While everyone went gaga over actresses on the occasion of International Women's Day, which just went by, we raised a toast for the woman in power, who has been the driving force and responsible for boosting the image or changing people's perception towards celebrities in the showbiz or gaining eyeballs for the films. Well, the woman in question is Shilpa Handa, PR Head at Spice, a premium marketing and communications agency. We caught up with the feisty lady in a brief conversation.
How did it all begin?
I joined Spice a couple of months after it was established. On my first day at work itself Spice came on board with YRF for corporate communications and films. Since then there has been no looking back.
How has been the journey till now?
It has been an enriching experience. I have learnt so much. We have tapped new markets and ventured into unknown territories. It has been very exciting. We started off with films and over the years ventured into new markets. We now have sister companies like Spice Bhasha, Spice One and Spice UK.
So there has always been something new on my pallet which I have been trying to learn and better.
A treasured promotional campaign that you conducted you want to share?
Honestly, it is very difficult to choose one.
If you ask me my personal favorites in the recent past it would be BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG. The film became massive even before the first trailer of the film was released. Constant communication for more than two years made it perceptually big in the mind of audience. Also Milkha Singh himself was the chief spokesperson of the film. He certified the film and its content. BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG is the only successful biopic of Bollywood. In a way, with BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG, we were able to crack the communication model for a biopic.
'We just want to better our work and bring value to every project we handle'
Another memorable campaign would be that we did for SHIP OF THESEUS. It was a small film which needed a platform and immense recognition. Right from the announcement to screenings we had carefully mapped communication for every day. We had marathon meetings and discussed every activity at length. The film was going to release in four metro cities but eventually landed up releasing in 17 cities, which out and out talks about the word spreading wide.
Besides this we have worked on various interesting campaigns GHAJINI, ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA (Road trip from Mumbai to Delhi), GANGS OF WASSEYPUR, FUKREY, DHOOM 3 to name a few.
What all hindrances you overcame to arrive at a commanding position?
I think our work speaks for itself. The endeavor has never been to be at a commanding position. We just want to better our work and bring value to every project/ film we handle.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being women publicist?
If you are good at what you do and bring sincerity with you, then I don't think gender matters. But I guess as publicist we work over weekends and have events which run late at night. This could pose a problem for many. My family has been very supportive and hence I have not faced any issues. Having said that, at Spice we essentially have a team of girls working and as a senior, whenever they are working late I ensure logistics have been looked into and they reach home safely.