Events of 2018

May, 2018

PRSI Chennai gets new committee

36 out of 49 members eligible to vote attended the AGM of PRSI, Chennai Chapter held on 17th May, 2018.

Mr G Krishnan, former PR Manager of Air India was elected Chairman for a two year term, Mr. Rajesh Mani, Head of Communications at Ashok Leyland as Vice Chairman, Mr. Muthu Kumar Balu of Strawberry Communications as the Secretary, Mr.Kalidoss as the Joint Secretary and Ms.Shruti Shambavi of CMRL Ltd. as the Treasurer.

The Executive Committee members are Mr. Thomas.T. Abraham, Former Sr Vice President - Corporate Communications, Hinduja Group, Mr. Satyan C. Bhatt of Prism Public Relations, Mr RK Dharan of RK Public Relations, Mr. A Jaffer of ETA Group, Ms. Shrinidhi of Stella Maris College -Department of Public Relations and Mr. K Soliappan.

A special committee with Mr S Muthiah as Patron and Mr RK Dharan as Convener, will lead the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Chapter.

April, 2018

EGM decides to hold AGM to elect new committee .

An EGM of PRSI Chennai Chapter was held on the 19th April 2018. It was attended by 19 members who were eligible to vote. All members present supported the resolution to hold AGM on 17th May 2018.

Passing a No Confidence Motion against former Chairman Mr Danial Chellappa, the AGM replaced him with Mr. V Kalidass as the interim Chairman till the AGM is held.

Events of 2017

June, 2017

“GST a big game changer, with potential teething troubles” – Rupesh Sharma.

PRSI, Chennai Chapter, on 19th June 2017, organised a very interesting and lively programme on GST, which would have effect on every Indian citizen in the days to come.

Advocate Mr Roopesh Sharma, an associate of Mr K Vaitheesweran, Chennai based tax consultant and advocate, dealt at length on the possible pros and cons of GST.

Mr Sharma was sure of GST implementation from 1 st July and explained that implementation has to be before 15th September, 2017, as the amendment to the constituition Article 366 -12A, would expire on that date and other taxes like VAT would expire by the same timeline.

On balance, Mr Sharma expects the GST to be a game changer. Part of tax streamlining, as it is a single tax for goods and services, it would bring every conceivable transaction to visibility and will increase the tax base. Importantly, it will eliminate the irrational cascading effect in taxation, by offering offset.

Mr Sharma expects the total tax revenues of the Central and State governments to increase. He noted that while adapting good features from GST prevailing in other countries, India has adopted a more complicated system with four tax slabs, as against, say a 5% single slab in Malaysia - but then, India is a vast and complex market.

Considering the unprecedented magnitude of the transactions to be captured, we must be cautious of the burden on the proposed system. The Government has sought the services of Infosys, to execute the same.

Singapore, Malaysia are some of the countries, he said, have implemented GST. But he pointed out Malaysia has implemented a uniform and one rate of service tax. Whereas India has adopted a combination of four rates: 8, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. He added the Government can impose up to 40%. Further, the taxes can be levied on manufacturing, supply, within the same entity transfers, rendering of services within the state, outside the state as well as outside the country. Initially, before things settle down, discretionary interpretations and disputes cannot be ruled out.

Mr Sharma appreciated the Government move as it would be a path breaking step towards harmonisation of taxes. However, he said GST would involve more cash out flow upfront affecting liquidity. Therefore, efficiency and speed in tax refunds will be crucial.

He cited many examples of GST implementation on the products, services etc., For instance, under the category of supply, GST will be levied less on chocalates but a higher rate on sweets when distributed separately.  But if chocolates and sweets are distributed as one combined packet, the entire contents would attract the higher rate of tax.

GST, he pointed out, is neither in the state or Union list, hence for any amendment should be referred at the All India level.

Earlier the Chennai Chapter honoured its Excutive Committee member Mrs Ramya Prasad, Head of Dept., Public Relations, Stella Marris College for her contributions to the Chapter and wished her the best as she was set to taking up an assignment in Amrita University, in Mysore.

April, 2017

Communication Challenges in Implementation of Innovative PDS Smart Card System By Smt. Madumathi, I.A.S..

PSD smartcard: Communication challenges

This year Public Relation Society of India is planning its All India PR conference in December 2017 with the theme "Emerging India: Smart Cities - Smart Communication". Aligning  with the national conference theme, the PRSI Chennai Chapter initiated in association  with the Civil Supplies and consumer protection department, Tamil Nadu Government, a meeting on "Communication Challenges in Implementation of Innovative PDS Smart Card System".

Speaking on the occasion Smt Madumathi, I.A.S., Commissioner of Civil Supplies & Consumer Protection Department, Government of Tamil Nadu explained vividly about the PDS system starting from procurement, storage and distribution, and she was confident that technology upgrade in implemeting the system would plug the loopholes in the system. She further added that all annual registers and written bills would be replaced with SMS-linked billing system and a live online register would track the movement of good distributed. More importantly towards better customer service, the public would soon be able to access any ration shop for supplies, not just the one their card linked to.

Tamil Nadu Government recently launched the family smart card and is in the process of linking Aadhaar cards listing all family members and enetitlement of their supplies. The new digitised ration cards called the smart cards are being distributed to families through a number of Fair Price Shops or ration cards in the State. She also said that when PDS goes cash less , families belonging to economically weaker section would be able to pay even the nominal cost for their supplies through their AAdhaar numbers which are linked to their smart cards Mrs Madumathi I A S solicited the cooperation of the members of PRSI chennai chapter to give wide publicity of the  features of Smart Card through their channel of communications for the benefit of all citizens of Tamil Nadu.

While Chairman of the Chapter Dr Daniel Chellappa welcomed the chief guest, G krishnan, current national council member spoke in brief about the chapter activities. Mr R K Dharan, past chairman. proposed the  vote of thanks. Mr Thiru Narayanan,the member,conducted the proceedings, which was held in CRA Conference Hall, "Ezhilagam" ,Chepauk, Chennai..

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March, 2017

“Tradigital”, blending traditional and digital, is the way : Ram Subramanian.

Mr. Ram Subramaniyan, Principal Consultant, Axiom-Perception Management, Communication + Strategies. delivered the a memorial lecture in honour of Gyan Haksar and M.Gopalakrishnan, jointly organised by PRSI Chennai and Stella Maris College on March 18, 2017.

Social Media and PR- Changing Landscapes- was the topic.

Mr G.Krishnan, Past Chairman and current Executive member to the National body of PRSI set the context for the memorial lecture. He highlighted the contributions of the veterans of PRSI, Gopalakrishnan and Gyan Haskar who were instrumental in commencing of the Chennai Chapter and academic courses related to PR in few city colleges. Gyan Haskar, Goapalakrishnan and mr Bharathan approached the then Vice Chancellor, Malcolm Adiseshaiah with the course content for a 3 year course on Public Relations. University of Madras in 1975approved a three year B A  Course with 20 seats for men and 20 seats for women. Stella Marris college was given the honour of conducting the above course .

Today, PR is a cross-platform communications action reliant upon traditional and digital PR strategies, as well as social engagement, content marketing, brand publishing, media relations, inbound content, SEO strategies and limitless creativity, said Ms.Ramya K.Prasad, Head, Department of Public Relations, Stella Maris College,.

Mr.Ram mentioned that PR includes social media, blogging, online reputation management, brand journalism, content strategies, thought leadership and more. PR is now an extremely broad and diversified field – it is no longer anchored to crisis communications, press releases and media alerts only. In his words, “Tradigital is the new form of communication with the art of blending traditional and digital media.”

There exists today a churning, swirling mix of initiatives that all, at their respective cores, are inherently linked to the actions of a corporation, enterprise, organization or individual to promote activities – public relations.The pitch we land on will power our press release content, media alerts and even serve as inspiration for social media shares. Pitches don’t just go to editors and reporters. “Anybody with a smart phone is a media person today!!”, says Mr. Ram. PR pitches target bloggers and online experts with impressive Twitter personas and consistently updated, insightful blogs.

Social media platforms have given rise to a whole new crop of new age journalists and market watchers – with followers galore. Popular bloggers, Twitter greats and LinkedIn influencers are now very important targets in public relations campaigns. Incorporating social influencer outreach and engagement is now a part of any comprehensive PR strategy.

Content is now more powerful than ever, as it carries awareness and supports brand identity, plus the opportunity to strategically generate leads, links and conversions. PR plans today include content audits and content assessments, enabling PR professionals to determine areas of weakness and winning measures occurring in active campaigns.

“There is an increasing need to spread the awareness about social media policy, as the lines between personal and profession spaces are blurring. Further there are no gate keepers in social media and it offers a shared space for everyone with no reservation. The new age medium provides the younger generation (Gen –Net) the right and power to post anything and everything online. The challenge in PR is not image creation, but is the reputation management through continuous engagement in all possible opportunities on the converged media. Glocal is the mantra to be remembered despite a huge transition from Word of mouth to world of Mouse”, were some of the many significant pointers of the sessions. Content-context-connect and Media-Message- Method were a few cliché words that gripped the audience to the theme.

The event concluded with Mr. Thomas T Abraham, former Chairman and currently Advisor to PRSI, Chennai Chapter, presenting a memento to the invited guest speaker and Mr. Daniel Chellappa, Chairman PRSI Chennai chapter, proposing the vote of thanks.

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February, 2017

​Arts for healing, the NalandaWay way.

A successful corporate leader turned into social activist, Mr Sriram Ayer has received numerous awards, including one as one of the top 50 social entrepreneurs in India, ​The passion and the vision came through as Mr Sriram Ayer, the founder of the award winning NGO, NALANDAWAY Foundation, address​ed  the members of PRSI, Chennai chapter, on 22nd ​ February.

Being an accidental witness to mindless, vicious mass violence during travel for work was the turning point in his life. That prompted him to throw away a flourishing career, to do something meaningful in life. An ardent lover of the arts, he found in it the answer.

Mr V Kalidos, Vice Chairman felicitating Mr Sriram Ayer,

Giving his own example, he highlighted how​ fear deterred the  growth of the children. Generally the society builds a system to create "fear." Parents also encourage the fear psyc​hosis as a legitimate motivation to development. In these circumstances, he stressed "mentoring" would help ​children ​to overcome these situations.

He pointed that the cause for the failure of many projects was due to the fact that one does not agree or see the other point of view. People do not talk to each other to ease traffic jam on  a  busy road where every citizen driving his two wheeler or a four wheeler has equal rights.  

Sriram said that no child was dumb. He illustrated with his own example.

​ How he feared maths, studied but discontinued C A but has become a writer, social entreprenure and member of ​many​ advisory board​s​.  He said  that most students felt that school syllabus was not relevant to their successful future.

Quoting studies, he emphasised how children who participate in atrs do better in academics and more. Education can be made interesting by using art, craft, storey-telling,books etc.

Based on Nalanda Way experience with underprivileged children in four states, Sriram concluded how use of visual and performing arts can heal, besides improv​ing​ the ease and efficiency of learning amongst children.

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February, 2017

Mr Thomas Abraham, Advisor and Past Chairman PRSI Chennai Chapter during his welcome address held on 22nd Feb 2017 at Vivekananda Hall, P S Higher Secondary school,Mylapore, Chennai 600 004.

February, 2017

Enter poster contest on prostrate cancer and win prizes. Last date: 20th February, 2017

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Events of 2016

Role of bureaucracy in Nation building - Dr M Rajaram, I.A.S., (retd.,)

Bureaucrats should always wear a friendly smile, should be accessible listen to the public with compassion  when they approach them with their grievances because every government official is a public servant and as part of the Executive, tasked with executing the policies of Legislature. These were the observations made by Dr M Rajaram I.A.S. retd., and Member, Tamil Nadu Public service Commission, in his address on the topic 'Role of Bureaucracy in Nation building

During the British era, Civil Servants were referred to as Collectors, when their main task was collection of taxes from different provinces and princely states, and forwarding the collection to the treasury of the British Empire. Later the role changed to more of a controller or regulator. Before Independence in 1947, India had the I C S wherein few Indian native officers were serving. These Indian native ICS officers showed humanness and compassion while dealing with Indian citizens, which was a very delicate balancing act.

That requirement still continues. Bureaucrats and lower rung officials should exhibit a pleasing personality and a helpful disposition to mitigate people’s genuine grievances. He recalled the valuable services of bureaucracy during the Tsunami in 2004 in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, especially in Nagapattinam, and more recently during the Chennai deluge in 2015. In a light vein, he illustrated excessive slavery to rules, with an example thus: "A life pensioner went to a Government office and presented himself for a life certificate for the ongoing year, whereas the Government official told the pensioner that he would not be in a position to release his monthly pension, since the pensioner had not given the life certificate for the previous year".

Mr Rajaram also referred to the wide gap that exists between the Government and the public. The role of bureaucracy is to bridge that gap even as their role is ever changing and getting more complex and challenging.The bureaucrat should shun publicity.

The Chief Guest also launched PRSI’s revamped website Mr Thomas T Abraham, Advisor, gave a walkthrough of the site. 

Earlier, Mr KT Solaiyappan Secretary welcomed the audience and Mr Daniel Chellappa, Chairman, welcomed the Chief Guest. Mr Venkat Ramani introduced Chief Guest. Mr S Sudhakar, Jt., Secretary of the Chapter proposed the vote of thanks.


Demonatisation: short-, medium- and long- term impact

featuring three respected experts.

Date: 14th December, 2016

Time : 6.00 pm. Venue: Vivekananda Hall, P S Higher Secondary School, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004.
Entry fee for non members of PRSI: Rs 150

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"Story telling - a PR Tool"

On 30th September, members were treated to a fascinating subject: story telling A doctorate in Folklore, Dr Eric Miller highlighted story telling through folk songs, plays, skits etc as an endearing way to communicate. He went on to explain the techniques and how they can be successfully used as PR tools. Mrs Eric gave a demonstration of 'Psycho Drama': how one can communicate with one's feelings to self, superiors and others.

2016 – 18

TCC President tees of 2016 – 18 activities

Inaugurating the two year activities of the PRSI Chennai Chapter for the year 2016-18, Mr Choza Naachiaar Rajasekar, President, Tamil Chamber of Commerce highlighted the various roles a PR professional has to perform, while discharing his duty. The PR person has the responsibility to render sound advice even if unpleasant, he has to be a skillful advocate while representing his company. He is not merely "a spin doctor.

Mr Naachiar traced the origin of PR to early 19th century and how it has evolved into a skilled and crucial profession since then, including in India. In recent times, even political parties in India, not to mention the corporates, have realised the important role of PR in winning the confidence of the public. Many universities have included Public Relations and communication streams in their curriculam.

He illustrated that PR can play an enhanced role and he cited the example of tourism promotion. PR should play a major role in show-casing India, the land of diversity, on the world map, to promote tourism.

The inaugural function held on 18th August, 2016 at Hotel Savera commenced with an invocation song by Ms Madhumita, a 2nd year Post-Graduate student of PR, Stella Marris College and followed by lighting the Lamp (kuthuvilakku) by the Chief Guest.

Mr J Daniel Chellappa, Chairman of the Chapter offered an outline of activities proposed for the months ahead. He introduced the office bearers and advisors to the Chief Guest and to the gathering. Mr KT Solaiyappan, the Secretary introduced Mr Choza Naachiar.

The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr G Krishnan, former Chairman and currently NC member. Ms Ramya K Prasad, EC member, compered the event.

Events of 2014

June 2014

Digital is the way forward for PR and Branding - suggests Kiruba Shankar

Addressing the members and students at the Gyan Haksar - M. Gopalakrishnan Memorial Lecture organized every year by the Department of Public Relations, Stella Maris College and the Public Relations Society of India, Chennai Chapter, on 5th March 2014, Kiruba Shankar, CEO of Business Blogging, a Consultancy Firm helping various businesses to grow by effectively leveraging the huge business potential that can be tapped through Social Media networking, said: “If you don't know how to promote yourself online, then you have no business promoting other brands!” - and that “the secret lies in developing good digital PR”! Also an author, columnist and speaker of repute, Kiruba Shankar must have left many among the audience wondering, at the end of his speech, whether they have really mastered the art of digital communication adequately enough to make a mark in their profession!

June 2014

V.S. Ramana presents L&T’s Panchangam Calendar u S. Viswanathan speaks on Politics, Elections and Communications

PRSI Chennai Chapter had a two-in-one programme to celebrate the National PR Day with two key speakers. V.S. Ramana, Past Chairman, PRSI Chennai and S. Viswanathan, eminent Journalist and Publisher of Industrial Economist. Daniel T. Dass, Past Chairman, Chennai Chapter set the mood for the evening presenting the PR Code of Ethics.

June 2014

Unwinding the history of Politics, Elections and Communications through 62 years!

S. Viswanathan, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion of National PR Meet, said he had ‘special feelings and nostalgia, being there with the PR professionals, as he had been one of the earliest members of PRSI, and had worked closely with Baratan and others. He recalled how they had travelled together to Trichy to ‘carry the message of PRSI’ about 40 to 50 years ago. He was also associated with other professional bodies like the Advertising Club, Printers Association and the Press Club but PRSI was ‘particularly special’ because he was about to plunge into publishing business and he realized that the one major tool that was essential for him was PR.

June 2014

Communication through Art can help bring in changes, says Rahool Saksena

Introducing Rahool Saksena, who addressed the PRSI Chennai Chapter members at its regular meeting held on 15th May 2014, Dr. K. Sundari, Vice Chairperson raised our anticipation on what he is going to talk about with such an unusual topic. She said Rahool Saksena “transforms every day mediums and material into unexpected art forms” and that this quest for transformation creates a rock solid foundation for multiple possibilities and that he could be seen as one who “takes principle of change to the next level and sparks the change”. She said it is his calling to engage and inspire. As the speaker began his presentation, it was quite evident that here was someone who was giving art a whole new dimension.