Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a Pakistani documentarian who is the first Pakistani to win an Oscar. Sharmeen brought home the Oscar for her short documentary film, Saving Face. Previously to this, Sharmeen also won an Emmy for her documentary, Pakistan: Children of the Taliban in 2010.
After a very long time, Pakistan is in the limelight world over for something positive, and something Pakistanis all over the world can be proud of. As a PR person, the first thing that started brewing in my head after the emotional win was, how can Sharmeen, the pride and joy of Pakistan help in the positive profiling of Pakistan?
Keeping in mind the fastest mode of communication and awareness available today, i.e.; social media – (which is already burning like wild fire with the news), it is most important to control the pessimists who are raining on her parade with their negative comments. What must be highlighted is the fact that this accomplishment reflects on our growth as a nation accepting our shortcomings and trying to tackle the internal issues faced by the people of Pakistan through innovative means such as Sharmeen’s documentaries.
Pakistan is on the international radar right now and what the international media reports is very important to the country’s image. How we manage our image and change the perception of Pakistan to the rest of the world is of crucial importance right now.
Perception Management through PR:
One of the key functions of PR is to educate and change perceptions. This Oscar win for Pakistan has been dedicated to the women of Pakistan working to bring about a change for Pakistan. This heartfelt dedication by the Academy Award winner leaves a large playing field for PR to work its charm and educate the world about the positive aspects of Pakistan. It is time to drive the change we want to bring to Pakistan and showcase it to the world as well.
Some ways to influence your audience:
Define your goal. Once you know what you want your audience to decode from your messaging, apply the strategies below to manage perceptions.
It is important to clarify your position and communicate a comprehensible, precise message about yourself and your brand i.e. – Pakistan.
Build an understanding of Pakistani society and represent a literate and aware society which is willing to help the masses and bring them up to par with the 21st century.
Repeat your messaging to make it top of mind recall.
Make sure all of your information is consistent and always backed by the truth. Endorsements are a great way to bring credibility.
– Crisis Management:
Crisis communication should always be factored in. A crisis should be managed by relaying the truth, accepting responsibility and having a solution to propose.
In the case of Pakistan’s PR it is important to showcase the positive aspects of Pakistan clear strong messaging – repeatedly! Lastly, another round of applause for Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for bringing pride and joy to Pakistan.