Amith Prabhu: A perspective on PR awards

30 Nov,2015

By Amith Prabhu


I was part of the audience at the oldest awards for Public Relations in India held at Gurgaon on Saturday night. While I give credit to Anurag Batra for instituting these awards in 2010 and bringing up the 6th edition in style, it was sad to several stalwarts missing. I am not privy to the reason for the absence of at least a dozen senior leaders but they missed an opportunity to inspire younger professionals.


Some PR companies were conspicuous by their complete absence. I’m worried for future generations that there are less than half a dozen opportunities annually for the fraternity to interact with future managers and leaders. I also feel leaders of organisations may have reservations about certain events and therefore keep away.


I’m hoping things get better. We are a unique family of professionals where almost all key players know each other on a first name basis. We need to work towards a better future. This maybe possible by also improving and increasing the awards options. Globally, ICCO has launched awards, there are the Cannes Lions, Sabre has been around for a while and now the global alliance is making inroads into the awards space.


Awards should have a completely independent jury. One which does not participate in the awards. Award functions should be sponsored by entities that do not submit entries. The three divisions should be kept separate – those who submit, those who sponsor and those who judge.


There are over 90 PR firms in three categories – large, medium and small. There are about 20, 30 and 40 firms respectively in each of these categories. Only about 8 to 10 participate. Further, only 10 to 15 attend the awards despite being held in the metros. I wish this changes. There is so much good work done by several of the 90 firms. I hope as time passes we become more inclusive and transparent in rewarding ourselves.


PR, etc is a weekly column written by Amith Prabhu, a communications professional, Dean of communication school SCORE, founder of the Promise Foundation, Praxis and Engage. The views expressed here are his own.


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