Amith Prabhu: Public Reputation cannot be built in a day

25 Aug,2014

By Amith Prabhu


This column is about three separate ideas and how they need a rehaul.


First idea: Some PR firms in India are known to have built their business based on undercutting, wherein they have made their money but ended up offering low quality service and talent bringing disrepute to the profession. These topics are never discussed in public but we all know this happens in every profession and push it under the carpet. Is there a way this can be fixed? I think there is. We need to welcome an accreditation system, we need to ensure a minimum billing standard which the association of consultants and its members should follow and we need to invest in good talent that delivers beyond media relations.


Second idea: Talking about talent. I have happened to work directly or indirectly with four to five PR firms in India, as an employee, as a consultant and as a client. I have noticed that every firm has some talent that is on par with those in developed markets. I have also noticed that several firms have a large number of run of the mill human assets who do not want to go above and beyond. This can only change when we identify a minimum qualification and a basic intensive training that is a mix of general training that is common to entry level employees of member firms and specific training from a common syllabus that each firm imparts on its own with required customization.


Third idea: Having worked for over 50 brands and organizations over the last decade in the corporate world and now in the political world, I have come to realize how shallow some minds at the other end are. Some clients need to be trained on an understanding of Public Reputation and there needs to be a training programme that teaches these clients who do not have a background in PR firms or good corporate communications. The folks I’m referring to generally come from the area of sales, administrative services or writing. They think a media contact can swing a positive story or two and that is good enough. Not any longer in a highly digitally sensitive world.


This column could be slightly provocative. That was the original intention. When these three ideas are talked about and then solutions are discussed and implemented we will have better days. Public Reputation Management needs some reputation enhancement.


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