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Gujarat to hire top PR firm to ensure publication of pro-Modi articles in national papers, coverage in TV

By Rajiv Shah
The Narendra Modi government is learnt to have worked out a complete plan to reach out to the national media by hiring a top public relations (PR) management firm with headquarters in Delhi. Sources in the Commissionerate of Information, Government of Gujarat, say, the state government "intends to appoint a PR firm to create awareness about brand ‘Gujarat’ across India and the globe." The sources added, the aim is to "position Gujarat as one of India’s leading states across sectors by increasing visibility and enhancing ‘top of mind’ recall so as to make it an ideal destination amongst various stakeholders."
The PR firm, for which tenders have being floated, will be required to "effectively disseminate information about Gujarat government’s various activities to national and international media", the sources said, adding, in order to help shape favorable media opinion for Gujarat government, both nationally as well as internationally, the firm will be required to prepare "an effective PR strategy plan", even as making "all arrangements necessary for the media coverage of any event when dignitaries from Gujarat", especially the Chief Minister, during his "visits to Delhi or any other part of the country or as and when asked to do".
The firm will be required to "arrange for national and international media to visit Gujarat and attend various events organized by the different departments of the Government of Gujarat; acquaint the media with the positive growth and developments happening in the state at regular intervals, or as and when asked to do so". Further, it will be the firm’s "responsibility to arrange for the visits of journalists to Gujarat, any other part of the country or abroad", and the "expenses for the same will be reimbursed by the Commissionerate of Information on the submission of actual bills", the sources said.
Further, the firm will "prepare press releases, news articles, messages, write – ups, articles, features in Hindi/ English and regional languages for publication in print media and telecast / broadcast media in TV, radio and internet." Its targets, the sources said, would include:
* Publication of at least 6 major stories from the State in a quarter based on the input provided by the State Government in national newspapers viz. the Hindustan Times, the Times of India, Indian Express, Hindu, Economic Times etc.
* Publication of six major stories in regional newspapers in a quarter again based on the input provided by the State Government
* Publication of 6 major stories in a quarter in the major vernacular mewspapers with widespread coverage viz. Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Oriya, Urdu, etc.
* Publication of at least one major story in national magazines viz. India Today, Frontline, Outlook, The Week, etc. based on the input provided by the state government
* Coverage/ telecast of at least one major story every month in a major TV News Channel viz. NDTV, Times Now, CNN-IBN, AajTak, Zee News, Star News, TV Today, etc.
Besides, the sources said, the firm will required to provide "crisis perception management" by informing the government about "impending stories about Gujarat State / leadership". It will "monitor the presence of, and discussions about, brand Gujarat in social and political circles", which can be achieved through, "among other activities, continuously monitoring and tracking all national and regional newspapers, magazines, TV channels, the inter-web, blogs and other channels of external communication at regular intervals."
Further, the firm will be required to have "a close liaison with correspondents, reporters, editors, photographers, think–tanks, critics, trend - setters and other such opinion leaders", even as "pomoting and and maintaining an effective feedback system of the public about these activities." And, for all this, it will be required to have a "fully equipped with trained and skilled PR professionals" with"latest instruments such as computers, scanners, high speed photo copy machines etc. at its offices in metro cities, especially in Delhi." There will be a liaison officer in Delhi who "must also be experienced in carrying out projects on a national/ international level", with "impeccable communication skills in English and Hindi are an imperative."
Apart from hiring professional journalists to write, the firm will be required to have an able economic analyst with the job to write "original material, edit, proofread and finalize written material", even as "gather numerical data and produce statistical reports" and "analyze economic data to prepare reports detailing results of performed research." The analyst will prepare "stories on different subjects like business, industry, education, agriculture and socio-economic conditions in state of Gujarat and prepare comparative study reports and press material."

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