Friday, August 13, 2010

Of high tea, bloomers and Barack Obama

The Madras Week press meet this year (on Wednesday) had a sizeable attendance. Satyan Bhatt and Parul who run Prism Public Relations do a fine job every time and this time was no different. All work for Madras Week is voluntary and the same goes for Prism; so keep the good work going, Satyan and Parul.

Every year we have a couple of press meets – one at the preliminary stage and the second once all the events are confirmed, and a week or so ahead of Madras Week. The second meet is usually held at the Taj Coromandel whose management is gracious to offer tea/coffee, soft drinks, biscuits and snacks. This time, there was quite a spread, a proper high tea, and the counters were open till the end.

The coverage in some of the leading English newspapers could have been better though. There were bloomers as well. For instance, one of the coordinators was referred to as an author, while he really wasn’t one. There was mention of an actor having addressed the audience; actually he was only doing a translation job. And one paper included bits from the press meet and an interview with the great granddaughter of a close associate of Robert Chisholm all in one story. The second could have been a separate piece and the press meet story should have carried more of what the speakers had said. Well!

Nevertheless, the media has been doing a fairly good job of covering Madras Week events the past few years. One paper I understand is planning wide coverage this year, so am looking forward to it.

As usual, some of us coordinators were called to speak before television cameras. And we did. Strangely though, one of the reporters from a channel asked me to speak about Barack Obama getting tough on outsourcing from India and how it would affect Indian IT firms. I didn’t know quite what to say, but found myself speaking on the subject as well. The reporter said he’d let me know when the programme would be telecast. Am still waiting...

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