Monday, May 26, 2008

PR. What?

A usual question that befuddles everyone. Majority do not understand what PR people do? Perhaps you can find them in the morning having 'Power Breakfasts', whiling away time on their cell phones, courting media people at lunch, and having a cocktail bash in the evening.
Ask a student, and he would like to get into PR for its glamour, hefty pay packet, and because "he/she likes to socialise".
Ask a politician, and would squirm at the word 'PR' and would like him to be his henchman to see that his photograph appears next day in the newspaper, or is in camera on television in the evening news, for having inaugurated a eating joint.
Ask a journo, and he would scorn at the mere mention of the word.
The debate continues. The scorns, and preconceived notions about PR continue to rule the roost, except for ruing by the PR practitioners once in a while at various PR fora; pointing fingers or making critical comments, without any positive action plan to correct the situation.
Public Relations is a sacred management practice that manages an organisation or an individual's perceptions in the eyes of their stakeholders by managing communication in all its forms and shapes.
Its practice not only requires a basic understanding of psychology, semantics, management principles, human relations, behaviourial sciences, media processes and operations, research, etc. etc., but also a thorough knowledge and experience in devising creative communication solutions to manage issues and perceptions.
Public Relations is and remains the science and art of managing communication, which is based on truth.
There are numerous points of view on the issue of 'truth', and how truthful PR practitioners can be when the organisations they represent want them to communicate the message which they want, is definitely a point for debate, which we can discuss some other time. However, the fact remains, Public Relations is not a substitute for truth.

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