Wednesday, February 08, 2012

What ails Indian public relations?


Dr. C.V. Narasimha Reddi, Editor, PR Voice, shares his concerns about the PR industry.

        The greatest pitfall of Indian public relations is that instead of being two-way communication, it operates by and large only as one way communication without any provision for effective feedback information mechanism and measurement.

        As a management discipline, public relations is expected to reach every section of the public such as employees, shareholders, customers and assess their feelings. Unfortunately, public relations professionals rarely meet the stakeholders for one-to-one interaction to know their pulse towards organisational policies and programmes. We tend to reach them only through representational media like pamphlets, house journals, newspapers, TV, posters, confining to media relations rather than presentational media face-to-face.

        Public relations in India is suffering from identity crisis. Other professions like journalism, marketing, advertising, finance, human resources etc. are called by one name., whereas public relations is given different names such as corporate communications, public affairs, corporate affairs etc

        Lack of professional educational qualification is another major pitfall of this profession. About 60 percent persons working in this profession entered without any  basic qualification in public relations. And that public relations courses are offered only in a few educational institutions. A major challenge is lack of professional public relations education in the Indian Universities.

        Though India lives in her villages, public relations survives in urban India without any machinery at the grassroots.

        Lack of standard public relations textbooks, case studies, induction and inservice PR training, and public relations research are other characteristics that hinder the  growth of public relations profession and demands professionalism.

Mission : A Paradigm Shift for PR

What public relations profession needs today is a sense of mission. Public Relations Mission is the need of the hour to shape the future of this profession. Who will design the future plan? It is the primary responsibility of the national PR professional bodies and the educational institutes that are preparing the public relations students to design ‘Public Relations Mission’. What should be the areas of mission? Let us debate both on pitfalls and future mission

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