Unlike what they say, building good PR (Public Relations) is not a bad thing at all. In fact, if you practice the art of pleasing everyone from a chaiwalla to the chairman you could make a good career out of it. Just look at the amount of money corporates are wiling to pay for good PR.
If you have always prided on your ability to name-drop, this is your chance to cash on it. We have more dope on a career in Public Relations…
Apart from strong marketing efforts, companies these days need much more to make people buy their products. You guessed it right. Companies need good or positive image, what you call 'corporate image' to stay in the business. As a PR Executive in a company you'll work towards building up this corporate image in the minds of the public. That's the summation of your job profile.
A good image translates into an increase in the sales turnover. However, good PR is not just the domain of the multinationals. Even an NGO needs good PR to raise capital for all its activities.
Your job as a PR executive will be very interesting and varied. Other than building the corporate image of your company or organisation, you would also be involved in publishing the in-house magazine or communiqué, developing corporate brochures and other PR materials like slides, transparencies, video films, presentation, etc.
Your job doesn't end there. You could also be called in to give your inputs on designing and developing the brochures for promotional and marketing purposes. In crisis situation you will be trusted upon to spruce up your company image and handle the image damage.
As a PR executive you will also help the corporates in developing and maintaining good relations with government agencies, legal and statutory bodies, press, media, suppliers, vendors, franchisee, shareholders and various other stakeholders of the company.
Developing and maintaining a good relation with the media will be your main preoccupation. Keeping the media abreast of any notable incident and development in your company (launch of a product or service) will be handled by you. You'll have a tough job avoiding any negative publicity that might arise in the media.
Apart from corporate and other organisations you could also be handling PR for high profile people like rich industrialists and filmstars. Why, even the political parties these days need PR to develop and maintain a good image among the masses.
Actually this trend is also a hand-over from the West where everyone right from the presidents to the rock stars, film stars, musicians and child prodigies hire PR firms or independent PR professionals (what they call Image Consultants these days!). Even in India you aren't happening unless you are backed by a cellphone trotting PR executive.
As a PR executive you could specialise in:
You'll be helping organisations manage their relations with stakeholders, investors, general public, customers, government, employees, future employees and others.
You could be handling product launches, branding and positioning, media tours, sales promotion, sponsorships, dealer/franchisee/distributor/supplier contact programmes, etc.
You'll be working on building the corporate name, logo, symbols, letter pads, envelopes, websites, interior and exterior design of office, displays and exhibition stands, audio-visual materials and other such things.
Your focus will be developing and maintaining good investor relations for the company.
Maintaining good relation with the employees of the organisation will be your domain. This is important for the smooth and successful functioning of the organisation.
You are concerned with conceptualising, developing, implementing, and managing events for corporates and other clients. You'll handle product launches, treat delegates in a seminar, manage the Annual General Meeting and so on.
A company is often caught unaware of various legal implications and accidents like its particular product causing harm to the environment, government banning manufacturing in a plant, etc. In these cases you have to manage the crisis situations.
It is a growing area in PR. You would help the rich and the famous in managing their careers. The new entrants in this field will look up to you to give a boost to their careers.
It's not easy to please all the people all the time. This is what you need:
* First and foremost you got to have charisma, which draws people to you. Then you need to build up good and lasting relationship with them
* You must have excellent communication skills in English and any other regional language. It helps if you know a foreign language. And you should be good in both your writing as well as in verbal
* Good presence of mind
* Desire to take initiatives, as PR is all about being proactive
* Other than these, you got to have a creative mind, an enterprising and dynamic personality
As for the educational qualifications, a postgraduate degree/diploma in public relations only helps you marginally. A degree/diploma in Mass communication may also help. PR firms also recruit MBAs.