Lets Talk

Connect, Communicate & GROW!!

Posts Tagged ‘India

Does PR Education create better professionals??

with 2 comments


Came across this discussion on Linkedin (http://linkd.in/1qrOCKz) on Are PR degrees worth it?? After reading comments, I felt like sharing my comments as well – having spent last 20 years in the communication industry in India. My two cents on subject:

PR courses & degrees help understand theory – but practice gives it grounding. Research in PR pans across so many verticals now including the latest fad of social media & its ubiquitous effects on organizations & marketing campaigns.

In my limited experience of 20 years in India having worked in News Reporting, PR Agency & Corporate Sector and currently as an independent consultant – lack of professional programs in PR education in India is not helping create talent pool. Students get enamoured with TV, Radio & Film shooting in communication programs at Indian universities – few pursue PR as a full time program. It’s a chicken-and-egg kind of situation – lack of students don’t permit colleges & universities to offer it as a full-time course and lack of courses don’t attract students. The approach of regulatory body – University Grant Commission (UGC) which needs to approve the same is also not helping either.

Am given to understand that UGC doesn’t recognize Public Relations as a Bachelors or Masters’ INDEPENDENT program – it has to be clubbed with Arts courses, for e.g. you can pursue – Bachelors of Arts (Public Relations) or Masters of Arts (PR) though a lot of private colleges are offering them. For those who are inclined to pursue PR as a professional program, there is no recognized college|univ offering the same – its an elective in Masters – Mass Communication where focus is on Journalism – Print | TV | Radio | Advertising & PR is an elective.

Another dimension for PR education not being very encouraged in India & Asia has been the rather low academic insights into this nascent industry and its recognition with the academia and industry. I am a member of Asian Media Information & Communication Center, Singapore for last 5 years and have been pushing them to include Public Relations as a theme in their conference, research, publications etc.

Have presented a paper at 2012 AMIC conference in Kuala Lumpur on “Social Media, PR & Journalists – Issues of Trust: case study of India & Malaysia”; “Ethical Dimension of Media Industry – case study of India” in 2013 at Indonesia and presently working on a paper for 2014 in Bangkok. Very grudgingly & reluctantly AMIC approached the subject and accepted but there is hardly any representation from the Indian PR professionals and my attempts to get them to partner with Mudra Institute of Communication or engage with corporate communication team in large companies like Reliance, Tata, L&T, GMR, Jindals, Birla, ICICI Bank etc got limited attention.

As a PR professional running my own consulting firm in Hyderabad – my attempts to study PR has been really uphill task since no Indian university offers any mid-career program for experienced professionals in PR. US universities offering these programs come at a very steep price and one needs to quit jobs & family and pursue the same there. In Europe, MSCom offered by USi, Lugano was the program I was very keen to pursue but couldn’t due to lack of financial support. Again, except one Indian student who pursued this program, nobody else even knows about the same. Singapore Management University offers the same program but they don’t offer visa to pursue the program for Indian students – had applied, paid application fees and then had to abandon the same.

Public Relations in India is still long way from being accepted professionally as a profession & career despite having over 10000 people working & lot of PR association & events taking place. I am handling companies in start-up stage to $1billion stage in IT, Healthcare, Energy, Realty – the understanding at Media|Client end of PR is abysmally low & for some companies & their managements, it’s all about “Managing Media” and a stand-alone function. The integration of PR with Marketing, IT, HR & Administration, Finance, Technical & Project departments is still at a nascent stage and lacks maturity. I hope this changes for the better & quickly!!

Advertisements

Athena Group, East Coast Energy employees support Uttarakhand relief operations

with 2 comments


Image

Hyderabad, July 9, 2013: Athena Group, East Coast Energy & their associate companies extend their financial assistance of Rs 23 lakh to mitigate the suffering of the victims of flash floods and heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand. Over 500 employees of the group companies voluntarily contributed one-day salary to this noble initiative.

In this most difficult period of human calamity, Athena Group, East Coast Energy and its associate companies would like to support Ramakrishna Mission, which has been requested by National Disaster Management Authority to conduct the relief & rehabilitation mission owing to the magnitude of the mayhem at Uttarakhand. Enthused by the employee’s gesture, the management also volunteered to match their contribution and support this initiative.ImageImage.

At a brief interaction, the senior management and employees handed over a cheque of Rs 23 lakh at the Hyderabad office to Sri Swami Purnabodhanandaji from Ramakrishna Math – Hyderabad as our contribution to this massive rehabilitation mission.

Mr. T V Krishna, Vice Chairman said “As a responsible corporate citizen, we are committed to contribute to local communities and well-being of their citizens. Overwhelmed by magnitude of the mayhem and destruction caused by the flash floods, we extend our support to Ramakrishna Math with our small contribution to help a larger cause and particularly the flood victims and rehabilitation in the Uttarakhand region..

We seek the support of the local media in Hyderabad to highlight the contributions of these 500 employees who voluntarily came forward to support the rehabilitation and relief operations being undertaken by Ramakrishna Mission.

Ramakrishna Mission is known for its self less service to mankind through their massive relief operations undertaken by them in India, Burma, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in earlier calamities and hardships. The relief works are being undertaken by the Mission in the affected areas through its Kankhal (Haridwar) center with the relief camp having been established at Agastya Muni, about 25 kms from Rudraprayag. We hope the efforts of Ramakrishna Mission will provide the much needed relief and succor to the victims of the flash floods and devastation it caused at Uttarakhand and our small contribution comes handy in this relief mission.