Careers in Public Relation
Relation is a management function that involves monitoring and evaluating public
attitudes and maintaining mutual relations and understanding between an
organisation and its public. Public could include shareholders, government,
consumers, employees and the media. It is the act of getting along with people
we constantly come in touch with. PROs ensures internal cohesion in the company
by maintaining a clear communications network between the management and
employees. Its first objective is to improve channels of communication and to
establish new ways of setting up a two-way flow of information and
Public relations as a separate career option has came into existence when lots
of private or government companies and institution felt the need to market their
product, service and facilities. Public image is important to all organisations
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 organisation.
In terms of career opportunities, Public relations is broadly practiced for
product publicity, corporate publicity, to have better relations with the
government, to publish corporate publications like newsletter, bulletins,
magazines for employees etc.
degree in any discipline preferably with social sciences, liberal arts and
humanities is required to take up a course in this field. There are diploma as
well as post graduate diploma courses in Public relations. Duration of most the
courses is of one year. Apart from this there are also short term certificate
courses. Most training programmes in Advertising also includes public relations.
Some institutes have entrance exams while others prefer admission on merit
These courses mainly cover areas like public
relations principles and techniques, public relations management and
administration, including organizational development, writing, emphasizing news
releases, proposals, annual reports, scripts, speeches, and related items,
visual communications, including desktop publishing and computer graphics, and
research, emphasizing social science research and survey design and
One must have excellent communication skills, both spoken and written so has to
express thoughts clearly and simply. An effective personality and the ability to
get along with a wide range of people both inside and outside an organisation is
necessary. Must be polite always as he has to work under pressure or
provocation. An organising ability is required too, as one may have to organise
press conferences, lectures, exhibitions and events. Must have self-confidence
and farsightedness. He must be able to understand human psychology and take
decisions apt to the situation. Analytical skills are required to interpret
research information and plan activity.
Job Prospects and Career Options
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 a image in
front of general public.
Public relations officers have to work
within and outside the organisation. Within the concern they have to conduct
management-employee meets, to inform organisations policies, activities and
accomplishments. Outside he has to liaison with government departments, trade
unions, press etc whose cooperation is required for the smooth functioning, and
also have to manage complaints from the consumers, organise events like fairs,
The work involves keeping management aware
of public attitudes and concerns of the many groups and organizations with which
they must deal. In addition, public relations departments employ public
relations specialists to write, research, prepare materials, maintain contacts,
and respond to inquiries.
Another important area of work in this field
is to create public identity or an image for public figures like political
parties, models and film stars. It include advising them on every aspect of
personality, including dress code, behavior, statement given in press, public
Lobbying, a new field in this career,
involves bringing about the passage of laws favorable to the special interest
group they represent like a company, industries, government etc. It is a
strategy used to raise public consciousness and influence policy makers in areas
like environment, human rights, education etc. This is an interesting area of
work in public relation.
One can start with a salary of Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 a month,
depending on the kind of organisation that one joins. Thereafter, it is up to
one's performance. A senior PR professional may get Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.