#prestival is born at IIM Ahmedabad

The country's brightest students as part of a packed house at IIM Ahmedabad

Communications industry professionals can be divided into two categories – one that attended PRestival and the other that missed it. The only common factor between the two is that they all are missing and waiting to attend the second season of Asia’s biggest PR festival to happen!

Though the curtains from the next PRestival plans are yet to be raised, its younger version – #prestival was born on September 29, 2013 at India’s most prestigious business school – IIM, Ahmedabad.

Upholding the legacy of PRestival, #prestival @ IIM-A brought together the stalwarts of the communication industry like Deepa Thomas – Head Corp.Comm., eBay India, Sanjay Mehta – CEO, Social Wavelength and DevdarshanChakrobortyy, Director, Strategy and Account Planning, Perfect Relations.

Gathered for the #prestival at IIM-Ahmedabad as a part of their annual marketing conclave – INSIGHT were business and communication students from all IIMs across India, and various other reputed institutions. INSIGHT is in its 26th year and drew together a local fair audience of 8000 as well as over 3000 B-school students from across the country in just 2 days.

The #prestival @ IIM-A was aimed to equip future brand managers with the new age tools of marketing to market their products better. The #prestival sessions helped them learn how to build a reputation for their brands and create a brand recall by mastering the art of being present in the convinced space of the new age media.

Sanjay Mehta, Joint CEO of Social Wavelength

Session I – Brand building using social media as a tool

Speaker – Sanjay Mehta, CEO, Social Wavelength

Case study showcased – Reliance: Tweet-A-Tab

Under the influence of slowing growth, the very first budget that gets constricted is supposed to be advertising and branding. That is what pushes a true professional to reinvent the company’s branding strategy.

Sanjay took on the stage and set the tone for the first #prestival by showcasing ‘Tweet-A-Tab’ – an award-winning campaign that he designed for Reliance. He elaborated on how the extensive use of social media worked for his campaign, created much buzz, and brought in much appreciation.

His case study, showcasing the power of social media and how it could be so easily and cost effectively utilized as a tool for brand building, left all amazed, and hence raised too many questions from the audience. But he convinced them all and none returned answerless from the auditorium.


Deepa Thomas, Head - Corporate Communications and eCommerce Evangelist at eBay India

Session II – Creating PR properties

Speaker – Deepa M Thomas, eCommerceEvangelist & Head Corporate Communication, eBay India

Casestudy showcased – eBay census

Deepa’s session raised #prestival to another level. Citing a few exemplary case studies from eBay’s basket, Deepa elaborated on how one can get his brand showcased in news stories and create headlines without any ad budget spending.

Her session too led to a huge response of questions from the jam-packed auditorium. Probably the insight she presented was not so easy to believe and the attendees tried to check and re-check if it actually worked. Her later slides cleared all doubts. eBay was clearly visible making headlines – news headlines – with the PR properties that she’d created for the company. The mystery behind Deepa’s smile was unveiled. Smart moves and smart tools did the trick for her, and the lesson was out in open.


Devdarshan Chakrabortyy, Director - Strategy and Planning at Perfect Relations

Session III –PR workshop

Speaker – Devdarshan Chakrabortyy, Director, Strategy and Account Planning, Perfect Relations

Last but not the least came Devdarshan, and took over the session with a storm. He was all over the place – so full of energy and enthusiasm that none of the students and professionals attending #prestival could take eyes off him for a second.

His all empowering, power-packed workshop on PR campaign planning, crisp ideas and straight forward concepts floored all in the auditorium. Even in the short time span post his mesmerizing presentation on what ‘convinced and not bought space’ is all about, he managed to let attendees experiment with a live campaign planning exercise. The response to his workshop was awesome and no one in the auditorium wanted to see it wrap.

The attendees and guests were all visible tweeting while #prestival was on and sharing the insight gained therein.

The talks were followed by a vibrant Q+A session

Memories of PRestival 2012 were refreshed and the fresh, young, extended version – #prestival was much appreciated by the budding communicators. It’s already making waves and various reputed business and communication institutes are welcoming #prestival in their campus with open arms.

The next #prestival is scheduled to be held at the Xavier Institute of Communication later this month, and will be followed by another one at FMS, Delhi in the month of November. #prestival may just be born, but the writing is clear on the wall – it’s rewriting and reinforcing the future of communication industry.


(Written by Lovejeet Alexander. For enquiries contact Lovejeet Alexander, Curator, #prestival at jeetalex@imagemanagement.in)

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