Amith Prabhu: Public Relations is about honesty, no matter what!

14 Sep,2015

By Amith Prabhu

 

I enjoy writing columns that are connected to personal experiences. The past month has been harrowing in terms of organising the annual communications summit that is now in its fourth year. I have had a tougher time organising this one compared to all the previous three editions put together. The first two happened when I lived thousands of miles away.

 

Well, this time around every category of people ranging from vendor, partner and sponsor have gone back on their words making the effort to put the event together all the more harder. The good thing is, there are angels who come to the rescue, but they come at a price. While I will not get into details and won’t name the organisations or individuals involved, it is important to understand that the first step to Public Relations is to be transparent.

 

The first problem began when one of the sponsor who made a commitment to be in a certain category backed out and wanted to move to a lower category. That is understandable as revenue management can be a hindrance to marketing efforts. Just as that issue was being sorted, the band that had agreed to perform and to who a cheque with full advance called to bail themselves out and then took five weeks to return the payment which they had thankfully not cashed. As we were focusing on the content of the summit, one of the five hotels began to play truant and put up some inventory online on a third party website. They had a clear understanding that we, as organisers had the first right of refusal of any rooms. But the misery of dealing with this issue has led to several man hours wasted and an unhappy feeling.

 

The point I’m making with all these examples is how the three organisations in question may have had genuine constraints but they never came across as genuine. They came across as issues that emerged because of bad organisation or planning. Public Relations is about honesty, first. When organisations do not stand up for what they promise there is a problem. Fortunately, for these organisations I was the customer at the other end. They were let off easily.

 

We keep making plans for our organisations and for that of our clients’ organisations. The bottom line of every plan should be “Honest first”. We have to be honest to ourselves, so that all stakeholders experience the outcomes of our honest words and deeds. On the other hand, there have been organisations that have filled-in when some dropped the ball. And they do so because they believed in Honest and Transparent dealings. We have the power to create. We need to create more responsibly.

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