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PR and ‘Common Sense’: Two sides of the same page

Posted by Prem Ramachandran on , June 15th, 2016 in Blog


“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” ― Thomas A. Edison

I was pursuing my MBA in marketing in India, way back in 1996. As part of the course, I had to also undergo a training programme in an organisation to complete my course. After this two months long stint, I had to come up with a comprehensive and thought provoking dissertation.

On the very first day, I had an opportunity to meet the Chairman of the company and he enquired about my MBA programme. I tried to impress him with my strategies and other thoughts that I had acquired from my B-school. He nodded his head and said, that’s all really wonderful, but you need to get your hands dirty and learn the tricks of the trade, the hard way and that needs a lot of patience and ‘common sense’.

This thought still plays on my mind when I am meeting clients. If you really want to get something good out of the PR firm then it is important to delve a little deeper than the fancy presentations.

In the last two decades, I have made several high octane presentations and have been part of the teams looking to grab the client’s attention in one of the swankiest boardrooms. I observed that people come up with fancy definitions and strategies and in the bargain fail to understand the client’s basic requirement.

I personally believe that common sense comes before strategies and it is more important than anything else. I am not saying that the PR strategies or ideas are not important. They are equally important and they will be more effective if they infuse their strategy up with ‘Common sense’.

This is ‘what they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School’. Well this is a book by Mark McCormack. Do read it and you will understand what I mean.

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