Meet Plaban Ganguly

Practical Action Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Working in our Bangladesh office.

What is your current position and how long have you been in this position?

I’m working as Marketing and Communications Coordinator in Bangladesh office and joined Practical Action in October 2015.

Can you tell us about your roles and responsibilities?
I provide strategic support in developing communications and marketing plans and strategies. We support programme delivery team on developing IEC materials, collecting and documenting stories from field, campaigning, organising events, mobilising mainstream media, and on advocacy agenda among others.

What motivates you to do what you do?
Creativity! I don’t get bored doing creative things.  Every morning comes up with new challenges. As a support unit, we need to work on different items switching from one issue to another.

We deal with lots of programme and request from other team. We continuously keep on switching ourselves!
Thanks to the favourable management and environment, we’re able to cater to all requests.

What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about marketing. Even before designated as marketing coordinator, I used to treat myself as a marketer.

Whenever I produce a communication material, I always try to make that external audience friendly. Let me give you an example. I tried to blend in national agenda while crafting the message for faecal sludge management campaign in Satkhira. It became a national agendra and drew the attention of policy makers and stakeholders.

Instead of saying “we treat faecal sludge in Satkhira”, we said, “Treating faecal sludge will save so much money for Bangladesh Government.” And it worked!

How do you find the working environment at Practical Action?
Very good! To be very honest, initially it was very difficult for me. Because previously Practical Action in Bangladesh was not an extrovert organisation. It was introvert and limited to programme delivery.

I came from WaterAid who are very good marketers.  It took some time to change the environment. Thanks to the management and colleagues, I enjoy working here.

There is acceptance in Bangladesh. Even a support staff can come with an idea and management listens to it. That’s good for marketing and communications. People come up with different ideas. You need to mould accordingly.

I’m very thankful to management and the working environment in Practical Action. It lets me to do what I want to do.

Tell us about a communication project you recently worked on.
If I’ve to pick one, it would be the campaign on faecal sludge management (FSM) and soil health.  We’re working on advocacy issues related to FSM and soil health. We researched on soil health in Bangladesh and we’re trying to raise awareness about it among government and stakeholders.

Thanks to our work, we received a full-page media coverage without spending any money. A television channel also covered the issue. Now people want to know more about these issues. 

Can you share with us the learnings from the project?
My learning is if we can knock the right media at right time, we can create a buzz.  Often we think that we need to invite the media to cover an event but the media looks for covering issues and not events and projects.

We need to create a win-win situation for both by inviting them to cover the issues so that our interests match.

What are your personal goals?
Be an expert communications and marketing professional. Produce some visionary works so that people remember them even after many years.

I also write songs and dramas. Whatever I do I want to create a masterpiece whether it is just designing an invitation card.

What do you do in your free time? What are your interests and hobbies?
I write drama and songs. I read books - fiction and all genres.

Can you tell us which book inspired you the most?
It’s not a particular book but I loved ‘Of Grammatology’ by Jacques Derrida.

What would you do if you weren’t with Practical Action?
If I were not with Practical Action, I’d still be a good ambassador of Practical Action. I’d be working as a marketing professional.

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