Even educational institutions have to try to show how excellent they are — how they have a large campus, a healthy environment, a neat and decent building — all the educational institutions go after advertising that with them they claim ‘that’ the child would grow in all fields — physical, mental, moral — whatever can be conceived as the best in education, every school already established or even getting newly started promises the best for the children.
Allurements are offered — how much and to what extent the advertisements succeed in ‘alluring’ parents and guardians to admit their children in that school, how attractive can the institution be presented—that exercise is known as the public relations exercise.
Even foreign universities are putting up large sized advertisements. The larger the space covered on the page of a newspaper, the greater the psychological impact on the viewer.
An organization booked a full page advertisement in the Times of India but all blank — the whole page was left blank — naturally one would feel doubly attracted and become doubly interested to know what this blankness actually is all about — there is just a small note in the corner of the page to watch for the advertisement of the product in the next day’s issue — that product would fill up all the blanks in the market.
See to the advertising novelty to catch attention — all this exercise is a Public Relations exercise.
How much impact you can leave on the minds of people—the public relations exercise means how much you catch people’s imagination and win their confidence and faith. There are advertisements about ‘tires’ — the rough and tough roads do not hamper them, they stand sturdy on all grounds, the rocking side of the mountains and the dusty deserts and the slushy roads — the tires are strong and sturdy for all seasons and for all terrains.
One comes across an advertisement for the Asian Paints — even the torrential rains of Cherrapunjee cannot erase the paint a bit; the child is languid and lazy and the old lady prescribes just one tonic — Mahan’s Pure Ghee.
Seeing the same things over and over again on the T.V screen one is set thinking — there really should be something really good in the material. Even a misinformation or a disinformation beaten down upon your brain over and over again can leave its impact and begins to be treated as a truth. This is what the public relations exercise has to do.
In a democratic set up, the masses rule the day and therefore what has to be said should reach the remotest corner because without contact with the mass-mind, no government, no party, no organization, no scheme, no project, so much so, no public representative can succeed.
This is not merely a formal proposition, it has to be a fair and a well thought out formulation. The widespread drought conditions are prevailing in Rajasthan and Gujarat — the governments are trying to do their best to combat the situation and to send up relief to the remotest corners but the newspapers are loud in advising the government agencies to come out with facts and figures as to how much stock of food grains does the government have in stock, how and in what manner do they propose transporting grains and water to the hungry and thirsty.
Advertise and come out with the truth, win the confidence of the people that would give a greater relief to people than any pronouncements on the floor of the parliaments. Winning of confidence is the greatest achievement in the field of public relations exercise.
Public Relations — PR. — as is its short form, actually stands for ‘Performance’ and ‘Recognition’. People should accept your intentions — the public should get moulded to your opinion.
Thus, Public relations exercise means ‘the promotion of rapport and goodwill between a person, a firm or an institution and other persons or the community at large through the distribution of interpretative material, the development of neighbourly interchange and assessment of public reaction’. It demands a sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understand in greaten an organization and public.
Public relations exercise means communicating the message in the right way, to the right audience at the right time. Public relations, thus, is human engineering; a planned effort to influence opinion through socially responsible and acceptable performance based on mutually satisfactory two way communication.
So public relations are the philosophy of doing things people like and doing them the way people like. Judging people’s mind is an ‘art’, doing it the right way is the ‘Science’.
In the public relations exercise, the role of media is very important. The newspapers and magazines, the television, the cinema screen, the radio — all these media, educate and entertain. News papers have been playing a great role in moulding public opinion, therefore an organization or an institution has to keep in constant cordial contact with the newspapers, if they really want to influence the public mind in their favour.
Hence it is that every leader — local, national or international holds press-conferences on important issues and even goes to the extent of entertaining the newsmen and makes them a part of their campaign. Along with Bill Clinton — the former US President — had come the host of newsmen who formed a part of his entourage. They flew with him; they travelled with him, they were duly accommodated and looked after. Why? Only to carry good news in the President’s favour.
The President’s public relations department had a great responsibility in this regard. Big organizations have their own ‘trouble shooters’ who help them out if there be any trouble, in the same way they have their own public relations department to constantly watch and keep in touch with their fingers on the pulse of the public.
Thus with all this importance in the world of today in maintaining public relations — there is a lot of responsibility that also goes with it. There needs to be a code of conduct for those managing the public relations. While winning of faith is important, keeping true to that faith is also equally important.
Confidence and truthfulness alone can give credence, which credence, if once lost can never be won back. Therefore, the key to successful public relations exercise is — be true to yourself, do not try to beguile and cheat; put forth arguments that convince and catch the imagination and once the imagination is caught, hold it on to the right level in the right manner, Sweetness and light are the twin requirements of a public relations man — it is the combination of the two alone which guarantees success in this field — a very upcoming, potent and promising field but has to be trodden upon with care, confidence, and above all with conscience; faith in oneself and faith in one’s mission and overall faith in the goodness of life; it is only goodness and truth that ultimately triumphs — this has to be the keynote.
Public relations are as much an industry now, as any other industry can be but the investments are not money so much as intelligence and imagination — these investments if made well, the industry is bound to flourish. These investments cost nothing but shall pay a lot.