The budget for public relations – rather, the low budget PR opportunities – are often discussed on several forums. What we intend to focus on here is the PR opportunity that comes around the annual national budget announcement. If you are well prepared and act timely, it’s a great PR opportunity!
The two part budget, that includes Railway and General budget announcement in the parliament, is annually scheduled for the last week of February. While the general budget is announced on the last day of February, railway’s is presented three days prior.
Listed below are a few, from among the gamut of opportunities that this event brings in every year:
- The discussions on budget start a couple of weeks prior to the announcement. Media looks out for the issues being faced and raised by different sectors of industry. Their specific demands and expectations from the budget are highlighted. It’s a good time to share quotes and views around this time. This is a great opportunity to be recognised as a thought leader and an active voice in national development. Ideally, the spokesperson should talk on behalf of the sector and represent it in general instead of speaking in personal capacity or as a spokesperson of an individual organisation.
- Railway budget is essentially an opportunity for related industries, like those involved in wagons and other railway supply manufacturing, catering companies, and those that extensively use the freight services of railways. But the opportunity is not limited to such industries only. Others who are not directly involved in business with railways may as well participate in the discussion around the subject. After all, nobody remains unaffected with development in railways; everybody has his piece of opinion and advice to share.
- Railway budget is generally announced three days prior to the general budget which is slated for the last day of February. Most news and business channels host special talk shows on the evening of rail budget presentation. TV channels host these shows from a temporary studio built in the gardens of railway museum in New Delhi. Rail minister is seen hopping from one make-shift studio to other and giving time to every channel the same evening. For these talk shows, people from all walks of life are invited to be on the panel and discuss the subject. Good media relations can easily get you access to such panels and shows.
- Quite like the rail budget evening the day of general budget too brings a PR opportunity. Just that it’s way bigger and more inclusive. The make shift studios of all business and news channels find space in the campus of industrial bodies’ offices. All the rooms of FICCI, Mandi House, New Delhi turn into studios. Similar is the scene at CII and ASSOCHAM buildings. One can easily get an opportunity to represent his industry and voice his views on the day.
With timely pitching and good media relations one can get an opportunity to share space and screen with the biggest names of the corporate world, business experts and political leaders. This once-a-year opportunity must remain an integral part of every communicator’s calendar plan and one can’t afford to miss it, given the mileage provided by this event and activities around it.