Pitched as a tribute to her PR journey of two decades and more, Srimoyi Bhattacharya’s “ Pitch Perfect”, is squarely positioned in the space of how to build the brand identity of luxury brands. In the book, she takes us through her personal journey of building her consulting firm which specialises in luxury brands.
The book is very clearly demarcated and the contents flow along with the career trajectory of the author even as it deals with the subject of creating a brand that people cannot stop talking about. As the author writes, “The aim of “Pitch Perfect is to offer answers and advice, share stories and be a friend as you build – or – reinvent your brand”.
And on that front, the book does not disappoint, for there are nuggets galore as well as conversations with founders of luxury brands like Hidesign and Good Earth, as well as PR gurus like Dilip Cherian ( co- founder Perfect Relations) and Archana Jain ( founder PR Pundit) to celebrity influencers like Malini Agarwal of Miss Malini fame. Also, there are timely tips on pivots that you need to make in a post pandemic world.
For anyone who is keen and aspires to build a career in the space of luxury brand communications, this book should serve as a good reference point, as it covers stuff from the absolute basics like “PR has a clear mandate – it is the business of storytelling, persuading people to believe in your idea or product or service and then coordinating the flow of information through trusted, reliable mediums, whether it’s a daily newspaper or an influencer” to what constitutes a publicist. As Anita Dongre, Designer and Founder, AND, puts it, a publicist is someone who “comes in as a bridge between the media, the world and you. If they are good at what they do, they offer strategy and become a key sounding board. A publicist can help you see what you cannot see on your own”.
It is to the author’s credit that she has been able to get editors like Manju Sara Rajan, Editor, Beautiful Homes, to share their perspectives on what they consider and define as a “good pitch”. For Manju Sara it is about doing the homework, “understand the masthead, the nuance of coverage and who you’re pitching to”.
Pitch Perfect, is not written to preach but is more skewed towards a story-telling style, it is a good collection of stories of many lifestyle brands, designers, and social media influencers and of how Bhattacharya managed a launch or handled a crisis for her clients. This is what makes the content sound quite like a PR review.
This is a handy book for those who are thinking of getting into the space of building brands, luxury or otherwise. So, if you are at the starting out phase and looking to plunge in the space of celebrity PR, Lifestyle and Luxury PR or are contemplating to become an influencer, Pitch Perfect, may serve as a good guide.
However those who are already working in the space of communications and PR, may not find this book telling them things about communication, strategy or media relations that they don’t already know.
While the chapters and the content are a bit all over the place, the guidance and inputs from the founders of luxury labels is valuable and could serve as a good tool kit. Beyond PR.
The Pitch Perfect playbook which is the last section of this book, includes conversations with founders of high end luxury brands, such as Tarun Tahiliani, Publicists who work with designer and lifestyle brands as well as Editors who feature these brands.
The book has several practical suggestions for practitioners of the trade. For instance, “If a brand has two co-founders, for example, you could film them in conversation with one another, talking about the brand and what they stand for,” suggests Bhattacharya, among several such nuggets.
While the overall content of the book is good, on the editing front, one would have expected better, there are several jarring sentences and howlers. Given that it is a book on communication, paras like these stand out:
“Take for example the fact that if you want to buy a simple white t-shirt, you can choose to either go to a high-street brand, or support a sustainable organic label, or even buy that t-shirt.”
“Did we ever think that Indians would open bottles of bubbly at their celebrations and then drink it? Who knew that brunches, lunches, cocktail hours and dinners would see flutes in people’s hands? But it is happening.”
Bhattacharya says that she is a “a big fan of new ideas and bold approaches, so I’ll always encourage you not to play safe to fit in or toe the line”. If that is what you are looking for, then Pitch Perfect is a good pitstop, you will pick up a little bit of everything that is needed in this space of brand communication.
(Moushumi Dutt, spent the first two decades in corporate communications working with brands like Intel and Philips. She is now an independent consultant and advises start-ups and VC funds on their communications strategies and stories. )
About the Book
Rs 463 (hardcover); 324 pages