HOW PR HAS CHANGED

Traditionally news and views covered by media influenced public opinion which was largely print followed by television .

Today public opinions are formed on social media and the action is rapid . All stakeholders, clients , employees , shareholders , prospective clients , prospective employees, community are now spending a lot more time in the digital world.

It is easy today for almost anyone to become a broadcaster and not depend on the intermediary news channels to carry their story.

Similarly it is easy for stakeholders to get their voice heard and spread on social media .

This is reputation on the edge 24×7 , before you know it news can get viral and damage brand reputation.

Mass media has been replaced with intelligent targeted media communication on social media . One can build engage and convert tribes to fans.

Digital reputation is built around Good authentic Storytelling aligned to the brand message.

Educating , Inspiring and Informing your tribes on social media is all the more essential today.

Most of the content consumption on the internet, almost 80% is video content .

Is PR ready for this change ? Having led Corporate Communications in a leading IT company and then at a startup I founded , I noticed agencies struggle to understand the new medium.

At Crow Tales the digital storytelling company I co founded , we could build brand reputation for our clients and also help them drive business with authentic visual storytelling and education.

This change is not about just adding digital as a division or recruiting a digital marketing team but completely rethinking PR in the age of fake news and deep polarisation.

There is a shift of public opinion favouring more humane organisations, sensitised to sustainability and community issues .

Consumers are more inclined to reward organisations that have profit with purpose at their heart and do meaningful business.

For example how Organisations acted in times of COVID reflects on how public would see them going ahead . How they treated their employees, partners and how they supported the community in these most difficult times will definite their character.

It is time for Brands to tell stories of hope , of a better future by connecting with stories of good .

As a digital storyteller I am excited about the future of marketing and PR are you ?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

FINALLY WE ALL DIE , SO WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF ?

Many times I noticed I would hold back , not take a step to live my dreams , because of fear . “What will happen if “ is the biggest falsehood that kills dreams .

“What will happen if it does not work out ?” and “what will they think?” stops many from taking the steps to live their dreams.

Finally we all die , so if that is given what is the fear that remains ? And no one cares about your life so no point thinking about what others will think.

If life will end one day and no one knows what that day is why not make the best of the time while we live ?

Why not live fully , love fully and leave a legacy?

Make this life a beautiful adventure, enjoy the journey, live all your dreams. There is nothing like being safe remember in the end we all die.

Love fully not only your family and your friends, but include your community, all the plants and animals in our world. A compassionate life heals.

Leave a legacy , contribute your best gifts in the world. It would be a small footprint in time but it would leave a mark.

No point accumulating as you leave everything behind, travel light , it will add to your freedom to live your dreams.

1. Prepare your bucket list of things you wish to do in life . I have mine and I keep ticking off the boxes.

2. Maintain a journal, reflect every day how you have lived and what you are grateful for .

Don’t die with regrets of not having lived your life fully , not having loved fully . Don’t die with your song in your heart .

Begin Now ! No one knows about tomorrow.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

WHY I STARTED A DIGITAL STORYTELLING COMPANY

As a child I was fascinated with stories, I would read books , we had plenty of them at home and I would get lost in the world of stories.

I remember once when I was sick my father got me a full series of Amar Chitra Katha comics and I had my best time. He would encourage me to read books. We had all kinds of books at home , mythology, history, fiction, full set of encyclopaedia and my best time spent was getting lost in stories.

I was fascinated by history, I would live the lives of the characters in my imagination, I could feel being there travelling back in time . I was a topper in my school and later in the board in history.

I carried forward my love for stories in my profession as a marketeer . Now I was telling stories for brands .

From ‘here’ to ‘there’ is the most powerful story humans have ever told . From the place we are to where we wish to be is a trait that propelled us to explore the planets and our universe and even put man on the moon.

Every person I can see around has a story, and that story has a dream , a dream for a better future for self , family , community . Despite of wherever we are , whatever maybe our challenges we all hold a dreams within our hearts till we die. The day we stop dreaming we die.

As children we are all dreamers but when we grow up we forget to dream , as a marketeer and storyteller I help people to dream again. I have never sold anything , I have helped people dream again.

I have been telling stories, stories of the future, stories of change , stories of experiences, stories of making a difference, stories of heroes, stories of cultures of the organisations I worked at , stories of brands , stories of people behind the brands . I am a storyteller .

I was also fortunate that as co founder of Mastek Foundation I got to meet and stay with some of the most amazing people in India who were making a difference in our communities and I told their stories to inspire change . This then was later to be a foundation for Heroes of India project where I would tell stories of good through short documentary films.

As the world moved digital , I started telling stories in the digital world, stories that got people to act , raise funds for causes , stories that touched hearts , stories that inspired generations of employees in organisations , stories that built brand trust and consumers to take action.

I even wrote and published a fiction story book ‘Story Tellers Secret’ which is based on my personal life experiences. ( the book is available on Amazon)

Let me tell you the story of Crow Tales http://www.CrowTales.in . It all began over a cup of coffee at Starbucks . That is where I first met the co-founder of Crow Tales Reshma Sharma. We were both storytellers with similar interests .

Starbucks, Hiranandani,where it all began

Both of us had similar backgrounds in marketing , HR and CSR communications , PR , agency and most importantly we understood storytelling in the digital world. I also carried the experience of co founding a startup , so the startup bug was always there.

As storytellers we just wanted to tell good stories and stories of good in the digital world through visual storytelling.

I know this is the future of marketing as consumers ignore interruption marketing and take charge of the content they consume , they consume content that entertains , educates , informs adds value to their lives and touches their hearts .

Authentic stories build brand trust and that is the most important equity for any brand.

I also see the need for organisations , brands , causes to get more compassionate and tell human stories, real stories of their people , their values , their culture, their contribution to the community , their impact.

Brands need to be good , do good and also be seen to do good. Profit with purpose is not just a buzz word it is a way of doing business.

This is the intersection of three areas where I have spent my life , marketing , storytelling and corporate social responsibility. It is what I am passionate about and I see as blessed work. It is work that can make a difference in our world. It is work that can get consumers to connect with meaningful brand stories that cut through the communication clutter.

What started as a childhood hobby of reading stories and getting lost in them is coming a full circle with Crow Tales a digital storytelling company.

I am living my passion , are you ?

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder , Crow Tales

What is your story ? we can connect virtually over a cup of coffee and I strongly believe a lot can happen over a cup of coffee.

http://www.CrowTales.in

#passionproject

M – sanjay.mudnaney@brandstory101.in

M- 9821876559

DON’T TAKE THIS DAY FOR GRANTED

Last year this time on this day of new year 2020 I was at a party with my wife. There was some news about lockdown in a far off place in China . No one in their wildest dreams could have predicted what was to follow.

The world came to a halt , literally , everything stopped as the pandemic spread.

Lives were being lost , the was economic gloom , so many business suffered , people lost their jobs , there was panic across the world.

I had been postponing plans to travel the world and now there was no chance of travel.

During this period I lost my school friend and my mentor. So much changed .

The one big lesson of 2020 is don’t take life for granted. Life can change in a moment . It changed for many families who lost their loved ones in the pandemic and for the countless many who lost their jobs and incomes , who yet struggle every day.

Life changed for the family of my friend who died not out of COVID but due to sudden cardiac arrest. Till the night he passed away he was in touch and in good health then the next day he was gone.

Don’t postpone your dreams , don’t die with your song in your heart , you have but only one life , don’t take it for granted.

Living , loving and leaving a legacy behind is what life is about .

Life is not about playing safe , not living , postponing life to the future. It would be stupid , you cannot be sure of tomorrow.

The heavy baggage of what will happen in the future has stopped many from living now and playing safe . Yet the only certainty of the future is that it is uncertain.

2021 is another adventure that begins today , I do not know how this year will unfold but as I type these words I know this moment I am sharing my gift and that is all that matters .

Sanjay Mudnaney

SHOWING UP IS ALL YOU NEED !

I started cycling at the age of 50 . It was on my bucket list of things to do . It was not about getting fit or any of those reasons, it was just about reliving my childhood memories of cycling.

I remember the fun I had purchasing all the accessories and cycling gear. I started cycling a few kilometres on weekends.

I tied in another habit , going to Starbucks after cycling. Now that was the reward . So I would get dressed up every morning , start to cycle and feel the anticipation of being at Starbucks to have my favourite coffee.

Then I challenged myself with a tougher habit , to do long distance cycling starting with 25 km. The cycle I had was basic and would not help so I invested in a good cycle. And I started doing long distance cycling.

Now I was having fun , I loved the wind on my face , the feeling of freedom, the me time and to end the experience was a visit to Starbucks.

Today in the morning as winter has set in Mumbai ,it was chilly , tucked away under the blankets , I felt the desire to sleep a bit longer . But instead I just pulled myself up , put on the cycling dress and helmet and I got on my cycle.

The most important secret I understood of sustaining my cycling journey has not been MOTIVATION but SHOWING UP .

It is important to Show up , if I don’t show up I cannot begin. For me that is as simple as putting my cycling dress on . I have to wear my cycling clothes and the helmet and it pushes me to do the next thing , get on the cycle.

Once I am on my cycle, I have to cycle and then the next thing comes up , getting to Starbucks. That’s my reward .

Showing up and Reward are two things that keep me going and have helped me build my cycling habit .

And showing up is not about motivation , it’s about making a simple obvious process. I keep my cycling dress ready so I find it easily as I get up .

As I look at my another habit of learning guitar , I have just not progressed. I invested in a good guitar with the intention of learning to sing along with the guitar, but it’s not happened.

I realised I have put away my guitar in the closet and there is no reward that I have associated with the action .

Also my expectations are big , I want to start singing and play the guitar along and that looks difficult . Learning the chords and the strumming looks like a big effort.

For cycling I just begin with the simple idea of getting to Starbucks which is 5 kms away from my home , in the process many days I do 15 kms . So action step is simple.

The learning from my cycling habit which I have sustained is

1. For any new habit to form make it easy to take the first step . Putting on my cycling dress and helmet in the morning is the first step , I keep all cycling accessories within reach and visible.

2. Make a easy to take daily action . If you are trying to form the habit of reading books you can start with subscription to blinks which condenses books into short reads and then read one blink a day . For me it is just cycle 5 kms to get to Starbucks. ( and I also subscribe to blinks) .

3. Reward . For me Starbucks coffee is a reward ( I am trying to replace this )

4. Identity. I post pictures of my cycling journeys of social media and this has helped me build an identity as a cyclist. Don’t underestimate the power of identity for habit to become long term way of life.

I was not even aware of how I shifted my identity as a cyclist till I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. I highly recommend reading this book .

As James says in this book , It is not about just Inspiration it is also about a system you put in place to make it happen.

It is not just about having passion but taking small action steps every day to live your passion . It is not the Destination but the journey that matters .

Like it is for me writing this blog now .

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

REFLECTING ON 2020

2020 has been a year like none before, a year when the world stopped. There are a few things I learnt that I cannot forget.

1. THE UNIMAGINABLE CAN AND WILL HAPPEN : No one could have ever predicted that the world will grind to a halt.

One cannot control external events in life one can control how one responds to those events.

2. HUMANS CAN ADAPT SOON : The world quickly adapted to the new normal and moved digital. Non essential consumption stopped overnight.

Be flexible, this is going to happen often in the future, entire industries and jobs would get disrupted. One cannot hold on to Ego of the past and not change.

3. WE CAN SURVIVE WITH A LOT LESS : That I could do without buying anything other than essentials for months was a revelation , it was clear that I needed a lot less to survive.

Often we land up buying things we do not need and then stock them to use at some later date . Clutter is stuck energy.

4. CUTTING OUT DAILY COMMUTE SAVED TIME : Locked down travel stopped completely, this resulted in excess time on hand , while some struggled some made best use of the time to self develop.

Cut all non essential travel , it also helps our planet.

5. THERE WAS NO OPTION OTHER THAN GOING DIGITAL : Even those that were reluctant were now forced to go digital. This is a trend that will continue.

Reinvent, Reinvent , Reinvent .

6. REMOTE WORKING WORKS : That I could service clients from across the world has been a plus . All organisations other than those that need physical presence have adapted to remote work.

Interesting thing I notice is that where innovation is needed and deep collaboration is called for teams have started coming together again while the bigger organisations that have process driven work continue remote work.

If you can move to smaller towns with great views , quality of life matters .

8. MORE ME TIME : The time saved on travel did give me lot more time to be with self and reflect , read books , meditate.

Build an inner practice for calm in turbulent times .

Here are a few more tips on things I will follow .

1. Build a contingency fund for emergencies , one cannot predict events that may occur but one can build a reserve that protects against shocks.

So I plan to build a contingency fund besides two years survival fund aside. Before I spend income I will save for contingency, this is the essential.

2. Cut down the non discretionary spends and focus on what is truly important . I have been fascinated by minimalist lifestyle and now I even know it is possible.

3. Invest on experiences, travel places , explore the world post the vaccination. It was something I had postponed , won’t do that again. And travel can be low budget .

4. Make my bucket list of things to do and tick off each one . Life is uncertain don’t wish to die with incomplete dreams.

5. Don’t take life for granted , live every day fully . This is the most important lesson of the pandemic. Live , Love, Leave a Legacy behind.

6. Build inner resilience it is a must , faith , surrender, prayer , meditation are practices I will continue.

7. Keep reinventing and learning new things daily and always be ready for the new world. This is a habit I will never stop.

Finally don’t take life toooo seriously!

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

HE TRAVELLED 80 CITIES IN INDIA WITH JUST 220 $

He slept in buses and trains and on platforms on his journey.

One day he slept in the slum and the next day he was in a palatial house on 35th floor in Mumbai !

He says he drank water from the taps of 80 cities of India , lived on had street food and if he found the food was expensive he would just have bananas and drink water.

He has a network of friends he has built on social media who he called on during his bag packing journey.

Amit Jain lost his father at the age of 3 , he was moved by the plight of his mother.

From a small village Bhusaval In Maharashtra, India he travelled to the city to for education.

He joined Bank of New York and started volunteering collecting old clothes for the needy .

He gave up his job to start a social venture Mitti ke Rang that provides employment opportunities to widows and poor women .

He has done it all , from travelling from a village to living in a city for education to getting a dream job to starting a social venture to bag packing across cities.

Amit says what he has learnt is that the greatest truth in the world is a lie .

What everyone tells you you can do and not do is a lie , his life is an example he says , he has challenged every norm .

Amit is fearless and believes he can do anything if he sets his mind to it . He lives comfortably with just 32 $ a month !

His advice to youth is work hard , save enough , start a side hustle and when you are confident get out of your job to live your dream .

He advices against loans and does not believe in owning things . He says “if I am going to leave everything behind when I die no point in owning things .” Rather he believes in accumulating experiences.

At the age of 30 Amit Jain had wisdom beyond his years and I am blessed as a storyteller to interact with such amazing individuals as part of my journey of Heroes of India project .

Wish I had heard his story when I was in college.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder , Heroes of India

THE FIELD IN SOCIAL MEDIA

Digital Marketeers need to understand field vibrations , frequencies of their tribes . If you can tap into the frequency of your tribe you will build deep connections .

Fields are alive and have a vibrational energy , human networks are fields . It is almost like culture of countries . You visit one country you find one culture you visit another it completely changes .

The person who visits may remain the same yet each field is different , it has a different culture a different vibration and the individual needs to adapt .

Social Media Fields

Instagram is visual , Facebook is social , YouTube is stories , Linkedin is professional , these are broad vibrations of the social media fields . The go deeper as you connect with tribes in each of these fields .

Tribes have their own frequencies . I was once a part of raw vegan tribe on facebook , the tribe was highly supportive of newcomers who wanted to adapt to a new lifestyle , there were tribe leaders who had mastered the craft of raw vegan food life over the years .

I am part of the Shitzu tribe who are pet parents of shitzus , from their care , to cute and happy stories to grieving the community is a support network across the world .

I maybe the same person but when I move fields I adapt to the energy frequency of the field.

Connecting Frequencies

Digital Leaders need to understand field vibrations , frequencies of their tribes . If you can tap into the frequency of your tribe you will build deep connections .

Much of this is sensing and observation of the community .

I have particularly seen this in cause marketing , the mistake many nonprofit marketeers make is they fail to sense fields and this does not help connect and build tribes .

I am passionate about certain causes but I have yet to see any cause marketing reach me though my interests are clear and available on social media.

My spiritual practice has been a great help in sensing energies of fields , it takes a few moments .

As the world moves digital we need leaders who sense the frequencies of their tribes and communicate accordingly.

Do you sense the vibrational frequencies of fields on social media ?

Sanjay Mudnaney

http://www.crowtales.in

BRAND + GOOD = CHANGE

The future of Brand communication is Storytelling for good in the digital world , stories that inspire change , stories that connect with the heart , stories that are passed on .

The world had changed long before the pandemic , it started with internet , networks could connect across the world , I found one school batch mate and then a few more and then most of them . We met again after 35 years ! This was magic , I could find my school St Xaviers batch of 81 Tribe thanks to the internet . We once again bonded and stories came alive , thanks to the internet.

But then one one more change had already happened and that was the launch of apple smart phone , it was a phone , it was a music pod , it was internet all rolled into one . Over time apps were built that allowed for social connections , that allowed tribes of a few to connect . The smart phone was the world literally in our hands.

When people connected , they shared stories , stories of their lives , they listened to stories , stories that made them laugh , stories that inspired them , people shared stories with their friends and their family members . Like a virus pandemic that we see now spreading across the world , stories spread , the word ‘Gone Viral’ was born.

Control Shift

A bigger shift was occurring in the marketing world . Interruption marketing as we knew it was losing it’s grip , mass media , mass media advertising was losing meaning as consumers could no longer be interrupted . They did not want to be interrupted and they had also lost trust in Brands. They had logged off mass media and switched to consuming content on the smart mobile device .

A bigger shift occurred when price of data fell , now there was no restriction on the quantum of content being consumed , more mobile phones , more data being consumed , this was gradually killing interruption marketing .

Shift to Video

No one would have imagined that anyone could own a personal broadcast network and that could be beamed across the world . So long as you had a single viewer that was sufficient. Long tail had arrived. Influencers arrived , they were the new media , they could influence decisions.

As networks improved along with fall in data prices video became the primary data consumption capturing 80% of the data traffic.

Now stories were being told on video and stories were being shared across platforms like YouTube, facebook , Instagram , Linkedin.

Brand Story

Brands saw the shift from mass media to digital , from advertising to entertainment and they started to shift . Brands were now telling stories to capture audience attention , they are entertaining , educating , informing , there is a shift .

Brand for Good

There was another challenge that was faced by Brands , Brand Trust was at an all time low and in the post COVID world this is even more true , consumers expect Brands to be compassionate , they need to move from selling to connecting . These are troubled times where consumers feel the need to be cared and supported . Brands that care are top of the mind of consumers.

Amongst the gloom and doom consumers are looking for stories of good , stories of hope . Brands need to connect with stories of good .

Time for Good Stories

As head of social responsibility and Co-Founder of Mastek Foundation, I could see that there was a gap between doing good , philanthropy and business purpose . Now they all come together . They are not different divisions . Thankfully I wore both the the hats , head of marketing communications and head of Corporate Social Responsibility. I saw this change early.

When I combined the idea of students working on projects to build IT solutions for social sector with mentoring from Mastek employees I found I was building a strong employer Brand Story.

The Future

The future of Brand communication is Storytelling for good in the digital world , stories that inspire change , stories that connect with the heart , stories that are passed on . These would be stories told through visual mediums. There are so many good stories to be told.

Brands exist for a purpose and it is time to tell those stories . Every Brand has its own broadcast channel , its time to put the switch the channel on.

I am now on a mission to connect Brands with Good through Storytelling on good in the digital world.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder http://www.crowtails.in

Founder http://www.brandforgood.in

YOR TRIBE IS OUT THERE

We all want to belong , we want to be part of a group , we want to be missed , that is why there are tribes everywhere

You don’t build a tribe , it already exists out there , as a leader you have to find and connect with them . I have a special love for animals , I feel the hurt when I see any animal is abused , many times I have picked up animals who are injured from the streets to get them treated , my love for animals extends to my food habits . My wife has a special connect with old people , if she does see any old person on the street she would stop and go out of her way to help , she regularly visits old age homes to spend time with old people .

We both are different in our choice for causes we follow and support.

Don’t waste time to argue

It maybe difficult to convince me support the cause of the elderly , though I do accompany my wife on her trips to the old age home . Similarly it would not help try convince my wife to support animals , though she does visit animal shelters with me.

Yet a lot of time , effort and money is wasted by nonprofits in trying to convince everyone to believe in the cause they believe in. Even within a single cause example supporting underprivileged children there are so many different options.

This also happens in political space I follow a particular ideology , so some of my school friends who have a opposite ideology expend a lot of energy trying to convince me why what I believe is wrong only that it does not work . It is almost impossible , you cannot convert the believers . The marketing spend in trying to convert no believers is wasted , trying to sell Microsoft to Apple fans is difficult if not impossible.

Tribes Everywhere

We all want to belong , we want to be part of a group , we want to be missed , that is why there are tribes everywhere . It is human nature to build connections and belong , there is the family tribe , the religious tribe , the school alumni tribe , the morning walkers , the cyclist , the diabetics , the organisation you work at is a tribe , the coders , the hackers , environment activist , the weight watchers , the vegans , the Starbucks tribe , the bikers , apple users , spiritual buddies , you look around and you will find a tribe. Each one of us belongs to many tribes , religious , political , brand , lifestyle , school , profession , career , organisation , we are all part of many tribes .

Tribe of Fans is not a marketing strategy

Harley Davidson has a fan tribe , when you see them you know . There is a sense of pride to belong to the community , everything the tribe does has a unique language , they way they dress , the tattoos , the attitude , the lifestyle everything is a reflection of the culture of Harley Davidson . When Harley changed from bing a bike company to a community and made it as part of its business strategy not marketing strategy many of its employees became bikers , many of the bikers became its employees . There is ownership of the Brand by the community , the brand did not build the community rather the community strengthened the Brand !

Tribes loves a conflict

It is Us vs Them , Greenpeace takes on the Governments and Corporations in its fight to preserve the planet. An Apple fan is against Microsoft .In India a Patanjali Indian homegrown Ayurvedic desi brand is against the multinational brand HUL (though it is as much Indian as any ) , the followers of Ramdev Baba the yoga guru back the desi , traditional , low cost brand story.

Lead your Tribe or be a part of a Tribe

You have two choices , create a movement or be part of a movement . If you choose to build a movement your Tribe is waiting out there.