I am just back from a guest lecture at Sophia for BMM students. All the charming girls from 1st, 2nd and 3rd year BMM were there attentively listening to what all I said on the relevance of PR and the PR-Media relationship.
I Discussed with them the evolution of PR as a professional input from errand or courier boys to strategic advisors and partners. Told them how we distributed sweets and arranged expensive gifts at Corporate bigwigs’ media meets. And, also told them how the new generation journos do not accept any gifts.
Also explained the flow of news traffic, traffic jams and challenges for PR in catching the reporters early on.
The girls asked me:
You were a reporter during the Emergency? What kind of changes do you see now, as compared to 1975?
Are PR professionals part of media planning and buying to influence publishers (God, what a question?!)
Challenges for PR professionals in meeting their organisations’ requirements?
Ethics in PR vis-à-vis journalism – How do you tackle the apparent clash of interest?
New age media – the credibility aspect?
Mind blowing – right?
I was absolutely stunned and at the same time was pleasantly surprised about the awareness levels of the future communication professionals.
They know about NDTV 24x7 as well and India News. They are not just flipping through Bombay Times. They do read the front page of TOI and the Ambani brothers war.
So, fellow professionals watch out the new communication brigade coming up. I understand that there are close to 100 colleges in Mumbai alone that teach mass communication!