Amith Prabhu: 7 things they don’t teach you at C school

05 Oct,2015

By Amith Prabhu

 

The period after Praxis is time for reflection. Time to think of what’s right and what’s not in our community. On my flight back from Bangalore I was pondering on what attributes are found in the brightest and the best professionals and I realised that several of the smart individuals did not learn the characteristics they possess in a B-School or C-school (C for communications). I listed some of these attributes and thought of sharing them here:

 

Agility – The ability to be flexible with limited lead time. An interesting example for this is on how we managed to deal with the proposed Bandh in Karnataka on the second day of Praxis. We ensured we reached out to the police to handle any eventuality and detailed planning led to a flawless Day 2.

 

Brevity – The skill to be concise and precise in communications. This is an art that can be mastered only through practice. There are umpteen examples of this quality. However, Twitter is the best place to learn this skill.

 

Mindfulness – This is a combination of having an eye for detail, a strong presence of mind and immense amount of alertness. While this portal mentioned in a news article on how the founder of a PR firm was discreet about selling his firm to a global firm until three days prior to the announcement. What very few know is that Rishi Seth was thoughtful to inform the organisers a month prior to the event in Mysore that his firm would not be independent around the time of Praxis and it would not be proper for him to be on a panel.

 

Discretion – Deciding what to share and what not to. For this one timing is everything. A case in point is this new handle on Twitter called @Praxisian. While I neither know who is behind it nor do I want to know, the fact that someone has been able to create a handle is in itself intriguing. How the person behind the handle uses discretion while being anonymous will be interesting.

 

Enthusiasm – What separates good and not-so-good professionals in today’s day and age is enthusiasm. An example for this is a gentleman called Vikram Kharvi and his passion for the profession that very few display. Follow him and you’ll know what I’m referring to.

 

Fairness and Fearlessness – These are life values that are essential in the PR profession. They are not taught but have to be learnt. I have been fortunate to have four mentors in my four Indian jobs from whom I have learnt these two characteristics. Fairness from Amit Misra and Ravi Kiran. Fearlessness from Ashwani Singla and NS Rajan. If you know them you will know what I mean.

 

Goodness – In a cut-throat world this is rarely an attribute we come across frequently. For a lady to have started a PR business in the early 90s and later create a Foundation to give back to underprivileged children takes a lot. If one has to learn goodness Prema Sagar is a solid example.

 

You can learn strategic thinking, campaign planning and good writing in a C School but the seven attributes mentioned above only will come from experience and exposure.

 

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