India’s first corporate PR ezine                          VOL 2 Issue 1 – March 07


“PR education should be more learner centric, than teacher centric”

           Listen to the full interv...
good    grounding. Beyond  this            exposed     to   a   minimum      of    2
grounding another one year of      ...
PR –e- STIGE – Expert views

Prof. Sreenath Sreenivasan, Dean, Columbia School of Journalism
“PR is more a...
PR –e- STIGE – Expert views

Mr S Narendra, Former Information Advisor to Prime Minister of India and Chief
Spokesman of...
PR –e- STIGE – Expert views

Ms Sulosana Karthigasu, Mg. Director, PR Academy, Singapore
PR –e- STIGE – Expert views

Ms Uma Bhushan, Sr Faculty and Researcher, K J Somaiya Institute of Management
studies and ...

PR – e - Views – Views of PR students

Ms Rashmi, II yr MA (PR) student, MOP Vaishnav College, Chennai rashmi.nbr@gmail...

PR – e - Views – Views of PR students

Ms Rajiv Hari, PG student of PR, Leeds Metropolitan University,                ...

PR eTTY - Relax – Alexander’s three wishes

                 Alexander,       after   The people who had gathered th...

PResentors of PReSENSE

  Consulting Editor          Consulting Editor             Editor               Associate E...
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PR education in India


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This corporate ezine PR-e-Sense March 07 issue, deals with the various aspects of PR education in India. This is also integrated with podcast. This ezine is published by Prime Point Foundation, Chennai, India For more details visit

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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PR education in India

  1. 1. India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 2 Issue 1 – March 07 Published by Prime Point Foundation (Supported by Chennai PR Club) PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor “PR education should be more industry centric “ We are happy that our For the first time in the world, we are ezine has completed one making an attempt to design a year and this comes to syllabus for PR through ‘wiki’. This is a you as the first edition of great unique experience for all of us. the second year. Every edition of the ezine in the Present PR Education needs to be past was a great learning revamped. Many Institutions run PR experience for us. With and communication courses without the support of our readers, we were the involvement of the industry able to bring out an issue every month professionals. Any such professional on a single theme without break. The course will not be effective, unless the Editorial Board rededicates its educational institutions involve the PR commitment to continue the journey industry to a minimum of 70 to 75 and bring out more and more quality percent. contents for Corporates. Even the professional bodies like PRSI, This edition deals with the theme ‘PR PRCI, PRCAI have not done much in Education in India”. A quick survey this direction. conducted by us reveals a large gap between the PR industry and the There is an urgent need for debating academia. this issue and to develop suitable PR education system to suit the industry. Now, PR is emerging as a great K. Srinivasan ‘Management tool’ and needs to be combined with Management techniques. PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine • • An exclusive interview with Mr Expert views on PR education • Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Director, PR syllabus through Wiki • Symbiosis Institute of Mass Institutions offering PR courses communication
  2. 2. 2 PR-eXCLUSIVE “PR education should be more learner centric, than teacher centric” Listen to the full interview through podcast at Prof Ujjwal K enter the market. Till now I would Chowdhury rather say that PR education is not Director, well developed. But it is developing. If Symbiosis I take communication management as Institute of a whole of which public relations, Mass corporate communication are the Communication dominant components then I would (SIMC), Pune is say the Mudra institute of a well known communication, Ahmedabad, communication expert in India. Symbiosis institute of mass Presently, he is heading the Asia’s communication, symbiosis institute of premier Communication Institute. In business management, or national an exclusive podcast interview with K. institute of advertisement in Delhi are Srinivasan, he emphasized the need contributing towards education in PR. for involvement of PR and Communication professionals in the PR What I would say that a PR Education to a minimum of 70 to 75%. professional if educated - if trained Please read the full text of his views: properly - should have a basic (You can listen to his audio in the grounding in all forms of podcast link given above) communication. A doctor is a doctor first – a specialist next! Whether he is The question is on public relation orthopedic or ENT specialist, education –Infact the profession itself gynecologist or podiatrists. A is at a developing or in evolving stage communicator should be a in India. I can say perhaps it is just communicator first then a PR person. crossed the nascent stage and A holistic integrated grounding of therefore unfortunately like all knowledge in all forms of media as professional education in the country vehicles and communication as a the academic is not a leader function should be first in the professional, but a tail ender. Hence, postgraduate level, before one begins unfortunately PR education is yet in a the journey going deeper into more nascent stage than a PR communication management and PR. professional. And when we go deeper into Largely people with MBA degree in communication and PR it has to be a marketing or general communication vertical convergence within the and journalism degrees have usually communication management. That come into PR profession or many includes knowledge of advertising, people who are former journalists or publicity PR, event management, just like that. But professionally innovative media, direct marketing trained PR professionals are very rare. and more importantly Communication This is the phenomenon since 1990s or management through new media. So if early 90s. Well over the last 15 years these are all integrated at the second there had been a large influx of young level, after the general media of PR people who had been trained to communication integration we have a
  3. 3. 3 good grounding. Beyond this exposed to a minimum of 2 grounding another one year of internships. One could be in an agency semester depending on the model for 2 to 3 months, because an agency chosen. gives a very broad paradigm and spectrum. Because the clientele is I am taking our model of very diverse, there is a lot of humility, specialization, which is 2 years in there is a lot of humbleness while one SIMC. In the second year we should functions in an agency structure and concentrate more on the entire domain there is a lot of learning. Another of public relations and image internship of two or two and a half management with specific cases and months in a corporate setup focusing sectoral or domain focus. For example on corporate PR or corporate after understanding entire PR Corpcom communications. functions, reasonably well, then one can focus in getting trained on one or Well one can also have an event two areas of domain like telecom PR or management internship, instead of the broadly technology PR, banking or second one in a corporate house insurance PR, hospitality and tourism depending on the choice. A minimum PR or for that matter medical care and of 2 internships and a minimum of one health care PR. focused dissertation in a domain specific PR and a few projects in the These are all the areas evolving now college along with this structure of and I would like to mention also that a education that I have just now good ground of marketing not just outlined, I think, would make PR marketing communications but education really meaningful, effective marketing course should also be in PR and useful for the industry. education. That means a broad overview of media vehicles, And I must also insist here that not communication functions and more than 25% of the sessions in the marketing management at the best college should be conducted by the full and overview of IMC (Integrated time faculty and the rest of 75% or Marketing Communication) and atleast 70% should be conducted by integrated social communication in the professionals coming from the middle and the details of PR corp industry. People who run PR agencies, comm, With one or two domain area of people who head corporate focus as the Apex. communication divisions and people This gives us a clear pyramid structure who head event management outfits of PR education. should be involved. Because they can bring their real life experience in the Now this is the education side. But class room. And the education must be along with education and training, if learner centric and not teacher centric the trainee or the student doesn’t - should be in a workshop mode and practice what he studies it makes no not only in the classroom. These are sense. Hence in a typically 2 years of my broad parameters I would say of course focusing communication PR education in this county if PR management with PR as the education or training has to be specialization, a trainee must be meaningful.
  4. 4. 4 PR –e- STIGE – Expert views Prof. Sreenath Sreenivasan, Dean, Columbia School of Journalism “PR is more about ‘what’ you know than ‘who’ you know” Well that the Well what I feel about the comparison main thing of PR industry in India and in that Indian PR developing countries is the new needs to do is generation of PR happening in India to become as that wasn’t always as professional as professional as it is today. In the old age, PR was it can. Certain more about who you knew than what efforts now in you knew. I am seeing that in India as India and with it is in US and elsewhere PR is more the leadership of folks like you about what you know. And the more (meaning Prime Point Foundation) can we communicate this to young people, make a real difference. PR education is the better. undergoing transformation in the US as well, there has been lot of interest to become more transparent and to use new technology to help clients and in connecting clients in general. Dr R Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor, Anna University, Coimbatore “PR is not only communication tool, also a Management tool” PR- Public in Public Relations. One dynamic public Relations is an relations officer or individual can take intelligent care of the corporate if properly Management trained. In this context I will be roping task by an in more industry experts in the public individual relations skill training and making the having a multi students a good PR expert to meet the dimensional industry demand. As such if you see approach in the development scenario. PR is not only individual based. In the present scenario it cannot be Presently, we require more considered only as a communication communication skills in the society. All tool, as no classroom teaching will that relevant training will be help improving this personal relational incorporated in our syllabus and more thing. However PR dynamism – Public industry will be roped in and proper PR Relations dynamism can be achieved skills will be given to our students in only by industry or by field experts in the months to come. We are starting teaching the PR skill. this course in the current academic year itself. Anna University Coimbatore will be introducing industry-based curriculum . Podcast: You can listen to the views of Prof. Sreenath and Dr Radhakrishnan in the podcast at
  5. 5. 5 PR –e- STIGE – Expert views Mr S Narendra, Former Information Advisor to Prime Minister of India and Chief Spokesman of Government of India “Align the PR education with contemporary trend” You have image management, but also in asked me to corporate management, stake holders give my views management and other PR purposes. on the role of professional The third level at which the PR bodies like professional bodies like PRCI, PRSI can Public relation play is in designing some kind of Society of accreditation process for all the India, Public programs delivered by not only the Relation university affiliated colleges but also Council of private institutions. I am happy that India and Bangalore based Public Relation others in PR education. The Council of India with intervention of professional associations in most of ‘prpoint group’ has come up with some the developing countries lead the PR accreditation scheme but this schema education and lead the PR profession. needs to be propagated and accepted both by the education institutions as In India we have more than one body well as by the PR industry. and these are engaged in PR education. But what is required is all of The fourth and the final level at which them should come together to revisit these professional bodies can play a the kind of PR education required in role is in raising the profile of the the new millennium and come on a professional PR and also recognizing common platform (a) for designing the that not only a basic foundational syllabus, (b) for designing who will programmes are introduced but also administer this (c) how the PR industry in carrying forward continuing in India looks upon this education and education. Because today each (d) how it can access the students who industry requires a different kind of PR have come out of this kind of and what is required for brand programs. Unless they all come on a management is entirely different from common platform, they will be corporate management or crisis delivering different kind of PR management. Hence, a variety of education. I think that is the first level. other kinds of subprograms need to be run. This is where I feel the The second level at which they can professional bodies can play an really help PR education in India is important role constantly looking that having a close interface with not only the kind of PR education imparted by the PR Industry in India but also PR various institutions and then trying to industry abroad because lot of MNC align them, with the contemporary are coming into India and they are trend within the country and trying to use PR not only for their internationally. . Podcast: You can listen to the views of Mr Narendra in the podcast at
  6. 6. 6 PR –e- STIGE – Expert views Ms Sulosana Karthigasu, Mg. Director, PR Academy, Singapore “Raise PR standards by shared knowledge and collective experience” PR education provide value-add to the projects that can no longer they undertake. remain theory based. While an This is one of the reasons why the understanding curriculum in polytechnics in Singapore and knowledge that conduct PR and related of PR principles studies provide equal emphasis on is very practical work and engage renowned necessary, PR practitioners as lecturers. By education training students to meet the needs in universities and polytechnics need and demands of the industry, each to focus on practical training in new batch of officers who enter the the various PR fields so that graduates profession also help to raise standards joining the industry are able to of existing practitioners through bring to the table the latest thinking in shared knowledge and their collective PR and contribute immediately and experiences. PR SYLLABUS THROUGH WIKI Anna University, Coimbatore has Please visit the following link and offered to start a PG diploma course participate in the making of curriculum on Public Relations course designed by the PR industry. We have already started a Wiki to develop a PR course. PR – e- Groups – Have you joined discussion groups? Image Management Group – Second largest yahoo group on PR with 1440 plus global members. Click here PRpoint Group - The largest Indian group for PR/CorpComm /academic professionals with 660 plus members. Click here New Media Forum Group – A group for Indian journalists with around 350 members. Click here India Vision Group – A group for Indian youth on India Vision 2020 with around 1200 members. Click here
  7. 7. 7 PR –e- STIGE – Expert views Ms Uma Bhushan, Sr Faculty and Researcher, K J Somaiya Institute of Management studies and Research, Mumbai “Raise PR standards by shared knowledge and collective experience” In a landmark strategic management, public affairs 15-year study or corporate social responsibility to of excellence prepare them to work with PR in public professionals when they become relations and senior executives. communication An informal survey of the MBA management curricula in B-Schools in India revealed in USA, UK that advertising and sales promotion is and Canada more widely taught as a subject under sponsored by the International a marketing specialization, while MBA Association of Business programs in general management or Communicators (IABC) in 1992, three HR or Finance or Operations do not major recommendations were put have any modules on communication forward pertaining to PR education: management or public relations at all. 1. At the undergraduate level, PR Further, a dip stick study from Google education should continue to develop search for Public Relations courses in superior communication skills in their India resulted largely in Mass students but these skills must be Communication degrees offered by framed in principles of strategic major universities in India. Invariably management, research, ethics and courses in PR are offered as one of the social responsibility. It must instill in numerous preparatory courses in mass students the view that PR is a strategic communication degrees together with managerial function rather than a Journalism. Various part-time diploma technical support function for other courses offered also club PR with managerial functions. advertising. Only recently specialist Diploma courses in PR are being 2. Post graduate and continuing offered in India. It is therefore clear education programmes should focus that streamlining PR education in India on strategic management and research by way of offering professional skills and educate future managers to degrees with specialization in PR, is be ethics officers in their the key to advancing the PR profession organisations. in order for it to be a strategic 3. MBA programmes should include a managerial function as elucidated in unit on PR in the subject area such as the IABC conducted excellence study. PR courses in India Details of institutions which are offering Public Relations courses (compiled by Ms Uma Bhushan) Click here
  8. 8. 8 PR – e - Views – Views of PR students Ms Rashmi, II yr MA (PR) student, MOP Vaishnav College, Chennai “PR education should contain more of local case studies” I am pursuing familiar with, in a place I have never my masters in been to leaves me confused. Public relations in Chennai, for But if it was a case study on Amul or two years I Reliance or Infosys, it will register in have been my mind quickly and I can come up learning about with suggestions, my own ideas on PR but if you what could have been if I were to be ask me about the PR person. I got practical Indian PR knowledge through internships, and industry – I academic projects like campaigns, but think, I will be thinking and thinking I think the students need more. PR is and thinking without any answers, not a course that can be confined to because what I learnt was about the theory classes. More seminars, more foreign PR industry. Most of the interaction with professionals more colleges refer books written by foreign exposure to Indian PR industry and authors and even the case studies are updated course syllabus with – yes the of foreign brands. I am aware of Indian books as reference can help foreign culture through Hollywood students a lot on becoming a movies, news and books but I don’t successful executive of tomorrow. know about how the locality will be (You can listen to her views in the abroad. So a case study of a brand like podcast also) hush puppies – a name I am not PR – e - Survey – How people think about PR Education • 45% feel that educational institutions do not develop right attitude needed for PR / Corpcom industry An on-line survey was conducted by us • 64% feel that Masscom/PR for this ezine purposes. 36 education is helpful after joining the respondents (mostly from India) industry. representing all segments such as students, teachers, PR agencies and • 75% feel that candidates with Corpcom professionals registered their Masscom / PR qualification are best views. Important findings are: suited for the industry in terms of skills, attitudes, talents, etc. • 50% consider the current Masscom/PR education has no (Disclaimer – Since the sample size is relevance to industry needs very small, this need not be taken as industry view. It is only a broad • 44% feel that academia do not indicator.) involve the industry to develop PR courses.
  9. 9. 9 PR – e - Views – Views of PR students Ms Rajiv Hari, PG student of PR, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK “Raise PR standards by shared knowledge and collective experience” I am listing invite 5-10 PR professionals and have some ideas them mingle with my fellow which will help classmates, to enable them to learn students attain and build contacts. The part about certain "Speed Dating" that comes into play is practical 'Skill that some students are shy and don't Sets' which talk so much. So speed dating idea (as will add to everyone knows) is good as the basic their theoretical skill set they have concept is that everyone has to talk to attained through education. everyone in the room. This way all students will have an opportunity to 1. In today's world Blogging is talk to every PR professional and learn becoming an important issue in from PR professionals about their regards to Public Relations. By experience. It will also give the Blogging a student can attain a great students an opportunity to make some skill set, which an employer can see. contacts. Through this your employer Your PR writing skills will be shown; can see your organisational skills; your understanding of PR events; your persuasion skills; Leadership skills, as current affairs Knowledge and ; how they are great Skill sets to have. much you are of an opinion leader; your contacts (another important part Maybe professors at the university of PR); your skills of using computers should guide every student to get (which is common, but important). certain Skill sets; give ideas to students. Students themselves can be 2. By 'Work Shadowing' a student can creative and come up with new ideas get good experience before graduating or use the ones which are given, in in the particular field which he is either case there would be a lot of studying his degree in. Most students knowledge gain. don't do work shadowing, as it is unpaid work, but students should see Every student should remember that, that in the long run that will prove to only having an academic degree is not be very beneficial. This further gives enough for the PR market today, a you a great skill set to show to an variety of skill sets beyond the employer. academics are required to beat the competition. 3. Campaign hosting/designing: currently I am in the process of designing a "Speed Dating" campaign for my fellow classmates, here I will
  10. 10. 10 PR eTTY - Relax – Alexander’s three wishes Alexander, after The people who had gathered there conquering many wondered at the king's strange wishes. kingdoms, was But no one dare bring the question to returning home. On their lips. Alexander's favorite general the way, he fell ill kissed his hand and pressed them to and it took him to his his heart. "O king, we assure you that death bed. With your wishes will all be fulfilled. death staring him in his face, Alexander But tell us why do you make such realized how his conquests, his great strange wishes?" army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence. At this Alexander took a deep breath and said: "I would like the world to He now longed to reach home to see know of the three lessons I have just his mother's face and bid her his last learnt. I want my physicians to carry adieu. But, he had to accept the fact my coffin because people should that his sinking health would not realize that no doctor can really cure permit him to reach his distant any body. homeland. So, the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly They are powerless and cannot save a waiting to breathe his last. He called person from the clutches of death. So his generals and said, "I will depart let not people take life for granted. from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without The second wish of strewing gold, fail." With tears flowing down Their silver and other riches on the way to cheeks, the generals agreed to abide the graveyard is to tell People that not by their king's last wishes. even a fraction of gold will come with me. I spent all my life earning riches "My first desire is that," said but cannot take anything with me. Let Alexander, "My physicians alone must people realize that it is a sheer waste carry my coffin." After a pause, he of time to chase wealth. continued, "Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the And about my third wish of having my grave, the path leading to the hands dangling out of the coffin, I wish graveyard be strewn with gold, silver people to know that I came empty and precious stones which I have handed into this world and empty collected in my treasury. handed I go out of this world." " The king felt exhausted after saying With these words, the king closed his this. He took a minute's rest and eyes. Soon he let death conquer him continued. "My third and last wish is and breathed his last. . that both my hands be kept dangling Source : unknown. . . out of my coffin."
  11. 11. 11 PResentors of PReSENSE Consulting Editor Consulting Editor Editor Associate Editor Ms S Vidya, CES Onyx Ms Uma, Corporate P A Narrendiran, S. Sakthi Prasanna Commu nicator Blue Lotus PR Hanmer and Partners PR Associate Editor and Pod-Jockey M M Sevakumar N Satish Ms Veena Vinod Senior Web consultant Student, Anna University Good Relations PR Publisher and chief Editor K. Srinivasan (Prime Point Foundation) Feedback and contributions to: All the earlier issues may be downloaded from Listen to India’s first pod-magazine one stop shop for podcasts on all subjects Do you want to subscribe to this ezine. Please click