Sunday, September 29, 2013

Media Sector Analysis Report

·         Indian media industry is expected to grow at an annual average growth rate of 15% to touch Rs 1457 bn by 2016. The industry comprises of print, electronic, radio, internet and outdoor segments. With the government aggressively pushing in for digitisation of TV, Multi System Cable Operators (MSOs) are expected to lose 15-20 per cent of their subscribers to DTH during the phase one that requires the digitisation of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata by the end of calendar year 2012.

·         There are nearly 148 m television households in India. DTH segment comprises of 45 m homes. Around 60% of the money in television segment comes from the subscriptions of DTH or cable services. The digital subscribers are expected to outdo the analog subscribers by 2013. The players in the electronic media can be classified into a three-link chain. First are the studios (including the animation studios), which comprise the hardware part of the industry, the second are the content providers and the third link comprises the distribution trolleys, which include the cable and satellite channels, multiplex theatres, MSOs and the DTH players.

·         In India, the ratio of advertising expenditure to GDP is about 0.4%. This is substantially lower in comparison to the developed economies as well as developing economies. As the Indian economy continues to develop and the media reach increases, the advertising expenditure to GDP ratio is expected to increase over the next 5 years.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Managing the Media: Six Steps to Ensure a Successful Event

1.   Develop clear messages and prepare for the worst: Sit down with your client or communications lead and determine what news they want to communicate. Based on their requests–and your media expertise–create several key talking points that spokespersons can use, whether at a large convention or small press conference. Many PR professionals skip Q and A documents, but drafting these is crucial. It’s important to think like a journalist, and anticipate any negative questions that might arise and draft appropriate answers.

2.   Make sure all of the necessary equipment is in place: Between drafting talking points and managing RSVPs, it’s easy to let equipment requirements slip your mind, but this is an absolute priority. There are several items you should have on hand, whether planning a large or small event. In order to facilitate noteworthy photo-ops, bring along a step and repeat banner with your organization’s logo. If you’re expecting photographers, provide a riser with good visual access, and if reporters plan to file on-site, establish a wireless network and share the name and password. Depending on the scale of the event, there are other things to consider–from reserving space on the riser for prime media to securing satellite truck parking.

3.   Create a detailed press check-in system: As RSVPs start to pour in, log each e-mail address—you’ll need these later when you send event reminders and press releases. This is also a great way to build your media lists. Once you arrive at the event site, create a noticeable press check-in area. Set up a table and bring a computer or iPad to track guests electronically, or simply print a list and store it on a clipboard.
Chat with each journalist as they check in—this helps to build relationships, and you’ll need to clearly recognize them later at the event. Also, depending on the size of your event, it’s helpful to have credentials that identify members of the media with their name and organization.

4.   Distribute press kits that the media will want to use: There are typical items to include in a press kit: Fact sheets, press releases and event schedules, but with the emergence of digital media, you must think out of the box. Consider creating an interactive press kit on a jump-drive. Include all of the traditional materials, as well as photos and videos to make filing the story easier for reporters. It’s also useful to order jump-drives with your organization’s logo and Web address—this will come in handy when journalists re-use the jump-drive. 

5.   Introduce members of the media to the right people: Since you spoke with reporters at check-in, you can easily identify them. Now introduce them to your spokespersons so they can obtain direct quotes or ask questions. Make sure your spokespersons have business cards on hand to distribute to journalists. This serves two purposes. First, if the reporter has a follow-up question, they know exactly whom to reach. Second, if the journalist later needs a quote for a related story, they have your spokesperson’s contact information.

6.   Follow up with key information that wasn’t presented: As a PR pro, you know that follow-up e-mails and calls are essential. The same holds true after hosting a media event. You can simply send an e-mail thanking a reporter for attending, but I prefer to follow up with information that wasn’t presented at the event. This conveys to the reporter that you truly care about their story. In my experience, the reporter will appreciate the initiative, and this will lead to strong relationships with the media in the future.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Steps to get out of Inferiority Complex

1. Know that you as a person has value in God’s eyes.
No matter how unjust the comparisons that are made about you; and how unfair that criticism that is made against you, God loves you and values you as a unique individual. You are not someone lost in the crowd; but you’re someone with great worth in God’s eyes. The Lord says: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Do you believe this? It is the first step on the road to recovery.

2. Know that the glamorous and the glossy that is presented as good and perfect in the media and advertisements are mostly grossly inflated presentations.
The real world is more about failures, disappointments and despair along with occasional triumphs in the daily grind of life and dull routine. So do not measure your worth against unreal values the marketing world attractively and temptingly presents.

3. Know that in spite of everything you can think of negatively about yourselves, there is one thing that is good about you. 
Your challenge is to find that one thing and be very good at it. Make it a great strength of yours. Let it become your passport to greatness. Though weakness is common to all; it is your duty to work hard and excel in one thing you are good at. When you excel in that one thing the root of inferiority complex can be cut down.

4. Know that the past with all its pains, hurts, failures and heartbreaks have to be forgotten.
So many people find themselves struggling with guilt and fear because they had been victimized in the past. Such experiences do take time to heal. But your cooperation is a must. You need to decide to get up from where you’re lying down. Do not be comfortable with your pain. Shut the door behind to such memories and get on with life.

5. Know that you can learn to see the negative circumstances in your life differently. 
See bad circumstances in life as the training ground where your character is made strong through the fires of difficulty. Also be thankful for the difficulties in life. The thankful attitude, if practiced constantly will give you joy and enable you to defy the downward pull of inferiority complex and rise above negative circumstances.

6. Know that labels need not be allowed to stick permanently on you.
Once a doctor told me “My two children are introverts.” I was shocked. Because her children who had attended my training sessions had done so well in class; especially team events. So I asked her why she held the belief that her children are introverts? She told me that their school teacher had told her so. How sad that this mother so thoughtlessly parroted this in front of others in the hearing of her children. I was compelled to tell her that the teacher’s role and duty was not to label her children negatively but to help them come out of their shells. However, I told her, I was happy that her children did not believe what she or their teacher had told. So you need to recognize that negative labels don’t define you. Instead you have the power and the ability to tear off these negative labels. Why not do it now?

7. Know that you can make a difference. 
There are many people who need you. Often it is the sense of uselessness that creates inferiority complex. Get involved in building up the lives of others; especially those who have not many to encourage them to succeed. The knowledge that you put a smile on someone’s face by a kind word, gesture or deed; the realization that your help gave someone the courage to live another day; is a great healer.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How to Improve Your Vocabulary Steadily

1.   Make it a priority to learn new words. If you want to improve your vocabulary more quickly, you have to make at least a small commitment. Decide to learn one new word every day or two.
2.   Make your vocabulary practical. Start by learning the words that can express what’s most important to you. For example, learn more of your trade language – the words that are commonly used in your business or hobby or vocation. Go beyond the jargon and cliches. Find better, fresher, clearer words to express what your peers are talking about.
3.   Find the right word for you and use it. When you’re writing something, use a thesaurus frequently. That will help you express yourself better. And every time you do that, you’ll learn a new word and you’ll use that new word.
4.   Start learning where you are. As you read, if you come across an interesting word that you don’t understand, don’t just bleep over it. See item number 1. Take the time to look it up in a dictionary. Write it down and use it later.
5.   Learn roots. Most English words are built from common roots, prefixes and suffixes, often with Greek or Latin origins. They’re highly reusable. When you learn one root, you’ll start to understand the many other words that use that root.
6.   When you learn a word, use it immediately and frequently. Make it a game. Slip your new word into conversation with as many different people as you can. Repeat it to yourself. Use it in sentences. Write it on a flashcard and practice it while waiting for red lights.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tips for Writing Feature Articles

Choosing a Topic
When most people ask about tips for writing feature articles, they usually first need help with finding a topic. Ask an editor what kinds of material he or she is looking for from the publication. It can be very tricky to come up with your inspiration unless you are very motivated by a particular topic.  
Look online to see if you can find subjects that are interesting, thoughtful, and exciting. Keep reading the news and checking blogs for content that might be interesting to write about in your own feature articles. 
Whenever you meet someone interesting that you would like to interview in a feature article, consider giving them your business card and asking them to keep you in mind for future writing as well. 
Writing a Good Feature Article
The best way to learn about writing, epecially in the world of feature articles, is to keep reading. The reality is, the more good writing you read, and the more you practice writing, the more fluent and coherent a writer you will become. Your goal should be to build up flexibility as a writer and be able to write about a variety of subjects.
Here are some more great tips for your writing: 
·         Make sure you quote people accurately and fairly. Taking someone’s words out of context might create buzz about the article, but it would not be fair representation.
·         Try to get multiple points of view in your articles. It can be fun to have a completely opinionated article, but striving for balance will help lots of people relate to your writing and want to read more about the friction between different opinions.
·         This being said, share your opinions!  Feature articles are more interesting for readers when a writer takes a stance with an expository style.
·         Find a photographer to take pictures – these can make your articles much more interesting. In fact, consider taking the pictures yourself!
·         Stick to a word count. Many editors have strict word counts so that articles can fit on the page with no stress – and so that they aren’t left with blank space at the end. Keep track of your words and augment / detract as necessary.
For more tips for writing feature articles, speak to an editor who can help you organize your thoughts.
Building an Audience: How to Get People Interested in Your Writing
When writing, you do not want to alienate any of your readers – keep in mind a general audience. Ask yourself the following questions:
·         What kinds of things would you want to read about?
·         How can I keep things interesting? 
From the get-go, let your friends, family, and colleagues know that you will be writing. Ask if they know connections that might be interested in seeing your work, or if they would like to be interviewed for the articles you write. Even if you have writer’s block in the future, you can very easily lean back on your contacts and networking to produce something spectacular – and you will learn a lot in the process as you build your connections. 
Share your writing widely. If you are doing print publications, consider photocopying bits of your work to forward to people you know and people you want to write for. You can also consider sending links to features articles which you write and publish online.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tips for creating successful text ads

Highlight what makes your business, product, or offer unique
Free shipping? Large selection? Tell people! Highlight features or areas that make your business stand out from the competition.

Include prices, promotions, and exclusives
If you have something special to offer, make sure your customers see it. People are usually searching to make a decision about something. Give them what they need to help make their decision.

Tell your customers what they can do
Are you selling? Tell them what they can buy. Are you offering? Tell them what they'll receive. Strong verbs like Purchase, Call today, Order, Browse, Sign up, or Get a quote tell your customers what they can expect to do when they arrive at your website.
Include at least one of your keywords in your ad text
This can catch the attention of the people who searched for the keyword, and show that your ad is related to what they want. Additionally, the keyword you use will appear in bold in your ad, just like it does in the search results, making it more obvious how relevant your ad is. Let's say you include the keyword digital cameras in your ad's headline, like "Buy Digital Cameras," and a customer searches for digital cameras. Your ad's headline will appear in bold, like "Buy Digital Cameras." Your ad's headline could also appear in bold if a customer searched for buy SLR cameras, like "Buy Digital Cameras," since "buy" and "cameras" match words in the customer's search term.

Match your ad to your landing page
Take a look at the page on your website that you're linking to, which is called the landing page. Make sure the promotions or products in your ad are included in that page. If visitors don't find what they expect to see when they reach your site, they might leave.

Appeal to customers viewing your ad on a mobile device
When customers are on-the-go, certain information might be more useful to them (like your store location or phone number) or a particular message might grab their attention. If you're running an enhanced campaign, try using call extensions (also known as click-to-call) or location extensions to give customers the information they need to take action while they're on the move. Also, consider creating additional ads tailored for mobile devices, like text that highlights mobile-specific specials or discounts or a mobile-optimized display URL.


Create three to four ads per ad group, trying out different messages to see which performs the best with your customers. AdWords can automatically show the better-performing ads within an ad group more often. This removes the guesswork and lets you build on what you've learned from your experiments.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tips on How to Develop Your Personality

1. Each person is unique: 
Remember that each individual is different and has his or her unique characteristics and qualities. Comparing yourself with others around only increases the distress, especially when you start focusing on where you are lacking compared to others. It is important that you channelise your energy towards your positive traits.

2. Do not get swayed by media portrayals:
Media portrays people in its own idiosyncratic ways. It does not mean what or how you should be.

3. Personality matters, not looks alone:
It is not just looks that are important and that define who you are. Personality defines who you are and how you respond in various situations. It is essential to focus on the personality, which matters the most.

4. Learn social skills:
Just looking good will never be sufficient to take you forward in life or help you in your relationships with people. Instead, hone your social skills. The more success one has in social spheres of life, the better you would feel about yourself.

5. Have a healthy lifestyle:
Life is a balancing act. Learning to balance different aspects of life is integral to a wholesome life. Have a good, balanced diet and exercise.

6. Do not avoid social interactions:
Just because you feel you aren’t good-looking, do not avoid meeting people. The more you shun social interaction, the worse you would feel about yourself.

7. Know your positives:
If every individual has his or her limitations, then he or she also has positives. These positive are what you need to concentrate on. Know your strengths. Acknowledge them and work with them.

8. Get healthy peer support: 
Peers are an important part of your support system. Having peers who are supportive can contribute to our understanding of situations, giving alternative perspectives. 

9. Talk to parents and friends: 
The difficulties you might face in evaluating yourself in a positive light can be taken care of by talking to family and friends.

10.  Develop media literacy skills:
Learn to see messages in the media in a dispassionate manner. Try and develop this skill so that you are able to integrate what the media shows in a realistic manner.

Everyone has their notion of how people should look and dress, etc... All these diverse perceptions can lead individuals to believe that they need to be a particular way, and if not, then it implies something negative about them. This can frequently affect one’s moods and behavior.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What is True Freedom?

We read about freedom, dream about freedom, rejoice in the notion of freedom, teach, advocate, and hope for freedom, but what do we mean by freedom?
Freedom means many things to many people.  We can view freedom politically, as having the opportunity to vote for particular ideas, people, or parties which best represent our views.  Closely tied to this is the notion of freedom of speech, where one has the liberty to voice their personal opinion or perspective. Others understand freedom in a financial context, where people seek to free themselves of financial debt, outstanding credit, and burdensome loans.
What does true freedom look like?  Does it look like a voter’s ballot or someone walking out of prison?  Is it seen in being able to buy anything I want or in the fact that I don’t owe a thing to anyone?  Of course, it’s crucial to define what we mean by freedom so that we know what we’re looking for, what we’re hoping to attain.
Who did Jesus think he was? And why should I care?
Still have questions?Ask a mentor
Say a child runs outside and climbs a tree because he wants to get away and be free.  In his exuberant effort to be free, the boy wanders out onto a tree limb, turns around, and begins severing the last connection he has with the world – the limb.  Having sawed through the limb, the boy quickly realizes that he not only failed in achieving his goal of complete freedom, but discovers that what he was seeking wasn’t true freedom at all.  In his effort to achieve freedom, the boy finds himself in a worse situation then before – broken limbs and all!
Two sides of the freedom coin
Not surprisingly, the Bible says quite a bit about freedom, despite any impressions we might have about it being merely a book of restrictive rules. In reality, if we are willing to consider it, the Bible can help us distinguish between what it means for us to be free from something and to be free to do or be something. Freedom from and freedom to are two sides of the freedom coin.
It is interesting that many of the freedoms we seek today are seen as ends in themselves, as a final goal to be attained.  It’s as though we think that once our particular freedom is achieved, all our problems will be solved.  Why?  Because we’ll have freedom!  But freedom from what?  And freedom to do or be what?
For example, let’s say that we’re in deep financial debt.  We realize our desperate state and begin to strategically work our way out of financial bondage.  It may take months, years, or even decades, but eventually we hope to balance our budget and move from being in the red to black.  But, even if we accomplish our goal and attain financial freedom, particularly freedom from debt, have we really attained true freedom?  In other words, does having no financial debt necessarily mean that we have attained financial freedom?
Not really.  See, our hearts, which drove us into debt in the first place, remain unchanged.  It may be the case, and unfortunately it often is, that as soon as we get out of debt, we plunge right back into it.  Why?  Because our hearts see and desire something it cannot live without.  So we buy it, and voila!  We’re in debt again.  So, if our hearts are not changed, neither will our behavior change.  That’s why the Bible says that true freedom begins in the heart. We act on our thoughts and behave according to our desires.
Interestingly, the Bible likens the human heart to a tree, in which, “every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” (Matthew 7:17-18; 12:33-35).  The source of our actions is the heart.  If it’s diseased, the fruit (our actions) is rotten too.
Of course, it’s always good to be out of debt, but to simply balance the books is only a peripheral remedy.  It is merely treating the symptoms rather than dealing with the disease. True freedom is only achieved when our hearts are changed, not when the books are balanced.
The same can be said for political and verbal freedom.  Both are significantly good and should be advocated and protected, but they are peripheral freedoms in comparison to true freedom.  True freedom occurs only in the heart when it is changed and made new.
What then is this “true” freedom?
There is a debt that every human has, a disease that we all suffer from, which no human strategy can ever conquer or cure. It is not a bondage to external things primarily, though it does work its way out in external expressions.  No, our problem is much deeper.  It is bondage of the will, a captivity of the soul, a deadness of heart.
The Bible tells us that we were made by God to honor Him and delight in Him forever.  Yet, we chose to sin and rebel against God by abandoning our created purpose of worshiping Him in order to do our own thing and pridefully make a name for ourselves.  This rebellion against God, known as the Fall, caused mankind to fall from the innocence in which they were created and become corrupted by sin.
Due to our sin, we have all received the consequential penalty of sin, namely spiritual and physical death.  Death reigns in all of us so every one of us is spiritual dead (separated from God) and will also die physically one day.  Not only this, but throughout our life, the effects of sin infect everything we do.  The marring stains of sin are pervasive within each one of us, distorting the way we think, desire, and behave.  All of our thoughts, feelings, and actions are tainted by our sin.
Yet, in all of this, the human heart remains free.  Free to choose whatever it desires. But here’s the catch – the human heart is corrupted and enslaved by evil.  So, the only thing it desires is evil.  All our thoughts, words, and actions are tainted in various degrees with prideful sin and rebellion against God.  So even though we are free to choose, we only freely choose sin all the time.
Ultimately, the final consequence of our sin against God is hell, a state of total and unending disconnection and separation from God, a place of unhindered and perpetual bondage to unrestrained evil, horror, and suffering resulting from everyone doing all their selfish and sinful hearts desire, no matter what harm it may cause to others.
Yet, God in His love sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth and willingly die in the place of sinful humans like us to absorb all our sin, rebellion and wrongdoing.  Therefore, all who entrust their complete life to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins will be saved from their bondage to sin and given eternal life in Him and enjoy an intimate and personal connection and relationship with God himself.

This is true freedom.   And true freedom only exists in Jesus Christ.  How does it happen?  God changes our heart by His Holy Spirit.  God makes us spiritually alive by giving us a new heart. This heart desires to love God.  It sees Jesus Christ as beautiful and desires to love Him as the Lord and Savior of our life.  By faith, we give our life to Jesus and receive His forgiveness and freedom from sin.  Not only this, but we are now free to do the very thing we were created to do – to honor and enjoy God forever.  And this joy in God is from our heart – our new heart given to us by God.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tips For Becoming A Better Writer

1. Write in Short Sentences
The reader shouldn't have to work hard to understand what you're saying. If he or she has to go back over a sentence because of poor structure it's not his or her fault, it's yours. Read what you've written aloud or have someone else read it aloud to look for sentences that are too long or convoluted.

2. Go Active
Use active verbs as much as possible. They're more engaging. They move the reader along and take fewer words to get your message across. "John loves Mary" is much more powerful than "Mary is loved by John."

3. Keep it Simple
The front page of The Wall Street Journal and all of USA Today is written for the eighth grade reading level. Why should we be any different? People aren't interested in things they don't understand. Make your points quickly and succinctly. Make your words work and use as few of them as possible. Use the right word, not just to show off your vocabulary (or your new thesaurus), but to convey your message clearly.

4. Tell Stories
Facts tell and stories sell. The best writers and speakers of the world have always been good storytellers. Your own stories are the best. What you are sharing is wisdom from your point of view and stories can illustrate this better than anything else.

5. Know Your Subject
Write on things on which you've earned the right to write. The more you know, the more confidence and credibility you'll have.

6. Write Like You Talk
Often I see people who are good verbal communicators trying to put on a different air in their writing. It doesn't work. It's much better to be conversational.

7. Paint Pictures
We think in pictures and should write in ways that create these pictures in the mind of the reader. Be descriptive. Use examples. Describe the unfamiliar by using some of the familiar. For example: "Jennifer's first day at her new job reminded her of the freshness and unfamiliarity she experienced on her first day of school."

8. Write and Read Extensively
This advice is from Stephen King, a prolific writer. If you want to be a good writer you have to do two thing: read a lot and write a lot. Enough said.

9. Break it Down
Where appropriate use bullet points. Use them for summaries or outlines. Think about someone who may only start out by scanning your text. Let your bullet points draw the reader in.

10. Keep Paragraphs to no more than Six Lines
Short paragraphs provide white space to the text. They break up the page and make it appear less formidable to the reader. Like in music, the space between the notes is as important as the notes themselves.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Impact Of Advertisement On Us

If advertisements merely sold products, it would cause less critical concern than it does, but it sells images, dreams and ideal ways of life. It sells, and then reinforces time and again, values - those of consumerism and class consciousness; and it trades in stereotypes.
As discussed earlier, advertising creates and sustains an ideology of consumption and it is a social force affecting Indian homes today. Therefore, its impact should be analyzed.
Advertising is a social institution and a necessary social evil. Advertising is a social institution and its cost and benefit should be evaluated to determine the total impact of advertising on our social welfare the issue is not whether advertising is perfect, but whether the benefits of advertising outweigh the costs making social welfare greater than advertising.
Sethi (1997) said that advertising is one of the functions of mass communication. All productivity relies on this medium of mass communication. Advertising diffuses information about commodities, markets them and persuades the common man of their place in his life.
In fact advertising does more than this. It plays a role in social change. It celebrates change and internalizes change for those who become better by using a certain product/service. In short, advertising is the voice of technology; because of that it represents the intention to affect life.
Advertising, though originally used to market products, now, unfortunately, it seems to market feelings, sensations and styles of life; an astounding 'revolution in manners and morals'. All this has been possible through an efficient communication network which has revolutionized changes.
The first impact that one gets from the advertisement is that the viewers have no choice of their own in making preference for the consumer goods they want to use in daily life. The advertisement imposes choices and preferences on the public mind through language, conversation, jingles, etc.
This kind of aggression on the minds of the people, coming from different strata of the society, can create disturbances on traditional way of life of some category of people. In the long run, it is likely that social and cultural transformations of revolutionary nature are created in the society through such programmes.
On the credit side, advertising has speeded the introduction of useful inventions. It has spread markets, reduced the price of goods, accelerated turnover and kept people in employment.
The relentless propaganda on behalf of goods in general is considered by many a dangerous mode of brain washing in that advertising's central function appears to create desires that previously did not exist, or rather anxieties which respond to the advertisements (by going out and buying the advertised product or service) helps to assuage but only temporarily.
Advertising in India has created an incredible awareness among the people in the past decade growing into big industry. It was grown along with the press and today it has found its way into the other two media - Radio and Television.
Advertising which was originally an American concept, has found its place in a country like India, so much so that the number of commercials have doubled in the media. Television is the most sought after medium for advertising.
At the moment, the media in order to earn revenue through advertising are implicated in creating a market for consumer goods.
Though it is largely an urban phenomenon, the same commercial advertisements on television reach rural areas and can have disturbing effects on rural people, where wants are encouraged, whose appetite for luxury goods and services is whetted. This can lead to a sense of frustration among those who cannot afford them.
Chunnawala and Sethia have rightly pointed out that advertising in India has played a vital role in the development process by creating a demand for consumer goods and raising the living standards of millions. It is not irrelevant or luxury oriented as it has been made out to be.
A substantial amount of advertising expenses are utilized on advertisements of capital goods, intermediaries, consumer durables and services, most of which promote investment, production and employment.
Further, advertising has a definite role to play in rural development, and Indian advertising has made some progress in this direction as well. Advertisements of fertilizers, pesticides, farming equipment, cattle feed, etc. have reached rural market successfully.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

5 Simple Mistakes Documentary Filmmakers Make

1) Not asking a question or choosing a theme
I think the biggest mistake people make is going ahead with making a documentary just on the basis that they have found a subject that interests them. This can sometimes result in a great film, but rarely. A documentary has to ask a question or have a big theme. By “big theme” I don’t mean it’s got to be worthy – another documentary no-no that I’ll get to later—I just mean its got to have a driving force of some sort. Before filming, ask yourself, what question am I asking and how does this film express my worldview?
  2) Choosing a ‘worthy’ subject
People who decide to go off and make a documentary on the basis that the subject is ‘worthy’ get themselves into a tricky spot. You might find that a righteous topic is so widely researched that there aren’t many new upheavals to make. You also might find that the footage doesn’t create an entertaining feature. Interesting, worthy documentaries might work for a TV insert or news piece but are unlikely to make a great film.
3) Using poor technique to recreate events
When watching TV documentaries, one of my biggest Room 101s is when directors try to portray a past event by going all low-resolution and throwing the camera around or wheeling in bad actors and making them go out of focus. There’s more to drama reconstruction than the blurry, home movie look.
For great drama reconstruction watch Man On Wire (which also benefits from some extraordinary archive film footage).
4) Using bad music
The soundtrack of your documentary can really make or break its mood. Don’t trust the guy that you just met who offers to write an entire score for your film. You, the director, should have your own strong ideas of how the music will function in the film. From there, it’s your responsibility to choose the right person for the job, someone who understands your ideas and has the knowledge and talent to make those ideas come to life.
5) Filming without a vision
At the end of a day a great documentary has to have a strong vision, and that vision informs every creative and editorial step along the way. Like mentioned before, your music guy has to share your vision; so does everyone else in the process. Only when everyone is on the same page can the documentary achieve its intended goals.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

1.    Pauses Are Your Friend — The one rule I remember from high school speech class is if you think you’re talking too fast, you definitely are. Better yet, if you think you’re talking too slow, things are probably just about right. This applies to spokespeople too—even over the phone. Keep in mind that unless the reporter or analyst you are speaking with is recording the conversation, they are most likely madly trying to type (or even hand write) their notes as you talk. This can get challenging since they also need to mentally process what you are telling them, as well as ask questions. We’re not talking huge silences here—you’ll know if it’s getting uncomfortable. But short pauses are okay; you’re offering them a moment to finish jotting down their notes before moving on to the next topic. So, slow down, take a breath, and even pause. Your listeners will thank you.
2.    Don’t Be Afraid Of Questions — By definition a conversation requires at least two participants. This means the reporter or analyst needs a chance to talk too. If you’re nervous about the type of questions the journalist or analyst may ask, practice prior to the briefing. A good PR firm will give you anticipated questions in advance with your briefing notes. They can also run through a practice conversation if that’s helpful. Of course, it always varies depending on whom you’re speaking with—some prefer a natural two-way dialogue throughout the entire discussion, others prefer to have the spokesperson give their spiel and then ask questions at the end. You’ll need to feel this out for yourself. Regardless of which situation you’re in, you should always give the other person the opportunity to talk if they desire.
3.    Answer the Questions They Ask — Nothing will frustrate a journalist more than a spokesperson who refuses to answer their questions. Okay, maybe “tactfully dodging” is a better word, but the result is the same. And sometimes this can do more damage than good. We all understand if a company cannot divulge certain information, or even if the spokesperson doesn’t know the answer. And sometimes the reality of the answer is not as positive as the company would like. But, by repeatedly refusing to answer a question, what else is a reporter to think beides the worst? So, own up to it. If you can’t divulge certain information, be forthright and tell them. They’ll understand. If you don’t know the answer, say you’ll be glad to get back to them with the correct information. And if the answer doesn’t exactly put your company in the most positive light, well, what isn’t said can sometimes be just as powerful—and not in the way you want. By framing it through your lens, you ensure the best possible outcome, even if the situation isn’t the best.
4.    Don’t Get Sidetracked — Let’s be realistic, a little sidetracked is okay. After all, we’re here to build relationships too. So if you discover you are both Bon Jovi fans, great! Feel free to banter a minute or so, but don’t forget the purpose of this meeting. Before the meeting begins, jot down the three to five messages that you want to hit, and make sure you touch on all of them. If you find the journalist steering you away from your key messages, acknowledge what they said and/or answer their question, and then bridge back to what you were originally talking about and continue.
5.    Speak Clearly and Concisely — We all get nervous when giving a presentation, even those who have done it countless times. But, I can’t stress enough how important it is that your audience can understand what you’re saying. Meetings become frustrating for all participants when the journalist has to ask for a repeat after every sentence or two. It’s natural to talk very quickly when you’re nervous, which brings me back to my first point—slow down. Take a breath, collect your thoughts, and give your brain a chance to catch up with what your mouth is saying.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tips To Become A Photographer

1. Pick Your Focus
It's important to decide what type of photographer you want to be. The requirements to become a photojournalists will vary from the requirements to become a forensic photographer. Find your niche and become an expert. By focusing you will be able to build your credibility as a photographer in that niche.
2. Get the training
Depending on what field of photography you want to specialize in, you might need to get a college degree. A photojournalist or a scientific photographer will need the training not only in photography, but also in journalism or science. Other specialties will benefit from college training but do not require it. If you don't want to spend the next four years in class, try to find an internship. Approach people who are making a living doing what you want to do and see if they offer an assistantship. You'll be able to learn the ropes and improve your photography skills while you help your employer.
3. Join organizations
Taking great photographs is only one half of the equation. You'll also need to make connections. There are different types of organizations that you should consider joining. First, think locally. Many of the businesses and organizations in your area will need to hire a photographer at some time. Join the Chamber of Commerce and other business networking groups. This will give people a chance to know you and your work and you will be more successful when you approach them than you would be cold calling them.
The second type of organization you should join should be related to your specialty. This allows you to become an expert in whatever you are shooting. If possible, join organizations that are comprised of photographers in your niche. You'll also want to join a more broad organization that would include different business people in the niche you want to pursue.
The third type of organization you'll want to join is a general photographer organization. This will keep you up-to-date in the photography world. You'll get great tips on becoming a better photographer and you'll have the opportunity to pick up more skills at conferences and workshops.
4. Start Local, Start Small
Although you may desire to land a contract that sends you to Hawai'i to shoot travel photos, you'll have more success if you start locally. If you want to be a travel photographer, see if the local tourism bureaus need photographs for their brochures. As you add to your portfolio, you'll be able to get bigger and better jobs.
If selling your photos online, start with submitting your photos to the microstock sites. After you have success with those you will then be able to approach the large professional stock sites to offer them your services as an experienced stock photographer.
5. Invest in your career
You don't need the most expensive camera on the market to be a successful photographer, but do buy the best equipment that you can afford. If you want to become a photographer full time, you will need to invest in your career.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Role of Social Media

Indian Politics and Social Media
Social media is not only confined to you and me but to politicians as well. Through different activities politics and politicians in India have brought social media into the limelight. It is expected that social media will play a huge role and influence the coming general elections to a great extent. The study by IRIS Knowledge Foundation and supported by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has indicated this fact. Social media will be real game changer with political leaders having millions of fans on Twitter and supporters on Facebook as well as Google+. In order to build a certain image, most of the politicians also have their own websites. A few examples:
All the recent lectures by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi got huge social media attention. He even hosted a political conference on Google+ hangouts and this makes him the third politician across the globe to do this after Obama and Australian PM Julia Gillard. Ajay Degan hosted his Google+ Hangout in which the common man was free to ask live questions from him. He has a strong presence on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Shashi Tharoor is very active on Twitter and his tweets are quoted in mainstream media.
Few months back, you must have seen a page on Facebook seeking Dr. Abdul Kalam as president of India.
Then there is Anna Hazare’s Social Media Campaign against corruption in India.
Many researchers have indicated that social media would be stronger and more persuasive than television in influencing people.

Social Media and Business
Role of social media in business and consumer market in India cannot be undermined. It is the change in consumers’ behavior that is changing the role of social media in India. With time, use of social media has seen a drastic change from just used for fun to fun plus knowledge and marketing. For business purposes, Facebook is the most important social media platform as there is customers’ engagement, followed by Twitter, YouTube and blogging. Social media is used by brands to build communities for interaction and spreading news.
So not only individuals but every organization, be it big or small, has an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube channels and other related social media platforms. 95.7% of organizations in India use social media to build communities, 76.1% for highlighting brand news, platform specific parameters such as number of likes, share, comments, people taking about the company are considered by 81% of the organizations to measure their success. As far as the budget is concerned, most of the organizations set budget below INR 10 million on their social media spending that makes 1-5% of their total marketing budget. Social media interaction provides useful information about the behavior of the customers to the organization on regular basis.

Social Media and Recruitment in India
Social media and recruitment go hand in hand with social media becoming an integral part of recruiting firms. These firms are using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find new employees and skills. So, gone are the days when for employment recruiters as well as employees used to rely on employment exchange and classified ads in the newspaper. Hiring through traditional media was based on gut feeling whereas through social media, it is based on interaction, communication and direct response. Most of the organizations have well planned strategies for talent acquisition through social media.
Social Media and IPL
Social media is also playing an active role in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by providing up to date and live information on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube. Teams are in constant touch with their fans through social media and there is  great interaction. For IPL sponsors and brands, such an interaction and reach of social media is a boon. Thus there is no way to ignore social media for business and entertainment purposes.