This week’s Adland Rockstar is Swati Katakam, AVP, Grey Public Relations
Why did you get into PR?
I got into this profession by accident. I was much older when I joined PR. Then eventually, I sort of worked my way up and I loved it. I am really passionate about my work, have a great time doing PR and get a kick at all the coverage we get for our clients.
Before this, I have worked with The Times of India’s ‘Newspaper in Education’ and then for an education dotcom. That was the time when the dotcom boom happened and people’s salaries were doubled. Then I travelled for six months and after that, I joined a silver boutique company.
What would be the best job for you outside PR?
I want to be a bartender. In fact, I really want to pursue it. When I was in England, I saw that a lot of women serve alcohol and I always wanted to do that. And then I saw a fabulous movie ‘Coyote Ugly’ and was really fascinated with bartending. Though it is difficult in India, but it is something I would like to do.
Who is the one person in advertising that you would like to have dinner with?
Recently I saw a documentary on David Ogilvy and I was completely floored. He was a man who joined advertising at the age of 40 and was such a huge success. I would definitely like to have dinner with him.
Who is the one person outside of advertising that you would like to have dinner with?
I would like to have dinner with Ratan Tata. He has brought back the Tata empire after he took over. It is amazing what he has done.
I would also like to go out for dinner with Calvin (From Calvin and Hobbes). He is such a sweetheart. He lives in his own world. He is a five year old who has an adult mind.
Which is the one campaign you wish that your agency had done?
I wish Grey had done Amul ads, Cadbury’s old campaign (Kyya swaad hai zindagi mein), old Coke ads (Thanda matlab Coca cola), Vodafone pug campaign and Airtel ads.
What is the one thing that you love about your job?
It is great when you put in all your efforts and then see your work in print or TV. When a journalist has written about your client, it is the best high you can get. If a journalist has found a story from the press release, it is great. It is like free ad space or third party endorsement. Another thrill is when a journalist calls you.
What is the one thing that you hate about your job?
I don’t like constantly following up with journalists. I think that journalism is not as serious as it used to be. There are a lot of typos in good dailies. You have to prep the journalist before an interview. Those are the tough parts. Your clients’ work is in the hands of journalists.