief of the Deccan Herald, remained unavailable for comment. Emails and phone calls to his office remained unanswered.

An executive at a leading advisory firm said “a successful launch in New Delhi should at the very least have 50,000 copies“. If correct, the initial print run is minuscule in comparison with the Hindustan Times and The Times of India, media buyers said.

As per 2010 Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures, the Hindustan Times has a circulation of 1.2 million in Delhi, while The Times of India has a circulation of 1.11 million.

“Delhi is a very matured market with not just HT but several strong publications… So it will indeed be a challenge for a new entrant,“ said Shantanu Bhanja, vice-president (marketing), HT Media. He added, however, that the market was very robust.

“Delhi is the largest market in terms of readership as well as revenue. It is also the fastest growing, making it highly attractive,“ he said. The total English readership in Delhi is nearly four million.

Rahul Kansal, chief marketing officer of Bennett, Coleman, said the Delhi market posed challenges to new entrants. “The loyalty of readers to the two leading newspapers is already very strong. Also, most advertisers can’t look beyond the market leaders,“ he added.

The Deccan Herald, a 63-year- old family-owned paper, has a circulation of more than 250,000 and editions in Bangalore, Mysore, Hubli, Mangalore, Gulbarga and Belur. Currently, it is the second most read English daily in Karnataka with an average issue readership of 423,000 next to The Times of India’s average issue readership of 535,000, according to the Indian Readership Survey for the first quarter of 2011.

Janardan Pandey, associate vice-president at Mudra Max, the media arm of the Mudra Group, sees potential for new entrants, considering Delhi and NCR are growing rapidly in terms of population and literacy. The 2011 census recorded Delhi’s literacy rate at 86.34%, a 4.67 percentage point jump over 2001. “Delhi has long needed a strong third newspaper brand.“

According to Mona Jain, chief executive officer of VivaKi Exchange, the centralized buying agency for Publicis Groupe, Delhi’s print market is interesting because the readership potential is varied and high. Of the total print ad market size, 80% is with the market leaders.

Independent media consultant A.S. Raghunath said a market does not get saturated when there is a steady growth in population. There is still a large gap to be covered by English papers in Delhi and NCR since the base of people who can read English is 9.7 million and all English dailies have together been able to reach only four million readers.

Sumit Jain

Survey says… PR firms (still) the no.1 source for journalists

Interesting and heartening read…

US survey says… PR firms (still) the No. 1 source for journalists

By Kevin Allen
A new poll suggests that journalists are increasingly relying on social media for their sources, but it’s still not as influential as PR.

Oriella PR Network polled nearly 500 journalists, and learned that 47 percent are using Twitter (up from 33 percent a year ago) and 35 percent are using Facebook as a source (up from 25 percent a year ago). 

Still, social media isn’t the first thing they’re going to—only 4 percent said they use Twitter, Facebook, or blogs as their first source in researching a story. 

The No. 1 resource that journalists in this study are using for sourcing was PR agencies, with a whopping 62 percent. 

As for the first port of call when researching a news or feature story? PR again! Nearly 22 percent of respondents say their initial stop is a press release. 

One striking stat in the article suggests that journalists are working harder: 


Almost half (45 percent) admitted they have to produce more content and a third (34 percent) work longer hours. However, despite this added pressure, 44 percent of the respondents said they enjoyed their job more, compared with 34 percent in 2010 and just 27 percent in 2009. 

So, keep those press releases coming—apparently they’re still working on many of my colleagues. And don’t be surprised when the number of journalists going to social media first increases to the 70 percent range by this time next year.

Aarif Malik
Mumbai. INDIA.
Cell: +91 9833934002