- Nowadays the interest in Tamil has been going down, mostly everyone prefers English medium over Tamil medium, thus kids lose interest in Tamil. So, our main challenge was making them (schools & colleges) learn Tamil and understand its importance through competitions.
- We set up 10 major centres in 10 major cities so that the surrounding places all over Tamilnadu can be covered with those centres. We also made sure those centres were located near bus-stands and railway stations for easy access.
- Out of 20,000 institutions in Tamil Nadu, we were able to connect to around 10,000 through direct mail with the help of the available database. Communicating to the remaining was a challenge and towards this we used press releases, scrolls in our media partner TV, and reached out schools & colleges across regions from regional branches of the client.
- Media-nisation was our strategy for extensive outreach. We used engaging SMS contests on Thirukural to grab the attention of people for viewing the programme.
- Only 4 hours of time was allotted for each of the preliminary and semi-final rounds held respectively in the morning and evening sessions on the same day and under four categories, namely, Junior, Senior, Super-senior and College. The challenge was to choose outstanding 4 candidates (one under each category) out of a total of around 300 for finals. This we achieved through dividing students into groups under each category and screening the best one out of these groups under each category.
- For effective selection and choosing the right talent we stepped up the jury panel at each levels – i.e., single judge for preliminary round, two member jury for semi-finals and three member jury for finals.
CLARITY OF GOALS
- The Thirukkural competition as a CSR activity for enhancing awareness on the teachings of Thirukkural among the student community in the state.
- Our goal for SRIRAM ILLAKIYA KALAZHAGAM was to refresh the young minds (School & college students) for a better understanding on the richness of values the Tamil language treasures.
- To incite the growing generation’s interest for Tamil Language and encourage the articulation talent.
CLARITY OF INSIGHTS and CREATIVITY
- We followed a systemised and organised form of work in our company.
- We set Proper Pronunciation, Creativity of the Content, and Presentation of Speech as the criteria for judging winners.
- Equality – Only 14 students from each institution / school was selected to ensure non repetition of winnings by a particular school.
- Attracting students with easy topics and awarding one month time prior to the event for preparation.
- Divisions – the contestants were divided into senior, junior, super senior, and college.
- A4 posters for promotion, creative LOGO, badges, application form with clear details on participation, and certificates for winners and participation certificates to cheer the participants.
- Each round was judged by well qualified judges and the final round was judged by single judge for first round, two judges for the semi-final round and three different judges for the final round.
- Exhausting all possible mode of publicity – event management, posters, direct mailers, SMS, TV scrolls, Door-to-Door campaign, Press Releases dissemination, Photo Opportunity Sessions and Telecast of competition in TV – for extensive reach.
ALIGNMENT BETWEEN STRATEGY AND EXECUTION
- Media-nisation – We used engaging SMS contests, scrolls and telecast of completion in Makkal TV for wide ranging awareness.
- Choosing centres strategically to cover important cities and surrounding areas across the state.
- Used all possible mode of publicity – event management, posters, direct mailers, SMS, TV scrolls, Door-to-Door campaign, Press Releases dissemination, Photo Opportunity Sessions and Telecast of competition in TV – for bigger reach.
- Efforts put in for an extensive database of educational institutions of the state for wider participation.
- Thirukkural Compettion 2016 witnessed participation of as many as 1918 students from across the 10 centres.
- Jury panel was fortified with eminent judges including Tamil Film Director Badri, Tamil Film Lyricist Kavignar Snehan, Tamil Writers Soma Valliappan and Tiruppur Krishnan.
Across curtain raiser, pre-event releases, post-event releases and publicity for telecast of the programme in TV, we got over 200 coverages in Tamil and English publications amounting to around 4,000 sq cm publicity space across regional editions of the state.
The English mainlines include: The Hindu, The Times of India, The New Indian Express, and Deccan Chronicle while the Tamil publications include Dinamani, Dinamalar, Maalai Malar and Dinakaran.
Our strong PR presence, good media rapport, 15-year long experience in continuous awareness on Thirukkural help us achieve big.
Since 1995, Chennai-based Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation has been giving away the Mahaveer Awards to outstanding individuals and organisations. The concept was to recognise their excellence in propagation of `Non-violence & Vegetarianism’, `Education’, `Medicine’ and `Community & Social Service’. Recently, the 19th edition of this was held.
The Foundation has so far identified, recognised and honoured over 60 individuals and institutions doing selfless service for the welfare of the needy, the weak and the voiceless.
The Foundation was happy with the work, yet wanted to reach out even further. Their goal was to reach out to individuals across India and secure nominations. However, this was not happening despite their best efforts. It’s then that they approached Catalyst PR. We analysed their target group and came up with a Pan-Indian strategy.
We understood that there was a lack of awareness. We needed to whip up the enthusiasm of participants far and wide.
The PR campaign was run in select newspapers across the length and breadth of the country. The result was that nominations poured in from all quarters, from Punjab to the North East to South India. This provided greater choice.
The Mahaveer Awards also gained a lot of eyeballs and many who were unaware of it, had the opportunity to hear about their ideals.
Today, the media is flooded with news from various sources and grabbing their attention is a mammoth task. Therefore, when it comes to publicising an event or brand, having a celebrity on board makes the reach quicker and greater. This is the reason that many like to take the celebrity route to grab eyeballs. Besides this, having a celebrity on board lends an aura of credibility and builds trust instantly.
For our recent assignment Village Ticket, we decided to take the celebrity route too and roped in a prominent actor. He had confirmed his presence but let us down in the last minute. Some like to keep a clutch of celebrities as Plan B, but here we did not have one. How did we manage?
What is Village Ticket?
Village Ticket – Uzhavar Unnum Unavu was a large event that took place at the MGR Janaki College for women. The aim was to connect city residents with their village roots and also understand what farming was about. The event had over 300+ traditional TN recipes ranging from Kal Dosai to Arcot Chicken Biriyani and Hogenakkal Fish Curry. Visitors enjoyed simple village joys such as riding a bullock cart, playing traditional games like Kabaddi, Gilli etc. There were also plenty of village folk arts such as Oyilattam, Kavadi Attam and so on. This four day fest attracted hundreds of enthusiastic people who sampled the true traditions of rural Tamilnadu.
How we did it!
The celebrity dropping out dampened our spirits a bit but we decided not to let it drag us down. Our Plan B was to steer away from a boring press meet where there would be just formal addresses. We decide to recreate the entire atmosphere of the village at the press launch. The media who came to the launch were surprised to suddenly get transported into the rural atmosphere.
The themed launch started right from the backdrop where traditional kolams were used to decorate it. Folk artists gave dazzling performances right at the press meet. This gave the shutterbugs plenty to click, from the colourful costumes to the vibrant moves, they knew that this would make the pages and TV screens get a lively look. They were also served traditional village food.
The coverage that we received was phenomenal, from top dailies like the Hindu, Dinamalar, DT Next, Deccan Chronicle, Dinamani, Eenadu and more.
What we wanted to underline is that when you make your press launch an attractive event, even without a celebrity. the magnitude of reach is much more.
Start-ups are the name of the game today! Even 20-somethings are no longer in search of their perfect job, they are keen to turn entrepreneurs. They have brilliant ideas but transforming these ideas into big businesses needs good PR.
With the financial landscape of India changing and people being more open to innovation and new brands, this is the right time for start-ups to take the plunge. PR not only generates publicity for the brand but also push sales and attracts new employees and investors.
Whenever a new business is started, there’s always a burst of enthusiasm and a rush to get the brand publicised. Brand awareness is important but it’s important to use every penny wisely. Did you know that a good PR campaign can get a brand up to ten times more publicity than an ad campaign with a fraction of the spend? It’s true.
PR is a great way to get the word out about the brand. A well-crafted PR campaign can be very effective in getting the message across and reaching a wide cross-section of the target. PR can also be evoked to create a buzz about the brand and make it a talking point.
Advertising is about directly promoting your brand whereas PR is a subtle way to persuade. It creates a channel of communication, instead of merely aggressively pushing the product. It gives the buyers, the target, and relevant information and facilitates the buying decision. It’s also about creating a sustained flow of information that may directly or indirectly impact a brand.
For instance, entrepreneur, Anand Vaidyanathan who is an expert at baking and conducts baking workshops approached Catalyst PR for publicity. His workshops are mostly targeted at mothers who want to bake healthy cakes and treats for their kids at home. The article on the joy of home baking and his workshops was strategically published in Kungumam Thozhi. His business grew in leaps and bounds.
Cura Dental Care, a not for profit dental care institution wanted to publicise their services. This was a human interest story that got picked up by the media. The Hindu Downtown published a piece on this. Such information creates interest in the brand. Where advertising lacks credibility, PR makes up by being a third party endorsement of a brand.
A good PR campaign generates a positive brand image. It helps investors see the potential of the brand and encourage investment. A well-targeted PR campaign can have a great reach amongst them.
Catalyst PR is a specialist in crafting PR campaigns for a wide range of diverse clients ranging from start-ups to large corporate houses. The team consists of specialists who share a strong rapport with the media. They draft press releases that have laser like focus and communicate powerfully. The PR campaign would be the first impression about the brand and multiple factors such as the market trends, TG, potential and so on are analysed before creating one.
Catalyst PR has successfully moulded PR strategies for start-ups and put them right on track. Its expertise can help any start-up put down its roots in the industry and grow.
Shriram Chits is well-known as a financial institution. But for nearly three decades it does a commendable job of reaching out to youth with moral and ethical values of life and as part of its CSR. Through its literary wing Shriram Ilakkiya Kazhagam every year Thirukkural Elocution & Drawing Contest is being organised at state-level. Let us see how the wide-spread awareness, witnessing participation of around 3000 students from different corners of the state, is made possible through PR…..
Partnering with Shriram Ilakkiya Kazhagam (SIK)
We took over the PR mantle whenSIK’s awareness venture was at its budding stage. Our strong PR presence and good media rapport helped us fetch it a bigger reach and participation.
Our modus operandi
We use direct mailers to connect to several hundreds out of 20,000 and growing institutions in Tamil Nadu and whose databases are available. Every year, we keep scrutinizing the information collected for a database that is up-to-date and relevant.
To communicate to the remaining, we use press releases, scrolls in our media partner TV channel, and reach out to schools & colleges across regions from regional branches of our client.
Creation of A4 posters for promotion, door-to-door campaign, creative LOGO, badges, detailed application form, and certificates for winners are our other strategies used for publicising and encouraging participation.
On the event management side, we set up 10 major centres in 10 major cities of Tamil Nadu so that their surrounding places also have an access to participation and thus facilitating the event to attain its state-level extent.
Student participation is facilitated across categories – Junior, Senior, and College. They are subjected to preliminary and semi-final rounds and eventually the finalists from the semi-final rounds of each of the 10 centres and across the three categories contest in the grand finale.
Celebrity Coordination, Creating Photo Opportunities and Production Work for TV Telecast are the other activities we manage to value add and help the programme achieve desired success in its entirety and up to the client satisfaction.
Every year we see overwhelming participation that stands testimony to the PR outreach. Not only the participation gets state-wide level, the coverages of the contests from different centres contribute to the magnitude of the reach. Eventually, succeeding in creating wide-spread awareness on the advocacies of Thirukkural and reaching the goal of enriching young minds with morals the great Tamil literary work has presented us with.