Amith Prabhu: HR in Public Relations needs to do the right things to build a better reputation

09 Jun,2014

By Amith Prabhu


It’s June and that time of the year when in some companies appraisals are completed and in some appraisals are just beginning. This is also the time when people are actively looking out for greener pastures because they feel it is time to move on or because they are disgruntled at a nominal hike or are feeling the raw deal is not worthwhile. But most importantly this is the time HR is under immense stress because transitions are taking place.


But this column is to let HR folks in PR firms realize that they need to act as enablers rather than play an obstructive role. They need to strike a balance between the junior most person and their handlers. While HR is not a role that needs to be charitable, it certainly needs to be friendly and honest, which in my opinion is not any longer in PR firms.


Let me elaborate further with two examples and I will obviously use fictitious names of people and firms. Let’s take for instance Raju from Gadkari Public Relations – a reputed firm got a great offer from a rival company, Banerjee Public Relations. Now he has the right to freedom to move on but it would be unethical for him to try and take his team along. Whether or not he does that he has resigned at his existing organization and they have got a whiff of things to come so decide to ask Raju to go on leave until the end of their notice period and at the same time spread a rumour that Raju has been sacked, which is unfair to his reputation and in the long term not a good thing for the HR team’s reputation as well.


In another example, let’s take Rani who has just resigned from Omar Public Relations and is serving her notice period. The HR team in her office and the management begins to treat her badly by giving her the cold shoulder and taunting her. What HR does not realize that Rani will grow in her career and end up as a client someday and give Omar Public Relations a tough time and this has happened time and again.


One can go on and on about unsavory stories from the world of Public Relations talent management and have a solid collection of real life stories where HR has ruined its own reputation and that of the firm. Well, I hope HR wakes up and gets it act together by asking employee engagement professionals, CSR specialists and corporate reputation experts how to repair the damage they have done. May be, it’s time to do some PR for HR.


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