In the last couple of years we’ve gotten a chance to take a close look at several institutes of public relations in Mumbai, NCR and Bangalore – where (post graduate) PR education is provided or from where PR consultancies recruit. After studying various factors such as curricula, career prospects, affordability, location, industry connect, infrastructure, alumni network, we’ve shortlisted these five:
The entertainment industry in India has an enormous number of eyeballs glued to it always, day-in and day-out. A million dreams in the hearts, young or old are woven by it. The ocean of fans outside the homes of our superstars speaks volumes of the super-influence that the entertainment industry has on Indians. The glitz and glamour of the showbiz world, without a doubt, looks like a cakewalk on the screen.
This popular industry has a prodigious follower base across the globe and it is only growing with time. With the proliferation of reality shows, advent of social media and unique content, the rat race of being in the eye of the audience has become a serious business.
When we see these celebrities coming to a show to promote their upcoming shows or movies, it appears as if they have just come there to watch it like the other audience in the studio. However, that is not the case. An immense amount of effort and research is put behind the way they behave and what they speak. A celebrity has to go for an interview fully prepared. It is no cakewalk for them. These promotions are hectic. Running around from one place to another on a tight schedule is not a smooth sail.
I am not stating the facts post an extensive Google search. I am able to do this for I have had the chance to manage the interview line-ups of a few television artists recently. It has taught me the three very crucial things:
1) Make sure everything starts on time: Start dropping reminders to the celebrities at least 2 hours prior to the interview. Start coordinating with their drivers and provide them with all the required details. I know celebrities have a reputation of reaching for interviews really late. However, I am of the opinion that a celebrity’s punctuality will always be a trait that the media will remember. Make them realize the fact that it will garner a positive reputation for them
2) Be pro-active. Think ahead: Prepare a list of everything that you will need to know. This is just like doing your homework beforehand. Every minuscule detail has to be taken into consideration. Look after the routes, make sure you have every concerned person’s contact details with an alternate number, check after the artist’s food arrangements, their requirements etc. You have to know EVERYTHING
3) Never reach late for a live event: When I say a live event here, I press more emphasis on the live event especially on a digital platform (Facebook live, Instagram live, YouTube live etc.). The advancement of digital media has allowed the fans to watch their celebrities interact with them real time. That means it leaves no chance for any kind of an editing. It is not the celebrity but the media outlet which will be on the receiving end of the negative response by the fans. Fans that are eagerly waiting for the celebrity to come online and interact with them. You don’t want the artist to lose credibility with the media, because such things spread in the media universe like fire. This might end up putting the artist’s reputation at stake.
I am sure these tips will definitely come into handy if you are about to start the job!
This article originally appeared on the author’s blog site.
Shreya Dubey is a student of the PG Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. She has completed her Bachelors in Mass Media from S.K. Somaiya College of Arts, Science and Commerce.
Internship, the word itself terrified me. My seniors wouldn’t even want remember the days of their internship. The days of horror, as they would recount. Somewhere along the way I had made the decision that I would never intern. I promised myself that I would never buy coffee, clean tables and do others work. Why intern when we can start working? So when I was informed that I would be interning at a PR firm for 2 months I could help but think 57 days of torture. I didn’t have any other option , I had to intern but I made my mind that I would not serve coffee. However, this perception did change when I joined my internship.
It was only weeks for my internship and I had already started receiving advices. I was told, internship is the best thing that can happen to a student. Contrary to what I always believed. The main purpose of the internship was to get a job. Impress the firms with your capabilities and compel them to bring you back as an employee. It was an opportunity where you get exposed to the corporate world while one studied. I was told, I would be working in one of the top 10 PR firms in India. This chance was not given to everyone and I should not miss out on it. Do not waste your time and always ask for more work was engraved in my mind. Yet, I could not stop the jitters. Internship continued to haunt me. With all my courage I joined my firm.
I have often heard, expectations are never matched by reality but I had never experienced it. That was about change. I was happy when my expectations were not matched. I did not have bring coffee or clean tables, rather I was shown the practical side of the PR world. I learnt a lot more on ground than in class. I was exposed to what clients expect from us and what should we expect from them. The 57 days turned into 2 short months. Asking for work had become an habit. Once the barriers fell, I couldn’t help but enjoy my every moment spent in my internship. Today when I am asked about internship, all I can say is, It is the best thing that can happen to a student.
This blog post originally appeared on the author’s blog site.
Degrees are not everything, especially when it comes to Public Relations. To be a successful PR professional one needs to be an all-rounder. It is important to hone your skills to strengthen your career in this profession. Technology has played a major role in bringing about a paradigm shift, but we have not yet reached that stage where human intervention can be ruled out.
My two-month Internship at a leading Public Relations firm has helped me identify a set of core skills that an aspiring Public Relations professional should have.
This is like the alphabets of Public Relations. Strong communication skills backed by smart diplomacy defines the foundation for your career in this profession. You should be able to articulate your ideas and listen to others. Listening is important here because communication is a two-way process. To be a good communicator you should be able to understand body language and be observant enough to look out for other forms of non-verbal hints which reflects the state of mind of people. As a PR professional you will always be selling something and how well you do that depends on your ability to communicate.
Your statements have to be backed by facts. You need to be updated about current happenings, about your clients and their business as well as their competitors. You will be required to map out trends as per your clients’ requirement. If you are serious about a career in PR be ready to do a lot of research and of you are naturally inquisitive you will enjoy this part.
Content generation and documents are unavoidable to PR. Drafting Press releases, drafting interview answers, briefing reports, event reports, case studies the list can go on. Good writing skills is a must. This skill has to be backed with your research skill and to generate content you need to have knowledge about the subject and for that you need to research.
Creativity and PR go hand in hand. Public Relations as a profession constantly calls for ideas and originality. PR professionals develop strategies for clients. Being able to contribute in brainstorming sessions for campaigns and strategies require creative and original thinking. Thinking out of the box, being creative is a key factor to being successful in this field.
Print and TV still holds great deal of influencing power and therefore cannot be ignored. If you wish to build your career in PR, be prepared to make those media calls, update numerous media lists and pitch for your clients constantly. Mapping industry trends and competitors are also a part of this.
Social Media has taken over the world. Digital content creation, online reputation management, SEO are very much in demand. It is much more than liking, sharing and retweeting. Social media has bridged the gap between brands and consumers. To cope with this transition, it is important to have an understanding of digital communications.
This post originally appeared on the author’s blog site.
– Julia Joseph
Julia is a part of Class of 2018 of the Post Graduate Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. She is a Master’s Degree in English Literature, and has worked with The Promise Foundation of PR prior to joining SCoRe.
When I recall my childhood days, I don’t really remember a happy child who loved her homework. I reminisce a cribbing child who felt irritated with pending work. She was someone who loved wrapping up work and going back home, free. Like someone, who wanted work to stay at work place and get back home, baggage free. But then as days passed, she grew up and learnt to deal with the dreadful, homework. Also, as she grew up, the definition of the word homework changed for her. In some years, the definition evolved from ‘completing the homework’ to ‘research’.
Now that I have completed my two months of internship at a reputed Public Relations firm, I really understand the importance of the word, homework. These two months have changed a girl from being a I-don’t-care-about-homework to homework-is-important girl.
The first incident which triggered this change was this journalist who works for The Hindu publication. During my internship, I was handling a consumer technology client. And for that client’s work, I had to call up journalists and pitch. So, one of the work was to pitch for a renowned Sri Lankan Opera singer. As usual, I was asked by my senior to talk to the features journalists for this singer. And for two days, in spite of making numerous calls, I realised that none of the journalists were interested in writing about her and some even said that they cover different beats. And that’s when I realised that perhaps I was reaching out to the wrong journalists. I did my ‘homework’ and mapped out a set of journalists who write on music. On the third day, I made my first call for this singer. The name of this journalist was Anurag Tagat. When I explained him that I have someone’s profile and I feel it might interest him, he interrupted me by saying that he only covers music. On mentioning with conviction, that I know his beat and the fact that this will definitely interest him, he did sound happy and surprised. And at last, I bagged my first interview opportunity for this singer. My ‘homework’ on this journalist gave me success!
And that’s when I realised the worth of the word, ‘homework’. I realised why teachers put so much stress on this particular thing or rather why was I scolded all the time for not doing my homework.
There is another incident which I particularly recall from my internship days. One day, during a call with a journalist, ten minutes into the conversation, he sternly said that he has changed his publication. And when I told him that I was aware of it and wanted to talk with him regarding that, he did sound happy. Furthermore, he appreciated that I have done my homework well.
So, finally the cribbing child has grown up and now appreciates her homework.
This blog originally appeared on the author’s blog site.
– Riya Sarkar
Riya is a student of the Class of 2018 of the Post Graduate Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. She has completed her Masters in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. She can be reached at Riya Sarkar on LinkedIn and @sarkarriya_92 on Twitter.
I was lucky enough to work at a well-reputed Public Relations firm this year. To make things easier for anyone and everyone that is interested in doing the same, please see below to get yourself acquainted with the job.
First things first, you will be assigned Four basic things that every Public Relations intern gets to do:
- Media lists
You will be asked to update Media lists. This may seem like a very trivial thing to do but its integral for every PR professional to know what journalists cover which beats from which publications. If it’s done right, this will help you get your basic PR learning in this regard.
- Media follow-ups
You might also be asked to make up follow up calls to journalists to get opportunities in getting coverage for your client. For this, make sure you write down a script with every possible question and response you anticipate from this conversation. Try a few trial sessions and before you know it, you’ll get a hang of it.
- Print/Online/Broadcast/Social Media tracking for your clients and their competition
You will be asked to either manually or digitally track the news for your client and competition. This will take a lot of your time but make sure you track properly. Take breaks when you can, don’t let this process get the better of you.
- Media Releases
To get yourself ready for this task, read as many press releases as you can find online. Try to understand the language and the framing used for them.
Practice, practice, practice.
Apart from these tasks, it’s extremely important to do your research about your firm, key members of the firm, members of your team, your client and your competition. This knowledge will help you add value to the team.
Likewise be aware of what is happening not only in your industry but all industries in the country. For that, you’ll need to read newspapers and follow web pages of regulatory bodies. This will help you become a force to be reckoned with in your team.
Be enthusiastic and make the right connections and hopefully your company will ultimately integrate you into their firm.
This post originally appeared on the author’s blog site.
Ishaan is a student of the Class of 2018 of the PG Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. He has completed his Bachelors in Psychology from Ambedkar University, Delhi. He can be reached at Ishaan Lahiri on LinkedIn and @LahiriIshaan on Twitter
One of the most integral parts in a public relations career is not client servicing but client delight.
Public relations professionals are hired to become an extension of a client’s team. Client’s work with us and depend on our ability to solve a challenges with our expertise. To win their trust, a PR professional must already have the answers and solutions in place before the client ask the questions.
A few things I’ve learnt about client servicing are:
- Firstly, setting clear expectations and painting a realist picture to the client.
- From time to time we must create graphs and charts of the goals achieved and share them with the client. These will help them know where their money is being invested. This also ensures that there is something to measure with and compare to later.
- Always, always keep the client in the loop of activities performed and the crucial materials. This way, everyone is on the same page with the goals and company messaging.
- We are playing the role of a communication consultant. Therefore, we should have in-depth knowledge about the industry and client’s company. Using this, we need to provide strategic advice to our clients which will help them strengthen their position.
- PR campaigns are successfully carried out based on a reasonable understanding of the client’s objectives, goals and need.
- In client servicing, it’s important that PR professionals work towards fulfilling the outcomes, as well as understanding and integrating the client’s needs too.
- Difficult clients do exist. It is a skill to be able to work out something that suits both you and your client. If reasoning with a client does not work, you need to adjust the plan accordingly without compromising on the main goal and targets.
The ones who master the art of client servicing will sail smooth in the field of PR and communications.
– Devika Joshi
Devika is a Management Trainee at Genesis Burson-Marsteller. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Public Relations & Corporate Communication from Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC), Mumbai and a bachelors in Management Studies (BMS) from Mithibai College. Devika loves to explore new places, and travels whenever she gets a chance. She can be reached at @Devika_J on twitter and here on LinkedIn.
As the saying goes ‘change is the only constant’. PR now needs to horizontally integrate and focus on outcomes rather than outputs. In the last few years we have increasingly, through insightful conversations, come across companies who were having bad experiences with traditional PR firms. The need of the hour is to address those ‘Bad Experiences’ through integrated solutions using content and advocacy programs as it helps fill the void and help companies achieve their goals in ways traditional PR has not!
The move into 2018 also comes with some new trends that are entering the marketplace and its high time that the industry pays attention to these. The rise of online has left many industries in a state of flux and traditional PR becoming increasingly digital is no exception.
Looking at some key learnings through this omni-channel landscape….
1.Digital takeaways- Digital public relation is measurable, immediate and produces easily shareable content. The realms of digital PR may not be as specified as that of traditional, but it can help grow a brand in an increasingly online world and make waves in a constantly evolving ecosystem.
2.Traditional PR is relevant- but with explosion in digital consumption of consumers, ability to think integrated and marry traditional PR with social media channels has become extremely important. With a smartphone camera in every pocket, with Instagram and YouTube, a part of daily life, visual media is now firmly entrenched in all communication tools. Such was its impact that media outlets feel a pressure to publish at least one image with every textual story, and data visualization exploded as a business stream, when only a few were expecting to take off.
3.2018 is about creating conversation and fewer press releases- The days of writing and distributing news releases, and then pitching media are in decline. While this process is important and still relevant, I’m finding that incorporating creative visuals in the delivery greatly increases the success rates of placements. In 2017, journalists felt the pressure to get social shares from their editors. So in 2018, PR personnel should ask themselves, “is my content shareable?”
4.How brands don’t distinguish between content, PR and social anymore- Earlier, brands communicated by talking about themselves. It was all about being introspective and showing what they were doing all the time — obnoxiously telling their story to uninterested audiences. Well, this type of approach is no longer valid. It’s not enough to talk about your brand — you need to create content and find people who will help get your content out there. Content is today’s king. Brands must understand that external communication relies on different platforms and resources, such as company blogs, social media and even multimedia content, for efficient distribution. Adapting a traditional press release to a much more visually attractive format may become the difference between success and failure. The era of infographics, marketing automation and thinking outside the box to create meaningful messaging is here to stay!
5.Expanding Skill Set- Need upskilling if you are in the industry and it is at the brink of something very exciting and relevant. Disciplines in PR have always been wide-ranging, and PR professionals have to be flexible and on top of current trends. This could include content creation, corporate communications, crisis management, events, internal communications, media relations, social media, reputation management and much more.
6.Paid vs Earned- Debatable? What part of the eco-system in PR, which is largely to be earned, is going to be now paid. For the longer run, editorial which was once an unadulterated stream, is peppered with paid, sponsored and blogger content. Its to navigate in this world of influencers and micro circles that can emerge as a new stream within the confines of PR 3.0!
– Komal Lath
Komal is the founder of Tute Consult – an integrated communication firm based out of Mumbai. With over 15 years of experience in communications, she has worked with an array of celebrities, international labels and brands. She holds a degree in Anthropology from Oxford University and completed her masters from MICA. Komal teaches at various premium institutes and is a speaker at several communication colleges and forums. She likes to travel and is a voracious reader. She can be reached at @Komall on Twitter and here on LinkedIn.
School of Commuications and Reputation – SCoRe is India’s only institute built by the Indian PR community, focussing exclusively on PR education. But here are 10 unique things about SCoRe which you may not know:
If you’re here you’re probably curious about Public Relations. There is a lot of information on our site about PR; to begin with, here are 5 of the most frequently asked questions:
We have written previously about 10 Signs if you’re made for Public Relations, and 10 Reasons Why Public Relations Careers Rock. Here’s a bonus read on what you will gain if you choose to study public relations.