Amith Prabhu: The Public Relations person par excellence

03 Aug,2015

By Amith Prabhu


If there was man who epitomised Public Relations and lived most of his adult life building great relationships and in the midst of the publics it was our former President who passed away last Monday. I met him for a few seconds in 2003 when he visited the institute where I was a student in Pune. I asked him for his autograph and he quickly gave me a printed card in which he had personally signed his name. Very few of his generation would do something like that. His death proved how much Indians loved him. Cutting across all sections the outpouring of affection was there for everyone to see.


I was reading Shekhar Gupta’s interesting National Interest piece and on the late APJ Abdul Kalam yesterday to once again admire the life of this great man who inspired several generations through his sheer simplicity. His style was exactly that of commoners. He did well as President and after his term ended got back to doing two things he loved most – teaching and writing. Long before there was an International Yoga Day the UN had declared October 15th as World Students’ Day’. This was to commemorate Abdul Kalam’s birthday. Such was the power of this man.


He was a man of integrity and this is something we all must learn from. Integrity is not an attribute found easily in today’s time and age. Our profession suffers from it. We have seen it in the past and we hear stories of lack of integrity every other day.


Just last week a leading PR firm sacked three of its senior employees for the lack of integrity. Very often firms put matters of integrity and the lack of it under the carpet. We need to adopt a code of ethics for our profession and maybe learn from Abdul Kalam who was a greater PR person than the current Prime Minister.


Another important learning from Dr Kalam was his love for sharing and imparting knowledge. Again, an important element in our profession. We need to actively engage in mentorship programmes.


Lastly, Kalam Sir as he was fondly called breathed his last as he was delivering a lecture on Making the Earth a Livable Planet. We as influencers in our own right have a major role to play in making this world a better place. We are not doing enough though there are opportunities galore.


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