1H Media Consultants is a Mumbai-based media consulting and public relations firm specializing in media-led publicity and communication services for Content Creators, Celebrities, Film Studios and all entities connected to the entertainment industry. 1H Media Consultants caters to conceiving and executing the publicity strategy for Film Festivals, Events and Corporate Organizations.
1H Media Consultants also manages many celebrities and personalities from the entertainment industry for their publicity blitz.
Recently, Hema Upadhyay, the founder of 1H Media Consultants, joined The CEO Magazine for an exclusive interview. She discusses her unique and incredible entrepreneurial legacy, challenges, and experience as a woman in the business industry. Here are some edited excerpts!
I love watching films and found them magical at a very young age. After completing my Bachelors in Computers, I was getting disinterested in computer languages and wanted to shift to another industry. I decided to move to Mumbai and enrolled in a diploma in advertising and PR. During the course, I started developing a keen interest in PR and hence majored in the subject.
I started my professional career with an ad agency in Mumbai, where I interned while I was pursuing a diploma course from KC College. After finishing my internship, I started working with a PR firm which was focused mainly on the entertainment business. I had the good fortune of working on many iconic film projects and some of the best artistic talents, making my stint there a great learning ground. I stuck on to my PR job for five years, learning the ropes of the business, before taking the entrepreneurial plunge and starting my own agency at the age of 27.
Nothing is easy, but you don’t think of it as easy or difficult when you are doing what you love the most. It all started with an event opportunity that came my way. I managed the event and then a film project’s PR without a team! Slowly more work started coming towards me, and I hired a small team to work with me. That’s how 1H was formed.
Not at all. I personally haven’t come across anyone who has gender discrimination tendencies or has looked down upon me in any way. In fact, there seem to be more women than men in the PR field today, maybe because women can manage and nurture relationships better, besides having the natural ability to multitask. That being said, I have interacted and worked with many prolific men who have constantly supported me, helping me reach where I am today.
PR has always been extremely important. The mediums of communication have changed. With evolving technologies, the focus is more on saturating digital mediums today. Still, as a PR agency, we always believe that consumers and audiences are everywhere and could be watching, reading or listening from all forms of communication mediums. We feel that the relevance of having a PR strategy in order to disseminate the desired message or information is extremely critical today. Hence we adopt a 360-degree communication approach while going about servicing our esteemed clients.
While targeting communication platforms based out of metro cities becomes a natural priority, we also work towards building reach in smaller cities and focus strongly on HSM (Hindi Speaking Markets). The endeavor is to ensure that regional language media is also adequately serviced in order to get a heartland following for film projects. There are occasions when a film has a narrow, select cities/countries release in theaters; only then strategically do we target consumers and audiences in those specific markets, which is usually also the brief from some Production Houses/Film Studios.
We believe in transparency and promise what we can deliver. Our motto is to under-promise and over-deliver! In today’s day and age, where it is easy to get almost anything published through paid media, we always advise our clients to evaluate the value-add through these options carefully. We strive to guide our clients for judicious publicity spending so that they can derive optimum mileage and visibility for every dollar spent.
Regional language films have crossed their state borders for a long time. With the help of technology, dubbed and subtitled versions of all films are available pan India at cinemas and non-theatrical platforms, thereby expanding the audience’s footprint by patronizing them. Since language is no longer a barrier, ancillary businesses like PR also experience growth in terms of market size and customisation of information disbursement. We have already worked on Bengali, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada language films, besides Hindi and Hollywood films.
Yes, we have worked on prestigious annually conducted events like FICCI Frames, Film Bazaar and International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa. We have also managed PR and communication for the India Pavilion at the renowned Cannes Film Festival. It has been a gratifying and enriching experience working on these projects. We have had the best support from respective event organizers, festival directors, various GOI authorities and senior dignitaries who have always had faith in our ability to perform and excel in our duties as communication experts.
We worked on IFFI 2019, a landmark 50th year for IFFI! What made IFFI 2019 special for us was the great collaborative climate we were able to have, with teams from Delhi, Mumbai and Goa working in tandem as a single unit to make the event a grand success!
Most recently, we worked on IFFI and Film Bazaar held in November last year. At events of such a huge scale, the programming, events, PR and on-ground management teams all put their best foot forward, and we collectively succeed in accomplishing our respective tasks.
I feel strongly that the success of any project, be it films or events, is a by-product of teamwork. No single person or department can be credited for success.
The future is surely bright. With evolving trends and technologies, it is imperative for professionals to stay updated at all times and be open to new learnings and changes. It is important to know that no two brands are meant to be the same, and there would be uniqueness in brand persona, positioning and consumer profile which we should be mindful of. Hence the copy-paste and replication approach in the PR function is unlikely to give desired results. The need of the hour is creative customisation as per consumer preferences.
Don’t be afraid and don’t chase money…Chase excellence money will come as we heard Aamir Khan’s character saying in 3 Idiots.