In Press

The Power of News Agencies

Here’s a PR tip. The next time, someone from a news agency like Press Trust of India (PTI) or United News of India (UNI) calls you for an interview or newsbite, give them a lot of importance. Infact, give them the importance of a press conference. Because one news report by them can get covered by dozens of publications.

I’m talking from experience. Recently, Mr.Balakrishnan of PTI did an interview with me about Wiki search engines. I didn’t know the real impact of a news agency until I saw that one particular article appear in The Hindu, ChennaiOnline, Rediff, ExpressIndia, Economic Times, Business Standard, IndiaTimes, Hindustan Times, Financial Express and DNA. That’s the whos who of the Indian print. One helluva lot of coverage.

While that can be a good thing, it can be bad when you have given incorrect information. I inadvertently made a mistake in saying, “Wikimedia Foundation is planning an open search engine that thrives on the knowledge of users.”. I should have instead said, “Wikia is planning an open search engine….”. Wikimedia is a non-profit community initiative whereas Wikia is a for-profit venture. Big difference. It took me quite an effort to write to all these editors to make the change but in vain.

Like I said, next time pay a lot of importance to news agencies. I learnt it the hard way.