Amith Prabhu: The art of Public Relations is changing

02 Mar,2015

By Amith Prabhu

 

India is seeing a new breed of events that were never heard of until a couple of years ago. I just returned from one and my biggest takeaway is that Public Relations is changing faster than we thought. And it is happening through real-time human interaction.

 

Peer influence, word-of-mouth marketing, new connections are all taking place at these weekend events around the country. The Coalition, Construkt Festival INK conference and The Goa Project are just few of the events that have mushroomed. These are the new media outlets where ideas are brought to life and discussed threadbare.

 

We talk of PR professionals not getting their due.  If we PR professionals do not take time out and invest in attending events such as these we will for remain in a shell. Besides the learning and meeting with new people that these forums offer there is an amazing power to float trial balloons and test new concepts that these gatherings offer.

 

Three things I liked at the The Goa Project, which I feel are reasons enough to attend such unconferences in the future. People from different walks of life who are complete strangers attend. I did not know a single person but at the end of two days I had made friends with nearly a dozen interesting individuals including an art therapist, a make-up artist, an in-film placement expert, a design thinker, an econometrician, a bespoke designer, a theatre actor, a linguist, a podcaster and a spa owner among others. Can there be a wider variety?

 

The unconference meant anyone could apply to be a speaker and share a point of view. So one could attend sessions as diverse as women-centric cinema, fund raising in the arts, the power to change habits and stress management among others. Most importantly the sea-side ambience provided a relaxed setting for learning with fun.

 

Lastly, one goes back with entirely new perspectives on life that one would not get at a gathering of like-minded or fellow professionals. So why are PR professionals not at such events? I don’t have an answer. All I know is that there is a need for such events and these are great places for communicators to create traction for brands and organisations they work for.

 

We cannot complain that we do not have adequate forums to meet and discuss ideas. We must make use of these platforms to evolve ideas. Until the next unconference, then.

 

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