Monday, May 08, 2006

Media Trail - Update April 2006

Beleagured Indian Express postpones its IPO & magazine division launch

A beleagured Indian Express group, for which problems just do not seem to end, has postponed the launch of its magazine division, while its proposed IPO too does not appear to be in sight.
In some major initiatives taken by the end of 1995, the Indian Express group had made major announcements of launching a Rs 100 crore (about US $ 22.7 million) IPO, a general and special-interest magazine division and a joint-advt sales partnership with Mumbai's Mid-day publications group.
Senior Indian Express officials say the postponements of the IPO and the magazine division are largely due to "logistical reasons", but internal family feud appears to be the major reason for the group's continued failures.
Our own assumption is that the magazine division plans were based on the success of the IPO. Ever since the announcement of the IPO plan, media skeptics had opined that the IPO may not do well because of the "huge" accumulated losses of the group as well as the internal family feud over the control and management of the business - consisting largely of the publications as well as real estate.
Sandipan Deb, a known publishing professional, was also employed by the Indian Express to head the magazine division and his status/plans are not clear as of now.
Indian Express already has a B2B magazines division, which has shown profitablity during its several years of operation. However, the group's failure to create a separate corporate entity for its B2B publications has kept several international B2B publishers away from partnering with the group.

Dainik Jagran tops dailies, Saras Salil rules magazines

Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006, Round 1 has been declared. Looking at the dailies, the top three players have remained at the same positions as was seen in the last round. Dainik Jagran dominates at No. 1 position with 19,071,000 readers, Dainik Bhaskar at No. 2 position with 14,571,000 readers and Daily Thanthi is the third player with a readership of 10,228,000 readers. All three of them have registered some erosion in number of readers. Amar Ujala continues at number fourth position with 9,894,000 readers.
There has been some reshuffle at the lower half where Malayala Manorama has slipped from No. 5 position to No. 6 position and Hindustan has moved up a place to occupy the fifth rank. Lokmat, Eenadu, Mathrubhumi and Times of India take the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth ranks with 8,107,000, 7,944,000, 7,647,000 and 7,084,000 readers, respectively. Once again, ToI is the only English publication to find a spot amongst the top 10 publications.
Looking at the magazines, Saras Salil (Hindi) leads the segment garnering a total readership of 7,361,000, followed by Kungumam (Tamil) at 3,759,000 and Vanitha at number three positions with 3,516,000 readers. India Today English takes the fourth spot with a readership of 3,509,000. Grihashobha (Hindi) has moved to No. 5 position from No. 6 but again in terms of number of readers there has been some drop.
On the sixth position is Tamil weekly Kumudam with a readership of 3,071,000. The next slot is taken by India Today Hindi with a readership of 2,849,000 and Malayala Manorama is on the eight position garnering a readership of 2,760,000. Anand Vikatan occupies the ninth slot and Meri Saheli takes the tenth.
For the IRS 2006 R1 an annual sample size of 2.4 lakh was covered-spread equally over two rounds. A total of 1,178 towns and 2,894 villages were surveyed. The data represents fieldwork during the full year Jan-Dec 2005. The mid-point of the survey is June 1, 2005. Being a continuous survey, the reporting takes place every six months based on a Moving Annual Total.
Looking at some toplines from demographic profiles, the households have grown by 1.4 per cent over 2005 to reach a mark of 21 crore. Individual growth rate has been slightly lower than household growth rate at 0.85 taking the total 12 yrs + population to 78.4 crores. With single age-breaks now available from the Census, the age group data has been realigned. The proportion of the total share of 20-29 age group has declined from 25 per cent to 23.6 per cent.
The data also shows that reach of mass media seems to have stagnated in the last three years. Press reach has been hovering around at 24 per cent, TV at 55 per cent, Radio at 21 per cent and Internet at 1.5 per cent at the all India level.
In Urban India, Press and TV has actually declined in last three years. Press reach has declined from 42.9 per cent in 2004 to 41.7 per cent in 2006. Though TV has declined from 80.2 per cent to 78.9 per cent in the last three years, C&S has shown some growth, from 53.5 per cent in 2004 to 54.4 per cent in 2006.
While Press has maintained its status quo in rural, TV has grown by a meager 1 per cent in three years. Radio is the only medium where the incidence of listenership is almost same both in urban and rural and is around 21 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, in Urban and Rural.

Business publications register mixed performance

Much on the lines of what was seen in the general interest and other titles space, the business dailies offer a mixed bag of performance with Hindu Business Line (HBL) and Financial Express (FE) holding on to their readership unlike the leader in the segment The Economic Times (ET) and other players. In terms of business magazines, from Business Today to Business World all have recorded a fall in the IRS 2006 R 1.
Looking at the numbers of the business dailies, leader by a very large distance, ET, currently has a readership of 8.68 lakh, which is a 4 per cent drop from its previous 9.06 lakh. The next player in the pink paper space is HBL, which has grown by 3 per cent with a readership of 1.73 lakh. There is good news for the Express Group, too, with FE growing by 7 per cent, offering a readership of 93,000. Business Standard, with a readership of 75,000 has dropped significantly from its readership figure of 1.01 lakh, recorded in the previous round.
As far as business magazines are concerned, Business Today leads with a readership of 7.16 lakh, which is a decline of 5 per cent from its previous 7.54 lakh. Business India currently has a readership of 5.26 lakh, which is an 8 per cent fall from the 5.71 lakh readership it had in the last round. Business World has dropped by almost 10 per cent and is at a readership of 3.35 lakh. Outlook Money has dropped a whopping 32 per cent and is at 1.91 lakh readership at present.
Further niche in the space, Capital Market, has also declined by 4 per cent and is at 1.04 lakh readership. However, going against all trends, modest player Dalal Street Investment Journal has grown by 8 per cent and is currently at a readership of 82,000, perhaps aided by a buoyant Sensex.

Most leading dailies see a marginal decline in readership

In the last round of IRS (Round 2 of 2005), all top ten publications registered growth in terms of readership. However, the latest round of IRS (Round 1 of 2006) indicates a completely different trend.
Except for Amar Ujala and Hindustan, every other publication in the top ten list has experienced a marginal decline in readership.
Dainik Jagran, which continues to be the leading publication of the country, has seen a decline of around one lakh readers. Its readership today stands at 1,90,71,000.
At number two, Dainik Bhaskar, with a readership of 1,45,71,000, has gone down by 5,21,000 readers in comparison to the previous round of IRS. The number three position has been retained by Daily Tanthi, with a readership of 1,02,28,000, though even this publication has experienced a decline of 3,30,000 readers.
In fact, the top four positions have remained unaltered from the previous round. Amar Ujala has retained the number four position with a readership of 98,94,000. It is one of the few publications among the top ten which has experienced growth. In comparison to the previous round of IRS, the readership of Amar Ujala has increased by 49,000 readers.
Hindustan, which was at number six in the previous round of IRS, is the other daily among the top ten that has experienced growth. Its readership, which stands at 97,24,000 readers, securing it the number five position, has now seen an increase of 7,27,000 readers in comparison to Round 2 of IRS 2005.
Malayala Manorama, which was number five in the last round of IRS, has slipped to number six now, with its readership also marginally declining by 74,000 readers. As per the latest round of IRS, it has a readership of 93,52,000.
The readership of Marathi daily, Lokmat, which continues to be at number seven, has declined by 7,65,000 readers as compared to the previous round of IRS. Its readership as per the latest round stands at 81,07,000.
Among the other publications in the top ten list, Eenadu, Mathrubhumi and Saras Salil have also seen a decline in readership. While, the readership of Eenadu has declined by 8,31,000, Mathrubhumi has lost around 3,95,000 readers. The readership of Hindi magazine Saras Salil has remained almost stagnant with a marginal decline of 5,000 readers.
The readership of Eenadu, Mathrubhumi and Saras Salil stand at 79,94,000, 76,47,000 and 73,61,000, respectively.

Most top magazines experience decline in readership

Going by IRS 2006, Round 1, Hindi fortnightly magazine Saras Salil has maintained its numero uno position with a readership of 73.61 lakhs, which is quite consistent with last years IRS Round 2 figures (73.66 lakhs).
Coming in second is Kungumam, the Tamil weekly, with a readership of 37.59 lakhs, which wasnt among the top ten in the IRS Round 2 last year.
Malayalam magazine Vanitha, meanwhile, has slipped a notch from last years number two position. It has come in third this year, declining by 4.79 lakh readers. Its total readership now stands at 35.16 lakhs. This is the third round in a row in which the readership of Vanitha has declined.
India Today (English), which was last years number three, has slipped to number four this year, with a readership of 35.09 lakhs. In comparison to IRS 2005, Round 2, its readership has declined by 3.9 lakhs.
Hindi monthly Grihasobha continues to stand at number five, with a readership of 31.93 lakhs. Last year, this figure stood at 33.7 lakhs, which indicates that its readership has declined by 2.77 lakhs.
Tamil weekly Kumudam, which has registered a fall from fourth place last year to sixth place this year, has also experienced a decline in readership of 3.63 lakhs. Its readership, as per the latest IRS round, stands at 30.71 lakhs.
India Today (Hindi) and Malayala Manorama have both slipped a rank since last year to stand at Rank 7 and 8, respectively. While the readership of India Today has declined by 4.34 lakhs (from 32.83 lakhs in IRS 2005, Round 2, to 28.49 lakhs now), Malayala Manorama readership figures have dropped from 32.07 lakhs in Round 2 of 2005 to 27.60 lakhs in Round 1 of 2006.
Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan and Hindi monthly Meri Saheli have finished at Rank 9 and 10, respectively, with corresponding readership figures of 25.50 lakhs and 24.81 lakhs. These two were not among the top ten as per IRS 2005, Round 2.

English dailies readership shoots up; Hindi dailies experience marginal decline

As per the IRS 2006 Round 1statistics, it seems that the Queens language is regaining its popularity. The readership of any English daily has increased by 2.24 per cent in comparison to the previous round of the IRS (Round 2, 2005). The current readership of any English daily stands at 1,73,96,000.
However, the study reveals that there are fewer takers for our national language. The readership of any Hindi daily has declined marginally by 0.28 per cent from 6,28,83,000 to 6,27,10,000. The difference in readership between the last two rounds is around 1,73,000 readers.
Among the regional dailies, the highest growth has been attained by the Assamese dailies. The readership of any Assamese daily has increased 11 per cent from 23,40,000 in Round 2, IRS 2005, to 26,00,000 readers in Round 1, 2006.
However, in terms of absolute numbers, the highest growth has been achieved by the Gujarati dailies. The readership of any Gujarati daily has increased by 8,38,000 readers. As per IRS 2006, Round 1, the readership of any Gujarati daily today stands at 1,25,82,000.
Other regional publications that have grown significantly are the Oriya and Bengali dailies 9.51 per cent and 2.93 per cent, respectively. The readership of any Oriya daily stands at 30,38,000, while that of any Bengali daily is 1,00,66,000.
Interestingly, most South Indian dailies have seen a decline in readership. While the readership of any Telugu daily has decreased by 6.57 per cent, the readership of any Tamil daily has seen a decline of 4.21 per cent. The readership of any Telugu daily is 1,08,75,000, while that of any Tamil daily is 2,03,61,000.
Similarly, the readership of any Kannada daily has declined 2.1 per cent to 92,54,000.
The only language dailies to have seen a slight increase are the Malayalam newspapers. They have seen a marginal increase in readership of 0.63 per cent. The readership of any Malayalam daily is 1,61,64,000.
The worst hit in this round of the IRS are the Urdu dailies, which have declined by 14.19 per cent. The readership of any Urdu daily was 7,54,000 in IRS 2005, Round 2, which has declined to 6,47,000 in the current round of the IRS.

HT continues to rule the Capital: TOI still number two

In Mumbai, they might have become friends, but in the national Capital, they are still arch rivals. We are talking about the two daily newspapers, Hindustan Times (HT) and The Times of India (TOI).
According to IRS 2006, Round 1, HT continues to be ahead of TOI by 4.14 lakh readers in Delhi and its Urban Environs. While HT has recorded a readership of 21,41,000, the TOI readership this year is 17,27,000. Incidentally, both these newspapers have seen a decline in readership in this round. While the HT readership has declined by 2.69 lakhs, TOI has seen a decrease in readership of 2.49 lakhs.
This decline in readership is not exclusive to these two English dailies. The other leading dailies in the Capital, too, have experienced a decline in readership.
Navbharat Times (NBT), which continues to be the leading Hindi newspaper in Delhi and its Urban Environs, has seen a decline in readership of 80,000 readers. As per the latest round of IRS, NBT has recorded a readership of 15,68,000.
Punjab Kesri, at number two, has lost out on 72,000 readers. While the daily had a readership of 11,95,000 in Delhi and its Urban Environs as per IRS 2005, Round 2, the current figures stand at 11,23,000.
Dainik Jagran, which continues to be the leading publication in India, has also seen a decline in readership of 96,000 readers. As per IRS 2005, Round 2, this Hindi daily has recorded 9,27,000 readers.
Hindustan, which went full colour recently, has also missed out on increasing its readership base. Its readers in Delhi and its Urban Environs have slid from 10,23,000 (as per IRS 2005, Round 2) to 9,27,000 in IRS 2006, Round 1.
Amar Ujala is the only newspaper among the top ten dailies to have recorded growth. Its readership has increased by 42,000 to 3,62,000 readers in IRS 2006, Round 1.
Among the other leading dailies, the readership of Rashtriya Sahara has declined marginally by 9,000 readers. Dainik Bhaskar, at number 10, has seen lost 41,000 readers. As per the latest round of IRS, the readership of Dainik Bhaskar is 74,000 in Delhi and its Urban Environs.
The only business daily among the top ten in this market, The Economic Times, has also lost 13,000 readers.

Battleground Mumbai: Who is the winner

Last year two English dailies Hindustan Times and DNA (Daily News and Analysis) -- were launched in Mumbai hoping to invade The Times of Indias strong castle.
A year later have these newspapers managed to make a dent in TOIs citadel Well not yet. The half period figures released by MRUC (Media Research Users Council) in the IRS 2006, Round 1 survey dont indicate so.
According to these figures, 'Hindustan Times' has managed 2.85 lakh readers, while 'DNA' has a readership of 4.02 lakh. In comparison, Mumbai Mirror, the tabloid launched by the TOI group has managed a whopping 7.65 lakh readership figure. So is Mumbai Mirror the real winner Not exactly. The newspaper is still distributed free along with TOI, so it was bound to get a share of TOIs readership. The real test for the newspaper will be now when TOI is planning to sell it independently.
Industry experts such as Amin Lakhani, director CTG, Group M, say, Among all the newspapers launched last year, Mumbai Mirror has the got highest amount of sampling because it was distributed along with the TOI main edition. But this again has had a negative effect. The newspaper is considered to be a supplement just like Bombay Times.
As a result people are not consciously reading Mumbai Mirror. Otherwise, its readership would have been equivalent to The Times of India with the same number of copies, adds Lakhani.
In terms of sampling, DNA has also had a good run thanks to its aggressive outdoor campaigns, and circulation drive.
A Mumbai-based senior media buyer says, DNA certainly has had a good start. It was also quick to identify what the Mumbai English readers want. But it got late in launching the newspaper. By this time, TOI already figured these change in readership trend and was quick to implement them in its newspaper.
Hindustan Times which managed a readership of 2.85 lakh is also quite satisfied with its achievement. In fact, at the time of the launch, senior executives at HT had clearly said that they were not looking at huge numbers, instead they want to build a base of quality readers.
Manish Porwal, executive director, India-west, Starcom, feels that among the new launches, HT is a superior product. He says, It is a great product but unfortunately it has not been successful in creating a brand. The daily now needs to get aggressive in its marketing initiatives.
Echoes Lakhani of GroupM. HT has managed around 20 per cent of the English readers in the city, that too without much of a marketing effort. This indicates that the daily has built itself as a credible product among readers. It has also a strong distribution set up, which will be helpful for the newspaper in the long run. The daily now needs to decide whether it wants to grow exponentially or aggressively.
According to these media planners, the second phase of the media war will now start, especially when TOI launches Mumbai Mirror as an independent newspaper.
But if one goes by these industry watchers, theres still time before these newspapers pose a threat to TOIs strong fortress.
Porwal asserts, In the micro-set of newspapers, TOI is unavoidable. If one wants both quality consumers as well as numbers, the advertiser will have to trust TOI.
It seems the trends will go on as of now. And both HT and DNA, now, have enough samples to figure newer strategies for this battleground Mumbai.

...and the case of the disappearing reader

Whether it is English, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil or Telugu, the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006 has shown a decline in readership for almost all publications and largely even across markets. Industry leaders offered mixed reactions to the finding where India Today is flabbergast, Outlook is perplexed, and media professionals try and give a rationale, saying that the days of borrowed readership are going.
The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle and Tribune are the only English dailies to have registered growth. Amar Ujala, Hindustan and Rajasthan Patrika have managed to defy the decline trend in Hindi dailies. Dinamalar, Deshabhimani and Andhra Jyoti are the exceptions for Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu dailies, respectively. Magazines have far lesser success cases. A point to ponder is what has led to this decline in readership for almost every player.
With IRS releasing only towards to end of last week, not many players offered comments on why they think there has been a readership loss. Maheshwar Peri, Publisher, Outlook Group, put it in so many words when he said, The NRS (National Readership Survey) saw us grow by 60 per cent and our circulation has gone up by 5-6 per cent in the period since. I need to look at the data more closely to understand why there has been a decline in our readership.
While on the one hand that is what one section of the industry chooses to express, Ashish Bagga, CEO, India Today Group, and President, Indian Newspapers Society (INS), on the other hand, voices a completely different set of reactions. There seems to be something seriously wrong with the IRS survey, he said.
Citing data, he further asked, How can such huge chunks of readers disappear just like that in a period of six months Especially for subscription driven magazines like India Today English and Readers Digest, which show a loss of 3.9 lakh and 3.3 lakh readers, respectively. In fact, magazines across the board have been hit badly, in some cases registering huge losses of up to 23 per cent. How do you explain a 20 per cent fall in Feminas readership in just six months or regional language magazines for that matter
Speaking specifically about the India Today Group, Baggas observation was the same as Peris when he said, If you were to look at circulation, sales have been at an all time high for Living Media magazine brands in the past six to eight months; how does one explain the fall in readership Strange isnt it This IRS survey has inherent flaws and should not be relied on.
Bagga sure is looking for some explanation for the declining readership expressing shock on even business publications showing a downslide despite the business environment in India per se experiencing bullish trends and buoyancy. Its shocking to see that all the three business magazines have lost readers, he exclaimed. Yet another set of views come from media experts who try and explain the loss. Manish Porwal, Executive Director, Starcom (West), said, Interestingly, the circulations of each one of these publications is increasing. The deductions are simple. More people are buying their own personal copy and borrowing less. Within a family, too, more people are reading their own choice of publication.
Commenting on English publications, Porwal said, With the choice in English readership markets most metros, led by Mumbai increasing, readership is growing, but is getting fragmented between more dailies. Having said this, we must not forget that over a long period in time, both readership and reach of media has not declined. Kunal Jamuar, Business Director, Insight, added, Mass media consumption per se is going down and the players will have to find a way to use the various opportunities present today to increase the time spent on it.
For IRS, it is a quite a baggage of mixed reactions and as they say, it isnt over till its over. Many in the industry are still taking their time in analysing data to understand the dipping numbers and we can only wait and watch what answers they will throw up.

Survey reiterates increase in mass media reach

When the percentage growth of various mediums is seen in the last three years, Cinema and Radio appeared to be the only ones that had any growth numbers to speak of. Based on the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006, even as the other mediums havent shown any growth,IRS officials explain that when seen closely, reach of mass media has in fact increased.
Looking at the reach numbers that IRS 2006 R 1 findings throw, in the last three years, press maintained a 23.6 per cent reach, TV saw a slight change from 54.4 per cent in 2004 to 54.9 per cent in 2006, C&S increased from 26.1 per cent in 2004 to 28 per cent, Internet maintained a 1.5 per cent reach. Radio increased from 19.2 per cent to 20.9 per cent and Cinema increased from 10.3 per cent in 2004 to 11.8 per cent in 2006.
An official IRS press note on IRS 2006 R 1 data, stated, Reach of mass media seems to have stagnated in the last three years. Press reach has been hovering around at 24 per cent, TV at 55 per cent, Radio at 21 per cent and Internet at 1.5 per cent at the all India level. In urban India, Press and TV have actually declined in the last three years.
When asked what had led to the decline in mass media, IRS officials were quick to draw attention to the figures of the last three rounds of the IRS. Comparing reach of media of IRS 2006 R 1 with that of IRS 2005 R 1, Press has grown by 5.7 per cent, TV by 7.2 per cent, C&S by 13.5 per cent and Radio has increased by 5.4 per cent. FM Radio has increased by 21 per cent and Cinema by 21.5 per cent, Internet showing a modest growth of 6.8 per cent.
Explaining these figures, Suresh Nimbalkar, AVP, Hansa Research, said, The numbers clearly show that only Press has shown a marginal drop in reach in the recent IRS round, while all other mediums have registered healthy growth. However, if you compare the current Press reach with that of IRS 2005 R1, there is a decent growth of 5.7 per cent. Thus, press reach has increased over the period. To understand trends in mass media reach, lets look at the combined reach of TV and Press. It has consistently shown growth across the past three rounds. Thus, the reach of mass media is increasing.
As per the data, the combined reach of TV and Press has grown by 9.5 per cent since IRS 2005 R 1. Nimbalkar explained, The overall reach of mass media is on the rise, as one would expect due to increasing literacy levels. The relative share of each medium may vary depending on technology and market developments. For example, sudden increase in the number of 24 hour news channels, free Internet editions, level of promotions and so on. Another example is Kerala. Till some time back, it was the only state where press reach was higher than that of the TV. Today, the state is witnessing healthy growth in C&S penetration.
Even as IRS emphasises that media reach has increased in the last year, a point to be noted is that mass media consumption is still stagnating. Giving an explanation here, Manish Porwal, Executive Director, Starcom (West), said, This is the beginning of the end of saas-bahu serials and one size fits all media solutions. There is a general decline or stagnancy in very large genres and vehicles. The top five programmes on STAR Plus have gone down on their TVRs by 10 per cent Y-o-Y. Readership of individual dailies in geographies and segments where people have a real choice is showing a decline in the latest round of IRS. This was a trend waiting to show up. He further said, The good news is that this ebb is flowing into special interest media and vehicles and audiences here will not just consume but consume this media with far more affinity and interest. Having said this, its not that audiences are completely abandoning mass media or general interest. As it is, the difference between the genres is so huge that it would take years before real fragmentation starts to hit and a news channel may really threaten a general interest one. Its just that the polarisation of many people on a few media or vehicles will now stop.
Kunal Jamuar, Business Director, Insight opined on similar lines. Mass media consumption is going down due medias ability to customise for a specific consumer need (relevance) and the distribution of the medium. Most mass media needs undivided attention and has limited access. For example, you cant watch TV in office, two newspapers dont give different offerings, unless they are of different genres. Radio is one medium that has lately started occupying this down time through the mobile radio. This is a space that is likely to go up in the time to come, he said.
Porwal echoed Nimbalkars point when he observed, It is wrong to think that there is no increase in media reach, individually or collectively. Having seen noticeable drops within the last two rounds of IRS, we must not forget that over a long period in time, both readership and reach of media has not declined. There are more people in rural India who are no longer media dark and over last many years, people are spending more time on media both mass media like print and Television and relatively new media like FM and the Internet. Lets be careful to not mistake the trees for the woods.
Mass media consumption going down and the decline that is seen on that count perhaps means a road to more sticky and loyal audience. As experts say, choice means fragmentation and aligning of peoples media time by their passions and interests. But is that what is happening on the Indian media front today Many would answer that in the affirmative.

Fall in English dailies, but Hindu bucks the trend; drop in all magazines

Its not really good news for most publications given the fall, though marginal, in readership that the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006 R 1 has thrown up.
In case of English publications, the trend is no different. Though on the whole any English daily readership has shown an increase from the 17,396,000 of the last round to 17,435,000 in IRS 2006 R 1, when seen closely, most English dailies like The Times of India (TOI) and Hindustan Times (HT) have registered a fall. The Hindu has, however, bucked the trend. In English magazines all have declined.
Looking at some of the readership numbers of the general interest dailies TOI has dropped from 72.87 lakh to 70.84 lakh. HT has come down to 35.08 lakh from the 35.21 lakh readership in the previous round. The Hindu holds the third position among English dailies. Unlike its competitors, The Hindu has managed to grow its base even if marginally from 27.87 lakh to 27.97 lakh. There is good news for Deccan Chronicle as well the publication has grown from 10.14 lakh to its current 11.32 lakh readership.
The Telegraph is the fifth largest English daily and has seen a decline in readership by 67,000, bringing it to its current 10.82 lakh readership. Mumbais reigning tabloid, Mid Day, too, has seen a drop and is at 7.37 lakh from 7.76 lakh in the previous round. Deccan Herald, too, has dropped and is at 6.04 lakh from 6.51 lakh, and given the drop in Indian Express readership, which is down to 5.65 lakh from 6.42 lakh the gap between the two has widened.
The Tribune has managed to hold its ground and currently has a readership of 4.83 lakh, which is 2,000 more than the previous round. The Statesman continues the decline trend, where it is at 4.22 lakh from 4.93 lakh. Assam Tribune follows with a drop by 21,000 to be at 3.45 lakh. The likes of Hitavada, Nagpur (1.48 lakh), Navhind Times (1.47 lakh), Herald (97,000), and Afternoon Despatch & Courier have all seen fall in readerships. In the English magazines section, the news isnt so good either given that every magazine has seen a fall in readership. The leader in the section, India Today, has dropped by 10 per cent, from 38.99 lakh to 35.09 lakh. Sister concern Readers Digest too has seen a 12 per cent fall and is at 23.06 lakh from 26.37 lakh. GK Today has dropped from 23.4 lakh to 22.14 lakh readership. Another strong player, Competition Success Review, has also dropped by 16 per cent and is currently at 17.3 lakh.
Filmfare has seen one the steepest falls among English magazines, its readership fell 21 per cent to 16.71 lakh. Outlook has dropped by 11 per cent and is at 11.44 lakh. Stardust, too, has dropped and is currently at 10.95 lakh in comparison to the 13.11 lakh in the previous round. Wisdom and The Week have dropped by 6 per cent and 10 per cent, bringing them to 10.31 lakh and 8.67 lakh, respectively. From general interest magazines to womens magazines Femina, Womens Era, Cosmopolitan, New Woman, Elle and Savvy to special interest titles like The Sportstar, Auto India, Overdrive, Outlook Traveller, Capital Market, Living Digital, all have seen a dip in readership, with some titles like PC Quest and Junior Science Refresher dropping by almost 23 per cent.
IRS has definitely brought some disturbing news for all English magazines, given that the trend doesnt bring loyalty to even special interest titles, which many media experts thought was the way to go for magazines.

New Launches

'Rashtriya Sahara' daily to launch three new editions‘Rashtriya Sahara’, the Hindi daily will soon launch three new editions. The first new edition will come out from Patna in May which will be subsequently followed by Kanpur and Varanasi editions. The Hindi daily currently has three editions from Delhi, Lucknow and Gorakhpur.
The group had recently announced expansion plans of launching 10 new editions of its Urdu language daily, 'Roznama Rashtriya Sahara’.
Kolkata gets a new mid-day newspaperA new Bengali language eveninger, ‘Aaj Ekhon’, modelled on Mumbai’s ever popular ‘Mid-Day’, hit the stands in Kolkata on April 15, the Bengali New Years day. ‘Aaj Ekhon’ is the first publication from Freedom Media Pvt Ltd, a company promoted by three former print media professionals with interests in television production as well, having designed programmes for ETV Bangla and Alpha Bangla. The eveninger’s Siliguri and Durgapur editions are reportedly also on the anvil and will be launched shortly.
Dainik Jagran launches Indore editionAfter securing the No. 1 position, according to IRS 2006 Round 1 data, Dainik Jagran has launched its Indore edition from April 20. Madhya Pradesh has become a lucrative destination for Hindi dailies and now Indore is gaining momentum with some other players also contemplating to enter there.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

PR Deliverables

Al PR professionals and agencies are under pressure for accountability (and a lot of hot air on the subject). The business benefits that public relations can deliver are wide and varied. The precise mix will depend on the environment in which the organisation operates and the corporate, marketing and communications objectives that it sets. They encompass

Awareness: the most common, maybe most effective, and certainly almost universal function of public relations activity is to make people aware in some way of an organisation’s products, services or views.

Education: the best consumer is an educated consumer since uninformed buyers cost time and money. Public relations is effective in communicating information in a meaningful and understandable manner.

Credibility: a key benefit of public relations as a communications medium is that it has a high degree of credibility in the mind of the receiver when compared with other marketing communications channels.

Third-Party endorsement: an important driver of this credibility is that the message originates from and is therefore endorsed by a third party: frequently journalists but also other commentators and other authorities. A good article in a good publication is not only read but it is believed and, the more credible the publication, the more credible the message.

Permission to buy: consumers are no longer content to rely purely on product performance; they also need to be reassured that they are happy to do business with the organisation providing the product or service.

Differentiation: once interest in a product category has been created and awareness of our brand established, public relations messages need to differentiate our brand from competitors’.

Positioning: differentiation is delivered through positioning, but positioning has nothing directly to do with the product or service on offer, rather it is about differentiating the product in the mind of the prospect and is therefore best achieved by high credibility communications.

Relationship marketing: modern marketing is more about relationships than transactions and public relations’ orientation is building relationships through communication that is two-way and informal in style.

Public relations is also effective in terms of costs and targeting. Although not ‘free advertising’ (the main costs associated with public relations are consultancy fees or in-house salaries), no media costs means that public relations can be relatively cost-effective. Also, public relations can be used to reach specific audiences in a way that paid media cannot, which is particularly important with increased media fragmentation and segmentation of markets


  • advertising: the process of gaining the public’s attention through paid media announcements
  • analyst: an individual representing a trade or professional association who reviews and comments publicly on products, services and companies
  • B-roll: film or television footage that plays while an announcer speaks over it
  • backgrounder: an in-depth document that explains a product, service or company in the context of its need, place in the industry and place in history; often supports and explains an accompanying press release
  • bio: biography (usually a brief synopsis of a person’s credentials)
  • boilerplate: standard wording about a company that usually appears near the bottom of all company-issued press releases
  • buzz: media and public attention given to a company, its products or services
  • byline: author’s name given at the beginning of an article
  • call tree: a list of names and contact information that should be notified immediately in a crisis
  • client list: a list of a company’s key clients; sometimes includes contact information
  • collateral: secondary documents that accompany or support PR deliverables
  • communications audit: a systematic survey of members of a target audience (often members of the media or potential customers) to determine awareness of or reaction to a product, service or company
  • content: information
  • copy: words printed in the press
  • direct mail: communication sent by post or e-mail to a targeted audience
  • e-zine: online newsletter or magazine
  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): a list of questions and answers for the media pertaining to a press release; often included in a press kit
  • fact sheet: a short (generally one-page) document that provides a “snapshot” look at a company, product or service
  • follow-on: a product, service or article, for instance, that results directly from a previous product, service or article
  • font: computer or Internet typeface (though it’s technically interchangeable with “typeface,” font actually means a specific instance of a typeface including point size, pitch (width) and spacing; “Helvetica, 10 pt. with pitch value of 9,” for instance)
  • FUD: short for “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt,” FUD is using positioning of one’s own products or services to cast fear, uncertainty and doubt on the competitor’s. For example, by calling Mike’s Auto Shop the “home-grown” auto shop, we created the doubt that other auto shops weren’t home grown, and the fear that if a customer didn’t go with a home-grown shop, they might not receive good service.
  • goal: the primary result a company is attempting to achieve through its public relations efforts
  • headline: the title of an article or press release
  • hit: a visit to a particular page on a web site by a web visitor
  • hype/hyperbole: overdone exaggeration
  • implied endorsement: the character the public often assigns to non-paid neutral or positive media coverage of a company, its products or services
  • industry authorities: respected individuals or publications within an industry
  • ink: space devoted to a company, its products or services in the print media
  • inverted pyramid: journalistic style of writing where the most important information is written first, followed by information of decreasing importance (this allows the reader to stop reading having gained the most important information; it also allows editors to cut or edit the story from the bottom up without omitting vital information)
  • house organ: a newsletter produced by a company for the employees of that company
  • jargon: language known only to members of a specific group, company or industry
  • key influencers: individuals, groups or publications whose opinion or coverage of a product, service or company can significantly affect public perception within a specific market
  • link: a portal to another web site or to another area within a web site
  • marcom: marketing communications
  • marketing: the function of promoting, selling or distributing a product or service
  • media: members or tools for disseminating the news; unbiased third parties (press representatives) media coverage: mention in the media of a company, its products or services
  • media policy: organizational directive as to how company representatives will communicate with the media
  • media relations: the function of gaining positive media attention and coverage
  • mind share: amount of thinking an individual or group does about a particular product, service or company
  • news conference: a scheduled presentation to a group of media representatives
  • news feed: electronically transmitted broadcast information
  • noise: confusion caused by too many messages trying to be delivered at one timeobjective: a specific, measurable goal
  • pass-along rate: the number of times a received document (article, newsletter, brochure, report, etc.) is shared with other individuals
  • pitch: a prepared sales presentation, usually one-on-one (in public relations, it’s generally an attempt to get positive coverage or analyst review)
  • PMS: PMS is the acronym given to color codes associated with a specific ink color library. Print shops often refer to a PMS color such as “PMS 328,” a nice teal color. PMS stands for Pantone Matching System.
  • positioning (1): placement of a company, its products or services in a market category or in relation to its competition
  • positioning (2): the location a company’s web page appears on a search engine after a searcher enters key words to search
  • press: members or vehicles of the media
  • press kit: several press deliverables combined in one package (usually a folder)
  • press release: a paper or electronic document submitted to the media with the intent of gaining media coverage
  • product demo: a physical run-through of a product or service by company representative (usually to analysts or members of the press)
  • proofread: carefully reading a document to weed out errors
  • public affairs: the public policy aspect of public relations.
  • public relations: the function of creating and maintaining a public image or identity
  • public relations advisor: a person who provides public relations guidance (may work inside or outside a PR firm)
  • public relations consultant: independent professionals who provide public relations guidance
  • public relations counsel: see “public relations advisor”
  • public relations firm: a company made up of public relations advisors and their support staff
  • public relations plan: a document that details specific actions to achieve a public relations result
  • publicity: media coverage
  • pub: publication
  • Q&A/rude Q&A: a document that lists predictions of difficult questions that may be posed to a company spokesperson, and the best answers the spokesperson can give to answer the questions and meet the company’s objectives
  • query letter: a letter sent to a publication asking whether the publication would be interested in receiving a bylined article
  • repositioning: changing the placement of a company, its products or services in a market category or in relation to its competition
  • retraction: media correction of information previously and erroneously reported
  • running columns: regularly appearing articles of a specific theme or topic in a publication
  • sans serif/serif: these terms apply to typeface and whether a particular typeface has “tails” on it or not. Serif typefaces have “tails” on them — Times Roman is an example of a serif typeface. Sans serif typefaces have no tails; Arial and Helvetica are examples of sans serif typefaces.
  • script: prepared speech written on paper
  • self-mailer: a brochure or other document that contains postal information (return address, bulk mail insignia or room for postage) and room for an address label so that it can mailed by itself, without having to place it in an envelope.
  • shelf-life: how long a document is held onto by the receiver
  • sig file: a signature block consistently used that includes a tag line about your company.
  • simultaneous submission: sending a bylined article to more than one publication at the same time (often frowned upon)
  • strategies: methods used to accomplish objectives
  • strategic partner: a company or organization that another company or organization aligns itself with to benefit both parties
  • tactics: action items to support strategies and objectives
  • tag line: a sentence or phrase that provides a creative description of an organization’s position (e.g., Red Cross: We Save Lives).
  • target audience: the key groups or individuals that a company most wants to receive its public relations messages
  • trade publication: a magazine, newspaper or newsletter published by members of a specific industry
  • typeface: printing type (e.g., Helvetica, Times New Roman, Courier)
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): A one-line description of your company’s products or services that differentiates it among your market from the offerings of its competitors
  • URL: Uniform Resource Locator. Generally when someone asks for your URL, they’re asking for your web site address
  • white paper: a technical document that explains how a product or service functions and its purpose
  • writer’s guidelines: a list of do’s and don’ts, including word length, topic choice, and format that publications provide for writers who wish to submit articles

Monday, February 13, 2006

Right To Information Act (India) - Links

Right to Information Act (India)

RTI Portal

Right to Information Act, 2005 (in English) (in Hindi)

Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005

Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) (Amendment) Rules, 2005

Central Information Commission (Appeal Procedure) Rules, 2005

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

MEDIA UPDATE - January 2006

Court rules 20 % content syndication limit as illegal

The Delhi High Court has held that the 20 per cent ceiling on publication of syndicated articles and features by foreign writers and journalists in various newspapers and magazines in India was against the freedom of speech and _expression under the Fundamental Rights (Article 19) enumerated in the Constitution.

While observing that freedom of press need not be tested on nationality, Justice Vikramjit Sen said the government in a circular could not restrict the publication of syndicated articles and features of the foreign publications in Indian newspapers, magazines and periodicals.

''The impugned circular to restrict the publication of foreign syndicated articles to 20 per cent in the publications in India is struck down as it is contrary to Article 19 of the Constitution,'' said the order.

Jagran group plans to spend US $ 66 million on expansion

Leading publishing house Jagran Prakashan will invest Rs 298 crore (US $ 66 million) in major expansion in the country, of which Rs 80 crore would be exclusively for acquisitions of and strategic investments in other journals and magazines.

To fund the expansion and acquisitions, Jagran has already offered its initial public offer of 11.5 million shares, which analysts estimate will fetch the group about Rs 400 crore.

“Our dream is to make Jagran the number one publishing house not only in terms of revenue but also in respect of readers,” Jagran Prakashan Limited chairman Mahendra Mohan Gupta.
Asked if the publisher of ‘Dainik Jagran’ Hindi newspaper is planning to acquire dailies and magazines, he said, “It will depend on the strategic alliance.”

The group had set up an internal selection committee to screen the offers already coming in from various newspapers and magazines, Mr Gupta said.

With a readership of over 2.12 crore and pan-india infrastructure, the group is also looking for strategic alliance and tie-ups with newspapers for revenue sharing. It has editions in 25 centres.
“Many newspapers are number two or three in their regions but lack ad revenues. We would like to tie up with them for sharing ad revenues to the tune of 25-33 per cent and providing them strategic and financial package,” Gupta said.

Vikatan group gears up to launch several Tamil magazines

The South-based Vikatan group is gearing up to launch several magazines in Tamil language. The first from the stable will be an auto magazine.

The new magazine will be titled ‘Motor Vikatan’, and a section by that name has already been introduced in the group’s publications ‘Ananda Vikatan’, ‘Junior Vikatan’, ‘Aval Vikatan’ and the newly launched ‘Nanayam Vikatan’.

More niche magazines in Tamil are being considered, as are special offerings to readers and advertisers as part of the 81st year celebrations.

Gujarati general interest weekly ‘Chitralekha’ launched in the US

The Chitralekha Group, publishers of the general interest weekly magazine, ‘Chitralekha’, has launched its edition in the US.

Next, it hopes to enter Canada as well. The magazine, published in Gujarati, aims to appeal to Gujarati non-resident Indians (NRIs) who wish to be updated with the latest in their own language.

Mitrajit Bhattacharya, publisher, ‘Chitralekha Gujarati’, says, “Four out of every 10 Indians living in the US are Gujaratis. It was a natural extension to take our brand to the largest ‘Non Resident Gujarati’ (NRG) market. We have set up infrastructure in the US to handle printing, subscription, distribution, marketing and ad sales.”

Around 8-16 pages out of the total 70 pages will be localised news from the US and Canada, with the rest coming from India. With an initial print run of 15,000 in the first week, Bhattacharya hopes to achieve a circulation of around 25,000 copies over the next two years. The magazine will be subscription based as well as sold on newsstands.

Business Standard to sign content sharing deal with TV news channel

Financial daily Business Standard is in talks with news channel NDTV to sign a content sharing deal with its business channel, NDTV Profit. Confirming the development, Business Standard, President, Akila Urankar, informed that the dialogue was still not at a stage where specific details around the relation could be divulged.

New Launches

  1. ‘DNA Money’ to be launched as a stand-alone newspaper‘DNA Money’, the business supplement of the Mumbai based English newspaper, ‘DNA’, will now be launched as a stand-alone newspaper. The publication has decided to test the waters with an Indore edition from January 17. However, the plan is to launch the pink daily as a separate newspaper in another 10-12 cities in the next three months.
  2. Next Gen Publishing launches UK's 'Computeractive' in IndiaNext Gen Publishing Ltd (NGPL), a Forbes Group and HDFC Ltd enterprise, has announced the launch of UK's best selling computer magazine - 'Computeractive' - in India. The inaugural issue of the magazine is already on the stands.
  3. Dainik Bhaskar launches 21st edition from UjjainDainik Bhaskar, the second highest read daily in India, is all set to strengthen its presence in the Ujjain market. The publication has planned an edition there, which commences from January 16, 2006. With this, Dainik Bhaskar becomes 21-edition strong. The group has 28 editions in all, including that of Divya Bhaskar.
  4. Rajasthan Patrika launches eveninger ‘News Today ‘Jaipur based Hindi daily Rajasthan Patrika has launched an evening daily ‘News Today’. This development is quite significant for the print industry as after making its place in the metros, eveningers are trying to find its place in other cities.
  5. ‘Sportstar’ re-launched in a tabloid format‘Sportstar’ the popular sports magazine of yesteryears, published by The Hindu group, has been re-launched with a fresh new look in a weekly tabloid format.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Get More out of GOOGLE!!

Several of us use Google through out the day for simple stuff, but we've never quite grasped the power of this tool. So, I am copy/pasting some tips from an article that David Pogue published in NY Times. (Pogue is a column writer for NY Times' weekly Circuits e-magazine.) Enjoy! ================================

  • Download and install the Google toolbar. Not only does it put the Google search box into your browser full-time, but it also blocks pop-up ads and fills in forms for you. For Windows at . (Ad blocking, form-filling and Google's search box are already built into the Apple's Web browser, Safari.)

  • Phrase your question in the form of an answer. So instead of typing, "What is the average rainfall in the Amazon basin?", you might get better results by typing "The average rainfall in the Amazon basin is."

  • This is an old one, but very important: Put quotes around phrases that must be searched together. If you put quotes around "electric curtains," Google won't waste your time finding one set of Web pages containing the word "electric" and another set containing the word "curtains."

  • Similarly, put a hyphen right before any word you want screened out. If you're looking up dolphins, for example, you'll have to wade through a million Miami Dolphins pages unless you search for "dolphins -Miami."

  • Google is a global White Pages and Yellow Pages. Search for "phonebook:home depot norwalk, ct," Google instantly produces the address and phone number of the Norwalk Home Depot. This works with names ("phonebook:robert jones las vegas, NV") as well as businesses. Don't put any space after "phonebook." And in all of the following examples, don't type the quotes I'm showing you here.

  • Google is a package tracker. Type a FedEx or UPS package number (just the digits); when you click Search, Google offers a link to its tracking information.

  • Google is a calculator. Type in an equation ("32+2345*3-234=").

  • Google is a units-of-measurement converter. Type "teaspoons in a gallon," for example, or "centimeters in a foot."

  • Google is a stock ticker. Type in AAPL or MSFT, for example, to see a link to the current Apple or Microsoft stock price, graphs, financial news and so on.

  • Google is an atlas. Type in an area code, like 212, to see a Mapquest map of the area.

  • Google is Wal-Mart's computer. Type in a UPC bar code number, such as "036000250015," to see the description of the product you've just "scanned in." (Thanks to the Google Blog,, for this tip and the next couple.)

  • Google is an aviation buff. Type in a flight number like "United 22" for a link to a map of that flight's progress in the air. Or type in the tail number you see on an airplane for the full registration form for that plane.

  • Google is the Department of Motor Vehicles. Type in a VIN (vehicle identification number, which is etched onto a plate, usually on the door frame, of every car), like "JH4NA1157MT001832," to find out the car's year, make and model.

  • For hours of rainy-day entertainment, visit . Here, you'll find links to new, half-finished Google experiments-like Google Voice, in which you call (650) 623-6706, speak the words you want to search for and then open your browser to view the results. Disclaimer: It wasn't working when I tried it. (Ditto a lot of these experiments.)

  • Poke around the "Services & Tools" link on the home page and you'll find some of the better-known lesser-known Google features, if that makes any sense. For example, there's Froogle (product search), News, Groups (Internet discussion boards), Google Catalogs (hundreds of scanned-in product catalogs), Images (find graphics and photos from other people's Web sites), Blogger (publish your own online journal), Google language translation, Google Answers (pay a couple of bucks to have a professional researcher find the answers for you) and much more.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Disclousre Doesnt Hamper Word Of Mouth Marketing

NEW YORK, JAN 19, ( -- As the Word of Mouth Marketing Association kicks off its conference today in Orlando, one hot topic is sure to be the issue of disclosure: Should the ordinary joes enlisted to spread buzz about products and services tell others that they’re part of a marketing programme?

Here's the link to your answers

Friday, December 23, 2005

PR gifts this holiday season at newsrooms!

It's that time of year again for media companies' PR departments to send their favorite journalists and media buyers holiday gifts. Ad Age's MediaWorks is cataloging the items being sent to its newsroom this year to provide an inside look at an annual tradition that has rarely been explored in public by, well, media companies.

Check this link:

You might have to register (free) to log in to the Ad Age site

Thursday, December 22, 2005


"More than ever, Americans do not trust business or the people who run it," reports Claudia H. Deutsch. "Pollsters, researchers, even many corporate chiefs themselves say that business is under attack by a majority of the public, which believes that executives are bent on destroying the environment, cooking the books and lining their own pockets."

Deutsch cites polls from Roper and Harris, in which 72 percent of respondents feel that wrongdoing is widespread in industry, only 2 percent regard the executives of large companies as "very trustworthy," and 90 percent say big companies have too much influence on government.

SOURCE: New York Times, December 9, 2005

For more information or to comment on this story, visit:

DoubleClick;s sixth annual Consumer Email Study

DoubleClick's sixth annual Consumer Email Study points to a confluence of personal and professional email use, a decline in concern regarding spam along with an increase in anxiety regarding viruses and fraud, and confirmation that email drives commerce both online and in stores.

Though 57 percent of survey respondents view work email at work at least occasionally, nearly as many check work email from home, at night (55 percent) and on weekends (54 percent). Also, 48 percent check their personal emails at least occasionally at work.

Some 74 percent point to brand - "a brand I know and trust" - as the element most likely to drive a response to an email. Read more...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream: Naom Chomsky

A very old but interesting article..... by Naom Chomky

Mumbai media fireworks: Report from the frontlines

The battle for Mumbai’s mediascape has barely started, but the battle for its journalists is in full steam. We guess their salaries will reach orbit faster than Space Shuttle Discovery. tries to make sense in this case.

World Press Trends: Newspaper Circulation and Advertising Up Worldwide

The circulation of newspapers in the world increased strongly last year, the World Association of Newspapers has announced.

At the same time, newspaper advertising revenues made significant gains.

WAN said that global newspaper sales were up 2.1 percent over the year. Unlike previous years, growth was not only driven by gains in developing markets, but increases in sales in many mature markets.

To ponder!
  1. Three-quarters of the world’s 100 best selling dailies are now published in Asia.
  2. Indian newspaper sales increased 8 percent in 2004.

    Extracts from:World Press Trends: Newspaper Circulation and Advertising Up Worldwide

20 facts of Indian Print Media

  1. The total number of registered newspapers, as on 31 March 2003: 55,780.
  2. The number of new newspapers registered during 1.1.2002 -31.3.2003: 3820.
  3. Percentage of growth of registered publications over the previous year: 7.35%.
  4. The number of newspapers reported published(submitted Annual Statement): 7156
  5. The total circulation of newspapers: 14,20,05,543
  6. The percentage of growth of circulation over the previous year: 23.21%
  7. The largest number of newspapers & periodicals registered in any Indian language: Hindi (22,067).
  8. The largest number of newspapers & periodicals reported published (submitted Annual Statement) in any Indian language: Hindi (3,410).
  9. The second largest number of newspapers & periodicals registered in any language: English (8,141).
  10. The second largest number of newspapers & periodicals reported published (submitted Annual Statement) in any language: English (750).
  11. The State with the largest number of registered newspapers: Uttar Pradesh (9,071).
  12. The State reported to be publishing (submitted Annual Statement) the largest number of newspapers: Uttar Pradesh (1,578).
  13. The State with the second largest number of registered newspapers: Delhi (7,491).
  14. The State reported to be publishing (submitted Annual Statement) the second largest number of newspapers: Delhi (817).
  15. The largest circulated Daily: The Hindustan Times, English, Delhi [Printed from 8 centers] (11,12,160 copies)
  16. The Second largest circulated Daily: The Hindu, English, Chennai [Printed from eleven centres] (9,22,407 copies)
  17. The third largest circulated Daily: The Times of India, English, Delhi (8,20,289 copies).
  18. The largest circulated multi-edition Daily: Dainik Bhaskar, (18 editions), Hindi (17,17,294 copies).
  19. The second largest circulated multi-edition Daily: The Times of India (Eight editions), English, (13,94,646 copies).
  20. The largest circulated periodical: Saras Salil, (Fortnightly) Hindi, Delhi (10,49,362).

The above data is as per Registrar Newspapers of India which needs to be updated.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Debunking the Myths of Forming Media Relationships

Forming a solid relationship with a journalist is much more straightforward than some PR pros would have you believe. To some, it is some densely veiled mystery that is cloaked in secretive rituals and kept close to the vest of highly-regarded and revered media gurus.

Some PR pros would rather take on three crises in one day than to divulge their contacts to their teammates. Don't accept the smoke and mirrors. This logic flies in the face of what true and lasting media relationships are made of - the offering of homerun media angles and access to knowledgeable sources with virtually every contact one makes.

Some of the best media relationships can be built with journalists you might have never met face-to-face, because you offer them good information that is tailored to them. You also ensure that it's done with efficiency, respect and cognizance of their short time and resources.

So, today, we debunk media relationship-making myths.(A quick qualifier: most myths evolve from a small grain of fact.)

MYTH #1: A PR pro must spend a large amount of time having lunches, coffees and drinks with journalists to develop a relationship. In fact, relationship building with the media is much less about "schoomzing" and much more about being a reliable, efficient and knowledgeable resource. Many journalists will tell you that the nature of their jobs, their shifts and their deadlines are not conducive to this form of relationship building. To quote an unnamed TV reporter I've known for years, "I just don't have time for all that. Send me a story!" Conversely, some journalists do have time, but it's incumbent upon us to make the visit worth their time. Blatant pitching will get you nowhere fast, but conversations that generate ideas about trends and issues do - and remember that every idea shouldn't revolve around your client.

MYTH #2: A PR pro must check in with a reporter frequently to maintain a relationship. This is debatable at best and also depends on the definition of "frequently." If you adhere to this practice, you need to have a "newsy" nugget to drop each time you call. Your mother probably gave good advice that's applicable here: "Earn your keep" and "Be careful not to wear out your welcome."

MYTH #3: A PR pro will likely not have media relationships that are as solid as PR pros who are ex-journalists. This is a misunderstanding. Yes, former media types like myself have a ton of contacts by the nature of the circles that we run in, the newsrooms we worked in and the organizations that we are members of. So the access is there; however, if every time an ex-journalist calls a former colleague, s/he calls in a "favor" (even an implied one) and not a viable story idea, s/he will likely begin to scare off old newsroom colleagues. It's true that for an ex-journalist, there is much more at stake because unscrupulous and empty media contact can undermine a reputation that took years to build.

MYTH #4: "My contact is my contact, and you can't have it." I'll be frank: let's all be adults. Yes, you may have forged a great relationship with a contact at a highly-sought-after publication, but do you really believe that you will lose the contact if you introduce him/her to another good resource on your team or even externally? In fact, every connection you make for a journalist counts, and that increases your value with them -- that is, if the foundation of your relationship is built on news-value and not schmoozing. If you must keep your name top of mind, why not make the introduction to your comrade yourself, or ask them to drop your name when doing the outreach.

Now that we've cast away some of PR's very own "old-wives'" tales, when do you know that you've formed a solid relationship with a media-type? Your phone will begin to ring and your inbox begins to see more e-mail from reporters with requests. They probably won't send you a hand-written thank you note for a great lead, but a positive query from a journalist you've pitched is likely a sign of the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Treat yourself to a nice lunch

Who's Who Understanding primary audiences: The strategies and tactics of public relations do not exist in a vacuum. Every PR program is designed to impact the actions, thoughts and/or emotions of a particular community of people. Definitions of what constitutes an audience differ, with one common thread: these groups can impact your company and its products. Pinpointing the audience that will read, listen to and watch your communications starts with a vast universe of choices. Selection of key message recipients will depend on the communication being delivered.

Consider all options to assist in the dispersion of your messages for greater impact. Since this topic is broad, we will explore it in two parts. This first article will focus on primary target audiences. The subsequent article will highlight how target audiences are important for selling and supporting a product, service or the company.The development and approval of company-related communications is a team effort. Explaining the focus and options available to everyone facilitates the process and assists in developing messages customized for each audience type. Below we will define the different primary audiences to help bring everyone onto the same page.Media The first audience that a public relations professional thinks of is the media; editors, producers and reporters that receive a company press release detailing the facts about a new product, event, service or company activity.

The significance of the media is often misunderstood by company and product management who generally think of the customers or investors as the primary audience. Messages communicated to the media deal strictly with answering: Who? What? Where? When? Why? And Under What Circumstances?

Journalists work in separate, specific arenas. Each arena has its own focus, and reports on the happenings within their scope. The different types of media that can be found in print, on-line, radio or television include:

Business: Business media report on local, regional and national businesses and business activities. The focus is on a variety of business-oriented subjects such as: how a business is structured, customer service policies, partnerships within the marketplace, interesting CEO or company profiles, involvement within the community, non-profit donations, new and different ways to run a business, unique marketing campaigns, the local impact of the company on business growth and jobs.

TradeTrade: media cover companies, products and services within a specific marketplace. These reporters and editors are highly knowledgeable of the players in the marketplace, company and product performance, product availability and cycles, manufacturing processes and capacity issues, services offered, partnerships, distributors, supplier capabilities, new trends, competitive edge, business strategy, and roadmaps into the future.

Financial: These media types report on quarterly/annual earnings, a public company's stock market activity, the economy trends and effects on business, activities within the investment community, the nation's economic status, Fortune 500 businesses that impact market growth and shrinkage. The orientation is to report on and editorialize about the financial pulse of major markets and economic conditions nationwide and worldwide.

General Interest: General interest media address an assortment of topics related to the daily lives of their readers, community, culture or a particular industry. The focus is to provide insights to or new understandings of people with stories on statistics, values, habits, opinions, cultural traditions, education, political stance, religious beliefs, real life experiences, special hobbies, unique contributions, out of the ordinary events, and fascinating aspects about people and how they live.

Professions: Some journalists report on and write about specific professions. The focus is on any topic related to those within the profession that helps them become more proficient at what they do. Focus can be on key issues, skill updates, training availability, interesting or highly recognized personalities, awards and special ceremonies, events or conferences, new trends in the field, and topics of concern or interest within the profession.

Customers: The simple definition of a customer is any entity that purchases a product or service. Customers can be an individual, company, organization, or government. Customer characteristics vary between marketplaces. It is essential to know what the customer cares about when making a purchase. Also, familiarizing yourself with the decision-making process within an organization, and the decision maker that authorizes purchases is vitally important. Messages directed to customers must specifically address their concerns and benefits provided to them by the product, service or company. Each market will have a message delivery frequency rate to its customer base that maintains attentiveness and interest. The frequency rate could be seasonal, business cycle related, or driven by the activity in the marketplace. Take into account the frequency rate required by the customer base when developing messages. Messages might need to build upon one another or be adjusted as customers learn more and relate differently to the company's offerings. Consider providing vehicles for feedback from customers. This can be accomplished in a number of ways and demonstrates a "we need to know what you think" attitude to customers and potential purchasers.

Investors: It is mandatory by law that publicly held companies report earnings on a quarterly and annual basis to shareholders and the financial community. The responsibility for delineating the revenues, sales, net profit, costs, and earnings figures lies with the finance department/ officer. The public or investor relations department manages reporting the results to the media and financial communities. Issuing public statements about earnings depends on if the company has a calendar or fiscal year reporting structure. Finance and public relations groups work together to develop accurate messaging.

Shareholders and the financial community are a specific audience. Communications regarding the company's financial status are expected to be clear, concise, and delivered on time. Positive and negative factors need to be detailed and justified. Of immediate concern to this audience are the company's financial growth and activities, but don't forget that this audience can be a mouthpiece for company plans, newly announced products or services, and overall expertise of the organization, too. Company goals, market positioning, slogans, campaigns, and product development and announcements need be included in communications to shareholders. The financial analysts and media want to know the potential impact of marketing and sales activities on the bottom line -- specifically, did these activities increase profit and revenue.The vehicles for communicating financial results include:
  1. Quarterly telephone calls with key financial analysts
  2. Press releases containing earnings detail issued on a particular date and timeI
  3. nternet archiving of financial calls and presentationsInterviews with financial editors to educate them about the company and plans
  4. Quarterly letters/emails to shareholdersAnnual shareholder meetings
  5. Annual report

Private Companies: Companies that are private might think they're off the hook with regard to communicating with investors. This is far from the truth. Investors in private companies are just like shareholders in public companies; they want to know the health of their financial contributions to the company. They differ from shareholders, as investors are literally the financial lifeblood of a new company. Smart communication with investors goes beyond quarterly CEO and senior management meetings.

Ensure that private investors have an inside handle on the activities of the company; after all, their money is keeping the company going. Make sure to develop material with an eye and ear toward the investors' interests in the company. This can include letting investors know about important upcoming publicity the company will receive and/or integrated marketing programs the company is doing. Frequent communication specially designed for investors will go a long way in keeping them informed.

Some companies have created password-protected sections of their websites, exclusively for investors. These protected sites include notes from different key senior executives at the company about exciting endeavors and give investors a chat page. Other firms send out special emails or voicemails from the CEO or other senior executives about new contracts, upcoming tradeshow appearances and other momentum building highlights.

The most important media type

The proliferation of news organizations over the last 10 years or so has led to an ongoing debate among PR practitioners: which media types are really important? Is it important to consider all media types for all campaigns? If you only have enough resources for a limited communications program, which media types are expendable?

The cruel truth is that you absolutely do have to consider all media types as you plan each communications campaign or activity. In some industries, there are fewer news organizations that will cover your company, product or client, which narrows the field. For example, there are not too many radio shows that focus on wireless routers, but the list of those who might cover the business implications, the bottom-line impact, of using a wireless router is much longer.

Some PR professionals, especially those who are ex-TV or newspaper journalists, will tell you that one medium or another is inherently more important, that information on broadcast journalists is nice and all, but really it's the print journalists who matter. They're wrong.
PR is all about reaching the right people with the right message at the right time to influence them to do what you want them to do. You might have the best product since sliced bread and a message that is clear and hits home with your target audience, but if that message is never heard, what good is it?

Media relations is neither an art nor a science; it is both. The science involves geography, demographics, circulation, reader- or viewership and tracking metrics. The art includes understanding nuances such as perceived authority in an industry and the intricacies of local, regional, national and international media.

Which Journalists are Interested in Your News? Picking the Right Stars from the Media Universe

Once you've identified why your product, service or cause is newsworthy, you should pinpoint which journalists are interested in your news.

There are three components to making this determination:

Defining the universe of media opportunities The media universe comprises online and offline news organizations. The offline world includes print outlets (newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals) and broadcast (television and radio). Offline media varies in terms of frequency of publication (daily, weekly, monthly) and target market (consumers, business, specific industry or trade).

The online world can be divided into media you create yourself and those other people create that solicit contributions and publish original content. Both categories include Web sites, mailing lists, discussion areas, and chat rooms.

Finding relevant details about target media You'll want to cast a wide net to gather information about specific media outlets potentially interested in what you have to offer from among the general categories described above.

You can purchase a directory such as MediaMap Online with detailed profile information for worldwide broadcast, print, and Internet media as well as additional communications management tools, or a more rudimentary directory of basic contact information from companies such as Bacon's or Burrelles.

Alternately, you can create your own lists for every client.

Regardless of how you go about building your list, it's always advisable to read the publications (or Web sites) and view/listen to the broadcast media you are thinking of targeting. Reporters often complain that people who contact them (particularly public relations practitioners) are unfamiliar with their work. Doing your homework before making initial contact with a reporter increases the chances that (1) you've identified an appropriate venue for your material; and (2) you know the individual reporter's likes/dislikes and requirements of the publication/broadcast outlet he/she works for.

Pinpointing opportunities at target media outletsThere are numerous ways to "get ink" in a newspaper or magazine, or to snare coverage on a television or radio station.
At print outlets, types of coverage include:
news stories about your organization or cause;
being quoted by a reporter writing a story whose subject is not necessarily your organization or cause;
content you prepare and contribute on a one-time basis, such as articles, letters to the editor, and photos or images;
content you prepare and contribute on a regular basis, such as a column; listings of events in calendar sections; and personnel announcements.
At broadcast media outlets, options consist of:
news stories about your organization or cause;
being quoted by a reporter preparing a story on a related subject;
for non-profit organizations, free event listings (and public service announcements) aired by broadcast media.

The Internet offers a combination of all of the aforementioned options, plus a venue for you to publish multimedia content on a broad range of topics related to your organization or cause.
The key task in all cases is to identify the individual responsible for preparing content, or accepting submissions.

Conducting effective press tours

Hitting The Road Steps to a successful press tour

A press tour (a.k.a. media tour) is a series of arranged opportunities to meet with editors/analysts to introduce a key company spokesperson, a new product or market concept, or explain a company position regarding the competition or market situation.

Meetings with the media or analysts are normally held in their offices, which means traveling to wherever they might be. Or these meetings can be at a convenient, central location that the media and analysts can travel to in order to meet with a company.

(Editor's Note: Telephone and web-based press tours are becoming increasingly popular, especially in light of recent increases in travel anxiety. Still, it is preferably to put a face with your company's name, and the principles below always apply.)

Why conduct a press tour? Two key reasons for conducting a press tour are to tell the company's story and to listen for editors/analysts perceptions. Press tours provide time for information exchange with media and analysts to address specific issues regarding the company and develop connections. A spokesperson can personally present company information and address questions to advance the company's position by influencing the perception and opinions held by media and analysts.

A press tour is also a time for the company to discover perceptions currently held by the primary target audience for public relations -- media and analysts. Questions can be asked in these meetings to further identify opinions held by these key awareness-shapers. Using this time for discovery can help shape public relations strategy, messages and continued dialog with these audiences

Press tour timingTiming of a press tour can be centered on a new product launch, an image or positioning campaign, or the introduction of a new CEO, president or significant leader within the company. Timing for press tours can also be dictated by marketplace activities.

Press tour planning A press tour plan is a blueprint that includes definition of communication goals, news value of a story angle, preparation activities and expectations for the tour. Developing a plan is a prerequisite to initiating any press tour activities because it is a tool that communicates the reasons for conducting a tour.

Management's agreement that a press tour is warranted is crucial. The spokesperson must be physically and mentally available as well as at a level that accurately represents the company. Don't send a junior manager for a major announcement or discussion.

Press tour planning: researchThe development of a press tour plan entails research of the competition's statements reported by the press, reviewing editorial statements or comments made by media and journalists, and investigating pending news or issues that might affect the timing of the tour.

Communication strategies and messages need to be defined for each media and analyst with considerations made to the audience they address. For example, a message to a trade publication would be different to a business publication, even when the same subject is being discussed. Understanding the idiosyncrasies of the media and analysts targeted by the press tour is PR's task. The opinions, personalities, and potential news angle that will be of interest must be highlighted for the spokesperson and also directly affects the way the meeting discussion will be handled. For example, some editor/analyst personalities are very business-like and prefer presentations with question and answers afterwards. Business-like editors/analysts adhere to a strict meeting timetable. Others are more casual and prefer a discussion conversation style. It is up to the PR person to prepare messages, message delivery style and prep the spokesperson to be flexible in approach. Also PR determines the length of time to meet with each editor/analyst. Figure a maximum of 30 minutes per conversation, allowing for extending visits based on the editor/analyst and spokesperson availability and interest.

Press tour briefing documentA press tour briefing document (briefing book) provides a foundation for the spokesperson. The briefing book contains the tour daily timetable, a statement about the publication, its focus, and audience, background descriptions of each editor/analyst, message statements for each interview and content of published material for the last six months. Selected personal details can also be included, such as hobbies or interests. The briefing book text should be easy to read with bullet points and short sentences. Often messages have to be tailored to each interview. The document should allow for these specific messages to be called out early in the description associated with editor/analyst.

During the press tourPress tours are the ultimate test of a PR person's mettle. Just ensuring that your spokesperson arrives on time and in the right location for the interview with the editor/analyst is challenging enough; you also need to monitor that the spokesperson stays on topic and makes enough of an impact to capture the editor's or analyst's attention. The key to staying cool, calm and collected during a press tour is pre-meeting planning and flexibility.Make sure to have multiple communication tools including cell phone and laptop as well as phone numbers of all the editors/analysts, maps and the all-important briefing book. Budgeting for a rent a car with a GPS is a time saver, as is hiring a driver for congested city traffic.Think of your role as similar to an orchestra conductor: the conductor is the one person who organizes all the different instruments into a single harmonious unit. Be a kind conductor; plan time for bathroom and food stops. Working with the hotel the night prior to a long day of meetings and arranging for box lunches or snacks is also part of your conducting responsibilities, and make sure to have extra staples available if you hire a driver for the day. If you're nice to the driver, the driver will return the favor.

Arranging the PR symphonyJust as a conductor holds rehearsals, pre-meeting briefings prior to beginning of the interview day are important. If pre-tour briefing meetings didn't happen before traveling, be sure to talk about the day's upcoming interviews at breakfast. Remind the spokesperson that every interview is a conversation, a dialog of give and take. Review the prepared background material verbally. Based on the experience of the spokesperson, you may find it easier to hold two or three small snippet pre-tour briefing sessions. While in the meeting with the editor/analyst, your role as either active voice or silent assistant is determined by the style and title of the spokesperson. Your role as active voice is to add value to the conversation by giving the spokesperson hints and clues as to key message points that he might have missed. Some spokespeople prefer the silent assistant style; the PR person takes notes of the conversation, and obtains business cards. In either role, the PR person needs to be an active listener, taking notes of the conversation to reference later as well as ensuring that promised deliverables and action items are noted. Make sure that the conversation is meeting the needs of that editor/analyst. At an appropriate time in the conversation, regardless of your role as active participant or silent assistant, get immediate feedback. At the end of the conversation, after hands have been shook and you've walked out the door, reflect with your spokesperson what you heard from the editor/analyst. You might need to adjust key message or interview discussion points based on information obtained from that meeting.

Handling boo-boos It's important that you understand the dynamics and psychology of the spokesperson. Some spokespeople want to 'make the editor or analyst happy' and by doing so will deem at some point in the conversation to share proprietary information. Sometimes, these hiccups occur over a dinner interview injected with a nice bottle of wine and a good meal.
Proprietary organizational information should stay proprietary. Ensure that the spokesperson knows what can and shouldn't be shared in the interview. Still, if the 'cat leaps out of the bag,' you have two options, depending on the nature of your relationship with the editor. If you know him well, you can take the editor/analyst aside and ask that he hold that information until a specified date and time. If there is not an established relationship, then the possibility of ignoring or diffusing the impact of the leaked information is lessened. See if you can negotiate with the editor/analyst to buy your organization time to deal with the impact of the information going public. Then immediately contact the organization and let them know what happened.
After the press tourJust because you've waved goodbye to the editors/analysts and are headed back home, doesn't mean the job is finished. Creating a report detailing the press tour by editor/analyst visit along with any action items generated is necessary.

Manners countWriting brief thank you notes (not emails!) to each editor/analyst shows respect for that person as well as level of sophistication that will elevate you ahead of other companies on press tours. Be sure to complete action items quickly. Broken promises and actions left undone are the sign of an organization that has little respect for the editor/analyst.

Maintain a historical record while the wrap-up memo becomes the historical organization document about the tour, equally important are the notes taken of each conversation or interview. Those notes become a record of what the company said about any given topic, and should be filed in such a manner that can be easily retrieved by others in the organization.
Getting the spokesperson's perspectiveA discussion with the spokesperson will help determine his impressions of the tour and the editors/analysts visited. It's important to review the goals and discuss outcomes of the visit soon as soon as possible to ensure that goals and spokesperson perceptions are in sync.Likewise, contact some friendly editors/analysts and get their scorecard on the effectiveness of the visit -- both in terms of the spokesperson and the message. Often, getting information about a spokesperson's style or effectiveness are keys to press tour success.
While they're neither simple nor easy, an effective press tour will be a key to your communication success.

A release does not a story make

Smashing the Myth of the Press Release

A musician spends years honing his craft. He writes world-class songs and performs them in a manner that moves his listeners to tears. He records a demo tape and sends it to record labels. He gets a contract and becomes rich, famous and adored.The lesson: demo tapes are the secret of becoming a famous musician.

Wait, you say, the demo tape was just a tool, just his way of conveying his talent. It's his ability as a musician that got him the contract and made him famous.You're right, of course. He could have become just as famous if a record executive saw him in person, or heard about him from a friend, or as a result of a variety of other events.Which brings us to the press release.Somehow, the press release has taken on a magical reputation as the alpha and omega of publicity. Wanna become rich? Send out a press release. Wanna become famous? Press release. Wanna get on the cover of Newsweek? Press release.Publicity "gurus" are springing up all over the Internet touting the press release as the answer to all marketing ills. Just knock out a release, mass e-mail it to journalists, sit back and wait for Oprah to call.It's a cruel joke.Here's the reality: the press release is no more important to your potential of scoring free publicity than the demo tape was to our musician friend. If he had no talent, if his songs sounded like garbage, the best recorded demo tape in the world wouldn't get him signed. Ditto for the publicity seeker. If you don't have a story to tell, your press release is utterly worthless.

I'm not knocking the press release -- it's an important tool. But it's just that: a tool. It's not the first thing you need to think about when it comes time to seek publicity. In fact, it's one of the last. And it's not even absolutely necessary (I've gotten plenty of publicity with just a pitch letter, a quick e-mail or a phone call).If you worship at the shrine of the press release, it's time to rearrange your priorities. Here, then, are the things that are more important than a press release in generating publicity:

1. A newsworthy story
This is the equivalent of our musician's talent. It's the foundation for your publicity efforts. Without it, your press release means nothing.

2. Learning to think like an editor
Oh, what an edge you'll have in scoring publicity over all those press release worshippers once you learn how to get inside the head of an editor. Give an editor what he wants in the way he wants it and you'll do great.

3. Relevance
Tie in with a news event, make yourself part of a trend, piggyback on a larger competitor's story, but, by all means, make your story part of a picture that's bigger than just your company. Stories that exist in a vacuum quickly run out of oxygen.

4. Persistence
Sending out a press release and waiting for results is lazy and ineffective. If you really believe in your story, and you believe that it's right for a particular media outlet, you need to fight to make it happen. Call or e-mail the editor to pitch your story BEFORE sending the release. If one editor says no, try somebody else. If they all say no, come back at them with a different story angle.

Getting publicity involves so much more than just sending out a press release. Treat it as seriously and with as much respect as our newly minted rock star treats his craft and you'll be on your way to success.