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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Strategic Communication for Organizational Excellence

Hyderabad Chapter of PRSI and RG Kedia College of Management, Hyderabad jointly organised a one-day National Workshop on 8th February 2014 in Hyderabad. 

The PR Legend, Dr CV Narasimha Reddi designed the captioned workshop with diligence for the benefit of PR practitioners working for Government organizations, PSUs, Corporates and Colleges and also the students of business communication courses. The workshop has been divided into 4 technical sessions and discussed various issues concerning Dynamic communication skills; Organizational behavior; Stakeholders relationships management, Media strategy, Corporate reputation, Emerging trends in corporate communication etc. The workshop was attended by about 200 delegates across the state and also from neighboring states.
 ‘Strategy’ is “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”.  At the inaugural session, in his presidential address, Dr CV Narasimha Reddi observed that there are still vacancies upto an extent of 65% in corporates in India and that these vacancies are skill shortage vacancies and not general vacancies. This is due to lack of skills-oriented training. Similarly Organisations are falling short of harmony and reaching the goals. Therefore orientation on strategic communication is the need of the hour he stressed.
The Chief Guest was Mr Surendra Lunia, Hon’ble Secretary, Kedia College and the guest of honor was Mr S. B. Kabra,  Hon. Jt Secy of Kedia college. Together, they wished the workshop a grand success.  Mr Krishna, Director of the college & Mr Narasimha Rao, Chairman of the Hyderabad Chapter of PRSI set the workshop to motion by welcoming the gathering.
The first session dealt with the topic “Dynamic Communication Skills towards Effective Organizational behavior”. Mr Y Babji, National Vice President (South), PRSI who acted as the discussant for the session, in his introduction to the topic said that “Though in simple communication is between two consisting of transmitting and receiving some kind of information, it is otherwise tough when it comes to the question of effectiveness. For a communication to be effective certain skills are required. Dynamic communication skills are to build trust. Organisation is a social entity. There are varieties of legal types of organisations ranging from Home to political organisations and from a Gram Panchayath to Central Government. Organisational communication is a process of coordination of both internal and external communication and study of Organisational behavior is to attain harmony with an organisation and to attain the desired goals”.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Narendranath Menon, a senior Faculty Member at the Institute of Public Enterprises, Osmania University spoke about the VUCA factor viz., Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity in Organizations. He stressed on the importance of Reading and Listening and about the barriers to communication. He underlined the need to cut out jargons while communicating. Dr. Menon also touched upon concepts such as Information overload, Trust, Body language and also about pre-conceived assumptions. He observed ‘Leadership’ and ‘Character’ are two most essential factors in setting the organizational behavior in a right manner and in the desired direction.
The second session was on “Stakeholders Relationship Management and Media Strategy: Corporate Reputation”. Ms. S Sujatha, Program Coordinator of PRSI acted as discussant at this session and introduced the topic as well as the keynote speaker.
The keynote speaker, Dr C.V. Narasmha Reddi, Editor, Public Relations Voice elaborated on Trade wars, Corporate challenges and the importance of Stakeholders. He explained the function of each class of Stakeholders and how the customer is a king. He stressed on the importance of Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing and Body language and also how being a receptive is important while dealing with the masses and subordinates.  Dr Reddi indicated about “The great wall of China” that exist within the Organisation and vertically divide internal and external publics. He also spoke about the 3 attributes of good governance laid down by Confucius viz., Food, Weapons and Trust explaining that Trust plays a very important role in governance and that the other two namely Weapons and Food in that order can be dispensed with, in favour of Trust. He summed up by deliberating on the subject of Globalisation and Media scenario in the country saying that to this day, India has 83,000 newspapers, 850 TV channels, 300 Radio stations, 15 crore internet connections and 90 crore mobile phones throwing both opportunities and challenges to the PR practitioners.
The third session was on “Emerging trends in Corporate Communications/Public Relations: Vision and a Paradigm shift into the future”. Dr J Chennaiah, Vice Chairman, PRSI, Hyderabad Chapter as the discussant of this session introduced the topic and the Speakers.  
The keynote speaker, Dr. K. Chandramouli, IAS (Retd), Director General of AP Academy of Rural Development spoke about the metamorphosis of Corporate Communications from “Brick and Mortar’ to “Click and Mouse” and that an Organisation is as good as its corporate communication.  He stressed on the importance of qualitative research and enhancing Social skills. He stressed that communication from the masses should sensitize people who form Governments explaining the example of Anna Hazare how he could sensitize the ever busy IT people to throng streets with lighted candles in a movement -‘India Against Corruption’. He touched upon the areas of Peer learning, Good governance, Going green, Organisational credibility, and e-governance. His concept of 3 shifts in Corporate Communications from Privacy to Control; Reach to Relevance and Big data to Good Data was thought provoking. He presented a few ad shots including a heart touching clip of a lame, old cobbler standing up to the National Anthem.
Another keynote speaker, Dr Madhavi Pandya, Professor at the Siva Sivani Institute of Management talked about how Indian Corporates are redefining concepts and also about Emerging Corporate Communication trends. She also spoke about the trends in marketing and how marketing strategies and marketing communication capture segments and facilitate goods reaching the unreachable areas. What market is going to be is unimaginable. To explain this, Dr Madhavi quoted an example of her maid servant who always talk about shampoo including some international brands and their effects on hair and other cosmetics of beauty care.
The feed-back session shared the learning experiences of the Participants. Several expressed their satisfaction over the workshop, topics and the way it was organized. Many praised for the notes communicated.

The Valedictory session saw Prof. R. Nageswara Rao, Director, Academic Audit of Osmania University speak about perceptions in Communication process. He explained the individual perceptions of an illiterate common man, a literate, an MBA graduate and a Scholar while defining a Cow, each throwing their relevant perceptions that sounded irrelevant except that of a common man. Speaking on the usage of social media, he gave another example of a maid servant that attends 7 house-holds. When this servant wanted to have a leave for a week she did not inform all the households, but updated her status on the face book saying that she will not be available for work for next 7 days. When a house-wife argued how is it that you expect us to know your status, the maid replied, “your husband saw my status and responded and if he did not inform you, it is not my mistake”.