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Friday, August 03, 2007

Public Relations?

Public Relations practice has been defined as “the establishment of two-way communication to resolve conflicts of interest by seeking common ground on areas of mutual interest, and the establishment of understanding based on truth, knowledge and full information. – Practical Public Relations, Pitman.
Public Relations is the management function, which evaluated public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and executes a program of action to earn understanding and acceptance. – Denny Griswold.
Public Relations are the attempt by information, persuasion and adjustment to engineer public support for an activity, cause, movement or institution. – Edward L. Bernays
Public Relations practice is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics. Public Relations are about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. –The Institute of Public Relations, London.
The management function which gives the same organized and careful attention to the asset of goodwill as is given to any other major asset of the business - John W Hill
Public Relations is a combination of philosophy, sociology, economics, language, psychology, journalism, communication and other knowledges into a system of human understanding. – Herbert M. Baus
PR is merely human decency, which flows from a good heart. – Charles Plackard
PR – Good performance, publicly appreciated, because adequately communicated. – Fortune Magazine.
PR – everything involved in achieving a favorable public opinion. - George F Meredith, American Public Relations Association.
Public relations is a management function, of a continuing and planned character, through which public and private organizations and institutions seek to win and retain the understanding, sympathy and support of those with whom they are or may be concerned – by evaluating public opinion about themselves, in order to correlate, as far as possible, their own policies and procedures, to achieve by planned and widespread information more productive cooperation and more efficient fulfillment to their common interests. –The International Public Relations Association, The Hague, May 1960
Public relations is whatever the individual practitioner thinks it is. – Carl Byoir
The communication and interpretation and the communications and ideas from an institution to its publics and the communication of information, ideas and opinions from those public to the institution, in a sincere effort to establish a mutuality of interest and this achieves the harmonious adjustment of an institution to its community. – Scot M. Cut lip and Allen H. Center.
Public Relations – Its object is not to sell a product, but to produce a favorable image of a company and improve on it, if necessary. – Max K. Adler.
Public Relations means what it says – relations with the public. It is practically a self-defending term, it aims to create and maintain confidence. It is a system of communications to create goodwill. It produces that intangible quality or asset goodwill – and earns credit for achievements. – Frank Jefkins
The only remuneration for public relations or press relations work shall be the fees of the client or the salary of the employer on whose account this work is undertaken. - The Ministry of information, French Government Official text, October 23,1964, which appeared in the journal Official de La Republic Francaise, the Official gazette of the French Government.
Public relations is a mode of behavior and a manner of conveying information with the object of establishing and maintaining mutual confidence, based on mutual knowledge and understanding, between an organization, a corporate body carrying out various functions or activities – and the different sections of the publics, internal and external, that are affected by some or all these functions or activities. – Lucien Matrat.
Public Relations is Dale Carnegie’s – winning friends and influencing people – writ large. – Robert Heilbroner.
Public relations is a distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation between an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; defines and emphasizes and responsibility of management to serve the public interest; helps management keep abreast of and effectively utilize change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound and ethical communication techniques as its principal tools. – Foundation for Public Relations Research and Education, U.S.
The promotion of rapport and goodwill between a person, firm, or institution and other persons, special publics or the community at large through the distribution of interpretative material, the development of neighborly interchange, and the assessment of public reaction. – Webster’s New International Dictionary.
The actions of a corporation, store, government, individual etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public; the community, employees, customers etc., is public relations. – The Random House Dictionary.
Relations with the general public, as through publicity; specifically, those functions of corporation, organization, etc., concern with attempting to create favorable public opinion for itself. – Denny Griswold, ‘Public Relations News’.
Public Relations is a social philosophy of management expressed in policies and practices, which, through sensitive interpretation of events based upon two-way communication with its publics, strives to secure mutual understanding and goodwill. – Sam Black.
Public Relations practice is the art of social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organization, leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest. –The Mexican statement made at an International conference of Public Relation Institutions held in Mexico City in1978.
The art of convincing people that they should adopt a certain attitude or pursue a certain course of action; usually associated with management’s Public Relations. – IGNOU, JMC-04, Public Relations.
PR practitioners, editors and authors have sought to capture the essence of public relations function in a phrase, slogan or book title that might catch on popularly and dispel misconceptions. Among these are : *Good performance, publicly Appreciated. *PR = Performance and Recognition. *PR = Performance and Reporting. *PR = Pathway to public favour. *PR = Crystallizing Public Opinion. *The Engineering of consent. *The conscience of an Organization. *Doing good and Getting credit for it. *Deed first, then words. – The way the deed is interpreted. *Public communication. *Public Information. *The aim of PR is ‘to promote positive and favorable images of people or firms in public life, without actually appearing to do so’. Most companies have PR departments dedicated to creating and sustaining a good image with the general public. – Dictionary of communication and Media studies.
Public Relations, management function that obtains, assess, and evaluated public attitudes toward an organization, advertiser or individual. Following this ongoing process, the policies and activities of the entity are identified with the public interest, and a program of action is executed to develop public understanding, goodwill, support and acceptance. – Dictionary of Mass Media and communication.
Public Relations is an effort to identify and interpret policies and programmes of an organization with the objective to establish a bridge of understanding and goodwill between the organization and its publics. – Dr.G.C.Banik, A Guide to Public Relations & Journalism
Public Relations is an umbrella term which covers a wide range of areas, including: Corporate communications; Issues management; Product publicity; Investor relations; Financial communications; Lobbying; Public affairs; Media relations; Community affairs; Crisis management; Events management; Sponsorship and a range of services which feed into all these. - Jon White and Laura Mazu, Strategic Communication Management – Making Public Relations Work
Public Relations is a method of creating a climate of good opinion in which business can be done. It uses many means to smooth the lines of communication, enabling the person concerned to improve his image by putting his best fact forward. –The Good Publicity Guide, Reginald Peplow.
The practice of promoting goodwill among the public for a company, government body, individual or the like; the practice of working to present a favorable image. –The Macquarie Dictionary.
Public Relations is the management function that identifies, establishes, and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between and organization and the various publics on whom its success or failure depends. –Scott M. Cut lip.
Public Relations is finding out what people like about you and doing more of it; finding our what they don’t like about you and doing less of it. – John E. Marston, Modern Public Relations
Public Relations is concerned with maintaining harmonious and understanding relationships between the various parts of an organization and all the groups, which have a relationship with it. This could mean management, workers, shareholders, trade unions, suppliers, customers and government as well the public. – Paul Winner.
Public relations means doing the right thing in the right way, at the right time, and then telling people about it. – International Harvester.
Public Relations is the gentle art of letting the other fellow have your way. - William A. Nielander.
Public Relations consists of all forms of planned communication, outwards and inwards, between an organization and its publics for the purpose of achieving specific objectives concerning mutual understanding. – Frank Jefkins.
Public Relations is the work of presenting a good image of an organization to the public by providing information. – Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary.
Public Relations is a distinctive management function, which helps establish ad maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management to keep informed one and responsible to public opinion, defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest; helps management keep abreast of and effectively utilize change, serving as an e4arly warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound and ethical communication techniques as its principals tools. – Dr. Rex. F. Harlow, U.S
Stripped to its fundamentals, public relations means communication with others.
Tymson & Sherman, PR Manual, Australia, 1996.
At the other extremes are those who hold that public relations professional must rise above the level of mere communicators, mere technicians. Public relations professionals must be social scientists, public policy experts, and managers of issues. Some add that they can always hire writers. – Joseph F. Award The power of Public Relations, US, 1985.
Public Relations practice is the management of communications between an organization and its publics. – James Grunig and Todd Hunt 1984.
Those functions and policies designed to bring about the communications and interpretation of ideas and information to all various publics of an enterprise; and the communication and interpretation of information and ideas from these publics to the enterprise in an effort to bring the two into harmonious and fruitful adjustment. – Schoenfeld, 1954.
PR is the planned effort to influence public opinion through acceptable performance and two-way communication. – Cutlip and Center, 1964.
The business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm or institution, also the degree of understanding and goodwill achieved. – Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 2001.
A suitable thing made up of many forces, both inside and outside the individual organization. – Gerber, 1960.
A part of the affairs aimed at keeping publics informed, keeping informed about public attitudes, and reacting to those attitudes. – Reynolds, 1966.
Public Relations practice is the discipline, which looks after reputation with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviors. --- Roger silver.
Public Relations strives by long range effort to build favorable public attitudes. – Douglas L. Gilbert, 1971.
Public Relations is mode of behavior and a manner of conveying information with the object of establishing and maintaining mutual confidence, based on mutual knowledge and understanding, between an organization; a corporate body carrying out various functions or activities and the different sections of the public, internal and external, that are affected by some or all these functions or activities. – Claude Chapeau, 1982.
Public Relations involves planned, indirect, persuasive communications to stimulate demand and favorably influence attitudes and opinions about a product, service or idea. The focus here should be on the phrase “influence attitudes and opinions”. In public relations, information is used to influence public opinion. Often this is done so subtly that the target audience is not even aware that a planned process is behind much of what is seen in the news or the mobilization of advocates to a particular cause.
– Practical PR, the Futures Group International, US, 1995.
Public Relations involves many other disciplines and it can have an impact on every aspect of an organization. It is about projecting the right message and as such, it can involve press relations, advertising, marketing, sponsorships, exhibitions, local community events, the environment and public affairs. – Successful PR, Claire Austin, London, 1992
Professional public relations is described as “the art of convincing people that they should adopt a certain attitude or pursue a certain course of action; usually associated with management – Howard Stephenson, Handbook of Public Relations, US, 1960
Public Relations means different things to different people, but professionally, it means “creating understanding and better still, mutual understanding. Very simple, really except that understanding is probably the most difficult thing in the world to achieve. It is a process of effecting change. – Frank Jefkins, Public Relations for Your Business, UK, 1987
Practical public relations is the professional attempt to achieve good public relations in order to promote the success or welfare of the company, organization or individual on whose behalf the public relations effort is made. – Sam Black, Practical Public Relations, UK 1984
The purpose of public relations practice is to establish a two way communication to resolve conflicts of interest by seeking common ground or areas of mutual interest and to establish understanding based on truth, knowledge and full information – Sam Black
Strategic Public Relations is the process of establishing the public relations function in its rightful place – as a management discipline to be found at the highest and in all types of organizations – Mike Beard, President, IPR, London, 1995
The duties of a Pubic relations practitioner whether he belongs to the staff of a firm or is an independent consultant, are to devise and submit to the firms or organizations employing his services the means of establishing and maintaining good relations, based on mutual confidence, with the public and keeping it informed of their achievements and, more generally, of all matters relating to their operations. These duties may also be extended to include the relations of firms with their own staff. The public relations practitioner is responsible for implementing the recommended policy and for measuring results.
The information he/she supplies about the organization must in all cases carry mention of its source, be strictly objective and be absolutely free of any propaganda, commercial publicity or advertising content. The Press Officer carries out the duties defined above as a specialist in relations with the following information media: press, films, radio and television. The duties of a public relations practitioner and of a press officer are incompatible with their practicing at the same time as a professional journalist or advertising agent.
Public Relations is the ‘science’ that deals with the opinions and the relationship of an institution with the people; it involves to secure the goodwill and support.
Public Relations is to plan and carry out short, medium and long term plans to create better knowledge and understanding, especially through dialogue of the groups and their activities and also of their problems as well.
Public relations is the science of attitude control and a practice of winning confidence.
Public Relations is the skilled communication of ideas to evaluate and interpret opinion, attitudes and aspirations of the various publics – internal and external – with the objective of producing a desired result.
Public Relations is planned, persuasive communication designed to influence significant publics.
Public Relations is the art of making your company liked and respected by its employees, its customers, the people who buy from it, and the people to whom it sells.
Public Relations is any situation act, or work that influences people.
Public Relations is the skilled communication of ideas to the various publics with the object of producing a desired result.
Public Relations is the art of science of developing reciprocal understanding and good will.
Public Relations is promotion of rapport and goodwill for a person, firm or institution, or other persons specially with the public or the community at large through the distribution of publicity material.
Establishing a bond of relationship and contacts between two groups of public.
Lobbying for interests.
To influence, solicit, or mobilize support for an idea, a cause, a problem, an institution, or an individual through communication and persuasion.
To develop and encourage attitudes and behavior to nurture the delicate plant of mutual understanding.
Building of sound and productive relations with the organization’s publics.
A sincere effort to bring about harmonious adjustment between an organization and the community through dissemination of information, ideas about the organization to its publics external and internal and also providing a feedback from the publics to the management.
Counseling management in dealing with public opinion and to plan and execute communication programs to gain public understanding and acceptance of the management’s point of view.
Management of information.
In simple terms, PR is an attempt through information, persuasion, adjustment and individual contacts, to seek support for some activity, cause, movement, institution, product or service.
Public Relations is specialized body of knowledge, skills and methods.
Public Relations is a management function which deals with the relations between two or more organizations or publics, both national and international, producing the kind of relations desired or used by those organizations or publics.
Public Relations activities are carried on by practitioners, who serve many types of organizations and publics, such as business, government, finance, labor, education, scientific, trade and professional organizations, special interest groups, racial and sex groups, customers, stockholders, employees, suppliers, opinion leaders, cultural groups and others.
The public relations practitioner, seeking to serve the public interest, is aware of the influence of public opinion on decision making and decisions and counsels and communicates in the following ways (a) Serves as a two-way conduit between an organization and the public (b) Makes an effort to project not only what the organization is, but also what it has been and is becoming, by interpreting it to the public in terms that people can understand and interpreting the public to members of the organization in terms they can understand. (c) Researches the organization’s relations needs, as well as the attitudes held by its publics, recommend a policy and a program to meet them, and measure the effectiveness of policy and program. (d) Seeks to build and maintain favorable recognition of the organization by establishing an interchange of information between the organization and its publics on the social, political, economic and other important forces in our society, depending on feedback from the public for guidance. (e) Suggests adjustment of the organizations behavior to meet the social, political and economic responsibility and the needs created by shifting human standards and attitudes, as research indicates. (f) Strives to anticipate and correct false impressions and respond appropriately to criticisms of the organization (g) Sees that meaningful relations are maintained with the government and that legislation and regulations affecting the organization are reported to management and suggestions are made for dealing with them (h) Conducts research on the publics attitudes, especially of audiences that are important to the organization, and informs management of the attitudes found. (i) Tries to help the organization demonstrate a keen sense of social responsibility along with profit responsibility. (j) Assists members of the organization to speak clearly and forthrightly in all public contacts when presenting facts and viewpoints. (k) Helps management read the signs of the times correctly, apply them constructively, and think in terms of change. (l) Uses as important tools of public opinion and other forms of research, the principles, methods and research findings of the social sciences, visual, written and spoken presentations in the press, on radio, TV and film tape (m) Serves as a part of management, either as an internal staff member or officer or as an external professional counselor or consultant.
Doing good things and telling people about it.
A two-way communication between an organization and its publics.
What we do, what we say, what we are.
A passage from the report of the International commission for communications say public Relations professionals are first and fore-most communicators. “Communications maintains and animates life and runs as a thread linking the earliest memory of man to his noblest aspiration through constant striving for a better life. As the world has advanced, the task of communications has become even more complex and subtle to contribute to the liberation of mankind from want, oppression and fear and to unite it in community and communion, solidarity and understanding.”
Public Relations is the communication and interpretation of ideas and information to the public of an institution; the communication and interpretation of information, ideas and opinions from those publics to the institution in the effort to bring the two into harmonious adjustment.
Public Relations is also graphically deciphered as ‘P’ for Performance and ‘R’ for Recognition. In other words “Doing the right thing and getting credit for it”. Without performance there is no public relations. Performance and public relations are the two eyes of modern organization, which always go hand in hand.

Communication ?

Communication - Meaning & Definitions
Communication is derived from the Latin word ‘Communis’ which means common
Communication is a basic instinct of life
Communication is a social process and it is fundamental and vital to human survival
Communication is the name we give to the countless ways that humans keep in touch
Communication is not limited to human beings alone but birds & animals
Communication is a social, political, economic and cultural need of human beings
Communication is a means of individual and community expression
Communication is the form of interaction that takes place through words or symbols
Communication is a multifaceted activity
Communication encompasses all forms of expression for mutual understanding
Communication is the transmission of information, ideas, attitudes or emotions
Communication is a social interaction through messages
Communication is a process of exchange peas, facts, feelings or impressions
Communication is an act of getting a sender and a receiver tuned together.
Communication is the process by which information, decisions and directions pass through a social system
All educational and action programs in agriculture are communication
Communication is the force by which an individual communicator transmits stimuli to modify the behavior of other individuals
Communication is all the procedures by which one mind can affect another
When social interaction involves the transmission of meanings through the usage of symbols it is known as communication
Communication is anything that conveys meaning that carries a message from one person to another
Communication is discriminatory response of an organism to a stimulus.
Communication is the mutual interchange of ideas by any effective means
Communication is the control of behavior through descriptive and reinforcing stimuli.
Communication is a process affecting an interchange of understanding between two or more people.
Communication is a purposeful process, which involves sources, messages, channels and receivers.

Functions of Communication
Information Function
Command or Instructive function
Influence or persuasive function
Integrative function

Theories of Communication
Individual differences theory
Psycho-dynamic theory
Social categories theory
Social Relationships theory
Socio-cultural theory

Process of Communication
Communicator ---
Message ----
Channel ---
Receiver ----
Response ----

Models of communication
Aristotle Model
Laswell formula
Shannon Weaver model
Osgood & Schramm
Leagan Model
Westley & Mache an Model
De Fleur Development

7 Cs of communication
Continuity and Consistency
Capability of Receiver

10 Commandments of Communication
Think before you speak
Define the purpose of communication
Know your audience
Use right method for right occasion
Get your facts straight
Show interest in others development
Be sure to follow up
Follow up communication with action
Communicate for today as well as tomorrow
Polish your listening skills

Adoption process of communication

Barriers to communication
Age, etc

Important things in communication
Two-way process and feedback
Two step flow of communication

PR for Good Governance


Public Relations means different things to different people. Theoreticians consider it a philosophical and moral concept. The PR practitioners see it as nothing more than ‘art of getting things done’. However, the basic purpose of PR and PR techniques is more or less the same in all sectors – Government, Public and Private institutions. Nevertheless, there are certain aspects of PR that are specifically applicable to a given class of institutions.

Simply stated, PR is the art and science of creating and maintaining purposeful relations with the public. Such relations must necessarily yield good results. Public Relations therefore, involves an understanding of the people i.e. people from various walks of life in relation to the organization with which PR

In other words, PR is a way of decision-making. It is a key ingredient in the democratic process. It is effective motivation and two-way communication. For some, PR is a process of doing good work and taking credit for it. PR also involves image building. Some view PR as a mirror, which gives the organizations clientele a clear perspective of their relationship with the organization.

Public Relations as a profession has made rapid progress during the past 3 decades. The major public sector and private organizations today have recognized the importance of public relations. Moreover, Public Relations as a management function is fast graining recognition in our country. Further there is a wide scope for public relations consultancy service. The number of new openings advertised in the mass media makes one optimistic about the growth of the profession. The next few decades with its over all progress in agriculture, industry, commerce and greater awareness among the masses owing to increased exposure to mass media will call for greater two way communication and public relations than have hither to been needed.

PR activity is more often an invisible input; but all the same it is essential for the better working and understanding of an organization. Unless people know what your organization is doing and what its objectives are they seldom can appreciate your efforts.

Webster’s dictionary says that PR is Promotion of rapport and good will between a firm or institution and other persons, special public or the community at large through the distribution or interpretative material, the development of neighborly interchange and the assessment of public reaction; The degree of understanding and good will achieved between an individual, organization or institution and the public and the application of techniques for achieving this relationship; The art or science of developing reciprocal understanding and good will and the professional staff entrusted with this task.

Other meanings

PR is an art of getting the things done; Image building; Mirror; Everything and sometimes nothing; an invisible input; Social Engineering; Human Engineering; Engineering of consent; Management function; Promotion of goodwill; Managing of information; Handling of communication and Media;
PR is daily application of common sense, common courtesy, common decency and common etiquette. PR is Performance coupled with Recognition. PR is getting the right facts to the right people at the right time and in a right way. In other words communicating successful the right message in the right medium to the right audience.


Robert Heilib - Practice covering a lot of acreage, blurring out into advertising and sloping over into selling, dipping into publicity and touching or at least aspiring to the making of the public opinion itself.
Prof. Byron Christian – PR is a conscious effort to motivate or influence people, primarily through communication to think well of an organization, to respect it, to support it and to stick with it through trial and trouble.
Cutlip and Centre – PR is the management function, which evaluates public attitudes, identifies policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with public interest and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.
WT Parry – PR means the development of cordial, amicable and therefore profitable relations between a business, industry, organization and the public it serves.
Rex Mardaw – PR means processes whereby an organization analyses the need and desires of all interest parties in order to conduct itself more responsively towards them
British Institute of Public Relations – PR is a deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its public.


Albert Schweitzer - No ray of sunlight ever lost; but the greet that it wakes needs time to sprout and it is not granted to the sower to live to see the harvest. All work worth anything is done in faith.
Mahabharath - Enjoy the pleasures bestowed on you, and bear the pain inflicted on you, wait patiently for what time brings as does the farmer for the fruit.

Nature & Scope

What the PR function embraces, where it fits in the administrative scheme of things and who is responsible for the PR? There is some confusion. Isn’t it? This confusion is cleared if we understand the distinction between the two concepts
Public Relations is an operating concept of management and
Public Relations as a specialized management function
The first is static, general operating principle that guides the administrators to a greater or lesser degree and is the responsibility of every person identified with the organization while the second is dynamic, specialized function for which skilled practitioners are hired.
Now let us take a closer look at PR as a management concept. In a democratic society, all institutions are invested with public responsibilities. They must accept accountability for all their actions that affects others. Today’s public opinion, though it may appear as light as air may become tomorrow’s legislation for better or for worse. Therefore, a wise institution or an organization makes public relations a function of the management so that every decision is considered from the standpoint of its public impact.
It should not be forgotten that responsible performance on the part of a Corporation, Government Agency, profit or non-profit organization is the foundation of sound public relationship.
A stage has been reached that every official shall have to practice public relations. If it is not feasible to practice PR it shall at least be possible to have a PR attitude towards the public they deal with.

Attributes of a PRO

Public relations is primarily a profession. Like other professions, one who wishes to make it one’s career can practice it. Every profession demands expertise and knowledge on the part of the person entrusted with the job, for the efficient performance of functions. Public relations, which involves communication and interpretation of ideas to and from the public, is a very exacting profession. An engineer can hardly make a good PR practitioner; in just the same way as a PR professional cannot make an engineer either. Each profession has its own body of knowledge and training, imparted systematically.
PR profession is based on the principle of a two-way communication process – communication or informing the public of the policies of the organization, and of keeping the organization informed, in turn, of people’s reactions to them. Such a two-way communication is not easily achieved. It calls for certain skills and expertise so that the communication can be effective in accomplishing its goals. It is for the PR profession to shoulder this responsibility and handle the job efficiently. This is a task that can be done by no one else, but a Pr Manager, experience in the skills of communication and public relations techniques.
The doyen of American public Relations, Edward L. Bernays, defines a PR counsel as “the practitioner, a professional equipped by education, training and experience to give counsel to client or employer on relations with the publics on which the subject depends. He sets about his task by analyzing the relations of the subject and the publics. He then advises on the attitudes and actions necessary to attain the social goals, and then interprets the subject to the public. PR counsel functions on a two-way street. He interprets public to client and client to public”.
This pithy definition makes it clear that the PR profession is mostly based on the skills of mass communication. To make a career in public relations, one has to master two interrelated areas, the art of mass communication and the theory and practice of public relations.
Erroneous Notion
Many seem to entertain the erroneous notion that they can be successful PR professional simply because they are extroverts and they enjoy meeting and talking to people. Others seem to feel that for success in the profession what they need is to be courteous in their dealings and be good at the art of public speaking. There are a few who think that their mere personality could make them a success. While these qualities are necessary requisites for success in public relations, they are by no means wholly sufficient by themselves. Many more attributes are required. In the modern information and knowledge era, the personnel handling public relation profession need certain basic personal qualities, educational qualification and professional skills.
The committee on public Relation and publicity in public undertakings (1960s) recommended the following as the minimum qualifications for P.R.Os, in public sector enterprises:
a good university degree, preferably in humanities,
Personality to communicate effectively with a variety of people inside and outside the organizations at various levels,
Capacity for sustained hard work and ability to handle different human and organizational problems;
Writing and editing of news items, features and articles;
Experience of working in an advertising agency; ability to write scripts and commentaries for films and broadcasts; understanding of the ability to utilize various media of mass communication. Viz. press, printed material (house magazines, pamphlets, leaflets and other company publications), radio, films, audio-visual programs, etc.;
Institutional training in public relations would be a very desirable qualification,
Persons who head a P.R, set-up should have the quality of leadership and skill to handle creative writers, visualisers and artists to get the best out of them”.
Keeping in view the modern information technology, many more requirements have been added.
Qualities preferred
While calling applications for the posts of Pr managers, most of the organizations preferred the following essential requirements;
Deep interest in new media, with an aptitude for technical details.
  • Appropriate tertiary qualifications in public relations.
  • Ability to manage and direct PR campaigns
  • Willingness to work as a team player and in flexible hours
  • Ability to write news worthy press releases features, develop and implement PR strategy, create and maintain good relationships with the media, publicize a variety of products, work against deadlines and keep a smiling face.
  • A degree in communications or a related discipline is preferred, along with a minimum of three years’ extensive experience in public relations; A creative thinker and problem solver.
  • Good understanding of the media and Internet. Creative and consultative style.
  • Experience in managing and implementing communication plans for multiple business units.
  • Editing and producing colorful house journals, video magazines.
  • Fostering PR awareness within the organization.
  • First Class Graduate/Post graduate from a recognized University with post graduate qualification in public relations, advertising, journalism, mass communication or management from a recognized institution/university. Or fulltime MBA with specialization in Marketing.
  • Developing and sustaining the image of the company as a market leader in its areas of operations; developing appropriate and related corporate communications programs; monitoring the business, media and competitive environment and suggesting appropriate communication responses to the management.
  • Providing communication support to other functional areas, specially marketing groups in the area of product launches, market research, advertising, audio-visuals exhibitions etc.
  • Maintaining effective media relations and developing PR plans for various units of the company and guiding their activities in the area.
  • Should have a pleasing personality and be able to freely interact with senior company executives.
  • Should possess excellent command over language and communication skills.
  • Should have in-depth knowledge of and experience in developing corporate communications programs including developing campaigns, internal communication and print publicity programs, budgeting and conducting market/opinion research.
  • Should have considerable experience of interacting with advertising agencies, PR agencies for developing creative briefs and development and execution of the various programs.
  • Must be energetic, result driven, innovative and influential communicator.
  • Keep the eyes and ears of the management open to people’s reactions.
  • Act as an ambassador of the company.
  • Create goodwill and all round understanding of management problems and practices.
  • Project the image and reputation of organization to various publics.
  • Serve as an antenna-cum-receiver by providing regular feedback information and disseminating organization’s policies both within the employees and external publics.
  • Identify organizational problems and measures to solve them.
  • Make the management more and more public relations conscious over a period of time.
  • Improve relations with share-holders and financial community.
  • Promote better customer and community relations.
  • Organize events and sponsorships.
No doubt, the foregoing may appear too much and too difficult, but they may be attempted in a phased manner.
Four Roles
In a larger sense, the functions of a PR manager are four fold. It involves the role of an analyst, an adviser, an advocate and an antenna.
The Analyst
It is the primary responsibility of a PR Manager to analyze the situation and the environment of an organization which includes the attitudes, opinions of the people and their problems. In a way, it is a process of ‘pulse reading’ of the public.
The Adviser
Based on the situation analysis and problems identified, the PR Manager has to formulate a policy of action or programme for solving the problems confronting the organization and improving the relations with the people. The policy and program as designed by the PR Manager as an adviser are placed before the management for approval. This is the second tier in the job profile of a PR Manager.
The Advocate
The advocate is one who speaks in favor of or supports a cause. The PR Manager is considered an advocate who not only speaks for the organization but also implements PR policy through various tools of public relations. This becomes the most important aspect of organization’s PR activity. As an advocate, the PR Manager has to implement PR programs through the various communication channels.
The Antenna
The dictionary meaning of an antenna is “a long thin sensitive hair-like organ existing in pairs on the heads of some insects and animals that live in shells, and used for feeling. It is also an aerial used in sending and receiving electromagnetic waves”. The TV has an antenna. The role of an antenna though very important to an organization is much neglected. PR Manager, as an antenna, must evolve a system of collecting and conveying correct feedback information to the management periodically to enable it to fine tune its policies and programmes in tune with the wishes of the people.
The entire edifice of PR Managers’ role is based on the above foud key parameters, the four pillars on which the PR Manager stands firmly to serve the organization. Such a job is not accomplished easily. It requires qualities and personality of a high caliber.
Four qualities
In the making of a successful public relations professional, a survey conducted by ‘PR Voice’ reveals that PR managers and PR consultants need four types of qualities. They are (a) personal characteristics (b) educational qualifications (c) professional traits and (d) knowledge of psychology.
A – Personal characteristics
The following personal characteristics sum up the efficient PR practitioner, no matter what his or her background may be.
  • Ability to get on with all kinds of people. This means understanding, and toleration in an ample measure.
  • Ability to communicate: Ability to explain by means of spoken or written word or by visual devices.
  • Ability to organize that calls for thorough planning
  • Ability to use imagination: Having a creative sense, as and when designing a house journal, writing script for a film or a videotape; planning campaigns and seeking solutions to problems.
  • Ability to advise: To have ready access to information; the PR Manager is often expected to be Cir Oracle commanding all round respect.
  • Ability to research, analyze and evaluate the results of a PR campaign and draw lessons from the findings.
  • Genuine bone-deep interest in people around and behind him.
  • Habit of extensive reading to acquire more knowledge.
  • Aptitude for writing.
  • Ability to mix with people easily.
  • Positive mindset.
  • Ability to face challenges unfazed.
  • Inspiring leadership qualities
  • Alertness and Vitality.
  • Empathy
Of course, these are the qualities that are to be cultivated assiduously over a period of time. Herein, the element of gradualism will play its inevitable role. In other words, he/she cannot be a perfect picture overnight.
B – Educational Qualifications
The basic minimum qualification must be a graduate in arts/science/commerce. One should possess professional qualification such as Bachelor of Public Relations, or Bachelor of Communication and Journalism, or Diploma in Journalism; Diploma in Public Relations, Masters Degree in Communication and Journalism (MCJ); MA in Public Relations, MA in Advertising and Public Relations. One should also be computer literate with the capacity of handling I.T new media such as computer, internet, website, fax, e mail etc.
M. Phil or Ph.D in Communication or Public Relations are considered as additional qualifications. In all posts, persons having 3 to 5 years experience in public relations are preferred.
C – Professional Traits
Those who plan careers in public relations should develop five basic professional skills. They are (1) Writing skills, (2) Skills in effective communication (3) Research ability (4) Planning expertise and (5) Problem solving ability.
Writing Skills
Ability to put information and ideas on paper clearly and concisely is essential. Good knowledge of grammar, spelling and language is a ‘must’. Write to ‘inform’, not to ‘impress’ your audience.
Skills in Communication
Effective communication in organizations depends both on structures designed and skills applied by PR practitioners. Patient listening is an effective skill than speaking. Adequate knowledge of traditional media, mass media and I.T. new media is a must.
Research Ability
The PR professionals must have the persistence to gather information for a variety of sources as well as to conduct original research by designing and implementing; for example Opinion Polls or Communication Audit.
Anticipatory Change
Ability in understanding the human environment is a must for a PR Man. PR programs may not click if the organization does not do its homework by assessing audience needs and perceptions.
Planning Experience
A PR program involves a number of communication tools that must be carefully planned, implemented and coordinated. One should be a good planner.
Problem Solving Ability
Innovative ideas and fresh approaches are needed to solve many complex problems of today.
Continuing Education
PR professional must be prepared to be exposed to 20 structured, a 20 unstructured hours of continuing professional education program each year “Live and Learn”
Finally, the PR professional, in order to be successful in his profession, should base the work on a high pedestal measure of ethical content. PRSI has adopted a 13 point code of professional conduct, which is relevant to all PR professionals in India. It should be the endeavour of all PR professionals to follow the PRSI Code of Professional Conduct.
D – Knowledge of Psychology
Public Relations professional is primarily a psychologist, a master of human behavior. A successful PR manager must be in a position to study and understand the human mind and behavior. It is because the quintessence of public relations is to influence and change the attitudes of publics towards one’s organizational goals, products or services.
Here is a short listed Dos and Don’ts for an effective PR manager;
  1. Intimate knowledge of the organization to act as source of information for both internal and external publics.
  2. Eyes and Ears of the organization to represent both management and public as harmonizer.
  3. Organizing ability to get along with all people.
  4. Extra overt, team spirit and positive mind.
  5. Skills in communication interpersonal skills and full knowledge of mass media and I.T. new media.
  6. Honest, sincere and hard working.
  1. Never hold out public relations as a ‘mumbo-jumbo’ or a ‘panacea’ for a given situation.
  2. Never be a panegyric.
  3. Never seek personal publicity
  4. Never hustle people around you, move slowly and cautiously.
  5. Never act as a trumpeter and drumbeater of organization or an individual.
  6. Never forget to respect the dignity and worth of human being.