Thursday, August 30, 2007

PR calling India... PR calling India

In a country like India where population can be termed as plenty and human resources, immense, an Industry like PR always must have a bright future. Flamboyant marketing, effective advertising and intelligent PR are sure to hold importance in the second most populous country and the 4th largest economy in the world.

Public Relations in India is fast becoming a growing component of the enterprise marketing budget. Often bordering on business consulting, the scope of Public Relations firms is getting more and more complex. It no longer seems strange to see companies hiring firms for managing the image specifically of their C-Suite, public advocacy campaigns or litigations.

According to the recent Holmes report, the western growth of PR is almost plateaued in the range of 9% to 11%, with India (as China too) growing at 4 times that pace. To quote the report, "The greatest future in growth is expected to come in China and India, with good prospects for growth in Eastern Europe (particularly those countries recently admitted to the European Union) and in the Middle East (albeit from a very small base). " Naturally then, India and its neighbour have become favoured destinations for global giants keen to extract their share of growth from this market. The late realization by many global majors that India has an equal or superior potential than China, has left quite a few panting in the jostle for legspace.

Today, PR firms are a dominant and are inseparable part of the more dynamic business houses, and the potential of this service is evident from the extremely existing low penetration of PR in Indian corporates. Only now are many waking up to the urgent need of a professional PR agency, and now more than ever, the corporates are taking a holistic approach to image management. One sees PR professionals donning the role of consultants, by putting on the functional expertise hat - a sureshot sign of a maturing market. To support the claim my example, that of a Chemical Engineer turned PR professional, and that of a few colleagues from the industry, should prove as an endorsement.

PR has become a must-have for Indian companies (well-established or otherwise) who know the risk of oblivion(either in real or in mindshare), and even a greater necessity to those who understand the plenty - plenty of information! The prediction that the years to come would see PR grow manifold to take a significant part of the services pie, may not be too off the mark.