What brands must talk about
Listening to L K Advani talk about illegal stashes in off-shore safe haven bank accounts, I was struck by the realisation that most reporters covering the press conference were least interested in the subject. Instead, what they really wanted to know was what L K Advani thought about Varun's arrest and the events surrounding it. The BJP Prime ministerial candidate declined to elaborate on the Varun saga.
Subsequent news reports on TV sidelined what Advani had talked about, focusing more on the fact that he had declined to comment in detail on Varun. Today's TOI story on the Press conference gets relegated to the the ninth page. Varun still features on front pages across newspapers in India.
Brands must realise that many a times, what they try and communicate is not what their audience wants to hear. Especially when the brand's had a bad bout of publicity. Brands make a mistake using advertising to counter bad publicity, more so when the Ad-content doesn't make any mention of the 'publicity issue'. Instead of sidestepping 'issues', brands must, depending on the gravity of the publicity material out there, respond thus - Ignore, and choose to remain silent, knowing that the din will die down, or, counter attack with a communique blitzkrieg that must again use neutral media sources. That is, don't use advertising, instead engineer your own publicity propaganda and take the issue head on.
Political parties must learn to take on issues that are emotive and connect with the public that's waiting bated breath, to listen to such issues. I can understand the BJP dilemma when it comes to Varun. Their studied silence is a smart move, but talking about illegal wealth stashed in off-shore accounts, isn't.