What is Mass Media? Let us understand this in simple. Mass meaning audiences. Media - you can say - sound (audio), visual ( text / images) / motion (audio - visual).Talking about audio-it refers to sound/music, visual could be in print or digital and audio visual is the television/films and OTT platforms. In Mass media, these as the main vehicles to communicate information about a brand, product or service (human or non-human, here the human element refers to talent) to the masses. These tools are used to either create awareness, create / balance goodwill or promote the consumption of brand, product or service. One of the critical element for any brand, product or service requires it to be in the news all the time. This role is played by PR (Public Relations). Public Relations is the multi-mode communication of information from organisation to masses, person to masses and organisation to organisation. It is a strategic practice of deliberately managing the spread of information to the desired audiences and aid the build up of trust and credibility with them. Public Relations helps raise awareness and gives updates about a particular brand, organisation, person or event. Public Relations plays a very critical role in damage control of a brand. It is equally essential for brand image building, brand reinforcement or staying visible, social networking, sourcing business collaborations and partnerships. Most organisations have an in-house public relations department. However, some companies may also outsource for its PR. The major functions of the Public Relations department include maintaining press relations, product publicity, internal and external corporate communications, lobbying, counseling, handling inhouse journals, handling special events and public service activities.
Some of the functions of a PR practitioner are:
Planning is as essential a part of the PR domain. Collaborating with internal and external teams for strategic, need based and time bound communication is extremely important for Public Relations to give results. A crucial desicion by a PR professional will be to decide the medium of the communication or campaign. Public Relations needs to identify best suited medium on the basis of the message content and the desired audiences. Whether to communicate on broadcast, print or digital, by what means, text, graphic, audio or audio visual also depends on the strength, seriousness of the message and the viewership / readership / listenership statics of the audiences. The placement of message and how well it is received by the target audience is the name of the game Production is also a crucial part of the role. Creating content collaterals across platforms with help of information research, usage of best practices, multimedia skills and Mass media and Communication. Composing articles, news letters, feature stories for broadcast, print and digital. Their major role also involves press releases, mass media tracking and competition . Writing is a must must skill set for a PR person. He / she also has a responsibility or sending out correct and timely information. A PR practitioner needs to be a good spokesperson, appearing before groups, suggesting communication content for speaking assignments and identify platforms to facilitate the message to the correct audiences. Like Advertising , PR also follows an AIDA phase. Publicity /Awareness before an occurrence, during and occurrence and after the occurrence, for a planned format activity.
Public Relations is all about story telling with a impact. At times, brands need to on purpose spread an untoward image of themselves to resolve the larger business concerns. PR is also used to button press image modes of a brand. It is extremely crucial for brands to be shaped up to being in news as they are one of the main masters in the business of storytelling. For this there is a constant requirement of efficient man power which makes it evident that there are multifold opportunities in Public Relations. But the question is - how do you approach this profession? Does graduation alone equipment you for this? Should you do an internship here in first or seek higher education?
Here is the thing:
It is not as if you will not get an internship without taking a professional training. For that matter this is true for any segment. But when you step into a work role after undergoing a professional training, you are better equipped with concepts and functionalities from the reel to the real roles, process and brand fit understanding which makes your learning during your initial months of work life more constructive and aids in getting you a strong experience base.
Let's consider this - I am a fresh graduate taking up an internship in a PR agency. After about 8 to 12 months, a certain level of stagnation tends to sets in. Let's understand why so? - Because majority of the times, there is a KRA bracket within which a fresher is allotted work. Also the professionals in the agency may or may not have time to train an intern/ fresher, be it basics or for higher work responsibility. When the same fresher is due for an appraisal after a year of work, he / she will be evaluated not only on work performance but also on the basis of qualification depending on the parameters of the organization. It also means that an equally experienced candidate who has a higher qualification stands a better chance of growth.