A Career in Public Relations
A career in Public Relations
Public Relations is the art of convincing an audience, in order to protect, promote and enhance a brand image. The concept of PR is often misinterpreted. However, employment opportunities of Public Relations Specialists grow every year, about as fast as the average of all other occupations. If you are seeking to know what exactly is the function of a PR person and what are its career options, then you are at the right page.
The new key challenges of the public relations professionals are mentioned below:
To be a mirror (Inward communication)
Business operates under different environmental, political, economic and social conditions and all of these, directly or indirectly control its strategies and techniques. In order to be in the best form, it is extremely important to undergo the ‘mirror task’ which is to reflect the necessary changes in the conditions under which the business conduct.
To be a blender (Internal communication)
To be consistent in the business’ overall goals and missions, it is mandatory to follow a proper internal communication chain at all levels, without ignoring the involvement of the stakeholders. Maintenance of inter-departmental functional coordination, sound flow of domestic communication regarding the behaviour of the external factors and vice versa are the crucial challenges of the PR professionals nowadays.
To be a stabilizer (Outward communication)
The most important task is to distribute information to the public. Point to be noted here is that, the news can be positive or negative, but how it reaches the audience is the real deal. PR professionals are expected to deliver the most reliable material but without harming the interests of the organization. They conceive strong crisis management strategies which involve accurate facts and at the same time reduce the risk of negative publicity, thus stabilizing the image building scenario (brand management) of the organization
Qualification needed to join a Public Relations course:
You must have a Bachelor’s degree to pursue a course in public relations and your percentage will matter while applying for the same. A minimum of 55% is mandatory in most of the institutes. In the top institutes, entrance tests are held before admissions. It is basically an interdisciplinary subject and so your stream will not be hurdle.
The Top PR institutes and the courses:
- Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC): One year full time Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations
- The Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC): One year full time Post Graduate Diploma in Public Relations and Corporate Communications.
- Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC): Two years full time Post Graduate Diploma in Communication Management with the options of specialising in Corporate Communications, Public Relations or Event Management.
- Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism: One year full time Master’s in Advertising and Public Relations.
- University of Mumbai (Department of Communication and Journalism): Two-year full time Master’s in Arts (Public Relations)
- Delhi School of Communications (DSC): One year full time Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Mass Communication, having PR as a core subject.
A typical Public Relations Course contains the following contents:
- Introduction to PR: Principles, Tools and Techniques
- Theories and Research
- Media planning
- Creativity and Campaign planning
- Oral and Visual Communication
- Ethics of PR
- PR content writing
- Cultural Heritage studies
- International Relations
- Media Relations
*The course content varies as per the study structure of the different institutes.
Job opportunities available:
Someone who creates an admirable public image for its client. Most of the top organizations hire their in-house PR specialist and many others go for PR agencies. They engage in writing news releases, developing PR strategies and raising sponsorships for the organizations and so on. They are basically the publicists who promote the brands to the audience.
An interesting content in the company’s website can improve visitors’ engagement and it can indirectly help in boosting sales. Content writers are hired to create promotional PR contents that may be for a newspaper, blog, and website or for any other marketing purpose. It includes technical writing for both internal and external publications like press releases, newsletters, magazines, annual reports, whitepapers, presentations, speeches for the company representatives, etc.
Social Media Manager:
It is undoubtedly an inseparable part of the PR team. A social media manager manages the day to day activities in the social media platforms. The job role is to develop online materials, campaigns and be in regular touch with the users in the most amicable way, listening and replying to their queries and suggestions, which ultimately results in lead generation.
Spokesperson or a Spokesmodel:
Both the terms don’t exactly mean the same but are closely connected. A spokesperson delivers critical information to the public, mostly during the times of crisis, in order to update the latter. Generally experienced PR experts are hired for this post that is comfortable in facing camera, journalists and the crowd at large. Whereas the Spokesmodel work for high profile clients like celebrities, athletes or sportsperson in order to bring them to the spotlight by creating favourable consumer interests and thus, this role is not as critical as that of a spokesperson.
Media Relation/ Press Officer:
They are hired by large organizations in both the private and public sector. Their day to day job role includes responding to queries of the journalists, checking and replying to Emails from media, writing press releases and creating its demand in order to feature them right, finding the efficient spokesperson for the company, proof-read media statements, dealing with media during any PR event and so on.
The PR field is very competitive. In order to increase your chances in getting a challenging job in PR, you need to be exceptionally brilliant in all the characteristics that it demands. Your appetite for learning and the unbound dedication to make a remarkable transition can come up with a bright career for you in this sector. Becoming a skilled PR person is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of integrity, objectivity, creativity, patience and knowledge to be called as good Public Relations Professional. Good luck!