Public Relations education today is in dire need of academicians who understand the craft of communications. In India, there are few institutes that offer Public Relations as an elective or a specialisation. However, only the School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe) is dedicated to training aspiring professionals in this field which is both, an art and a science.
Public Relations is in need of creating awareness about its scope so that parents of young graduates about the scope and extent of a career in Public Relations. It needs to be holistic and driven by case studies. The focus of a wholesome education programme needs to be on writing, more writing and even more writing. Research and reading need to be given adequate impetus – something that Public Relations professionals cannot thrive without. Common sense cannot be taught but students need to be trained in applying thought to everything.
Public Relations needs to be taught by practitioners who will bring real life problems for students to solve. We at SCoRe are doing just that. We also include immersions and interactions with the leading PR firms and in the top corporate communications departments of India. As we go along we will plan to have international exposure for the students so that they are able to service clients, plan campaigns with a best-in-class approach.
Public Relations as a profession has come of age but the education options in India are limited. We need more professionals to write white papers. We need more of them to sign up as educators. There needs to be a research impetus. More people need to pursue the highest level of education and earn doctorates. We need to strive for excellence as a community. There needs to be a set of standards that we can adhere to.
The next step towards better professional Public Relations education is the foray of international universities in collaboration with existing institutes. There is a vast difference in the way Public Relations is practices in the US where leading universities are at the forefront of the finest education that they offer to budding professionals.
A combination of great teachers, good universities and a focus on research will help take PR in India to the next level.