IPAN launches virtual PR agency

By , agencyfaqs! | In | December 15, 2000
PR consultancy IPAN has launched, a vortal that aims to act as the link between the corporate world and the media

agencyfaqs! News Bureau
NEW DELHI, December 14

Premier public relations consulting firm Indian Public Affairs Network (IPAN) has launched, a vortal that aims to act as the link between the corporate world and the media.

The rationale behind is simple, and serves two ends. Companies that need to communicate to the media are constantly in search of channels through which unfiltered versions of their press releases and handouts reach the target. Likewise, the media is constantly on the look out for official, real-time information from the corporate world. "IPAN is attempting to create an interface between the two constituents through," says Meenu Handa, general manager, business2media.

business2media - promoted by The Resource Centre (TRC), an associate of IPAN - offers a wide array of services to both the corporates and the end user - the journalist. The services it offers corporates include free hosting of press releases, free hosting of financial information, distribution of news releases, free access to online support services, free careers listings and free listing of forthcoming corporate events.

Of course, all this comes for a price. The 'free' services are available only for companies that have paid an annual subscription fee. This is not to suggest that non-subscribers of business2media cannot avail of these services. Ad-hoc assignments are also accepted - and are charged accordingly.

For instance, editorial support and language translation are two of the specialized services the site offers. Here, while a one-page editorial release of up to 700 words is priced at Rs 4,000 for subscribers, for non-subscribers the charge levied is Rs 5,000.

"The charges for annual subscription are very flexible and need-based," says Handa. "They could be as low as Rs 1,000 per annum, or could even exceed Rs 40,000, depending upon what the client's requirements are."

Among the other specialized facilities that the site offers corporates are online press conferencing and media monitoring - that is, tracking media reaction across the country once a piece of news is announced. Expectedly, these services are exclusive to subscribers.

One major attraction for corporates looking to organize an event across the country is the Resource Directory - again, accessible only by subscribers. The directory lists contact information pertaining to 19 support system providers - such as photographers, car rentals, freelance designers, audio-visual equipment suppliers etc - in a city-wise breakup. Currently, the site provides such information culled from the six metros.

Naturally, the site plans to generate revenue from the listings too. To get featured in the listings the service providers will be charged a sum between Rs 300 and Rs 500. Advertisements in this section are priced in the range of Rs 700 to Rs 1,500.

All the content accessible to the media is being provided free of cost. For the journalist, promises comprehensive profiles of companies, logos, annual reports and other information. These are available on the site as e-kits. Another interesting section of the site is 'Story Ideas' where corporates can put up new and interesting story angles that journalists can pursue for features.

Handa does not reveal the size of the initial investments that have gone into "If you look at it we have been investing in this business for the past 12 years… getting all the data in place etc," she smiles. "And investments are a continual process. We'll do all it takes to keep the site active."

For now, business2media has already roped two big corporates into its fold - NIIT and Usha International. "And we are in the closing stages of deals with many, many more companies," Handa insists.

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