The rise and rise of the domain of Public Relations

With the growing power of public opinion, rising sophistication of organisations’ management and the constant need for government-business relationship, the disruptive landscape ahead is sure to bring both challenge and opportunity in this field

Human beings have evolved over a period of approximately six million years, transforming into a complex civilization. This has created infinite sections in the society, who have distinct identities and strong opinions, yet they continue to be co-dependent. To ensure that these groups understand each other’s interests and do not come into conflict, Public Relation (PR) Communication acts as a link among these diverse factions.

The formal practice of Public Relations dates back to the early 20th century. Its earliest definitions emphasized on publicity and press agentry, while more modern theorists incorporate the concepts of “engagement” and “relationship building.” In 1982, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) National Assembly defined Public Relations as a domain that “helps an organisation and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” Publics here refers to a group of people with a similar interest or objective. In 2011‒12, PRSA led an international effort to modernize the definition of Public Relations through a crowdsourcing campaign along with a public vote that generated the following definition:

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics.”

The need for Public Relations

The success of an organisation or a government does not only depend on performing well in terms of numbers. It also relies on its participation in welfare tasks for earning the goodwill of the common people. Today, organisations need to ‘talk’ to their publics – both internal (i.e. their employees and stakeholders) as well as external (their consumers) in an open, transparent manner. These conversations should not be merely promotional but rather aimed at building bridges to better understand each other. Additionally, a surge in the range and availability of communication technologies have opened enormous avenues for PR Communications, shifting from complete reliance on the print medium to digital and television media to reach out to people.

All of this has made Public Relations an emerging, independent, and specialised profession.

With the growing interconnectivity, isolated in-house PR departments may not be able to cope with the global needs of the commercial conglomerates. Here PR counselling and use of PR consultancy services will play an imperative role in reducing cultural gaps with professional ease.

To reach its highest potential, Public Relations in the coming years would need to cultivate resources. For this, it will require support from educational institutes and universities at both undergraduate and graduate levels to nurture students who can draw upon social, economic, and behavioural research and other relevant areas in the field. Resultantly, there will be an exponential demand for competent people – both as generalists as well as specialists.

The number of PR professionals will, therefore, rise every year.

Why opt for the UPES School of Modern Media?

The UPES’ School of Modern Media through its BBA program with a specialisation in Events, Public Relations and Corporate Communications trains students in planning, designing and execution of events, along with the financial and planning aspects. Students get practical exposure as they get the exposure to work on real events such as exhibitions, fairs, conferences, cultural meets, and the like. Thorough understanding of public relations and corporate communications, along with general communication topics including English, Marketing, Writing, Media Theory and Broadcast Journalism are taught to build successful careers in this constantly evolving field. Students can choose to work in PR firms, Management Consultancies as well as Internal PR departments.

With the increasing level of education, the growing power of public opinion, rising sophistication of organisations’ management and the constant need for government-business relationship, the disruptive landscape ahead is sure to bring both challenge and opportunity for students who specialise in this domain.  

Watch the video below to know more about UPES School of Modern Media:

Sources: PRSA, Bartleby Research

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