Thursday, January 14, 2010

If you're starting a PR career

With over a decade of professional experience in the field of public relations after having spent the previous decade in various other unrelated businesses, I often remember the time when I was first introduced to term ‘Public Relations’ as a professional opportunity. I gaped back in answer.

Despite my outright rejection at the prospect and my first words in reply being “What’s that?!”, I was comforted and told that all I had to do was read newspapers, have common sense; and I would be able to make a business out of PR.

The response I first gave when confronted with Public Relations is the very same I get from many others when I tell them what I do for a living. Not much has changed I guess. Even sibling professions like advertising or marketing don’t know what PR can do, much less how it gets done.

Almost ten years later after I joined the profession, I have promoted & managed two successful PR agencies (Blue Lotus Communications and i9 Communications), the second of which was floated right under the nose of the recession in October 2008 and is doing quite well. If I attempt to decipher the reasons behind my success, it is not because I knew a lot; in fact, au contraire, it was because I knew too little to start with. Since I had no formal academic training in PR ( I am Chemical Engineer and have an unfinished MBA in Finance), I was forced to research and read, lest I be found wanting in this subject.

If you're starting your PR career, or are in it for dozens of years, the only way to stay ahead in this profession is by continuously enhancing your knowledge. Gobble up all you can read and vacuum all the available knowledge from people, books, situations and actions. Read, see, observe and apply it with a full formal theoritical understanding of the subject.

You're can be confident of success in public relations if you stay continuously hunger for learning.