Public relations, commonly known as PR is the most credible tool. Similar to advertising, this plays an important role to promote an organisation, individual, products, services or ideas.
News articles generated using PRs are significantly more convincing than paid ads. Which is why, it is the most trusted route to not only promote sales, but also build and protect reputations, and manage crisis.
This makes the profession a highly challenging job but with equally gratifying results.
With the advent of social media and citizen journalism, organisations are significantly more prone to crises than ever before. This helps the organisation to protect itself in untoward times, which may hinder the positive image of the company.
It also minimises the negative publicity that could affect the image of the company. Today many leading PR agencies have specialised crisis management cells.
Content development (press releases, presentations, speeches, pitch notes, blogs etc), client servicing, media relations, event management, research, crisis management and networking are the essential tools of PR.
With the emergence of digital media, PR has evolved rapidly and most agencies now have traditional (newspapers, magazines, television, radio) as well as digital PR (social media, blogs, websites, etc) departments. Integrated campaigns, which use traditional and digital tools in tandem is the order of the day.
A good PR practitioner should have a knack of analysing the subject at hand, identify key messages and turn simple facts and figure into intriguing stories. When the news is bad, they should be able to formulate the best response and mitigate the damage.
They should be able to strategise for both online and offline media. Once you enter in this industry you have to take up multiple responsibilities including media monitoring, content writing, media relations, documentations, planning, client meeting, event coordination, media tours and many more that boosts up your skills and helps to shape your career.
If you are a good writer, you will quickly stand out in the PR world, which places a premium on professionals who can write innovative, concise and good quality press releases, presentations, reports, speeches and pitch notes. Add to that command over spoken language, to deal with media and clients, and your career will soar.
Most PR agencies operate as a meritocracy instead of focusing on age and gender, and the truly talented can climb the ladder as fast as possible.
The pay is higher as compared to some professions, so being great at public relations could be a profitable talent. There are several institutes in the country offering such courses.
One should get into the daily habit of reading newspapers and magazines, as well as watching news channels. After the course, fresher's can join a PR agency for an internship initially.
Adfactor PR, Genesis BursonMarsteller, Perfect Relations, MSL, Edelman, Weber Shandwick and Text 100 are amongst the leading PR agencies with national presence.
However, boutique agencies working on specialised sectors and regional consultancies are on the rise and a great option to start with. PR tops the charts amongst equal employment opportunity sectors, with several leading agencies having women CEOs.
This is a glamorous profession, since practitioners work with high profile celebrities and leading industrialists.
However, it is truly a job, which will stretch your mental, psychological, emotional and physical functioning capabilities to the hilt.
The writer is pr faculty, sri aurobindo centre of arts and communication.