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PUBLIC RELATIONS

 



Q1.What are the areas of work of a Public relation officer?
Q2.What are the training Institutes for this career ?
Q3.What are the career prospects and remuneration ?

Q1.What are the areas of work of a Public relation officer?

A1.There are a number of fields that require the services of a Public Relations Officer, which makes this career very interesting. Some of the fields are :-

  • Corporate Sector - shows that there is more to a particular organisation than merely making money; the activities and attitudes are portrayed as being beneficial and friendly towards the public.
  • Government - deals with informing the public about the government's schemes and activities and showing the overall benefit of these projects to society at large
  • Pressure Groups/Causes/Lobbies - This is possibly the most difficult area to work in, but the most fulfilling since it deals with particular groups of society or organisations that have been built with a cause to improve society in some way or the other. It is a relatively new area in India and demands dedication and extensive knowledge about the cause being fought for such as child labour, women's' issues, the environment, political ideology and so on. The work involves making the public aware of the issues through public programmes, fund-raising, charity shows, so that people are inspired to change and in-turn help convince the policy-makers.
  • Products - involves creating a good image of the product before it is launched to ensure that consumers, retailers, distributors are enticed by it
  • Public Personalities - This is probably the most glamorous of all the PR jobs since it deals with building and enhancing an image of well-known people such as politicians, sports people, musicians, actors/ actresses, writers etc.
  • Public Sector - aims to show and prove to the policy-makers and common person that the public money is being spent in a worthwhile manner
  • Schemes/ Projects - this involves informing the community being catered to or the organisation's employees about new schemes to reduce their apprehension towards change, answer any queries and show the overall benefit of these projects
  • Tourism/Hospitality Industry - quite an important field since the image projected will determine or influence people's attitudes.

Q2.What are the training Institutes forthis career ?

A2.Although formal training is not essential to become a public relations officer, it has proven to be an advantage especially in the competitive job scenarios. Most companies do take on young graduates in subjects like psychology, economics, marketing, sociology etc. and a course in public relations certainly does improve chances of being selected as well as gaining more knowledge about the career. Experience is another binding factor that ensures success. Most of the courses are offered as post-graduate courses and the eligibility rules are such - Bachelor of Arts in any discipline, but preferably the social sciences, liberal arts and humanities. The course generally lasts for about a year and admission is based on merit (in most cases). Some of the topics covered during training are communication, marketing, advertising, research methods, media techniques, media planning, script writing and editing, news editing, partial mass media etc. The course also includes practical training (one month) where the students are given the chance to learn in a public sector organisation, advertising agency or something similar.

The following institutions offer these courses around India :- Diploma in PR Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at Bangalore, Calcutta, Delhi, Hyderabad, Madras, Mumbai Diploma in PR YMCA Institute of Mass Media Studies, New Delhi (for graduates) Diploma in PR YMCA, New Delhi (for graduates) Diploma in PR New Delhi Polytechnic for Women (for XII-pass students) Diploma in PR St. Xaviers College of Communications, Mumbai (for graduates) Diploma in PR Sophia Polytechnic, B.K. Somani Mumbai (for graduates) Diploma in PR KC College of Mgmt, Mumbai (for graduates) Diploma in PR Somaiya College of Mgmt, Mumbai (for graduates) Diploma in PR Symbiosis Institute of Journalism & Communication, Pune Graduate Diploma in Advertising & PR Indian Institute of Mass Communication, JNU Campus, New Delhi P.G. Diploma in PR & Advertising, PR & Journalism School of Communication & Mgmt. Studies, Cochin University P.G. Diploma in Advertising & Communications Monjee Institute of Mgmt. Studies, V.L. Mehta Rd., Ville Parle (W), Mumbai Degree Course South Gujarat University, P.O. Box No. 49, Udhna Magdalla Rd., Surat - 395 007 Degree Course University of Mumbai, MG Rd., Fort, Mumbai - 400 032

Q3.What are the career prospects and remuneration ?

A3.The opportunities are immense for potential Public Relations Officers. As outlined in the 'Areas of Work' section, work can be found in government offices, private companies, advertising agencies, tourist resorts, hotels, banks and financial institutions, non-governmental organisations, private consultancy firms etc. Depending on the designation and enterprise, the pay scales will definitely vary. In a PR department, we generally only have PRO and liaison officers (Senior PR officers are paid on par with the senior managers in Hotels/Corporate Sector etc.) In large consultancy firms, the hierarchy is much more prominent - trainee executives, account executives, senior account managers, account director, chief PR directors are all present therefore training and experience are necessary to move up in one's career (the starting salary is approximately Rs. 5000) Government departments usually have the junior and senior information officers and they are paid as per fixed rules.

 

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