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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Lecture by Prof Dennis L. Wilcox

Feminization of Public Relations Practice in US

Public Relations in America was the fastest growing profession with over 2. lakh practitioners working in several in-house public relations departments and public relations firms said Prof. Dennis L. Wilcox, former Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, San Jose State University, California. Addressing public relations professionals of Andhra Pradesh at a meeting organized in the last week of March in Hyderabad on the Topic “Overview of Public Relations Practice in US” Prof. Wilcox said 42% of professionals work in public relations firms while 22 per cent practitioners work in the corporate world. Only 3 per cent of total professionals in America work in government public relations.

This meeting was organized by the Public Relations Society of India, Hyderabad Chapter in association with Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Public Relations Council of India, Hyderabad Chapter and Global Forum for Public Relations,

Another interesting feature of this discipline is that feminization of public relations practice in US wherein 60% represent females and 40 per cent males. More and more women are joining PR profession. Since management support has increased in tune with the global competitive marketing environment, a majority of public relations professionals report to top management, Prof. Wilcox added.

Tracing the history of public relations; in US, Dennis Wilcox referred to the first public relations counsel of US as Ivy Ledbetter Lee who established a publicity bureau in New York city in 1904. Later, Edward L.Bernays who is regarded as the Father of Modern Public Relations, not only promoted public relations education but also the practice. With the support of pioneers, public relations in America grew through four models such as Press agentry, public information model, two way asymmetric and two way symmetric public relations model.

In his presidential address the Editor, Public Relations Voice described Prof. Wilcox not only as one of the 10 top public relations educators in US but also an international PR Educator who taught PR in about 10 countries. Dr.Reddy referred to the Triangle Public Relations Model consisting of Capitalist PR model of US, Socialist Public Relations Model of China and Democratic PR Model of India and observed that a time had come when these three models could be converged into a universal PR model based on the principle Think & Act Globally and Locally.

The FAPCCI President, Suraj Prasad Agarwal, who was the guest of honour said Public relations in India has bright future as our country belonged to democratic and development process.

Three PR professional bodies which have organized this function presented to Prof. Wilcox, the International PR Award for Academic Excellence in PR Education for his outstanding contribution to the growth of education and practice. Prof.Dennis L.Wilcox also addressed the students of Communication and Journalism of Osmania University on “Public Relations: A Perspective on the Global Landscape”

K.R.K Chary, A.K.Agarwal,. Y.Babji and B,K,Sarala Anand spoke on different PR professional bodies as fora to professioanlise public relations in India