I’ve been saying for a while that with the rise of paid media the opportunity for PR is constantly shrinking. The exceptions are really large employers and big listed firms – because of the public interest and hence editorial value. Or so I thought. But in the past couple of days we’ve seen full page ads by the Tata Group advancing their side of the argument, even as Cyrus Mistry continues to get editorial coverage. But the final proof for me that PR doesn’t work any more is the ad by the Tata’s PR agency, Rediffusion, defending themselves against Mr Mistry’s claims. I mean if a big, respectable PR firm can’t get its own story told – and a very juicy one at that – what is the hope for others? Might as well acknowledge that ‘free’ editorial (free is in quotes because the PR retainer being cited is an eye-popping Rs 60 crores per annum) is no longer assured and build your paid communication channels accordingly.

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