Amith Prabhu: The need for an individual membership-driven PR association

10 Feb,2014

By Amith Prabhu

 

Indian PR professionals are growing in large numbers.  There are easily a thousand in-house talent generally referred to as corporate communications managers and directors. And then there are at least three thousand people working in PR firms in the metros alone and this is a back of the cover calculation.

 

With 4000 professionals already and another couple of hundred coming in from other allied professions including fresh graduates from C-schools, the fraternity is growing. All skilled service professions have associations which one apply to be a member of and receive certain benefits. But in Indian PR, there is none such though it is the need of the hour.

 

Several young professionals have expressed the need to belong to a professional association. The question is what’s in it for a professional and who will bell the cat? How will it evolve and what can it learn from similar associations in the West?

 

To start with, it needs a few like-minded professionals to come together and put a framework of objectives that addresses member benefits clearly. It then needs commitment and investment to set up a secretariat that is supported by heads of homegrown as well as global firms. It then requires a membership drive that offers members clear benefits at an affordable fee.

 

The association should focus on three things at the least – skill upgradation, accreditation and benchmarking service. It should have a full-time professional manning the secretariat and provide something for everyone from the seasoned professional to the fresher. This is an idea whose time has come.

 

I’m hoping the leaders of the profession are reading and believing in the need for such a body. If not now, then when. If not by us then by whom.

 

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