Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I was once (in 2002) voted as the best PR person in the hospitality industry by the Hospitality editor of Indian Express Newspaper in India. A highly satisfying and motivating recognition that, today, gives me the confidence to share some of MY tricks of the trade -

1. I try to be a good strategist and look at new avenues (even unprecedented) to get my company's story or message out.

2. I have tried to develop a reputation of reliability and responsiveness in good turnaround time, even if sometimes the response is in the negative. I always try to respond and close the communication loop.

3. Employ lateral thinking and use varied, multi-level opportunities, some of which are freshly created, either in isolation or in sync with a co-worker.

4. Understand the media's perspective instead of being a push-over and forcing someone to give you column cm space.

5. Be a good ideating, fact-crunching support that the Boss can fall back on at interviews. Be his mouth piece without taking the credit and the shine away from him.

6. Be an excellent writer and an eclectic one, so that one could be good at doing the press releases, articles, speeches, manuals, business letters, web text and so on.

7. Be a good public speaker.

8. Build long-term relationships with the media and the other significant publics. Respect even the cub reporter (regardless of one's own seniority) and watch the relationship blossom once the cub grows into a lion of an editor.

9. Be abreast with current, business and industry news. Not only does that make you intelligent but also a lot of ideas come from there.

10. Be adaptable and flexible and thin yourself out in terms of gaining experience and meeting new job requests. At my last job, I got to train even the telephone operators on communication skills, write manuals, prepare lot of archival documentation, write most of the business letters regardless of the department, write the web text myself without outsourcing it and enjoy the privilege of designing, writing and creating a lot of marketing communications collateral.

11. Be eager to learn and raise my personal benchmark at every instance.

12. Be a good mentor and trainer to my subordinates.

13. Be able to integrate the PR function into the larger business plan of the company and cease to see it as a soft, fluffy side-function.

14. Play an integral role in Company's profit protection by honing a lot of in-house skills.

Do I Believe in DESTINY!

I am a liberal Hindu with a missionary-led convent education so you will get a mix of both beliefs with my own thrown in for good measure.

I think Destiny (what is pre-ordained) and your Deeds are two important wheels of your cart. They both get you going ahead and if one or both the wheels are not working well then you are bound to slow down or stop.

While Destiny gives you the canvas, your deeds are the tools with which you paint that magnificent art piece on your lifescape.

On the dismal note, there have been cases of people who gave their best but didn't get back their due or there were those who got famous only posthumously. There are some among us who may not be as intelligent or diligent or industrious yet they seem to be making a killing and then there are some others who have all the qualities but may remain unsung and unrewarded.

On the sunny side, one needs to persevere and continue endeavouring to see what lies in store. If you donot get up and open the door, opportunity would knock and walk away. With incessant effort there is the satisfaction that YOU did your best AND that's more than half the battle won; for you are the master of what you can control, the rest is beyond you.

While Destiny is a formidable ally or adversary depending on YOUR roll of the dice, but it is best to be a KARMAYOGI (continue doing your deeds without worrying about the fruit - as the great scripture GITA propounds).

Be ready, sharp and shining when HE throws a SIX at you.

Why do People GOSSIP!

Gossip, almost always, has a negative connotation.

Wikipedia gives the following formal definition of gossip, "Gossip consists of casual or idle talk between friends. While ostensibly value neutral, the term often specifically refers to talk of scandal, slander, or schadenfreude relating to known associates of the participants, and discussed in an underhand or clandestine manner."

Having established that, I would attribute the following reasons for people to engage in gossip -

1. Misplaced priorities and misuse of time - otherwise those people would busy themselves in more useful and productive work.

2. Insecurity - it provides one an affected sense of importance and power as you seem to be the holder of some information, however false it may be. As someone else above said, it gives you a false sense of a skewed social standing.

3. An inherent sense of curiosity - I have this story to share (and most often IT IS a rumoured story). So what's yours.

4. Predisposing factors - I saw my family members engage in it and that may have conditioned me in developing a mindset that there is nothing wrong for me to engage in it.

5. Entertainment value - The gossip mongers, even most of us, see a high level of entertainment value in it. A lot of us find it more amusing than a good film or a good read or a good piece of music.

6. Habit - We all know that old habits die hard. If gossiping becomes a habit for whatever reason, it is difficult to unlearn it.

7. Peer pressure - We see people in our subset of contacts at work and socially, enjoy a good piece of gossip and keep the ball rolling and we feel compelled to belong.

8. Negative trait / devillish streak - Perhaps there is that, perhaps so far loosely defined, gene of negativity in all of us that urges us to hurt, harm and be hellish even when we have no concrete reason or motive to be so.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My MOTTOES in Life!

My very personal favourite is -

"Heights by great men reached and kept, were not obtained by sudden flight;

They, while their companions slept, were toiling upwards in the night! - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Some others that keep coming back to mind and that one tries to adhere to are -

"Live such a life that when you die even the undertaker would be sorry," - Mark Twain

"If you don't stand for something, then you will fall for anything," - Malcolm X

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

"Do unto others what you'd like them to do to you," - I wish I could follow this one religiously.

And since I am a self-proclaimed Dog Whisperer, here is an absolute must -

"Dear God, please make me the kind of person my Dog thinks I am."


Each of us faces small or big failures in the course of our lives. But the idea is to get up, shake up a bit and get going. Staying motivated is the key.

Some other tricks -

Self Esteem and positve visualisation -
Positive strokes entailing thinking of all the wins in the past, the triumphant moments and the glorious feedback on outstanding work, glowing references - once you have been an excellent and above-the-target worker you tend to collect hordes of such gems in your kitty.

Get on to Plan B - all good workers will always have a Plan A and a Plan B and implement that effectively.

Circle of family and friends who tell it like it is, yet know your actual potential and stoke that in the right direction.

Promising self talk and introspective moments guiding you to learn from the failure and turn it into a good learning exercise that eggs you onto the next level.

Also, always facing the issue full on - with tears or other emotional display - and getting it all out so that one can start afresh with no extra baggage.


Hmmm!!!! Let's see. What would I like to pass on to the next generation and beyond.....


RESPECT - for one's ownself, parents, environment, animals, others...., their religion .....

UNDERSTANDING - unity in diversity


Ability to look at the simple things and enjoy them without being too materialistic about wants and desires.

Creativity and an inherent inquisitiveness that leads to remarkable innovations and makes one ask just the right questions at the right time.

Above all, deep faith in the one above, no matter what caste, colour, creed, tenets we thrust on him.

What about you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Please stop!

Is it too difficult for us to see that the gravest malaise afflicting us is the swelling up of our population.

Common people, village yokels, urban intellectuals, politicians or vote-bank seekers, policy makers,Godmen, God forsaken men..............I mean all you guys out there who are numbed out to the bomb we are building - not so slowly but ever so steadily.

Please wake up OR better still get some sound sleep in the time that you would otherwise use to contribute to this societal affliction, considering the conservative viewpoint that it is the night time that is the right time for you.

More mouths to feed, more eyes to show, more hands to train, more beings to take care of and finally more bodies to bury. Where is the good economic, social, business, political, religious sense in this.

You get the population in control and YOU get to enjoy better healthcare, civic condition, transportation, education, sanitation, more food and water and fresh air, less global warming and carbon footprints, less conflicts, less stress, less depletion of natural resources.............

Why should mankind, particularly that centered in the subcontinent be so self-destructive???