[PR CHANNEL] PR’s Media Fixation

12 Dec,2011

By Sudarshan.S

 

Welcome to the world of “PR” or public relations, for being in the industry, we do not know what we are into, till you have a client, for the client defines what you will do.

 

Public Relations (PR) is something that the clients are clear about, but not the agencies themselves. Clients want Media Publicity – what is perceived as last mile connectivity, or the job of generating coverage/leads with media, and organize Press Meets.

 

PR Agencies do this diligently and all claim “we do it differently” (including us), and approach the same media that comprises about a dozen English dailies, half a dozen English Business Dailies, ditto for the channels, websites, the leading vernaculars, and then all and sundry who are a part of the mass mailing list.

 

The approach may differ slightly on the basis of the clientele that one handles, depending on Music & Entertainment, Investor Relations, Finance, Lifestyle, Technology, Luxury, Marketing, Commodities, and so on.

 

There are full-service PR Agencies that have offices across the metro cities and maybe some other key cities depending on client profile. There is a set of second rung agencies who are region / city specific, and operate through associates, and there are boutiques.

 

The key measurement factor becomes the number of cities that one can operate out of, and the amount of coverage (clippings/mentions) that can be generated, and hence the weight of the “Media Coverage Docket” is the ultimate measure of success. Quantity tends to take preference over quality, though the awareness of the former is surely increasing by leaps and bounds.

 

For the sake of an intellectual debate, I would like to negate everything that is stated above and say that PR is much broader than this, for a PR practitioner is not just a communications man, but a ‘societal technician’, who knows that effective PR is based on reality-not on images, whether true or false. Deeds and action that serve the public interest are the basis of sound PR, thus establishing a meeting point, to the highest degree of adjustment, between an organisation and the publics upon which it depends.

 

Professional PR practice depends on the application of the social sciences (psychology, sociology, social psychology, public opinion, communications study and semantics) to the problem at hand. The PR professional plays an important role in preparing the various segments of the society for coming developments-in order to prevent ‘future shock’.

 

What one generates as the last mile coverage is the resultant of some PR advice that covers adjustment to the public, information to the public, and persuasion to the public to accept a service or product in the form of editorial coverage or other innovative methodologies.

 

So PR as a profession is an occupation for which the necessary preliminary training is purely intellectual in character, involving knowledge in general and learning in particular, as distinguished from mere skill. Secondly, it is an occupation where one has to learn to wear others shoes and think for them, be it a client, media, or any constituent public.

 

Public Relations has expanded to include Events, Experiential Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, Brand Programmes, Social Media and so on. Thanks to the Internet and technology, the ambit has surely gone wider than just the Media coverage, for the term Media itself has exploded beyond defined boundaries.

 

Sudarshan S teaches public relations at various business and media schools. He also head the Mumbai-based Prognosys Marcom Services

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One response to “[PR CHANNEL] PR’s Media Fixation”

  1. guest says:

    good article bringing clarity to the buisness & practice

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