The relationship between an individual and public relations extends to a vast network. Some key ones are personal, business, politics, social media, culture, and background. Somewhere, someone is always checking your connections to know who you are. Similarly, be it a small, independent business or a multinational corporation, every company needs a reliable public relations (PR) department as they play a vital role in maintaining the company’s reputation, and ensuring that it is viewed positively by the public. Nothing new right?
Then let’s dive into the new era of PR.
How often do you check your phone? How active are you on your social media accounts? Well, I guess too much, considering how you never hear the end of it from your parents. However, here is a solution for you to stop their complaints, and it is none other than PR. Believe it or not, digitalisation has become a core element of PR since the outbreak of the pandemic. Therefore, PR teams are appointed to monitor and use social media to its limits. However, that is not the end of it. Social media has turned out to be a tool for continuous updates around the world. So, get ready to browse and brush up on your social media skills if PR is what you are aiming for.
Speaking of digitalisation, the PR industry has evolved a lot in the past few years and become very tech-driven. I suppose many of you have watched Ra-One or The Matrix, but imagine working with a technology like that. This is what we call the “metaverse” and PR has entered that space already to not only promote their brands but also to make brand collaborations. Soon, we might as well have a parallel universe like Wreck-It-Ralph.
However, the digital aspects or tools will only work out if they are fuelled with creativity. The niche of PR is creativity and innovation. After the Covid-19 pandemic, PR as a business has grown twice as much when compared to the previous years, only because it could get itself updated and adapt to the unexpected situation. The PR industry understood what the circumstances demanded and they evolved to provide the same through their brands. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) replaced business motives as the purpose of brands. Brands started acknowledging the need of the hour and stood by society to fight alongside.
The pandemic is a great example of a crisis that we all faced. Well, news flash people, PR faces and overcomes crises more than the number of assignments you cry for. None of these situations are taught theoretically and all you must rely on is your presence of mind and patience while you are hit with an unexpected crisis and your client asks for an emergency meeting! So, hard work is a preference but smart work is a criterion.
PR may need your smart brain but you need good communication and networking skills if you want to survive here. Communication and networking do not mean picking any random person and talking his/her ears off. In fact, it is the total opposite and way more. Communication is about speaking relevance, carefully listening, reading authentic, and writing stories. Whereas, networking is about meeting different people, gaining, and sharing knowledge, and building trust between you and them.
Public Relations is such an industry that will never lose its demand. It has ample opportunities for growth and the power to create as well as preserve an image or reputation of someone’s identity. This is a field where weakness can become strengths and strengths can become your expertise. And of course, interested, and passionate people will get to taste the high life as they pursue their journey.
By Hemant Gaule: Dean of SCoRe (School of COmmunication & REputation): Hemant is an education leader based in Mumbai, India, and is passionate about education, policy, and media. After graduating from the Indian Institute of Management -Ahmedabad, he has counselled several private, social, political & government initiatives. He was a Co-founder & Director of Citizens of Accountable Governance, a team that spearheaded the national election campaign of India’s current Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in 2014. After that, he has Co-founded (and is Dean of) India’s only institute dedicated to education and research in public relations – School of Communications & Reputation. In 2019 he became the first Indian to be conferred as a Fellow Accredited Public Relations Practitioners by ASEAN PR Network.