The speech that Krishna made

India's External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna says there's nothing wrong with his speech goof-up. Of course, there's nothing wrong. But there's still a problem. It isn't as much the 'wrong' in what he did that's having an impact. Its the 'comedy' its become. I guess more people in India guffawed when they read the news than curl up in anger.

Think about it. What do you remember from SMK's tenure as Minister? Bet, almost nothing. And now you have something you won't ever forget about the Minister! In fact this incident may forever define his career. People won't recall anything other than this faux-pas.


But then there's a lesson. That you or your brand won't be defined by what you painstakingly do. Instead you or the brand will remembered for a story the media ran. Imagine that. Its a nightmare scenario for businesses. They take years to build a brand by running countless commercials on TV. Yet no one will remember any of that. What they'll instead recall is that one mess-up the brand made that made news. And then businesses make such news worse by responding and keeping the story alive. The guffaw that followed the news of SMK's speech would have been short-lived if it weren't for the Minister trying hard to tell us there's nothing wrong with what he did. What he ended up doing is keeping those grins that split our faces to last longer.

It'll be good for the Minister and businesses to remember that publicized incidents and events will set the stage for how they'll be remembered. Though unfair, that's the way it'll be. The wise amongst us will know how to respond to such news. For at times, we'll have to set the record straight, at others, we'll need to stay mum.

Knowing which for when will be the challenge.


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