Indian PR Forum to draft a ‘Code of Conduct’ and Guidelines for Indian PR Professionals

After several instances of PR professionals being mocked by journalists for their unprofessional behavior while dealing with media, Indian PR Forum (IPRF), India’s largest online forum of PR Professionals, has taken up an initiative to draft a ‘Code of Conduct & Guidelines’. This is aimed to bring in more professionalism in the Indian PR Professionals’ approach towards media and other stakeholders.

The guidelines will involve as many behavioural and ethical aspects, which will also include some Do’s & Don’ts while dealing with media. In order to make these guidelines holistic, the forum is inviting suggestions from PR professionals working at all levels across India

PR Professionals can send in their suggestions on before 10th June, 2013.  Thereafter the suggestions will be collated and studied by industry experts who will subsequently draft the Indian PR Industry’s Code of Conduct & set behavioural guidelines. This Code of Conduct will then be put up on various forums for review and feedback.

In addition to this, the forum also plans to start an education drive across India to inform and train / budding professionals about the expected code of conduct in their day-to-day functioning.

Public Relations as an industry need to set up standards of professional behavior outlining the principles and guidelines that will define professionalism and trust in this community. IPRF as a forum has over 3000+ members has taken a step towards crafting a framework for ‘Code of Conduct for PR professionals,’ which will help the sector to be more professional and respected amongst the media and society in general

Background: Recently a senior journalist posted a very unpleasant status on her Facebook Profile, against a PR professional for following up with her for an event during odd hours. This provoked reactions from the PR fraternity and the forum took up the responsibility to create a code of conduct that should be adopted by PR Pros in their day-to-day dealings with media and other stakeholders. This was not the first time that a PR Professional was ridiculed by certain section of media; some journalists have even gone to an extent of black listing an entire agency and have openly criticized PR professionals in their newspapers, on their personal blogs and social media platforms. The fact that this is happening more often than ever before, and in many instances PR Professionals themselves are responsible for evoking such reaction from media, a professional code of conduct is now a must for the sector.

The primary reason for such regular media bashing of PR pros is credited to the huge gap in training young professionals before they are put on a task of pitching to the media. Without clear understanding of the way media functions, and proper guidelines on how they should communicate with media, young professionals often commit mistakes, which are then generalized and impressed onto the entire PR community. Hence, Indian PR Forum has taken up the cause to educate newbies of the PR industry on the right conduct and professional behaviour expected from them.

Indian PR Forum is India’s largest online forum of Public Relations and Corporate Communications professionals, started in April 2007 with a noble intention of bringing all PR, Corporate & Marketing Communications under one platform. The forum shares information/insights/learning’s and has topical discussions and debates on an ongoing basis.

To join the forum you will have to just drop an email at You will receive a confirmation email and approving the same; which will make you a member of the forum. You could also join IPRF on other platforms as well such as below:

ü  Main Google Group:

ü  Blog:

ü  LinkedIn Group:

ü  Facebook Page:

ü  Twitter: @iprf: Interesting Tweets on Marketing, PR, Social Media and more…

For more information, please connect with:

Vikram Kharvi

Founder – Indian PR Forum

Mobile: 09930143550



Technology and the Budding PR Practitioner

I remember sometime back when one of my students was refused a job at a PR agency because she did not possess a Blackberry phone. The reason given was, how could she then maintain contacts much needed in the PR profession?

I also noticed the increase of endorsement requests on LinkedIn from current and previous batch students to elaborate on their educational and communication skills.

Thus Blackberry and LinkedIn have become important tools to show that you have arrived as a professional.

Facebook so far seems untouched by prospective employers as otherwise the young budding practitioners would be more alert before posting random status messages and pictures. Or worse be found playing games.

Twitter is still used as a medium to speak out on issues, if you go by the “trending” issues. Again, doesn’t seem to be under the scrutiny list.

YouTube could be used for uploading fun videos by students. Are they checked?

These products of technology have quietly entered our lives and somehow have becomes an extension of ourselves which could be under scrutiny by future employers. How many of these tools or more such tools are being used by employers in India to study prospective employees? Do students need to be trained to use this sites more carefully in the future? What are your thoughts?

source: my blog article

Maturing Social Networks Call In PR Support To Boost Mass Appeal

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Last year, Twitter decided that it needed consumer marketing support and hired a PR agency. The move came as a surprise, because in registering 500 million users it might have appeared that Twitter was not exactly struggling to attract attention.

Yet Twitter is just the most visible example of a trend that has taken hold across the digital spectrum. In recent months LinkedIn and Foursquare have also called in new consumer PR counsel, joining other emerging technology players such as Groupon and Airbnb, which have also established agency relationships.

These moves, say industry observers, reflect how companies like Twitter and LinkedIn are attempting to make their mark on mainstream culture. Garnering tech plaudits, after all, has become relatively easy; the bigger challenge comes in explaining exactly why your service is so important to Main Street moms, rather than Silicon Valley wags.

To do that, companies are hiring firms with strong consumer marketing credentials. Twitter appointed Edelman, albeit for a short-lived stint that did not exactly end as anticipated. LinkedIn and Foursquare, both of which declined to comment on this analysis, recently selected New York firms Maloney & Fox and M Booth, respectively.

“Many brands may not understand how to use consumer-focused PR to their advantage,” says M Booth CEO Margi Booth, whose firm also works for OpenTable and

There is something ironic about sophisticated social media players turning to classic PR advice. “They still need to be in the New York Times,” points out Edelman digital MD Marshall Manson. “If you’re an up and coming social network, you don’t need a tremendous amount of help building a community. What you need help with is how do we get on USA Today, or how do we get on Oprah. It’s classic PR.”

Foursquare, for example, recently used a focused PR blitz to showcase its integration with American Express. It is “lifestyle” efforts like these, says M Booth VP Brad Laney, that demonstrate the type of campaigns which companies in this sector should be creating, rather than focusing too narrowly on product publicity.

“There is a recognition that they can benefit from connecting with their consumers in this way and move the brand more mainstream,” says Laney. “It is about helping them showcase the role the brand plays in the everyday lives of consumers.”

Each of these companies, unsurprisingly, has differing PR needs. One thing that binds them, though, is that perennial public relations challenge: Proving their worth to individual users in an increasingly cluttered marketplace.

Some see this as a quintessential engagement issue, bearing in mind the spectre of Facebook, which hangs heavy over the entire sector. Facebook has gazillions of users, but its ability to make people use the site – and its many services – for long hours is one factor that separates it from the pack. One tech PR specialist that the Holmes Report spoke to for this story noted that newer social networks are simply trying to emulate Facebook’s success in this regard.

Others are less convinced by this argument. “They all think they are trying to do what Facebook has done,” says one agency source with numerous clients in the sector, who instead frames the issue as one of “reconsideration”. Sites like Twitter and LinkedIn boast hundreds of millions of members; the difficulty lies in persuading many of these people to reappraise their largely indifferent relationships with them.

At Twitter, for example, a crucial objective of its PR outreach was to make it more relevant to individuals. The brand has wider awareness than most social networks, but many users – say observers – still struggle to understand the exact benefits it might bring them. A “vertical marketing” strategy becomes particularly important here, as a way of connecting with specific interests such as sports, music or food.

“Once people have given you a try, how do you get them to come back?” asks Manson. “The next move is to get people excited about the platform again.”

Making that case to the clients in question, say some observers, is not always straightforward. “Sometimes whey they ask for consumer PR, they are really thinking about broader tech or corporate,” points out the agency source. “Part of this is education about what is the most effective way to talk to consumer media. It‘s not like a tech publication where there is a built-in interest in covering them.”

That factor cuts both ways, given that mainstream consumer titles are often less tech-savvy than you might anticipate. “It’s not as easy as calling up and pitching a Dyson vacuum story, or a story about mascara,” notes the agency source. “It takes some time.”

Time is not something that all of these companies have a surplus of. Not all of them have fully-formed business models, and, whether publicly- or privately-owned, they all have investors that expect increasing levels of growth. “You’re going to have to give new or refreshed use cases or brand propositions to users if they are going to give you a second look,” points out Manson. “The PR/marketing push is as much about satisfying advertising as about gaining users.”

Not that, by all accounts, there is that much money in these programmes for established consumer PR firms. “Do they invest enough?” asks the agency source. “No, but they will. A lot of firms are willing to take them on because they are the prestige brands of the moment. That will change – it will have to as they figure out their marketing strategy.”

That strategy will also, increasingly, need to be about more than just publicity. The last two weeks have seen concerns surge over Google’s new privacy policy, indicating areas where people still require considerable reassurance. “Trust and safety are big issues, and you’re already seeing that with Google and Facebook,” says Laney. “They need to communicate proactively and underscore the measures in place that safeguard consumers while reminding them of all the positive attributes that attracted them in the first place.”


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

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

Midday story on PR

Midday story on PR

Hoodwinking reporters?

As months pass by, public relations executives from across the world are coming up with innovative ways to feed their version of ‘finger-licking-news’ to reporters. We have seen those who directly pitch stories, others who demand stories, but the latest way, this new breed of PR ‘professionals’ have employed is certainly shocking. 

First they praise your story for the day, ‘like’ all of your status messages (even when your status message reads ‘blah’) on social networking sites, drop comments like ‘oh so cute’ on all your facebook photos ” and just when you start scratching your head wondering where you know this person from ” they go for the kill. A badly written press release hits your mailbox and your office direct line and mobile phone does not stop ringing ” each time the same question. When you are about to pull your hair off and tell the PR off, you stop and think ” they have achieved what they set out to do, grab your attention for a longer time than you would have given them otherwise. 

Yet another interesting way many PR professionals have taken to is calling your boss, before the press releases reaches you. Not only does this make you look like a reporter who is unavailable to the outside world (because otherwise why would you call the editor-in-chief for a frivolous event?), but also makes your superiors think there could be a possible story in it (again, why otherwise would the PR try to reach the editor of the newspaper for such a small event). 

Love them or hate them, they have built an often-helpful bridge between journalists and the outside world. While sometimes the bridge gets you across with good quotes delivered before the clock screams ‘deadline’, the other times, you wish you had burnt the bridge down.

Last two weeks these new ways of trying to hoodwink reporters have been the hot topic of discussion at the Press Club. A reporter recalled an incident where a PR professional first got involved in the reporter’s personal life, became friends and from then on started expecting newsprint favours in return. Another reporter quickly quipped ‘Oh I give them the same sugary treatment they are known for and yet manage to keep them at an arms distance’. Even before he completed his statement, a photographer stood up from the next table and said ‘If an event has some potential, then it will sell itself.’ I would have applauded his statement, had it been the early 1980s. Are the PR professionals listening?
Vikas Kumar
+91 9811054648