The Knowledge Exchange session as part of the WOW Convention Asia 2015, was dynamically moderated and led by Roshan Abbas, MD, Encompass and comprised of panelists, Terence Lewis, Papa CJ, Vijay Subramaniam, Partner, CAA KWAN (also managing Terence Lewis) and Avneet Kohli, Founder, iOpener, who expressed their views on the topic 'Live Entertainers: PR, Digital & Image Management in the new world!'.
Vinod Janardhan, was the host to the Knowledge exchange sessions in Studio II at the WOW Convention Asia 2015, welcoming delegates and introducing each panel.
The session threw light on striking the right balance for PR and Image Management and managing your presence in a continually evolving digital scenario. Another thing that came to the fore was becoming ‘Professional’ in the pursuit of making the industry more professional.
The panelists discussed that even though artists' success and popularity may well depend on ‘good word of mouth’ and ‘positive PR’, it is essential to understand how to use the existing tools to your advantage. Where mediums and communication work on one end of the spectrum, personal professionalism and performance at events make for the other most essential tool in Image Management.
The discussion also highlighted how 'You’re only as good as your last performance', hence one must make sure it’s good and ensure the stories that follow are excellent.
Commenting on how television has catapulted his image even further, popular choreographer Terence Lewis, said, "People wanted to see something bigger in terms of quality entertainment. Television has changed my entire graph and brought me to the masses."
Adding further on the challenges that artists face, Lewis, added, "It is one thing to be popular on TV, but the challenge is how to sustain that popularity. For that, you need to constantly reinvent yourself."
Stressing on the industry need for more marketing management professionals, Vijay Subramaniam, said, "Every celebrity and brand have a story to tell. We are still an evolving entertainment industry. We need more of marketing management resources."
Another thing that came to the fore was the extensive usage of paid PR, to which, Roshan Abbas, said, "Nowadays, every Delhi or Bombay Times you pick up is a paid advertorial."
Speaking about his strategy, popular comedian Papa CJ, added, "I haven't made a conscious effort for my PR. I just don't discount my price and do my work sincerely."
Stressing on the importance of choosing selective projects that represent your brand image, Avneet Kohli, said, "It's important to be consistent and be choosey especially if you're fending for yourself. Be a brand for something, not everything."
To which, Subramaniam, added, "At all points of time, my advice to artists is to start with someone who preserves your story."
Abbas, also asked the panelists how social media has changed their lives, to which, Lewis responded, "We've got a lot of work coming to us through the Facebook pages."
Calling on relevant social media usage as the need of the hour, Lewis, said, "It is important to be relevant on social media and make sure what is coming out is related to the image you want to portray."
Concluding the session, Abbas, said, "As an artist, you need to find your sweet spot. Whatever the medium, unless you have your own unique voice, it won't help you and you'll just be a Page 3 bystander."