Every good organisation needs a strong Public Relations team. They are ideally responsible for controlling the exposure and maintaining the image of the organisation in the eye of the public.
A lot of times, Public relations management is confused with advertising, but the truth is there is a lot of between these two aspects of an organisation.
Difference between Public relations and advertising
• Advertising focuses mainly on paid services in the media, while the PR focuses more on unpaid methods.
• PR promotes a product or the client, while advertising involves paying journalists to write stories, providing free samples of a product, writing cutesy jingles etc.
• Advertising builds exposure for the organisation while Public relations team’s job is to build trust among the people for their client.
The Publicity Bureau was the first PR agency and was founded by former Boston journalists, including Ivy Lee, who is considered the father of Public relations and was the pioneer who established it as a profession.
The power of Public relations was first seen during the World War 1 on a large scale. Germany created the German Information Bureau to create pamphlets, books and other communications that were intended to support the justness of their cause, to encourage voluntary recruitment, to demonize the enemy and persuade America to remain neutral in the conflict.
Courses and exams
There is no specific course required for PR, however, a particular set of skills is recommended. Some institutes do offer courses in Public relations.
These are listed below-
• Indian Institute of media communication
• YMCA Institute for media studies and information technology
• St. Xavier’s Institute of communication
• Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan
• Jadavpur University
List of entrance exams-
• IIMC entrance exam
• YMCA entrance exam
• XIC online test
The roles and responsibilities of a Public relations officer include
• Writing press releases
• Carry out events and charity work to shed a positive light on the organisation.
• Help with image restructuring in case of some fiasco.
• Build public trust and relations based on earned praise and positive reinforcement.
• Represent the client and keep up the buzz about them at all times.
• Track news and other media outlets.
• Lots of room for creative work since it involves unpaid promotion and creative ways to do that.
• Meeting lots of interesting people and opportunities for networking and developing new skills.
• Gives business instant media credibility.
• One move can do wonders for increasing profits.
• PR specialists have a lot of power since they can make or break an organisation’s image.
• One of the most stressful jobs existing today.
• No amount of experience can prepare you for future.
• It is a relatively new domain and until recently not recognised as a mainstream profession.
• One mistake can be catastrophic for your entire career as the chances are limited and the competition is fierce.
Salary and growth perspective
The average salary of a public relations officer with an experience of 10 years is above 4lpa in India. With more experience, it increases even more. Since as a PR manages you have good negotiation skills, it can come handy during salary negotiations. PR specialists are very costly and hence live a pretty comfortable lifestyle.
• Quick thinker and good logical skills.
• Problem-solving skills.
• Good at networking and communication.
• Skilled at negotiation.
• Diplomacy and calm front.
• Should be comfortable working in teams.