New weekly column ‘PR, etc’ by Amith Prabhu: To new beginnings!

03 Jun,2013

Introducing a new weekly column titled ‘PR, etc’ by Chicago-based public relations professional Amith Prabhu

By Amith Prabhu


It’s summer and it’s the season of awards. That’s when people can make travel plans, look at the year gone by and plan for new beginnings. It’s that time when I make the new beginning as a columnist on the invitation of the Editor of the media outlet you are reading. Public Relations as a profession is coming into its own in India with two awards for the business, with at least two credible conferences for the community and with two portals dedicated to Indian news and views that interests fellow professionals.


Writing a weekly column should be fun but it won’t be easy. I took up the challenge because our profession needs these platforms to exchange ideas. You, as a reader can contribute in two ways – sharing ideas for forthcoming columns and commenting on the columns with a point of view. And yes, two words you will never see in these columns are ‘industry’ and ‘agency’, other than in this paragraph for the first and last time. Because in our profession these don’t exist as of now. For the first column I wanted to focus on how the last decade has witnessed three major milestones for the profession and how fortunate I have been to be part of these historic times.


Firstly, a new group of individuals began to flow into the business in the form of natives that will eventually replace the immigrants. Given the advent of media institutes offering robust courses at the under graduate and post graduate level a new breed of professionals began to emerge at the dawn of the new millennium. Until then a large number of pioneers moved from into Public Relations from varied disciplines including but not limited to Publishing, Marketing, Advertising, Journalism and even Hoteliering. This is great for the cause of the profession as people get grounding in theory at these institutes that some smartly apply to the practical world.


Secondly, almost all the major Public Relations firms headquartered in Europe and the United States have made inroads in one of the fastest growing economies either by starting up from scratch or by acquiring existing firms. This is great for professionals as it gives instant access to global knowledge and best practices, transfers across the world and opportunities to interact with colleagues from across the world thus changing the rules of the game entirely. I joined an Indian PR firm in 2004 after a rigorous campus recruitment process. When I moved on in 2007 the firm was international by virtue of being acquired.


Third and lastly, several senior communications professionals have made their way into boards and found a seat at the table, thus giving the art and science of public relations its due. This to me is the hallmark of the last decade and something that needs to become a rule rather than an exception. That will happen only when we are able to show value we bring to a business in terms of strategic thinking and innovative tactics.


I have set myself a target of writing about 500 words (not more) each week and will stick to it. Here’s to new beginnings as I await your suggestions for future columns and points of view on this one.


Amith Prabhu is the founder of The PRomise Foundation which organises PRAXIS – the annual summit for PR & Corp Comm professionals in India. During the day he is a full-time employee at a leading Public Relations firm in their Chicago office. He spent the first eight years of his post-graduation career in India and is in the US for two years, of which he has completed 18 months. Views expressed here are the author’s own and don’t represent those of his past, present or future employer.


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4 responses to “New weekly column ‘PR, etc’ by Amith Prabhu: To new beginnings!”

  1. Himanshu Agarwal says:

    Hey Amith…would like to read on how PR efforts are measured, PR in the age of digital dissemination of content, PR lingo, what is earned media and whether it’s a good KPI to watch…etc etc…

    Am neither a native nor an immigrant…I am a bystander and want to understand what is PR. As I understand PR, it is about plugging your stories on the right media at the right time…want to hear from the natives about the nuts and bolts!