Last week, I came across this interesting piece of news about the apparel brand Gap using an Indian Sikh man as thier model. The image which may have gone unnoticed otherwise, came in focus due the certain racial comments and acts of vandalism that ensued.
I have never faced any instances of racism here, but then again, a small college town with more liberal minded people may be an outlier. But this is the exact sort of story that I my target audience will be interested in. To confirm my news judgement, I posted the story on facebook. I have friends from both India and America on my list. But the ones who reacted toe story, either in terms of like or shares are friends who have studied here and are now working in America.
In fact this news gathered momentum through the social media when people retweeted and shared the picture. But to stay on top with such news, I have to follow people who already are cued into the diaspora as a beat. I have started following Arsalan Iftikhar. who posted this picture first.
As we get ready to make our final pitch presentations, I am thinking more about how to get the word out there that, such a site exists. I think I will go the tried and tested celebrity endorsement way. But, the twist is, I’d have to get celebrities who will make sense to my target audience.
For the diaspora, Indians who have are associated with popular culture score big. So actors on American TV are highly desirable celebrities for endorsements. I am thinking of someone like Kunal Nayyar, the actor who plays Rajesh Koothrappali in the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Nayyar has 766,364 followers on twitter and is popular with college students as well as professionals. He is my perfect sneezer. First I would approach him for an interview, now that will provide original content for my site, and then after I have got their interview I will get them to Tweet about their interview appearing on my site. Good idea to get get some traffic. Also, there is no reason why I can’t do the interview considering I have the requisite journalistic experience to do it.
In fact in the first few months I should have frequent interviews with other Indian-Americans who come on TV. Potential personalities I can feature- Asif Mandavi from the Daily Show, Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire and Newsroom, comedian like Russel Peters and a few not so mainstream personalities like stand-up comic Hari Kondabolu. Also curating news on these celebrities will be good content for the site.