Amith Prabhu: How about a dedicated school for Reputation Management?

17 Nov,2014

By Amith Prabhu


There is a school for every subject, almost but for a subject that can be helpful for every sector there is none. We have a school for fisheries, for petroleum, for design, for architecture, for journalism, for ‘you name it’ and you will find it. But there is no school for reputation management – one of the few subjects that is both a science and an art.


We keep hearing about the talent problem in every profession. Public Relations and Reputation Management – both inhouse and in consultancies do not have a talent problem but a problem of attracting and retaining good talent. If PR companies advise clients on employee engagement tactics and potential employee outreach programme why is it that PR companies are always struggling to find good people?


I have said this in the past and the problem is about a vicious cycle. The only solution is to have a no=frills dedicated school that is affordable and teaches a small group of students the art and science of reputation management in the cost effective way. It is surprising that there is no school for the field.


I’m not discounting the fact that there are communication institutes that offer a specialization but the good ones charge unrealistic fees and the not-so-good ones produce not-so-good talent. There needs to be a conscious effort of bridging this gap. PR firms and corporate communications professionals need to come together to jointly find a solution.


The programme that is created needs to be world-class. The institute should have an offering that has to be rigorous yet smart in its methodology of teaching. Students need to do two out of the box internships and can choose to work in either a media house, a political party, a not-for-profit or a restaurant to learn the various facets of those organisations that come in handy in the world of reputation consulting. Taking up consulting projects during the programme is another important element that should not get missed out.


Finding talent is never going to be hard because these days a lot of people without the right aptitude, attitude and qualification get into the profession and quickly realize the folly. But finding the right talent that makes an impact will always be hard unless they are caught young, moulded and inspired to approach the profession in a way that is rarely done.


I’m sure people will come together to make this a possibility before it is too late. I’m already putting a blue print together to create one. I’m scouting for the right mentors, investors, partners to bring this alive. I’m sure well-intentioned veterans of the profession will put their best foot forward to make this happen.


Amith Prabhu is a Public Reputation Management professional who focuses on communications for national politicians. In his free time, he plans and executes Praxis – the annual weekend summit for fellow professionals. He can be reached at @amithpr on Twitter


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