Maintain the positive image
Public relations (PR) management is the study of maintaining relationship between an organization/personality and the public. It is a form of communication primarily directed to gain public understanding and acceptance. In other words, it is used to improve the image of the company. Public is inclusive of clients, consumers, shareholders, press, etc. Main objective of PR is to maintain a rapport with public. Public relations officers are expected to transmit correct information at times of crisis.
A graduate in any discipline such as liberal arts, social sciences and humanities can take up a course on public relations. Certificate, diploma and post graduate diploma courses are available. While certificate courses are of short duration, diploma courses are of one year.
The subjects covered under these courses are: principles and techniques of public relations, management and administration of public relations, organizational development, writing news releases, proposals, annual reports, scripts and speeches, visual communications, desk top publishing, computer graphics, social science research and survey design and implementation.
To succeed in this field, aspirants must have exceptional communication skills, good personality, be an extrovert and have a polite disposition, ability to work under sever pressure, good organizing skills, presence of mind, confidence and analytical skills.
Jobs and careers:
One can specialize in product publicity, corporate publicity; publish newsletters, bulletins, magazines for employees etc. Employment opportunities exist in government, corporate and private sectors. Banks, educational institutions, advertising agencies, tourist agencies, industries and hospitals also recruit public relations officers/executives. Even individuals such as politicians, film personalities, industrialists, models, etc., have their own PR person or seek the advice of a PR firm. While inside the company a PR person has to manage employee-employer relations, out of doors he/she should liaise with the government officials, trade unions, media, etc. They also organize trade fairs and exhibitions. The main work is to keep the management informed about what the public think about the company.
Relatively a new area in public relations, lobbying, helps in the recommending enactment of new laws that would be favorable to the company or industry they represent. It raises public awareness in areas such as human rights and environment to influence the decision makers.