Public relations (PR) consultants are a lot like media professionals, as they need to be in touch with the world around them and engage with the public. In many ways, a PR professional plays the role of a bridge between an entity and its market, which includes consumers, communities, governments and the media. Being that bridge, a PR professional has to develop skills and knowledge to devise strategies that build that connection, and make the entity relevant to the people concerned. They work with PR agencies and various organisations too. They develop relationships with the media and monitor external communications. They may also be responsible for creating internal communications or crafting an organisation’s reports. “As more and more global agencies are coming up in India, the PR industry is maturing. For anyone considering a career in this field, the growth opportunities are huge and the demand for talent outstrips the supply,” says Nikhil Dey, vice president, PRCAI.
What do they do?
Today a PR consultant is prevalent in almost all the sectors like private, public, utility and media, voluntary and non-profit organisations. If you choose to become a PR consultant then you would be responsible for planning, developing and implementing the PR strategies of an organisation. You will have to liaison with colleagues and key spokespeople. You will also be responsible for coordinating with media, individuals and other organisations. Along with that you will also be responsible for preparing and supervising the production of publicity brochures, handouts, direct mail leaflets, promotional videos, photographs, films and multimedia programmes.
- Organising events including press conference, exhibitions, open days and press tours.
- Maintaining and updating information
- Managing PR aspect of a potential crisis situation
- A keen understanding of a range of media outlets, including print, broadcast and online platforms
- Because the job relies so heavily on communication, it is imperative that prospective public relations managers hone their public speaking and writing skills
- The vision to craft strategies that reach the right audience at the right time
- Patience and the skill to engage and manage people
- Focus on results, not the time spent in office
How do I get there?
Public relations is one of the few careers that accepts people from different professions or walks of life. You don’t have to be a mass communications expert (although it helps). You could be a lawyer, a filmmaker, a journalist, an anthropologist, a chartered accountant or even a flight steward and yet find your way into the field of PR. Though there are many courses in mass communication, only some focus on PR.
Typical day in the life of a Public Relation Consultants
Unlike several other industries, there is no specific daily routine for a person working in public relations (PR) company. There is never a beginning or an end to a day when you are dealing with information. However, a normal day at work would include at least an hour on news/ information analysis, followed by strategic planning and engagement, internally and externally. Time spent on client servicing depends entirely on a person’s commitment to his/her job. For somebody working in the lower to middle level, there is a routine for their work, given that they are involved in documentation and daily information reporting. There is a stated time for this activity.
Pros & Cons about this career
Creative freedom You will be leading a team Can build various contacts
Long working hours The job can be stressful, especially when coordinating multiple projects