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How to create a buzz with the younger generation – Dr.MGR’s Birth Centenary Celebration

The reputed Dr. MGR-Janaki College of Arts & Science for Women wanted to commemorate the MGR Birth Centenary Celebration in a very special way. They wanted to make the event a rich tribute to the legendary star and Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr.MG Ramachandran and also reach the youth.

At Catalyst PR, we were tasked with reaching millennials with the rich values and virtues of Dr.MGR. He was someone they had only seen in textbooks or in movies unlike the previous generation who were used to watching his news clips or attended his meetings and talks on a regular basis. We decided that we wanted to create an interactive event with plenty of activity that would revolve around the life of the exemplary leader. We wanted to make this something that would not only stand apart but also recreate the magic of MGR. It was indeed a big challenge!

How we did it!

We brainstormed and came up with a mega event that would bring out the life, times and values embodied by Dr.MGR in an interesting way. We handled the entire planning execution and PR for the event. We created a series of contests themed around the life of Dr.MGR. School and college students in 4 districts of Tamil Nadu – Chennai, Tiruvallur, Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram were invited to be part of this. The event featured Oratorical, Essay, Poetry, Dumb Charades, Painting and Rangoli contests.

The contests were categorised by 3 levels, Junior (Classes: 6-8), Senior (Classes: 9-12), and College (UG and PG students) levels. The Dumb Charades, Rangoli and Poetry events were kept open only to Senior and College levels.

Innovation

We were clear from the outset that we did not want to conduct just another usual competition about a leader’s social life. Instead, we opted for lyrics from his film songs that speak on the moral and ethical way of living. This spiced things up and made it more interesting for participants. It broke the monotony of academics for them as well.

The event attracted participation from over 1500 students. Besides this, there was a great deal of reach amongst students who were part of the audience and also shared photos and videos. The event encouraged the competitive spirit amongst students and sustained their interest. They had an opportunity to speak about the leader and received their learning on values and virtues as a take away.

What made this attractive for the media was not only the large number of footfalls but also the photo opportunities that this threw up in plenty. The strategy that we had adopted paid rich dividends.

This had been covered by the media and this included leading newspapers such as The Times of India. Our client was immensely happy with the response from students and the massive reach through the media. Our media partner was Makkal TV who telecasted the programme on 17th Jan – MGR’s Birthday. It is now celebrated every year by them and PR is being done by us.