The PR Guru

September 27, 2010

India suffers a PR nightmare

PR Gaffes happen all the time, because people speak without thinking and what they have said is instantly recorded by the press. Even months later, the press can pick up on things, such as how the Indians promised the forthcoming Commonwealth Games would turn the country around and have failed to deliver on their promise.

It seems that the Indian Commonwealth Games are going to be a public-relations disaster because the Indian Authorities talked up just how much the event would show the country’s new-found maturity. However, images of collapsing footbridges, bug-infested accommodation and child labourers suggest that the £2 billion invested by India‘s government was misused.

People have been shocked by just how little has actually been done, especially since there have been some successful developments in India; including the Bombay-Pune highway and the Delhi Metro. However, nothing like this seems to have been constructed around such a high-profile event like these games. The country’s rivalry with China will also be hurt because the Beijing Olympics in China were wonderfully organised; with the birds-nest stadium being a hit with the world and the grand opening ceremony a spectacle for viewers to see.

The crisis in Delhi is not the fault of the poor people living in shacks adjacent to each venue, as shown by the media, but is all down to the rulers who promised that things would be different. Most Indians don’t care about the Games, because it will not have much effect on them and they are just using the crowds as a way to make money.

On the day the negative stories about the Games first surfaced, the Bombay Stock Exchange hit a new high. India is led by a man who has probably profited more from absolute poverty than anyone else living today. It seems this PR Gaffe could actually be benefiting the country more than hindering it.

Because expectations were not high, the country will survive the PR disaster, but the image of India they wanted to create has been destroyed.

Of course, PR gaffes happen locally too. Some local PR stories in the last few months include Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spending £500,000 on public relations and communications, as well as Prince Philip’s reference to Stoke-on-Trent as ‘ghastly’. Will people ever learn to think before they speak?

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1 Comment »

  1. […] The beginning of the track events is suspected of bringing to light just how big a marketing disaster these Games really are, with a the lack of spectators.  Local PR Guru Richard Swancott mentioned this Public Relations failure in one of his recent blogs. […]

    Pingback by Bourne Sports Blog » And so it begins…. — October 6, 2010 @ 10:18 am | Reply


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