Archive for April, 2012

Logos –They Tell A Story

Posted by on Apr 26 2012 | Advertising, Online Reputation

Logos have always managed to create a place for the business in the corporate world. These tiny little symbols hold the power of making an enormous impact on the entire macro-environment of the business. Some of the most well-renowned and impressive logos that represent great companies today have a unique story to tell. Thee logos were never conceptualized in the way they have been perceived. Nevertheless, they are a tremendous hit. Here are a few

The McDonald’s Logo: The M here was never meant to be an M. It was rather an arc that was at the time of the conceptualization of the idea, was used on the sides of hamburger restaurants. The logo however, became popular as the M representing McDonald’s and since then is communicating the same view.

Adidas: Not only the logo of brand Adidas speaks of a story, the name to is an abbreviation that a few know about, Adidas stands for all day I dream about sports. The symbol or the logo of Adidas represents the peaks of a mountain that represent future growth.

 Sharp: This Japanese company has a logo communicating only its name. However, this simple logo too clearly conveys its essence to the world. The font that has been used in the logo has sharp edges and a sharp color. The name of the corporation itself comes from the product that it sold during its incorporation, which was a mechanical pencil (the Ever-Sharp).

The above cited examples give a clear vision of the power of a logo. Perception also plays an important role in what a logo communicates to the outer world. Logos hence can be considered as a powerful business tool that holds the capacity to attract customers.

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The Fall and Rise of Parallel Cinema in India

Posted by on Apr 21 2012 | Cinema, entertainment industry

The bug of being serious (not Cyrus) drains in an obvious yawn of over the head content. Especially for those who never prefer to be involved in serious discourse by any means. Being born in a multicultural society like India, witnessing all kinds of colors with respect to each and every societal contour creating endless socio-political and socio-economic upheavals is just inevitable. Stating the fact quite convincingly that media has played a major role in reflecting the ongoing state of affairs in the country, would need a skeptic take when it comes to referring the job as a money-making business.

Commercializing and fantasizing the real world may have been the winning formula in the Indian film industry for quite a long time. However, there were few visionaries who always wanted to take the untrodden path of showing the true reflections of the Indian society. Keeping them away from the usual spice that is often associated with ‘Bollywood’, these luminaries took the onus to showcase the real India to the Indian as well as the international audience. Post independence, visionaries like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Shanta Ram and Sohrab Modi were among the few unique filmmakers whose films masterfully chronicled the societal transformation taking place in India.

Then came the dark and brooding 70s, when the entire Indian society came under the grips of extreme frustration and anger.  The strained Indian economy coupled with the ghost of emergency smacked out the normal life of an Indian from the track. Suppression of civil liberties and constitutional breakdown were core worrying issues for the Indian society. These issues acted as seeds for the birth of Indian New Wave Cinema or Parallel Cinema. Films being categorized in this particular genre addressed the growing frustrations of Indians during that period. The National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi and Film and Television Institute (FTII), Pune has also played a major role in producing remarkable filmmakers who ushered a new life in the world of filmmaking in the country.

Names worth mentionable in this regard are Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Buddhadeb Das Gupta, Basu Chatterjee and many more. If you have heard and even watched few of these masterpieces – Ankur, Aakrosh, Bhumika, Nishant, Manthan, Arth, Saraansh, Ardh Satya, Aghaat – you must know by now what parallel cinema is and what they tried to convey to the masses. The Indian New Wave Cinema saw its slow decline in the 1990s when the production costs started reaching sky high limits. The incessant commercialization hammered down the parallel cinema industry so bad that it had a bleak chance of revival.

However, since the advent of the 21st century, parallel cinema has revived itself quite notably. Films like “3 Deewarein”, “Dor”, “Iqbal”, “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”, “Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi”, “Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara”, “Firaaq”, “My Brother…Nikhil”, “Dev D”, “Gulaal”, “Sikander”, “Udaan”, “Love Sex Aur Dhokha”, “Manorama Six Feet Under”, “Khosla ka Ghosla”, “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye”, “Tere Bin Laden”, “Peepli Live”, “Phas Gaye Re Obama” and many more have created a new definition for parallel cinema.

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Stay Alive With Your Clients – The Dos And Don’ts

Posted by on Apr 19 2012 | Advertising, From the Writer's Desk

When it comes to clients, frowning is the initial expression that develops in our face. That is of course not the same story for everyone. Yes, some people can take a sigh of relief on that, or pacify their hard feelings which was about to brew in! Dealing with clients is supposedly the most challenging task one can imagine in his/her lifetime. To generalize it, one of the toughest jobs in the world of business and marketing. Effective communication is what drives an interaction with a client. If you are bugged with amount of good work that is being reflected on your website, you are likely to end up with an extremely raised bar of expectations from the probable clients.

Few of us would definitely agree with the fact that sometimes, the frequencies of thoughts of the clients tend to change. Communication stands to be the sole tool to read the mind of the client. However, loopholes and gaps in this communication are bound to occur. We just can’t pretend to be anything else than humans! So, arguments and agreements are a part of this entire story. In order to avoid embarrassing and outrageous situations while interacting with the clients, here are some dos and don’ts

  • Start with a bang – Initially, it is extremely important to know each and every inch about the business of the client. The products and services, corporate culture and the USP of the client are the few features one needs to study before even starting the communication process. Understanding their needs and the sole purpose for the meeting also holds an important place in the interaction session. Some clients would stay a little skeptic before devoting time to the interaction. Staying with the passive mode of the client won’t help in making the encounter a fruitful. It is important to make them feel that this entire project aims at developing and refurbishing their entire business enterprise.
  • On the record – It is always a huge headache to get back to the client and retrieve all that was demanded. Moreover, it is extremely embarrassing. Keeping a good record of what the client has said is extremely important in order to focus upon the work lying ahead instead of going back and irritate the client for no reason! CRM systems have come up as the best weapon to deal with multiple clients at the same time.
  • Do the listening – A website and the business of a client is all about them, their marketing strategies, their customers and their take on the market. Sitting mum is absolutely not a solution, but it is important to be patient enough to listen to the requirements of the client.
  • Speak up Doubts are the biggest bug that can haunt you while interacting with the client. Do not let that bug grow itself inside you. Puke it out to wipe out all your confusions. There are a lot of facts which won’t be provided to you unless you ask for them from your client.
  • Be patient – You are good at what you do and this is the reason you are interacting with your client. Clients are not necessarily replete with the knowledge about your job. Pacify your hump of knowledge and experience in order to suit the needs of the client. Listen to them first and then explain them the entire scenario.
  • Make your communication count – The clients may not be available for reverting back your reply all the time. Thus, in order to make things easy for the client, it always advisable to collect all your questions and doubts in one single mail and send them. Since clients value their own time, they will appreciate if you increase the time that you have in communication.

Thus, following these precautions will always help you in making your interaction with the client a fruitful one. Moreover, they are not that tough to follow. You knew each one of it, but it’s just that you never wanted to implement it. Now is the time.

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The Habitual Blogger

Posted by on Apr 18 2012 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

I had been quite a fervent writer since my teenage years, but for some reason had no interest in maintaining a diary. No matter how many times I was told to keep my writings in an organized manner I would fail to do so. May be it was a careless attitude or a disinterest in reading from a hard bound book that kept me from maintaining a journal.

Blogs were a breather for me, for when they came I was a little more mature the importance of preserving my works. And, yes they provided a relief from the scribbling ink onto paper too. At the age of 20 began the craze for blogging and no wonder I became habitual at it. Here are some of the learnings that blogging imparted to me:

1)    Knowing Your Reader: This is the first most important lesson that I learnt prior to starting a blog. What I came across was the truth that numbers do matter. I also learned a few tricks like the time of posting a blog, time when web traffic is highest etc. Apart from that I memorized the fact that a reader will read what he likes to read. This lead to my learning number 2.

2)    Give The Content a Face: Everything from the content to the design of the blog to the picture that speaks the story must complement each other. More importantly a user-friendly blog would get much more viewers than the one using an extraordinary but complex theme. Whether your blog is at wordpress or blogger rarely matters if the content is a hit amongst the audience.

3)    Keep It Short and Sweet (KISS): This is a strategy that I always follow when writing something that has a heavy subject. Basically I work by theme method. So, if I am working on content curation, I would probably break down the entire topic into 6 or 5 blogs on different aspects of content curation.

4)    Link With Like-Minds: This way you will have an abundant reservoir of knowledge and information about the subjects that you are interested in. Sharing opinions and views will help you gain a deeper insight into the matter.

These are a few tips that I often keep in mind while blogging. Apart from these, the basics really matter to me a lot while blogging.  Proofreading, editing and organizing content, therefore, come naturally while writing a blog.

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The Books That a Writer Will Treasure

Posted by on Apr 16 2012 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

A writer will always vouch for reading. No form of writing has been inherited and is rather a result of toiling hard. No writer will proclaim that he was gifted with the power of creating pearls of wisdom with the ink-dipped pen. Moreover, they have been generous enough to share their secret with the world. And, all they give credit to for their exceptional works to is the exceptional work of previous writers. There are a number of reference writings that even great writers refer too and all began as a reader first. Here is a list of 5 books on writing for writers:

1)    Zen In The Art of Writing: This is a different soul curry for writers. Where other writers stretch and manipulate the difficulties that writing poses, Ray Bradley in his book brings a fresh perspective to the world. The book points out at the emotions that must go into the writing. By this book the author wants to highlight the importance of taking work as fun.

2)    Weekly Writes: The book is an excellent example of a help guide for writers. The book will take you on a journey for becoming an extraordinary writer in a fun filled way.

3)    The Elements of Style: The book has been authored by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White; and is a masterpiece. You will be itching to right while reading the book and it will set your direction right.

4)    Reading like a Writer: Authored by Francine Prose, this book has the power of distinguishing good writing from very good and very good from excellent. It will help you out with the technicalities and philosophy of writing.

5)    On Writing: The book is an interesting mix of a writer’s autobiography and teachings on writing. Contrary to Zen in the Art of Writing, the book talks about the other side of writing.

Adding these books to your shelf will mark a new beginning in your writing arena. Reading them will be the start of a new you. And, following them would bring to life a great writer. Apart from books one should read blogs from writers, to keep a track of the writing styles that are emerging and those that are fading away.

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Viral Marketing through YouTube

Posted by on Apr 14 2012 | Blogs

Viral Marketing as an advertising tool is probably one of the most innovative and cost effective techniques to tap the social media popularity for a brand awareness. It generally spreads by word of mouth publicity on the internet and has the potential to make or break a brand’s image. Talking of one of the successful viral marketing campaigns from the past, who doesn’t remember the Roller Babies advertisement for Evian mineral water? The ad garnered 65 million views and was crowned one of the most-watched web commercials in the world.

YouTube undeniably is a giant in the world of videos on the World Wide Web, especially with its features that allow any user to like and share any of the videos on his favourite social networking website. If it was not the case, who would have ever knew Why this Kolaveri Di? The music video by Dhanush gained immense popularity on the website and millions of viewers shared it on social media. The song was successful in creating a buzz and became one of the most successful viral video in India in 2011.

However, many a times, marketers misunderstand the concept to achieve their marketing objectives marketers and tend to make mistakes which leads to the wastage of effort and time. Here are some tips for a successful viral campaign-

  1. Creativity – While you are designing your viral marketing campaign, make sure that it is creative. You can take ideas from the popular trends as people easily associate themselves with it.
  2. Human Touch – If you are planning a viral campaign on YouTube, make sure that it does not try too hard to sell the brand advertised. Instead, focus on the concept. The viewer himself will get intrigued after watching the video and would want to know more about your brand as well.
  3. Headlines – While you are uploading your videos, make sure that you give it a headline that in itself creates a buzz.

YouTube has led many companies and businesses to reach out to their customers in an effective way. For many brands yet to see the day light, viral marketing on YouTube can definitely be an effective launch pad.

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Expressions Then and Now – The Changing Face of Poetry

Posted by on Apr 12 2012 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

Change has not spared any thing or any one. No, not even poetry has been able to retain its original flavor. For good or for bad, things in the literary world have changed and that too like never before. Here is a poetic expression trying to unfold the many shifts that have made an irreversible impression on poems and prose.

The bygone era, no longer lingers, the coming one has no mention about.

Thoughts don’t stay for more than a second, and go away at the click of a mouse.

 

It may not be the best of poetic lines that you must have read, but is a sincere effort to bring you closer to the crux of this blog. In an era where everything is coming and going like a flash of light, including emotions, an encapsulating poem is a rare gem to find.

There was a time when even a poem lacking in purpose managed to spin a meaning out of it. Nothing lacked on the moral factor. When compared as of today, I feel there is always something or the other lacking. Is it the expression, the motive or the adressal, that is lacking, knows only the writer.

So why did Poetry Change in the First Place?

The answer to this question lies in the fact that poetry is born as a residual of moods and emotions. Adding to it is contemplation that further requires one to keenly observe ones acts, behavior, thoughts and actions. Research points out and literary geniuses support the reason that a combined effect of public neglect and rising careerism have led to this situation that is often termed as spiritual stagnation. A fast paced life topped with little or no place for emotional splurging has further diminished the attraction that poetry once held.

Is it all that bad?

Luckily enough, there is an amusing way in which the best of works always survive and flourish. Same is the case with poetry as some manage to keep its charm alive till date. So what if the world is changing, change is not all that bad. Language may have taken an entirely new direction, words may have become something that we type daily on key boards, but there are still some souls on this planet who believe that everything is Rhythm.

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Google Plus- An Unexplored Marketing Tool

Posted by on Apr 11 2012 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

Needless to say, Social media as a marketing trend has proved to be a blessing for businesses around the world. Being on social networking websites has helped many businesses improve their brand image and personality. Go on the search tab and you would find each and every brand present with many followers. While busy planning their social media marketing strategies aggressively for Facebook and Twitter, what many brands are missing out is an equally effective networking giant- Google Plus.

Google plus has a lot of offer to each business for growth and for instant recognition. Ahead of other networking giants in terms of control over privacy and its SEO features, here is how Google plus can help a great deal in promoting a business-

Share- You can create your own company or brand page on Google plus and it gives you the freedom to share updates, promotions, links, pictures, news etc. This helps you stay in touch with your customers and clients in a convenient way.

Circles- Circles is probably the most talked about feature on Google plus. Circles let you segment your followers in different groups. A company can divide its clients, employees and customers in separate circles to have a more focused and targeted approach.

Measure- Google plus is much ahead of its counterparts, when it comes to privacy and at the same time it allows a business to measure how its follower’s interactions are affecting the brand and the overall business.

Hangouts-The hangout feature is probably the most useful for businesses spread across the globe. It enables video chat with over ten people at a time, a feature that can eliminate the high costs of web conferencing. So, next time you have to interact with a client or customer from another country, you know whom to rely on.

SEO- Another useful trick for businesses working hard for generating traffic is the SEO feature. Google plus gives some links to its users that Facebook and Twitter don’t. It helps a website or a blog improve their overall search engine rankings for the growth of their brand.

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Mobile Marketing: A Big Business in India

Posted by on Apr 10 2012 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

Mobile marketing is a new trend in the marketing world. Being an entrepreneur, if you are still thinking what this new trend is all about, you surely need to catch the business week updates. Mobile marketing defined in simple language means, use of mobile phone as a means of marketing or distribution of any kind of advertising message to the existing and potential customers. It means that your mobile phone is no longer only used for e-mails and accessing social media, it has become a marketing tool. So next time you get a message that offers you a discount on a product, you know you are hit by mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing includes, providing customers with personalised information, time and locations, promoting ideas, goods and services. Mobile has played a significant role in making marketing efforts successful, reason being the reach of the mobile phone. Presently, there are 330 million mobile subscribers, and the number is ever increasing. As far as reach is concerned, even the top most businessmen have confessed that a simple SMS has done wonders in promoting their business. Knowing the fact that mobile marketing is not as cost-effective as print or television, marketers are still ready to invest in it. This is because the advertisers know that if once the message is sent using mobile phones, customers will surely see the text message the next moment.

Apart from being a lucrative tool for the marketers and advertisers, mobile marketing has been intruding in the customers’ private space. In order to keep a check on this medium, the National Do Not Disturb (NDND) and NDNC Registry of the mobile number, who are not interested to get such promotional messages, work to safeguard customers’ private space.

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Can Writing Be Taught? Why Not!

Posted by on Apr 07 2012 | Blogs, Content Writing

If not many then at least a few within this particular group of writers (the ITALICS team) would agree that they never had a thing for writing, until it happened. For some it would have been a god’s gift, a talent that came to them naturally. The remaining would of course have learnt it anyway. And I belong to the last category. I still remember my childhood days when I struggled with essay writing. My English teacher was generous enough to give me a 6 or 5 on ten, when I managed to scribble a few lines that at least related to the essay topic even if they were no less than just beating around the bush.

The real turn came when I as in 6th grade and was just admitted to a convent. Today I thank my stars for taking me to a place that transformed not only my perspective towards writing but also my approach towards it. So now when I am a writer by profession, I always keep one thing in mind, “the writer’s block is his greatest asset and his greatest liability.”

At the time I was stuck with writing, I was made to learn “the flow”. By flow here I mean a structured approach that should be followed while penning down something. Using this methodology will never make you feel lost. So I was a taught a number of ways in which one could raise the curtain. There were many interesting concepts that I came across for example the Like-Hate starting to an article, the question-answer session, the regret-proud paragraph, the motivational storyline method and not to forget, my favourite Typical-Unusual starting (you can see the satire in the methodology itself).

The next big task for me while writing, is to come up with “good” ideas. I often wonder till date about the coining of this term. It is quite a confusing terminology for me for I have never understood what exactly a good idea is and whether an idea ever can be sufficiently good? Even if it is can it not be that another idea waiting to lash the right next second in my brain would be a little or much better one? So I simple was taught to work on expressible ideas. This term makes much more sense to me and I can relate to it better. So, what I learnt was that expressible ideas make good ideas for they are explainable, comprise opinions, feelings, justifications and description. What makes the elaboration of ideas commendable is the element of interest with which they are jotted down together.

With so much learning on my platter I set out to explore the writer within me. I have been doing that till date and will continue to do so for the years to come. In the process I have come across some great teachers of writing including books, experiences, photographs, people, animals, and of course the pen.

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