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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”. 

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Corporate Social Responsibility – Inclusive growth – Role of PR


“CSR for Corporates is mandatory now. It is no more a lip service tokenism – PR & Media have greater roles to play” confirmed the 35th All India Public Relations Conference organised by PRSI in New Delhi
- Y. Babji, National Vice President (South),
 Public Relations Society of India

Public Relations Society of India, the premier professional body of PR Practitioners in India organised its 35th All India PR conference on 28-30th December 2013 at Hotel Eros Hilton, New Delhi on an umbrella theme “Inclusive growth through Corporate Social Responsibility – Role of Public Relations” to discuss basis philosophy and changing tolls of PR, new challenges of global communication, emerging society, society’s expectations and emergence of Corporate Social Responsibility as the new trend of the industry.

With primary focus on Corporate Social Responsibility, the 3-day conference spread into 7 technical sessions did a fine-tooth combing to various aspects highlighting the following issues.

Ø CSR, the genesis of social good concept
Ø Human development and community welfare
Ø Public sector philosophy and social responsibility
Ø CSR by private sector
Ø New guidelines on CSR by Govt. of India
Ø Best practices in CSR
Ø Public Relations and Corporate communications
Ø Media and the Society

The inaugural session was attended by Shri O P Rawat, Secretary, Dept of Public Enterprises, Govt of India as Chief Guest.  ‘Aap ki Adalat’ fame Sri Rajat Sharma, the Chairman & Editor-in-Chief of India TV presided and Dr VP Mishra, Pro-Chancellor of Dutta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha was the Guest of Honour.

Welcoming the gathering, National President of PRSI, Dr Ajit Pathak observed that when PRSI was founded in 1958 there were all assignments and less challenges for PR people. As time moves, the challenges also grew. The problem is that PR professionals just can’t go with the wind, but stand amidst the changing timings as change agents while sticking to the truth.

Talking on the inclusive growth, Dr VP Mishra said “it is inbuilt in welfare state. “It is the growth for all, remotest of the remotest. The 2% budget for carrying out CSR activities by any Organisation as per Companies Law is insufficient. PR shall break walls of this 2% and persuade the managements to go beyond. Companies are talking more and doing less in CSR. They shall remember the greatest PRO of the country i.e. Mahatma Gandhi who preached and practised”.

Mr Rajat Sharma recalled his childhood and youth and how his father advised him to enter the television field and that creating a dream in the minds is a challenge. He advised PR people not only to create dreams in the minds of management but also pave ways for realising them. PR people often undergo a fire place test. If they are truthful, they come out like gold purified otherwise burn to ashes.

The Chief Guest Shri O P Rawat said that “under the new Companies Act, 2013, profitable companies must spend every year at least 2 per cent of their average net profit on CSR works. This mandatory CSR-spend rule will apply from fiscal 2014-15 onwards. Though a new law stipulated the portion of profits that companies must spend on Corporate Social Responsibility every year, the discretion to choose the specific activities and causes to be funded will rest with corporate boards.” By this he observed that “Money that comes from the society shall go back to the society through various activities of CSR”.

Apart from National Awards-2013 under 32 categories, the internal recognitions were also conferred by PRSI. Kolkata & Hyderabad Chapters shared “Best Chapter Chairman” award and also the “Best Chapter Secretary” Award. Chapter Chairmen Sri Narendra Ranjan Mukherjee and Sri NL Narasimha Rao and also the Chapter Secretaries Sri Mahapatra and Sri D V Subba Rao received their awards. The “Best program by a Chapter” was shared by Jaipur & Vizag Chapters. Prof DVR Murthy, Chairman of Vizag Chapter and Mr Mahendra Jain, Chairman of Jaipur Chapter received this award.

The sessions, the speakers and their topics had been..,

Technical Session – I
Mr SK Chaturvedi, Ex CMD, Powergrid Corporation Ltd., - Session Chairman
Prof Jayshree Jethwaney, IIMC, New Delhi – “Social Face of Indian Public Sector”
Mr Ashok Pavadia, Jt Secy, DPE, GOI, New Delhi – “New initiatives of GOI on CSR”
Ms Alpana Killawala, CGM (C) RBI, Mumbai – “Communication for inclusive growth”
Ms M S Mazumdar, National Vice President (East), PRSI – Session Convener

Technical Session – II
Mr Deepak Sandhu, Ex Central CIC, GOI - Session Chairperson
Ms Zelma Lazarus, Past Prez, IPRA – “Serving the disabled poor through IMPACT”
Ms Stuti Kacker, Secretary, Disability Affairs, GoI – “Initiatives of GOI for social good”
Mr BV Rao, Chief Editor, Governance Now – “Inclusive growth – Role of Media”
Mr Y Babji, National Vice President (South), PRSI – Session Convener

Technical Session – IIII
Mr KK Sarthak Behuria, Group Prez, KK Modi Group, New Delhi  - Session Chairman
Mr S Srinivasan, CEO, IFFCO, New Delhi – “Inclusive growth thro Rural Communication”
Mr Sarveshwar, Director, SJVNL, Shimla – “CSR efforts at SJVNL”
Dr PJ Sudhakar, Addl Director General, Prasar Bharati, New Delhi – “Public Relations”
Mr Unmesh Dixit, National Vice President (west), PRSI –  Session Convener

Technical Session – IV
Prof Madabhushi Sridhar, CIC, GOI, New Delhi - Session Chairman
Dr Arye Jugessur, High Commissioner, Mauritius - “CSR practices in Mauritius”
Mr Nazeeb Arif, VP, (Corpcom), ITC, Kolkata – “CSR approaches in Private Sector”
Mr Mohanty, DG, DAVP, New Delhi – “Inclusive growth: Challenges of Govt Advtg”
Ms VP Sharma, National Vice President (North), PRSI – Session Convener

Technical Session – V
Mr Ashok Chowdhury, ED (HR), IOC, New Delhi - Session Chairman
Mr JMF Richard, Prl Consultant, Imagine, Mauritius – “Global framework in Mauritius”
Mr Chandan Mazumdar, VP, ABP Group, Kolkata – “Media 2020”
Mr Shishir Sinha, the Hindu Business Line, New Delhi – “What sells in Media?”
Mr SP Singh, Chairman, Nagpur Chapter of PRSI – Session Convener

Technical Session – VI
Prof Subhash Sood  - Session Chairman
Mr J Daniel Chellappa, Sr Scientist BARK, Chennai – “Perception management”
Mr KA Badrinath, Editor, Financial Chronicle, New Delhi – “Communication strategies”
Mr Amritesh Shrivastava, Manager (CC), NPCIL, Mumbai – “Public outreach activities”
Mr Mahendra Jain, Chairman, Nagpur Chapter of PRSI – Session Convener

Technical Session – VII
Mr SM Sharma, Chief Advisor, Jagran Group - Session Chairman
Mr Dilip Chenoy, MD, National Skill Development Corp., New Delhi – “Skill development”
Mr SS Bapat, ED (CC), IOC, Mumbai – “Corporate branding – Challenges & Opportunities”
Mr Tej Bahadur Mathur, GM (PR), Hindalco – “Dividends of CSR investment”
Mr Narendra Ranjan Mukherjee, Chairman, Kolkata Chapter of PRSI – Session Convener

At the valedictory, Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman, Commission for Minorities, Govt of India said “RTI is an exercise of Public Relations to find out the TRUTH and that PR itself is the TRUTH. Therefore, he said both ways and means is none other than TRUTH”. Padmashri Dr KK Agarwal, President of Heart Care Foundation who presided over the valedictory said “PR is nothing but gifting love or appreciating everybody”. He advised that every PR man shall adopt ‘Sathi Savithri Manthra’ and save ‘Samanya Manav’.

Some of the quotes by the speakers at the conference that can be remembered and pondered over are

*    PR is the life-blood of any society
*    Transparancy, knowledge, awareness is possible through PR efforts
*    PR can make or mar any program
*    Credibility, faith and confidence ran Gandhi’s agitations, so should the PR campaigns
*    PR, if needed, should break boundaries and lay bridges
*    Media is a great champion of human rights
*    Media has no great role to play in CSR if PR does its job
*    Purpose of communication is development
*    CSR is based on ethical and moral grounds, lest it becomes Corp criminal liability
*    PR campaigns help creating a positive opinion and to contain negative perceptions
*    Corporation communication drives Corporate Social Responsibility
*    People, Planet & Profit are the buzzwords of CSR
*    Be a human being first and a communicator later. It works in CSR communication.
*    PR men shall think differently to convert adversity into opportunity
*    Journalism, these days, not a mission but a profession
*    A journalist is a salesman of news. He sells his news to the 1st consumer i.e. Editor
*    Social Media is a social giant. It doesn’t listen to anybody
*    Social Media is a best friend and a worst enemy