Q.

So, what ex­actly does a Pub­lic Re­la­tions man­ager do?

Cosmopolitan (India) - - CAREER -

“Tech­ni­cally, PR is about im­age man­age­ment, but re­al­is­ti­cally it’s about sell­ing sto­ries. Me­dia re­la­tions is 80% of our job— know­ing what to pitch to whom, track­ing up­com­ing themes and sto­ries, and sup­ply­ing jour­nal­ists with rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion. At a man­age­rial level, it also in­volves rep­u­ta­tion build­ing, strat­egy plan­ning, ideation and cri­sis man­age­ment.”

“I pre­fer to hire peo­ple who have at least a Bach­e­lors de­gree in English, be­cause if some­one’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills are weak, a lot of time is spent by a se­nior per­son cor­rect­ing or coach­ing them.”

“An Hon­ours de­gree is al­ways ben­e­fi­cial, and it’s a plus if you have done a course in Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Apart from a de­gree, hav­ing in­terned with a brand, a PR firm or even a pub­lish­ing house can tilt things in your favour.”

“At an ex­ec­u­tive’s level, your day will start with news­pa­per and so­cial me­dia track­ing, then there will be writ­ing re­leases, an­swer­ing e-mails, doc­u­men­ta­tion and plan­ning. Post lunch is mainly about mak­ing pitches, co­or­di­na­tion with the me­dia and the client. Your day will end with tak­ing stock of things.”

“It changes be­tween the be­gin­ning, mid­dle and end of the month as we have to align our­selves with is­sue clos­ings. Things also tend to be hec­tic dur­ing fes­ti­vals, and events.”

“A lot of phone calls! Mak­ing calls, con­fer­enc­ing calls, minut­ing calls and then ac­tion­ing those calls.”

“Cre­at­ing a bal­ance be­tween client and me­dia ex­pec­ta­tions and main­tain­ing time­lines. Some­times, you have to put your foot down and set agen­das and ex­pec­ta­tions right.”

“The abil­ity to dis­con­nect from the job. You’re like a sponge, ab­sorb­ing things con­stantly.”

“While PR is tech­ni­cally mar­ket­ing, the client may also ex­pect you to in­crease foot­falls and rev­enues.”

“We give them a writ­ten test. But it has very lit­tle to do with PR. We put them in make­be­lieve sit­u­a­tions to gauge their re­ac­tions to sit­u­a­tions.”

“We scan a CV to check ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties—were they part of a school mag­a­zine, have they been good or­a­tors, and what sum­mer in­tern­ships they did in col­lege. There is also a skill test that in­cludes cor­rect­ing gram­mar, writ­ing a re­lease, de­cod­ing short forms of in­dus­try bod­ies, etc. Groom­ing and pre­sen­ta­tion is also im­por­tant.”

“Apart from great writ­ing skills, we look for their net­work in the in­dus­try. I would def­i­nitely ex­pect you to drop names of peo­ple you know.”

“I pre­fer peo­ple who read, be­cause they know how to com­mu­ni­cate. And you have to keep abreast of what is go­ing on.”

“A fresher can ex­pect to make be­tween 18K-25K per month. With five years of ex­pe­ri­ence, be­tween 50K-90K, and with 10 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, any­thing be­tween 1.5-2 Lakhs monthly.”

“Know­ing your field well. If a jour­nal­ist calls you and you’re not able to help her out quickly with rel­e­vant info, it’ll work against you.”

“Since this is a ser­vice in­dus­try, you need to be will­ing to put in that ex­tra ef­fort.”

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