HOW IMPORTANT IS THE PRESS RELEASE?

How do you communicate content?  Through a press release!   Some say this is a dying art.  But we, at Imagebuilderz say this is an essential component of PR.

Remember people only see what they want to see and perceptions can change by what they see.  That is when the value of the traditional press release comes into play, even for Social Media.  When you want to spread the word about your event, what do you do?  You write a press release and send it out to the media and post it on your social media platforms.

For instance, you are announcing that an event is taking place like the India Day Festival & Grand Parade – Panorama India at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto on August 19, 2018.  There will be a grand parade with floats, cultural performances, food vendors, etc.  The press release should answer all the questions for the event –  what’s going on, when is it going to take place, who are the organizers, why is it happening, etc. etc.

But simply put, it’s the 5 Ws and the H – How!

What?

What is going to happen at the event? What time will the parade begin?  What is the parade route?  How many people will take part?  Will there be a VIP reception, performances, interviews, etc?  Are there going to be food vendors?  Is it going to be a free or ticketed event?

When?  When is the event taking place? What time? What is the schedule of events for that day?

Where? Where is the event taking place? The address?

Why?  Why is the event important?  What does it signify?  What is the reason the event is taking place?  In this case, its India’s Independence day celebrations.

Who?  Who are the organizers? Who are the partners?  In this case, it’s Panorama India with support from the Indian Consulate.  Who can people contact to get more information?  A website address (http://www.panoramaindia.org) , email address (info@panoramaindia.org) and phone number is mandatory.

How?  How can people participate?  If there is a parade, how can people register?

The 5 Ws and H are significant as they carry all the content and information.  And if the press release conveys this content, organizers would have primed well to effectively communicate to the target audience.

 

 

 

 

 

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PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ LIVE IN TORONTO ON JULY 8

Check out the Pandit Birju Maharaj Show Live at the Maja Prentice Theatre in Mississauga on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 12 pm

See the show excerpts through the Imagebuilderz Wakelet story:

https://wakelet.com/wake/03436d1a-1ce7-4cd7-8ef0-6a5c0addde9c

THREE MUST ATTEND EVENTS IN TORONTO IN JULY/AUGUST 2018

PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ PERFORMS LIVE IN TORONTO – SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2018

Dance Diaires and Sanskriti Arts present a concert of the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj that will take place at the Maja Prentice Theatre in Mississauga on July 8 at 12 pm.

Tickets are on sale at: https://23086.recitalticketing.com/r/

Kathak Workshop Series with Pandit Birju Maharaj will take place at the Sanskriti Arts Studio from July 9-11, 2018 from 6 PM-9 PM.   For the workshop, visit Http://app.mainstreetsites.com/dmn2092/classes.htm?sem=25268#sem

For more information, call Puja at 647-444-7151 or email puja@sanskritiarts.ca

THE TASTE OF INDIA FOOD FESTIVAL – SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 2018

The Taste of India Food Festival is being held at Nathan Philips Square on Sunday, August 5 from 12 Noon to 5 PM.   The event will be a convergence of joyful celebration and bustling bazaar, a place where vendors, producers, manufacturers, food vendors can showcase their product in a happy, relaxed and enjoyable environment.

It is anticipated that there will be 100 vendors, food stalls and cultural performances with an expected audience of 75,000 people of all origins.
For more information, contact Vrajesh Shah at 416-735-9954 or email info@schoolofflavours.ca.

INDIA DAY FESTIVAL AND GRAND PARADE – SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2018 

Panorama India, with the support of Consulate General of India, celebrates India Day Grand Parade and Festival on Sunday, August 19, 2018 at Nathan Phillips Square. The fun filled day will celebrate India’s 71st Anniversary in the form of artistic and cultural performances, vendors, a Grand parade with floats, festivities and fun celebrated by thousands of people.

The 2017 event was attended by more than 50,000 people in the presence of Bollywood film star Shilpa Shetty.

For more information and volunteer opportunities, contact info@panoramaindia.org

(Featured Image courtesy Consulate General of India, Toronto)

HOW TO BUILD YOUR PRESENCE ON INSTAGRAM

When one thinks of social media, the first thing that comes to mind is Facebook.   Today, most people have a comfort level with Facebook where they share stories, connect with friends, add to their social circle and even source long lost friendships.  Certainly, Facebook has come a long way.  As per reports, Facebook users in 2004 totaled 1 million whereas there are 2.13 billion monthly active users in 2018.

Twitter is another social media tool used for effective communication and tweeting has been established as a great basis for conveying the message and building your brand.

So what do you do when you have an event and want to promote it?  You tweet your press release to get attention, rather than email your press release to targeted journalists, who may have received hundreds of emails during a single work day.

Facebook and Twitter have been around for some time and while these may have been saturated or plateaued, there are other social media marketing tools that are yet to achieve their potential in the social media space.  And one of these is Instagram.   The millennials are all too familiar with this method, but there is a defined populace that has yet to find its voice through this medium.

So what is the best way to define your brand presence or promote your event or services through Instagram?  For instance, Dance Diaries is having a series of Dance Workshops and presenting a concert with the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj, the 80 year old Kathak proponent, in Mississauga on July 8, 2018.  So how do you promote that?

There are six key ways:

  1. Be focused. Post the event flyer on Instagram. The flyer will provide all the information about the event, the venue, the date of the event, the tickets, etc.  Post a picture that will align you to others and tell them what you are doing.  Post a video of the upcoming dance performance, providing a trailer of what to expect.  The video will tell the story.  Remember a video should be concise and under two minutes in order to capture and retain the attention span of most people.
  2. Promote Paucity. Announce that you have very few spots left for the Dance Workshops and the Concert that you are organizing. Shortage or scarcity often leads people to believe that they will be left out.  One has often seen long lineups at grocery stores a day before the stores close on that one day over the long weekend.
  3. Use an Influencer. Post a picture or video of an influencer at your event, someone who has made a name for themselves. In this case, post a short dance video of Pandit Birju Maharaj’s previous performances. This will be a perfect picture or video to draw in dancers and dance schools who have often dreamed that they would learn from the legend himself.
  4. Be consistent and committed. Once you announce the event, be sure to stay consistent. Do not change dates or venue or any other aspect of the event unless absolutely essential.  Be committed to your promotion.   Continue to post information about the event so that the audience keeps it top of mind as a must attend event.  Use diverse methods to promote the event.  You can even announce a competition for free tickets for the lucky winner who posts the best dance video of the legend.
  5. Have a network. Gather a network and make sure your social and business network shares the announcement of the event through their Instagram account. Approach various groups to influence their networks to spread the word.  People are easily influenced by peers and want to go for a particular event in a group together and don’t want to be left out. This will vastly help in expanding the reach of your promotion.  Remember if ten people share your flyer on Instagram and each person has even 50 followers, your reach will be 500 people.
  6. Celebrate your Success. Once the event is over, post pictures and videos of your event on Instagram that relate to the success of your project. Share pictures and short videos with others and urge them to share on their social network space.   Ask participants and audience to share their pictures and videos with you so you can post these on Instagram.

A concert of the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj will take place at the Maja Prentice Theatre in Mississauga on July 8 at 12 pm.  Tickets are on sale at: https://23086.recitalticketing.com/r/

Kathak Workshop Series with Pandit Birju Maharaj will take place in Toronto on July 9-11, 2018 from 6 PM-9 PM.  We also have a workshop series post that at the studio for 3 days
Http://app.mainstreetsites.com/dmn2092/classes.htm?sem=25268#sem

For more information, call Puja at 647-444-7151 or email puja@sanskritiarts.ca

 

How good is bad PR?

Public Relations is all about getting attention and getting a buzz for your brand, product, your organization and/or yourself and retain that attention so that people are naturally attracted to what you are promoting.   It’s all about the communication and the awareness generated through good PR.

But how good is bad PR?  When that promotion you seek comes through for all the wrong reasons and you start getting bad press.    One might argue that any PR is good, but is bad PR really good for your organization or you?

Let’s take the case of US President Donald Trump who is constantly in the news through his tweeting and pressure policies on other leaders, countries, policies and some of his own people.  While he does get attention, he definitely attracts censure from across the world for his forceful tactics.

United Airlines is another example.  Shares in United Airlines dropped 4 per cent with a loss of $1billion in company stock after a passenger was manhandled on Flight 3411 in April 2017.  Employee handling of the passenger, who refused to disembark because the flight was overbooked, raised censure and ire across the globe.  Many cut their United cards, vowing never to fly the Airline again.  The news generated a lot of bad publicity.  So while United did get worldwide attention, their name was embroiled in the news for all the wrong reasons.

One might debate the issue indefinitely, but the simple answer is no.   Bad PR is not good PR!

But good PR is important.   Its all about strategic conversations, communication and presenting mindful information to your target audience so that the relevant message gets across.  Besides raising brand awareness, it also creates communication bridges and connects people to congregate for a common cause.

When a friend’s son, a musician, found out that his tuba was stolen from the car, he was devastated as this was his passion, his livelihood, something that he used to spend several hours practising, playing and performing.   It had cost him thousands of dollars and hours of endless tuning and fine tuning until the instrument was personalised to his requirements.   So he did the best thing he could do under the circumstances.  He turned to the internet networks and posted the information on Facebook that was in turn shared multiple times by friends and family.   He appealed on media (https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/deflated-tuba-player-tells-thief-return-my-instrument-no-hard-feelings-1.3942436) and pleaded with the thief to return his tuba with no questions asked.  Continuing to raise awareness, he visited several pawn shops in the hope that someone had sold his tuba so he could buy it back.   But despite all the publicity, he did not get his tuba back.  But what he generated was a lot of networks, with friends helping him set up a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/tubafortrix) that raised some funds for a new tuba.

(Photo courtesy Trix Sharma)

FOLLOW YOUR INTERNAL PATH TO SUCCESS, SAYS MOTIVATIONAL EXPERT AND SLUMDOG BILLIONAIRE IN TORONTO

IMG_0118#Imagebuilderz promoted Slumdog Billionaire Rakesh Mishra on Ethnic Channels Group* (www.ethnicchannelsgroup.com) in Canada. He was interviewed on SPOTLIGHT, a talk show presented (Khalid Sayed, producer) by Zee TV Canada in 2014 where VJ Amitha (www.abhithi.ca) chats with guests who share their inspirational success stories.

The Award Winning Speaker and Motivational Coach spoke about his mission that is to influence the lives of a billion people in his lifetime.   The sought after keynote and breakout speaker who has addressed audiences on more than 200 stages and inspired more than 100,000 people in several countries, related his transition from a poverty stricken background who journeyed to Canada in 1999 and is living his dream.

The journey has not been an easy one for the Slumdog, as he calls himself, who actually became a billionaire. Held back by a weak grasp of English and embarrassment over his childhood poverty, Mishra overcame these roadblocks by adopting the philosophy to stretch beyond his comfort zone.

“I challenged myself to create my own destiny, and had no idea how to make that happen.    When I came to Canada, I spoke broken English.  Not only did I learn to speak the language, I joined organizations like Toastmasters where I got a new perspective of life to live with full abundance and clarity,” says the coaching expert who has been successful in recreating his own destiny.

“One major challenge was the death of my wife during childbirth when I was in my 30s.  My initial plan was to commit suicide that was soon replaced with a fighting spirit that gave me strength to face adversity.”

The inspiration expert not only rose to become president of Toastmasters at Downsview, but today is a well-known name in the Greater Toronto Area as a speaker at Momondays, OPS, Banks and Service Clubs.

With a focus on building the right mindset, Mishra currently offers his life management system program that covers the six pillars of Life including Health, Wealth, Family, Career, Social Life and Spirituality.

“These are the six pillars that affect people in one way or another”, says Mishra, originally a village boy from a poor farming family in North India.  “One or more of these pillars is affecting your journey through life.   Towards this end, I help people understand their hidden self, explore their deepest desires and realize their potential, providing individuals and groups with coaching in self-improvement, public speaking, interpersonal skills, corporate training as well as salesmanship.”

Four-hour workshops and individual/group coaching Workshops are provided on signature topics like Unlocking your Hidden Potential, Meet a Real Slumdog Billionaire, Dare to Live before you Die, The Pursuit of Purpose, etc.

“I have a simple concept to help individuals, groups and corporates utilize their hidden potential, make breakthroughs and work towards positive thinking, tap into their innermost desires while sweeping away fears, complexes and negativity from their lives.  The objective is to inspire audiences replace half their salary working part time and transition to full time entrepreneurship and live life with freedom and abundance,” he says.

“I believe that despite numerous challenges, if I can do it, then anyone else can change their destiny.  The key thing is to explore your internal path and follow that defined path to success,” says Mishra.

For more information visit  http://www.rakeshmishraonfire.com/

*Ethnic Channels Group is the largest provider of non-English language digital TV channels to Canada’s multicultural population. The company today provides over 80+ channels in 15 + languages. By selecting the best channels from around the world ,and delivering them directly to viewer’s homes via a Licensed Canadian satellite and/or cable providers.  (Source http://www.ethnicchannelsgroup.com)

Pioneering South Asian parents start Peel chapter of PFLAG

When their son asked for a big fat Hindu gay wedding, Vijay and Sushma Agarwal had to face up to their community’s fear and silence.

 Coverage of PFLAG Peel in Toronto Star facilitated by Imagebuilderz
Rishi Agarwal and Daniel Langdon, right, pictured here with Agarwal's parents, Vijay and Sushma. Agarwal’s parents have come a long way since Rishi came out in 2004 and hope sharing their story can help other South Asian parents who may be struggling with supporting their LGBTQ children.

VINCE TALOTTA / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

Rishi Agarwal and Daniel Langdon, right, pictured here with Agarwal’s parents, Vijay and Sushma. Agarwal’s parents have come a long way since Rishi came out in 2004 and hope sharing their story can help other South Asian parents who may be struggling with supporting their LGBTQ children.

 

Vijay Agarwal was turned down by seven Hindu priests in the GTA before he finally found one who agreed to perform his son Rishi’s wedding.

“They initially said yes and as soon as they found out that it was a gay wedding, they turned away,” Vijay remembers.

 

Rishi and his partner, Daniel Langdon, were eventually married at an Oakville golf course in 2011, in the only Hindu same-sex wedding they had ever been to.

 

But it’s because of attitudes like those of the priests that Vijay and his wife Sushma have decided to launch a new Peel chapter of PFLAG (an organization for parents, families, friends & allies of the LGBTQ community). It’s open to everyone but especially targeted at the South Asian community in Brampton and Mississauga, where LGBTQ kids sometimes face closed minds.

 

It’s something Vijay and Sushma Agarwal say they could have used 12 years ago, when Rishi sat them down in the family room of their Oakville home to tell them he was gay.

“We both were stunned,” said Vijay, who first came to Canada to do a master’s degree in 1970 and was joined five years later by Sushma in an arranged marriage.

 

“There is a cultural kind of a stigma,” added the 68-year-old retired engineer.

The couple blames their own “ignorance” for their silent, shocked reaction to their son’s announcement, but they soon sprang into action.

They hooked up with the Toronto PFLAG chapter and went to a support group, reading everything they could get their hands on and sitting through several educational films.

The pair is now fully supportive of their son and hope sharing their story and starting the PFLAG chapter can help other South Asian parents.

“This is strictly our baggage, what we bring from India,” said 61-year-old Sushma, who has also written a book on her experience.

 

“The problem is education and awareness, and that’s the reason we thought of starting this.”

Daniel Langdon, left, and Rishi Agarwal, pictured at Rockwood Conservation Area near Guelph, Ont., share a love for cooking and travelling. They met online in 2007.

PHOTOS BY CHANNA PHOTOGRAPHY

Daniel Langdon, left, and Rishi Agarwal, pictured at Rockwood Conservation Area near Guelph, Ont., share a love for cooking and travelling. They met online in 2007.

Growing up in India, the Agarwals said, had no exposure to LGBTQ people and didn’t think that they knew any in their Canadian community.

 

But once Rishi came out, they realized five of their friends’ sons were also gay.

“Nobody would talk about it. They just keep hush, hush, hush,” Sushma remembers. “Our community is very hidden in these issues.”

 

The new chapter will hold face-to-face support group meetings at a Mississauga yoga studio, and the Agarwals are also offering a direct phone line to their home if people want to talk anonymously.

 

Anne Creighton, president of Toronto PFLAG, said such support is vital.

 

“In any community, no matter how progressive it is, there are always some parents who are alarmed when their kids tell them that they’re LGBTQ,” she said.

 

“The most important place to have allies in your life is in your house.”

 

Like many South Asian parents, the Agarwals started dreaming of Rishi’s wedding, in full Bollywood splendor, when he was a child.

 

With the full support of their families, the young couple, who love cooking and travelling and often drop by the Agarwals’ home for dal and card games, were able to have that.

The grooms performed the standard rituals, including circling a sacred fire four times and exchanging flower garlands, but skipped a few with very specific gender roles they weren’t comfortable with.

 

“In order to run a lot of those ceremonies, you really need everyone, the community’s involvement, otherwise it doesn’t really work,” said Rishi.

 

“Unfortunately, others have not had that support in their lives and they’ve just not been able to have the full” wedding.

 

Rishi, who said Hinduism helped him get through tough moments when he was bullied and still in the closet, said there was a moment at the wedding, after the speeches, when it all hit him.

 

“All of a sudden I just started bawling. I just completely broke down,” he said.

 

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I could have the wedding that I wanted with the person I loved and with all my family and my friends.”

 

How Rishi and Daniel’s wedding unfolded:

Langdon and Agarwal take part in a pre-wedding tradition, where friends and family apply a yellow paste of turmeric and yogurt. “The idea is to cleanse or purify the person prior to the wedding ceremony,” said Agarwal.

PHOTOS BY CHANNA PHOTOGRAPHY

Langdon and Agarwal take part in a pre-wedding tradition, where friends and family apply a yellow paste of turmeric and yogurt. “The idea is to cleanse or purify the person prior to the wedding ceremony,” said Agarwal.

Langdon and Agarwal at a Sangeet before the wedding. “Everyone gets together to just sing and dance, eat and drink,” said Agarwal. “It’s basically just a party.”

PHOTOS BY CHANNA PHOTOGRAPHY

Langdon and Agarwal at a Sangeet before the wedding. “Everyone gets together to just sing and dance, eat and drink,” said Agarwal. “It’s basically just a party.”

Both Agarwal and Langdon wore turbans, traditional for grooms at Hindu weddings.

PHOTOS BY CHANNA PHOTOGRAPHY

Both Agarwal and Langdon wore turbans, traditional for grooms at Hindu weddings.

Agarwal and Langdon are cheered after exchanging flower garlands at their wedding. “The purpose of that is to welcome each other into each other’s lives,” said Agarwal. “The second that garland has been placed, it’s kind of like the point of no return.”

PHOTOS BY CHANNA PHOTOGRAPHY

Agarwal and Langdon are cheered after exchanging flower garlands at their wedding. “The purpose of that is to welcome each other into each other’s lives,” said Agarwal. “The second that garland has been placed, it’s kind of like the point of no return.”