Amith Prabhu: 16 things we hope to see in Indian PR this year

25 Jan,2016

By Amith Prabhu


Here is a list of 16 things one hopes to see happen in the Indian PR world this year… the concluding part of the series of
1. A united communications fraternity – There are several groups online and offline. There is PRCAI, PRSI, PRCI, ABCI. They all need to come together under a Federation for the greater good.


2. A book or two by PR veterans – We hope Prema Sagar and Madan Bahal or Dilip Cherian and Sunil Gautam bring out a book on Public Relations in India this year. It will be a good for future generations to gain inspiration from.


3. An Indian PR campaign from a PR firm winning at Cannes – Indian PR firms have never won a Lion at Cannes and we hope this June changes that once and for all. Some great work does happen, some great packaging needs to happen.


4. A PR professional becoming a corporate CEO – A career PR professional has rarely become a CEO of a corporate organisation.  John Fallon of Pearson, Dave D’Alessandro of John Hancock, and Richard Plepler of HBO have done it in the US. India’s turn now.


5. The next 100 crore PR firm in India – This can only happen if the second largest Indian firm merges with another global firm, which maybe a difficult proposition but it is still possible. I’m referring to Perfect Relations becoming part of the Edelman or MSLGroup network.


6. A Deputy Secretary General at PRCAI – PRCAI has great potential but needs more hands and feet. While Jayoti is doing a great job, time for her to have a full-time assistant and potential successor.


7. A really solid awards system – There are couple of awards systems but these have the same companies on the jury, on the sponsor table and on the winners’ list. The three need to be separated with no further comment.


8. A PR magazine in print – Print is not dying anytime soon. The profession needs to have its own print magazine so that the profession gets its due with a variety of stakeholders. High time this cat was belled.


9. A few more women leaders in the top 10 firms – I shared a list of the 16 leading ladies in Indian PR consulting but majority of them are not in the Top 10 firms. We need more women in senior leadership (Top 3) at the larger firms.


10. An Indian in the global leadership of a Top 20 international PR firm – Very few Indians have gone beyond regional roles. It is time for an Indian to make it to the global leadership of a leading firm beyond tokenism.


11. Indian consultancies hiring from the top IIMs and from ISB – I hope 2016 is the year when IIMs and ISBs see a beeline for placements on Day Zero from at least five PR firms in India. This will be the day when the profession has truly arrived.


12. A repository of Indian PR case studies – There is no online or offline repository of great case studies of work done in Indian Public Relations for reference. I hope this year that changes in some form.


13. An Indian solution to the measurement problem – We have heard the Barcelona Principles for the last several years


14. A PR professional being appointed by the government as communications advisor – This government may never hire a formal communications advisor like most previous Prime Ministers did. If they do, I wish it will be someone from the PR fraternity.


15. A better work-life balance for PR professionals – PR often features in the most stressful jobs list. PR people are part of a vicious cycle. Maybe, it’s time to get that act together and focus on better health and less stressful times.


16. A structured association of corporate communicators – There is no single association that brings together corporate communications professionals. There are WhatsApp groups and Facebook groups. But a registered association could do wonders.


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