Amith Prabhu: From Public Relations to Public Reputation

11 Aug,2014

By Amith Prabhu


There is a wrong notion of Public Relations that some very powerful communicators have created and to many this has become the gospel truth. Hence the terminology I will use henceforth to a great extent of Public Reputation. It encompasses much more than just relations.


Unfortunately, true blue practitioners are too busy chasing targets and meeting goals to be able to make time to correct this perception. It is amusing how some people will refer to professionals as PRs. It is also sad that several veterans do not make the time to engage with the larger fraternity.


The need of the hour is constant refreshing of knowledge and a few good books written by the stalwarts of the business. I wish ten people come together for a magnum opus. That will be a historical book and a bible for professionals in India.


I wish Roger Pereira, Madan Bahal, Prema Sagar, Bela Rajan, Sunil Gautam, Sunil Agarwal, Rajiv Desai, Shiv Reddy, Veena Gidwani and few others get together to either write their own individual book or make a magnum opus out of a joint collaboration to bring out a truly world class book on Indian Public Relations. This could include stories of their start up days, best practices, case studies, practical tips, advice for professionals and many other things. Someone really needs to bell the cat.


Another thing that needs to happen is a regular series that imparts quality education to professionals. We need to constantly upgrade skills and there are very few affordable options for this to happen. There is immense scope for a weekend classroom style monthly workshop programme to impart general training to the professionals at large.


Several books float in bookstores, several training programmes happen within the four walls of the office but to have a book by the doyens of the Indian PR business and to have experts teaching the art and science of Public Reputation is something else.


Public Reputation Consultancies is what businesses that operate need to start calling themselves. It may not have takers initially. But this initiative should then lead to the process of having an accreditation process and only then will we bring more respect to our profession and ourselves.


Some may argue that this is not required or that we are not disrespected. But that is not the truth. We need to make a drastic change in our approach and it has to start with replacing the R in PR to Reputation. We will be better off when we do that and then walk the talk on Public Reputation.


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