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Public Relations: Another great career alternative

Public Relations (PR) has emerged from a simple operation of corporate publicity to a broad based management function popularly termed as Corporate Communication. Encompassing activities in the realm of management of public affairs, media relation, research and analysis, the corporate communication function seeks to protect organizational interests and works towards maintaining a balanced public image of the corporates’ performance.

The success of an image and even continued existence of an organization depends on how successfully it presents its goals and policies to the public. PR personnel have for long taken the responsibility to help businesses, governments, universities, hospitals, schools and other institutions build and maintain positive relationships with the public. They present their organization in the best possible light, so their objectives, policies or services have positive appeal. PR workers put together information that keeps the public aware of the organization’s accomplishments and keeps management aware of public attitudes.

PR as a separate career option came into existence when lots of private or government companies and institutions felt the need to market their product, service and facilities. Public image is important to all organizations and prominent personalities. The role of public relation specialist becomes pertinent in crisis situations when the correct and timely transmission of information can help save the face of the organization.

Work environment

PR professionals work in offices with adequate secretarial help. They are expected to maintain good appearance, social poise, and a socially precise conduct. The job demands considerable business liaison and entertainment. Work schedule is generally not fixed and requires flexibility. The life of PR professionals is determined by the demand of the job. There could be considerable travel and work-related stress.

Personal characteristics

PR officers work with journalists, managers and employees of an organization and members of the public. They have to be good at getting on with them. The basic personality ingredients for success in PR work is sociability, tact, patience and diplomacy. An analytical mind, flair for crisis management and vision make an effective PR professional. The job calls for defense, structuring and guarding the firms/persons or products image.

Good expression, clear speech and objectivity in writing are necessary. Oral skills are needed for press briefings, meetings, conferences and presentations. Good language ability is required for preparing news releases, leaflets, reports, articles, etc. Good organizational skills, meticulous work habits and an ability to cope with a number of different activities such as news conferences and exhibitions is a must. Accounts management needs numerical skill. Self-motivation and the ability to work under pressure are necessary.

 Job prospects

Public relation officers can find employment in the corporate sector, public sector, government agencies, tourist agencies, hotels, banks and other financial institutions, private consultancy firms etc. Nowadays, they can find work even with individuals like political figures, models and film stars who want their pictures, profiles and interviews published in magazines and need agents who can do the work for them so as to have the desired image in front of the general public.

Institutes

Here are names of some colleges/institutes where you can hone your skills for a career in the field of public relations.

  1. Amity School of Journalism and Communication, (More available at AKC House, E-27 Defence Colony, New Delhi -110024.)
  2. Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, JNU New Campus, New Delhi-110067
  3. A J K Mass Communication Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi-110025
  4. Manipal Institute of Communication, Udayavani Building, Press Corner, Manipal-576119.
  5. Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, Senapati Bapat Marg, Pune - 411004.
  6. Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Poona, Pune -411004.
  7. New Delhi YMCA, Centre for Mass Media, 1 Jai Singh Road, New Delhi
 
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