As you might know, sometimes I am invited to events by brands. I know that’s a sweeping statement – to give perspective, these are fashion / mobile / technology / celebrity / e-commerce or other retail brands who have events like product launches / celebrity endorsement announcements / entertainment evenings / press conferences / fashion shows, etc. The reason I get called is usually because I blog actively and with photographs I’ve shot, on various subjects on the blog, I have a +11,000 “followers” list on Twitter [ I am also the first Indian to join Twitter, resident or otherwise – see : ] and also because I produce relevant, valuable, authentic and fearless content.

Keeping the above in mind, I receive a LOT of invites for all kinds of events. The events I attend are usually the ones where I am likely to meet people I know, or the content of the event is relevant to what I do [ photography, branding and related genres like fashion / lifestyle ] or sometimes if a friend’s PR company is handling a client account and they want to me show up. The main reason why I turn down most invites are because of what I call “Engagement Issues”.

Forget anything else in terms of whether I know you or not or whether I am available to attend or not or whether there has been any engagement prior to the invite. The first thing a brand should ideally look at, when inviting a blogger / someone with some social standing / expert in their area etc. is to determine whether that someone is RELEVANT to their brand or not.

While media and newspapers and magazines and TV channels have traditionally been always relevant because of the coverage they provide, this is changing now. Would you call FTV to your book launch when your book’s subject is Suicides and how to prevent them? No relevance. Take a look at the person you are inviting – all of us have online lives and links. What is their website like, what do they blog about, what are their tweets like, what is their friends’ circle like? Are they RELEVANT for your event / brand? If they write about your event / tweet about it / blog about it, will it reach an audience that is also likely to be relevant for your event / brand?

[ More observations in subsequent posts coming up. If you manage a brand or handle their PR and have a question, leave a comment or email me on ]