There are a set of common illusions one usually has while selecting a career in Public Relations. It is only after we get on the job and start working as a PR Professional in India that we realise what the job role in Public Relations entails. In this blog we will be discussing the expectations that a PR aspirant usually has before coming into the field versus what the reality truly entails.
Being a PR Professional in India: Expectation versus Reality –
1. Expectation – Party Hard !
Reality – Work hard, party hard!
Here the expectation is that Public Relations is a very glamorous professional where you get to attend plenty of parties and events and meet a lot of people, the reality is that it is all of that but a lot more, it involves a lot of ground work such as research, writing, documentation, analysis, presentation and crisis that you need to work around. Thus being a PR Professional in India, is not all just fun and games, but you need to be prepared to do the ground work as well.
2. Expectation – You need to be an extrovert to be in Public Relations
Reality- Extrovert/Introvert/Ambivert, this profession has room for all
Public Relations is a mix of all types of personalities. It is not necessary to have a specific set of personalities within this profession. Irrespective of being an extrovert or introvert, if you have content skills and are able to form connections and analyse your surroundings accurately, you can be a great PR professional. In fact this is such a profession where all types of personality can find their own niche to shine. It all boils down to your capabilities and your zeal to work hard as well smart.
3. Expectation – PR is all about handling crisis
Reality – PR is about 90% of avoiding crisis and just 10% of managing crisis
Most of the time PR professional in India are looking for threats and risks to businesses and doing what they can to avoid the threat from turning into a crisis. While crisis do happen and they can be very consuming and time taking, the reality is that most crisis are spotted well in advance and averted by PR professionals. People think that it’s a high pressure job since you are dealing with a lot of crisis but the real deal is that you are dealing with a potential crisis and dowsing the fire before it engulfs everything.
4. Expectation : Indian clients are conservative and rigid
Reality: Most Indian brands are very liberal and forward thinking.
In today’s era and age, most Indian Companies are forward looking and open to changes because they understand that the world is changing and that they need to adapt accordingly in order to keep up the pace. In this process they are open to new innovative ideas and appreciate out of box ideas and approaches. Thus, the mindset of people regarding Indian brands needs to be shifted specially when it comes to Public Relations. Thus, PR professionals as well as aspiring PR professionals must realise that there is almost no hindrance in their way, and that they can think and explore to the best of their abilities because in Public Relations the sky is your limit all you need to do is change your lens and look at brands with a changed perspective.
5. Expectation: PR equals Media Relations
Reality: PR is storytelling, strategizing content, building narrative, influencer outreach, thought-leadership outreach, reputation management, and a lot more
It is a common misconception that Public Relations is mostly media relations where the job of a PR consultant is to reach out to the media and just share a press release or a press note or some kind of a quote but the job of a PR consultant extends way beyond that. It starts with understanding what a brand is or a brand stand for and how the brands want to be positioned, creating a storytelling approach for the brand and counseling the brand’s custodians like the CEOs or Corporate Communication Professionals on what kind of narrative should take place, creating that narrative with the help of both internal and external stakeholders, understanding their needs and aligning towards the brand’s narrative. Shaping that narrative is not just the outcome of media relations, thus a press release or a media release is a very small portion of the entire cycle. Therefore, the job of a PR professional is a lot more strategic in nature.
These are a few realities of Public Relations as a profession in today’s generation. This field has evolved a lot with time and currently has a lot of potential to be explored further.