Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Can somebody define Public relations

After working in Public Relations Consultancies, trying to understand the intrincities of communications, planning, execuating plans and discussing the true defination of Public Relations, have realised that everybody is defining PR the way they think of defining it. I personnaly tried to search the revelant defination from the web, and below is the list of my findings.

Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information between an organization and its publics.

Public Relations: Public Relations is a form of communication primarily directed towards gaining public understanding and acceptance. Public relations usually deals with issues rather than products or services, and are used to build goodwill with public or employeess. Examples of public relations are employee training, support of charitable events, or a news release about some positive community participation.

Public relations: The art or science of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public.

Public relations include ongoing activities to ensure the overall company has a strong public image. Public relations activities include helping the public to understand the company and its products. Often, public relations are conducted through the media that is, newspapers, television, magazines, etc. As noted above, public relations is often considered as one of the primary activities included in promotions.

Public Relations practice is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics.

WHAT IS PUBLIC RELATIONS??? And how does it differ from ADVERTISING? It is really important to understand the difference…Public relations is the opposite of advertising (while it is one very important mode of publicity). In advertising, you pay to have your message placed in a newspaper, TV or radio spot. In public relations, the article that features your company is not paid for. The reporter, whether broadcast or print, writes about or films your company as a result of information he or she received and researched.
Publicity is more effective than advertising, for several reasons. First, publicity is far more cost-effective than advertising. Even if it is not free, your only expenses are generally phone calls and mailings to the media. Second, publicity has greater longevity than advertising. An article about your business will be remembered far longer than an ad.
Publicity also reaches a far wider audience than advertising generally does. Sometimes, your story might even be picked up by the national media, spreading the word about your business all over the country.

Finally, and most important, publicity has greater credibility with the public than does advertising. Readers feel that if an objective third party-a magazine, newspaper or radio reporter-is featuring your company, you must be doing something worthwhile.

The more you brainstorm the more differences you can list down, the list continues…

As your business grows, it naturally becomes a more prominent element in your community and your industry. PR is an excellent tool because it gives you exposure you don't have to pay for directly. Good PR rarely happens without effort. Getting good publicity usually requires careful planning, persistent effort, and, often, spending money for press release mailings, copywriters and PR consultants.
The good news is, as the founder of a growing company, you're in a prime position to be listened to by consumers and the news media. All you have to do is let others know you exist and that you are an expert source of information or advice about your industry. Being regarded as an industry expert can do wonders for your business.


Anonymous said...

Q1.What are the areas of work of a Public relation officer?
A1.There are a number of fields that require the services of a Public Relations Officer, which makes this career very interesting. Some of the fields are :-

Corporate Sector - shows that there is more to a particular organisation than merely making money; the activities and attitudes are portrayed as being beneficial and friendly towards the public.
Government - deals with informing the public about the government's schemes and activities and showing the overall benefit of these projects to society at large
Pressure Groups/Causes/Lobbies - This is possibly the most difficult area to work in, but the most fulfilling since it deals with particular groups of society or organisations that have been built with a cause to improve society in some way or the other. It is a relatively new area in India and demands dedication and extensive knowledge about the cause being fought for such as child labour, women's' issues, the environment, political ideology and so on. The work involves making the public aware of the issues through public programmes, fund-raising, charity shows, so that people are inspired to change and in-turn help convince the policy-makers.
Products - involves creating a good image of the product before it is launched to ensure that consumers, retailers, distributors are enticed by it
Public Personalities - This is probably the most glamorous of all the PR jobs since it deals with building and enhancing an image of well-known people such as politicians, sports people, musicians, actors/ actresses, writers etc.
Public Sector - aims to show and prove to the policy-makers and common person that the public money is being spent in a worthwhile manner
Schemes/ Projects - this involves informing the community being catered to or the organisation's employees about new schemes to reduce their apprehension towards change, answer any queries and show the overall benefit of these projects
Tourism/Hospitality Industry - quite an important field since the image projected will determine or influence people's attitudes.
Q2.What are the training Institutes forthis career ?
A2.Although formal training is not essential to become a public relations officer, it has proven to be an advantage especially in the competitive job scenarios. Most companies do take on young graduates in subjects like psychology, economics, marketing, sociology etc. and a course in public relations certainly does improve chances of being selected as well as gaining more knowledge about the career. Experience is another binding factor that ensures success. Most of the courses are offered as post-graduate courses and the eligibility rules are such - Bachelor of Arts in any discipline, but preferably the social sciences, liberal arts and humanities. The course generally lasts for about a year and admission is based on merit (in most cases). Some of the topics covered during training are communication, marketing, advertising, research methods, media techniques, media planning, script writing and editing, news editing, partial mass media etc. The course also includes practical training (one month) where the students are given the chance to learn in a public sector organisation, advertising agency or something similar.

The following institutions offer these courses around India :- Diploma in PR Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at Bangalore, Calcutta, Delhi, Hyderabad, Madras, Mumbai Diploma in PR YMCA Institute of Mass Media Studies, New Delhi (for graduates) Diploma in PR YMCA, New Delhi (for graduates) Diploma in PR New Delhi Polytechnic for Women (for XII-pass students) Diploma in PR St. Xaviers College of Communications, Mumbai (for graduates) Diploma in PR Sophia Polytechnic, B.K. Somani Mumbai (for graduates) Diploma in PR KC College of Mgmt, Mumbai (for graduates) Diploma in PR Somaiya College of Mgmt, Mumbai (for graduates) Diploma in PR Symbiosis Institute of Journalism & Communication, Pune Graduate Diploma in Advertising & PR Indian Institute of Mass Communication, JNU Campus, New Delhi P.G. Diploma in PR & Advertising, PR & Journalism School of Communication & Mgmt. Studies, Cochin University P.G. Diploma in Advertising & Communications Monjee Institute of Mgmt. Studies, V.L. Mehta Rd., Ville Parle (W), Mumbai Degree Course South Gujarat University, P.O. Box No. 49, Udhna Magdalla Rd., Surat - 395 007 Degree Course University of Mumbai, MG Rd., Fort, Mumbai - 400 032

Q3.What are the career prospects and remuneration ?
A3.The opportunities are immense for potential Public Relations Officers. As outlined in the 'Areas of Work' section, work can be found in government offices, private companies, advertising agencies, tourist resorts, hotels, banks and financial institutions, non-governmental organisations, private consultancy firms etc. Depending on the designation and enterprise, the pay scales will definitely vary. In a PR department, we generally only have PRO and liaison officers (Senior PR officers are paid on par with the senior managers in Hotels/Corporate Sector etc.) In large consultancy firms, the hierarchy is much more prominent - trainee executives, account executives, senior account managers, account director, chief PR directors are all present therefore training and experience are necessary to move up in one's career (the starting salary is approximately Rs. 5000) Government departments usually have the junior and senior information officers and they are paid as per fixed rules.

Anonymous said...

The main goal of a public relations department is to enhance a company’s reputation. Staff that work in public relations, or as it is commonly known, PR, are skilled publicists. They are able to present a company or individual to the world in the best light. The role of a public relations department can be seen as a reputation protector.

The business world of today is extremely competitive. Companies need to have an edge that makes them stand out from the crowd, something that makes them more appealing and interesting to both the public and the media. The public are the buyers of the product and the media are responsible for selling it.

Public relations provide a service for the company by helping to give the public and the media a better understanding of how the company works. Within a company, public relations can also come under the title of public information or customer relations. These departments assist customers if they have any problems with the company. They are usually the most helpful departments, as they exist to show the company at their best.

PR also helps the company to achieve its full potential. They provide feedback to the company from the public. This usually takes the form of research regarding what areas the public is most happy and unhappy with.

People often have the perception of public relations as a group of people who spin everything. Spin can mean to turn around a bad situation to the company’s advantage. It is true that part of the purpose of public relations is to show the company in a positive light no matter what. There are certain PR experts that a company can turn to for this particular skill.

The public often think of PR as a glamorous job. Public relations people seem to have been tarred with the image of constant partying and networking to find new contacts. The reality is usually long hours and hard work for anyone involved in public relations.

There are certain skills necessary to work in the world of PR. These include a very high level of communication skills, written and verbal. The PR person must also be very adept at multitasking and time management. He or she may also have some form of media background or training in order to understand how the media and advertising work. Organizational and planning skills are also important in public relations.

The PR worker must also be able to cope very well under pressure. He or she must have the ability to cope with a barrage of questions from the media and the public. If a company comes under critical attack, it is the PR department who must take control of the situation. They must effectively answer the criticism and turn it around in order to protect the company’s reputation.

A public relations worker usually has some form of relevant college qualification. Competition for jobs in PR is fierce. A talented public relations person has the opportunity to work up from a junior account executive to an account director in around five years. This is not a nine to five job; the hours are long and can be stressful. However, for successful PR workers, the pay is good and the perks may be even better.