PR, A Mundane Job?

PRCI Nagpur Chapter    13-Apr-2020
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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. – Abraham Lincoln.

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With that being said, public relations has drastically changed over the years, but through all this, the definition has remained unchanged. Public relations literally means to establish and maintain a positive relationship with the public by constantly communicating with them. It is all about looking after the organization’s reputation and maintaining goodwill.
Successful public relations has to do with recognizing amazing ideas and how much value they hold. In order for businesses or brands to generate good press, they have to come up with fresh new concepts on a regular basis to launch their products and build up hype among the public for the same. Many analyses that have been conducted have shown that raw ideas of high quality have generated and increased sales. Moreover, people who are good at coming up with PR ideas aren’t just naturally creative, but they are on the constant run of analyzing the media. They lookout for the current trends in the media and try to make connections with them.
Public Relations professionals are said to be naturally creative and effective communicators. They are well versed in the ongoing media affairs and the trending digital culture. Being in the public relations department is all about the chaos; the constant effort to maintain your organization’s image as a whole, to manage the crisis on a bad news day, to spend time writing press releases, and so much more.
To call public relations a mundane job would be very harsh unless you’ve been forced to choose it as your career; if you are someone who enjoys working in the PR department, it definitely isn’t a routine job, because you don’t know what to expect out of those press releases, or maintaining the public image of the organization, you have to be prepared for anything and everything that the media throws at you. You have to be on your toes all the time, because unexpected things happen anytime.
However, at times it can get quite tiresome and hectic, and lead to increasing rates of attrition. To mitigate attrition, firstly you need to find a balance with compensations. Every office has their own set of uniqueness. Different group of employees expect different benefits. Hence, some would prefer professional development training, while there are others who want networking opportunities. Focusing on the benefits that actually empower your employees quality of life will help in boosting the employees’ morale to work harder. Secondly, the next best option is to ask your employees what will keep them happy and loyal to the organization. It’s always good to arrange a formal or informal discussion with your employees, so that they can share their set of problems in a more individual setting.
Looking for people who are fit for the role of handling public relations is quite a task, although it is to be noted that there definitely isn’t a shortage of talent in India, because many talented individuals tend to get neglected due to the lack of awareness and knowledge in regards with the scope and existence of PR as a career option, and not forgetting the taboo of working as a PR professional.
The rise in the number of mass media colleges in India – Mumbai Metropolitan region alone has 100 plus institutions - is a positive sign as they are trying to incorporate new programs, such as interning at agencies in different cities, having a study tour abroad and attending workshops with international faculty; hence many talented individuals now get a platform to hone their skills and gain knowledge which was not the scene when we entered this profession almost three decades back.
All in all, public relations is something that needs to be dealt with utmost care, because the goodwill and the public image of the organization is at stake in the hands of the PR professionals. (The author is Additional General Manager -corporate communication- at NTPC Ltd)