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MARCH 25, 2007
 Cover Story
 BT Special
 Back of the Book

Mobile Security
Today, it is all about information and how the right information is sent to the right people at the right time and right place. Uncertainty about how to secure mobile phones in the face of increasing threats is slowing individual adoption of mobile applications. There are many facets of mobile security, including network intrusion, mobile viruses, spam and mobile phishing. Analysts expect big telecom companies to develop security solutions on various security platforms.

Rough Ride
These are competitive times for the Indian aviation industry. As salaries zoom, players are scrambling to find profits. Even the state-owned Indian is now seeking young airhostesses to take on the competition. It is planning to introduce a voluntary retirement scheme for airhostesses above 40 years. On an average, they draw a salary of Rs 5 lakh a year. The salaries of pilots, too, are soaring. According to industry estimates, the country needs over 3,000 pilots over the next five years.
More Net Specials

Business Today,  March 11, 2007

Focus on Corporate Image Building
Last year has been a great year for brand India. It's a new India, where corporate news is more popular than ever before. Corporate leaders are being widely followed by the press, international acquisitions considered a matter of national pride and automobile, aviation, telecom, mobile handsets, malls, multiplexes, real estate top the list of favourites.

Over the last four years, the BT-Cirrus survey has evolved as a critical benchmark for corporate media performance and PR efforts. The survey this year marks the beginning of a new era with the introduction of TV and political analysis (although confined to economic ministries of the central government). The next BT Cirrus will include cross-industry image analysis of TV content.

While image building is a long-term process and my belief is that it is best done in print, the role of television has changed over the years and cannot be ignored anymore. Remember, TV can reach even those who cannot or do not read and when it comes to denting your public image, TV can be more lethal.

This year, for the first time, we have included the entire range of public sector companies. We have also taken a stand on non-inclusion of paid articles. We don't intend to pass a judgement on the practice and we accept that these articles positively impact the corporate image and are not easily identifiable. However, we strongly believe that no credit should go to the concerned PR department. We have also excluded trade publications to avoid any possible skew in favour of certain industries.

Looking at the survey findings, what strikes us is the huge gap between the famous and the not-so-famous. We were expecting this gap to narrow. The visibility for the 100th company is around 10 per cent of that of the leader. #200 is around 5 per cent. Don't forget that we are talking about the 200 most talked about companies in India. It speaks a lot and surely for so many companies, the focus is not on corporate image building. I have talked about higher fund allocations in the past, but there is no solution to a lack of corporate intent. It's time the CEOs took note; a cover page here and a feature there don't really take you places.

In terms of different sectors, IT, telecom and automobile continued their dream run, while aviation is fast picking up. The banking sector is performing decently but with the regular rate hikes and continuous flow of customer complaints of harassment by third-party musclemen, the industry might not stay popular for long. The mutual fund industry is not playing to its potential and the private insurance players are disappointing me. LIC still has 65 per cent of the market and this is a battle of public perception that can only be won through PR. They need a big push with allocation, intent and strategy. Retail and real estate are picking up and while the retail players are more sophisticated in their approach, the real estate guys will take some time to master the art.

One area where we would love to see lots of focus is corporate social responsibility, and if we go by media reports, there is hardly anything happening. We will be watching this genre closely and we intend to bring out a special report on CSR. India needs socially responsible companies.

In the political arena, media has always played a very important role in shaping public perceptions. Effective media management is critical to the people in power. A close look at the figures will tell you that most of the ministries are not projected as favourably as they would have liked to be. Lots of good work is happening and some ministries have remained extremely low profile. The Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways is one such. There is need for strategic management of media appearances at the highest level. Public appearances should only be to connect with the masses. Each message should be strategically positioned to reach the target audience, reinforced convincingly to deliver expected outcomes.

End of the day, it's all about the bottom line. And effective media management does contribute to it.

Cirrus ( is a national corporate image monitor that pioneered media evaluation in India. Every year, Cirrus analyses over half a million news pieces in nine different languages on more than 1,400 corporate entities. It is part of agencyfaqs and not associated with any PR agency. The BT-Cirrus annual survey is the only cross-industry report of its kind. Feedback to

Esha News Monitoring Services Pvt. Ltd ( is the official television content monitor for all BT-Cirrus surveys. Esha monitors over 100 news channels in nine Indian languages. Viewership figures for all news items in this survey have been provided by aMap (