I think PR is one field which is the most “misunderstood” by people. Most of us know it only as an extended part of media or to be more precise as a division of ‘Advertising’ but no one knows what exactly it is.
When I took up education for my bachelors and later my masters in Mass Communication, ‘PR’ was the subject which was given least importance. In fact, in my years of graduation only a couple of pages were “wasted” in making notes about PR. I haven’t really understood why: Was it my lack of understanding of the subject ,or was it that the stock of knowledge of my teachers on the subject was limited?
Most of the fresh graduates from any mass communication or PR course have one thing in common, i.e. the definition of PR, ‘Creating Goodwill of the Company In eyes of its audience’. But if we ask them how they will create this ‘good will’, then almost all sport a ‘puzzled’ look. And God forbid, if someone asks them the names of top 10 publications of
Also, most of the PR students know of a PR tool called “Press Release”, as it is a common word used by their teachers in colleges. But when it comes to writing it, most of them land up in scratching their heads or ending up with 1 paragraph or the best of all excuse: “Sorry our teachers have not taught us this”.
I think the problem is not at the students end, but with the educational institutes which are offering these wonderful courses. The educational hubs which take pride in calling themselves as the heralders of quality “job-oriented” education and offer different courses in media, churn out 100s of “so called” PR professionals at the same time. But the lack of depth in the course content ensures that none of them are equipped with the necessary skill sets to ensure their right fitment for the job. It is imagined that “learning on the job” will work where education failed!
Most of the novices who take PR as their career have to learn one thing that if they want to be a good PR professionals, then they have to unlearn the theory books of their colleges and have to make a fresh beginning with a open mind, so that they can grasp the complexities of the field.