The Art of Public Relations

I strongly believe in the power of words and the magic it can create. Words are not just what we hear or read; the deeper meaning lies in the intention while speaking them. Sometimes we say nice things because we mean it, sometimes we don’t, and well, being humans, we all have spoken words with the intention to hurt someone else. But now, the concept of speaking convincingly well has become a profitable avenue in India- Public Relations. We all decide on pursuing a certain career because it strongly matches our abilities and skills. Speaking is a skill in itself, gone are the days when conventional careers like Medical and Engineering were the only rewarding ones.

The history of Public Relations can be traced back to the 1940’s; more specifically after India’s Independence. It was increasingly realized by most multinationals, that professional public relations officers, could bridge the gap between the public and the government. Thereafter, the public relations department in Government and Private Organizations became a vital organ that played a significant role in their daily work processes.

After the 1990’s, the Government of India welcomed the entry of multinational companies based abroad, into India. Public Relations and Corporate Communications offer strategic advice and solutions to their customers. It requires a great deal of foresight to understand the cause that has to be conveyed to the masses in an efficient manner. As the field continues to expand, with varied specializations, so has the competition to fit into this avenue as a successful practitioner of Public Relations.

With the foray of multinational companies in India, and even Indian organizations delving into opportunities available to them abroad, it has become all the more imperative to engage skilled personnel, to communicate their aspirations and ideas to the masses, through the press, speeches, talks etc. Several Mass Communication schools offer Graduate and Post-Graduate Degrees in Public Relations, a very important requisite for getting a successful placement after the completion of the course study.

In my opinion, there is a lot of benefit that Public Relations can bring to India in the forthcoming years. I don’t think that communication should be limited only to the benefit of one’s organization. Yes, I agree that it is a very important factor to be considered, but there are some other issues too that Public Relations can address to. At a global level, effective communication can voice the reality of some of the great achievements of the Indian economy. Every nation has its merits and shortcomings. I read an article in the newspaper based on a study by a professor, who stated that Indians are in awe of everything ‘American’; not just Indians, but all Asians and Europeans too. While that may be generalizing the phenomenon, there is some truth in the statement. But when we look beneath the façade of the so-called ‘American perfection’, we find that like every other country, it has some inherently glaring shortcomings too.

So the role of Public Relations is a challenging one in the years that follow. Practitioners will have to share a global perspective and focus on a platform that is easily understandable by the common man in India. In the context of Globalization, the dichotomy of the responsibilities of Public Relations practitioners implies not just conveying a favorable message about their country to the world, but also giving voice to those countries that are unrepresented or merely misunderstood world-over, for slower economic development. It has been said that everything you do or say IS public relations.

So think of many ideas; write them, learn more, speak up, and share it with others. Communicate. You can pave the path of the rapid development of your country in your own simple way.

Aditi Ghosh
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