Saturday, September 29

An eye for an eye and PR for PR

Google before you speak is the norm of the day, and if you google “PR scene in India” - after an article that appeared in Forbes (January 2011) and a wiki page you will see three pages of links to "PR Love Scenes". No, - PR in India is not as steamy as Google suggests – those links will take you straight to forums of a soap opera “ Pavitra Rishta” as I learned today. How very painful! Unless you are atleast remotely associated with the broader communications industry, you most probably aren’t aware of the realities of a PR portfolio. We insiders understand that the job comes with generous dash of glamour sheathed in eternal foresightedness, the ability to improvise continuously, strongly living the message you speak, thick skinned perseverance and rigorous hard work. Many corporates are yet to understand the application of PR in the long run and need to see it as a strategic instrument to build the brand and not a cheap quickie to fifteen minutes of fame. Few trends noticed • There is slow but noticeable maturing of the local industry - processes and systems aligning to global ones • Increased footprint of large global players in India and Indian firms associating with global networks • the large global players customizing practices to match Indian tones maintaining better practices • Mushrooming of many smaller format agencies Last week I received a mail from a much respected industrialist, a lengthy and heartfelt congrats on my career standing in ‘HR’. He went on I detail to appreciate my perspective on an industry issue , and attributed the same to my three year stint in HR dealing with people of myriad aptitudes and capacities. I enjoyed the appreciation, but I DO NOT WORK IN HR. This from a person who engages a PR firm for his initiatives and whose son is mass communication graduate working as a Journalist with a leading national news magazine. Anyway – I had fun replying to him :)
One must admit there is a certain amount of intrigue generated. Highly opinionated souls too check their thoughts for a minute before commenting on your career choice. They need that minute to comprehend what would you possibly be doing, sometimes it is fun to be ambiguous and let their colourful imaginations run riot. The industry is influencing and changing perceptions about brands, practices, cities and countries as a whole however, there is so much more that can be done to connect a PR job profile with a layman’s perspective. We aggressively focus on business development; some amount of enthusiasm needs to be directed towards effective PR for the PR industry in itself!

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