In the last 10-12 years, we have been part of an evolving profession, also one that’s beginning to get some attention and importance. The basics of Communication remain, but additional (digital) tools have raised the bar for PR professionals in India. Young and Experienced.
What I feel missing is the lack of knowledge-sharing among professionals online (probably offline too).
We need advocates for the PR industry in India.
There is much for us to learn from each other, and so much we can share from what we learn daily through our regular encounters in the profession.
Twitter is a great platform to make this possible. Creative ideas and concepts don’t always come when one is working on a project. It could come anytime. Twitter helps to document, share, and test when shared with people in the same profession. Choose a hashtag and keep the chatter (positive) on. Promote it on profiles so other PR professionals can join in too. #IndiaCommunications is unused, though longish. Other suggestions, #IndiaComms or #CommsIndia.
I know there are PR focused events in India. Yet the online chatter is restricted to events, Whatsapp groups, Facebook groups, tweetchats, or for specific occasions only. It’s not out there for the world to see, and join in. Some of the groups I had been part of are useful because they provide job opportunities, but lack any form of sharing that educates or encourages one another on the profession.
Some of the candid comments I received from PR folks were;
- “I think people today are too concerned about how they may look like in front of others and avoid sharing.”
- “There is more competition than an actual concern for one another. I think it is an Indian problem. People are also afraid that someone else might take their job”
- “Too much work pressure, I just can’t find time to think about work again once I’m out of office. I’m more concerned about getting home through all the traffic to be with family”
- “Many are afraid to make mistakes, and look stupid, get a bad name.”
- Too much personal ego management required, and apprehensions exists when it comes to sharing knowledge. Professionals need to come out of their closets”
- “Rarely do professionals think for the greater good. It’s mostly about themselves, selfish and credit hungry.”
- “Not many believe they have value to provide, therefore stay quiet.”
- “We often make the mistake of comparing ourselves with others, specially our international counterparts. It is discouraging.”
- “I used to share but stopped because people only like to be critical or simply rant”
- “Some of the ‘good’ ones are self-glorifying individuals. Self seekers, publishing material to show off rather than trigger a line of thought that is worth developing.”
What kind of knowledge-sharing can be done? It could be anything that adds value to newcomers, and experienced professionals alike.
- Tips and insights on improving agency-client relationships
- Generic positive commentary on aspects of PR, Internal Comms, Employee Engagement, etc.
- Tips to reach out to Journalists (In a public forum, good journalists will join in and support)
- Share (incl. links) and Highlight personal case studies, experiences, etc.
- Personal views on a Brands approach to its campaigns
My point is, we need to be a more open community. Very few communications professionals comment on PR industry related issues or solutions. Sharing bridges the gap between young and experienced professionals.
New professionals are mostly open to learning and good advice that can help them move forward confidently. A lot of times, freshers look for affirmations for the way they are thinking, if its in the right direction or not. Mentorship does not always have to be program based, nor can everyone give time or money for it.
Communications professionals should be in the forefront of fostering such communities.