When I joined a communications course in college, I was interested in knowing how people interacted and how their psyches worked. But a year into lifestyle PR, I am already finding it difficult to keep up. The worst are the socialite-studded parties, because you have to look the part. There’s a lot of pressure. You must wear heels, or they will look at you as though you’ve landed from Pluto.
To the outside world, it seems like a glamorous profession, and we the it girls. I try to smile, but to deal with 400 journalists during fashion week is just too much. They all think they can get me to arrange everything for them. One man walked up to me and said, “I am a media president. Get me inside for the finale and the party.” I said, “Which media?” He said you have India TV inside, so I am the media.
There are good journalists and there are those with attitude who think we are stupid. Yes, I know of colleagues who don’t even Google to find out what a journalist covers before sending him a pitch. But I do wish they had more respect for us.
Fashion and lifestyle PR has a long way to go in India. I also feel a lot of journalists covering these are young and too attracted to the glamour quotient. If there is a Bollywood celebrity at a fashion show, newspapers will splash big photos, but if there isn’t, we have to fight for space. A model does all the hard work, but when a Bollywood celeb comes along, s/he gets all the attention. Even designers get sidelined. I wish journalists would go beyond the glitz.
I haven’t slept well in days working for the fashion show in Delhi. There are just too many events, and you have to coordinate so much. We can’t be masters of all trades, so we end up having a bit of knowledge about all our clients. When I don’t know about something, I don’t argue. But sometimes, reporters will put you down. And clients have their own expectations. It is a tough world.
As told to Chinki Sinha
(She has been a public relations professional for the past six years)