Thursday, September 29, 2011

Public Relations Ethics and New Media

National Seminar on Public Relations Ethics and New Media
Editor, Public Relations Vocie.

A one-day National Seminar on ‘Public Relations Ethics’ held at Brahmakumaris Shantivan, Mount Abu, Rajasthan resolved to develop a code of professional ethics for public relations with moral and spiritual values as to promote better relations between the corporate world and their stakeholders.

The Global Forum for Public Relations an outfit of Prjapita Brahmakumaris Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya organized this seminar for the first time as part of Media Conference 2011 on September 17, with twin objectives: Developing Public Relations Ethics and the Role of New Media in Public Relations.

In his introductory remarks Dr.C.V.Narasimha Reddi, Editor, Public Relations Voice who chaired the session referred to the need for public relations ethics and said that public relations manager is both an ‘advocate’ and an ‘ethics counselor’ to advise the management about incorporating ethics and core values in tune with the corporate mission. And that in order to discharge one’s functions, the PR Manager must learn about ethics, spot ethical issues and shape the organization’s corporate ethics and values.

Dr.Reddi quoted Indian born industrialist Lord Paul of U K who said ‘ we have made a lot of progress economically in India, but there is a shadow over our progress and that is Corruption. Unfortunately, with the economic growth of India, corruption has grown faster’.

Scams
The Satyam Computers Rs.14,000 crore scam, 2G Specturm Rs.1.7 lakh crore scam, Commonwealth Games Corruption, Obulapuram Mining Corporation’s illegal mining scam, Nira Radia Tapes episode not only defamed India in the world market but also generated a significant decline in peoples trust both in government and business. In fact, trust of stakeholders in these companies is almost dead. It is for public relations to work in the direction of ‘Long Live Trust’. Against this backdrop, Dr.C.V.Narasimha Reddi observed that there arose the need for both corporate ethics and public relations ethics. If corporate ethics deals with good and ethical business, public relations ethics focuses on ethical and moral values in disseminating public information.

Earlier, Rajayogi B K Karuna in his welcome address observed that the value based media and public communication system would not only contribute to the socio-economic development of the country but also establish peace and harmony in the nation.

Prof. Ujjwal K Chowdary, Dean Whistling Woods School Communication, Mumbai who delivered keynote address said personal ethics of a public relations practitioner was a pre-requisite and a golden rule towards successful public relations practice. While dealing with historical perspective of public relations code of ethics, Prof. Chowdary urged that Global Forum for Public Relations should evolve a Model Code of Professional standards and ethics for public relations practice by 2012.

Later a session devoted to ‘ New Media for Public Relations’ held under the Presidentship of B K Sarala Anand, President, Global Forum for Public Relations, resolved that new media such as e-mail, blogs, twitter, face-book etc. not only educate the stakeholders but also can redress the customer grievances on line. Chairman, Prime Point Foundation K Srinivasan,said instant messages were possible through internet which had both advantages and disadvantages. However, he exhorted that PR professionals should make use of social media for interactive communication to promote organizational image.

Among those who spoke in the national seminar include: Irfan Khan, former Director, Corporate Communications, Hindustan Lever, Y Bhaskar Rao, Abishek Kumar Singh, Prof. K C Mouli, Makhanlal Chaturvedi University, Arun Arora, Senior Vice President,(CC) Jindal Steel, Ms.Nazi, Farin Emani(Iran), Madhavan Varadarajan, Arpita Prashant, (Chennia), Reema Sarin, Consultant, Delhi, G,Anija, Federic Michael, Hyderabad. B K Anitha and B K Heena conducted the sessions.

The seminar in conclusion recommended that the public relations code of ethics should contain three main elements:

1. Professional values – (truth telling professional competence);
2. Principles of conduct – free flow of two-way information, fair, advancement of profession;
3. Members Pledge for code of ethics.

In another resolution, it has been decided that in the context of India, the media strategy should contain a combination of four media namely –

1.Interpersonal media – meeting;
2.Folk art media – puppets, tamasha;
3.Mass media – press, radio, TV, Film and
4. New media – internet, e-mail, blogs, website.

Such a combination of media the Public Relations conclave felt could reach about 70 crore people both in urban and rural India,.



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Value Based Media: The Need of the Hour

Towards Peace and Prosperity of the Country
Dr.C.V.Narasimha Reddi

A three day Media Conference 2011 on ‘ Valued Based Media’ which was organized by the Media Wing of Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation of Prajapita Brahmakumaris Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya from September 16 at Mount Abu, Rajasthan has resolved that the media in our country should adopt ethical, moral and spiritual values as part of its code of conduct and serve towards social and public good rather than the commercial and business interest.

ONE GOD:
This conference assumed greater importance as it coincided with the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Brahmakumaris which was inaguarated by the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil on 16th September. Referring to the theme of the celebrations ‘ One God; One World Family; Smt. Pratibha Patil observed that Brahmakumaris was not a religion, but it was a spiritual fraternity promoting a spiritual and value based living among the people from all walks of life from different nations, cultures and races.

Rajayogini Dr.Dadi Janaki, Chief of Brahmakumaris in her inaugural address said that the evil of corruption which had contaminated our society like cancer could be contained by the media by cultivating spirituality and values such as love, truth, honesty, tolerance etc.

Earliler Rajyogi B K Karuna, Vice-Chairman, Media Wing who welcomed pointed out that mass media had a greater role in the socio-economic development and in creating harmony among different sects of the society. In her valedictory address Smt. D.K,Aruna, Andhra Pradesh, Minister for Information and Public Relations said that the unholy alliance of media with market and business interests, without social purpose, the journalism would cause hindrance to the success of Indian democracy. Therefore, she urged that media should evolve a self-regulated code of conduct by incorporating moral and spiritual values towards establishing a value based society. Over 1500 delegates representing media persons, public relations professionals, academicians, Brahmakumaris from all over the country and Nepal attended the conference.

7 Point Action Plan
Deliberating through six plenary sessions, six parallel dialogues, one insight session and after undergoing three Rajayoga meditation sessions, the conference arrived at the Seven Point Action Plan for adoption by media.

1. To accord priority to social and public good by practicing and promoting ethical, moral and spiritual values

2. To consider core human and media values as essential pre-requisite for economic and all round development of the country

3. To practice Rajayoga meditation as a means of acquiring spirituality and value based healthy, lifestyle towards peace, prosperity of society.

4. To develop the inner spiritual powers of the soul among media persons to mirror as watchdog in containing widespread corruption and negativity in people’s life

5. To work towards creation and spread of audience friendly, interactive, social, cultural, moral and spiritual messages through internet, electronic, film and print media for the benefit of both young and old.

6. To become positive and practice by effecting the process of spiritual self-awakening and empowerment of values for building better society.

7. To support and supplement the noble causes of well-meaning organizations like the Brahmakumaris Society for Media Initiatives for values, Global Forum for Public Relations etc which are aimed at promoting spirituality, ethics, positive and healthy values in professions and society.

It is hoped that the delegates who attended the conference and exposed to Rajayoga Meditation will adopt spiritual values as part of their life and also publish/broadcast the action plan-2011 in their respective media for action.