Public Relations on a roll
From what a PR gets, he might make a living. But from what a PR gives, he might make a life.
PR's have been media kings from quite some time. Almost from the time I gave this interview three years ago.
I entered PR sixteen years ago after being a journalist for eleven years prior to that (since my school days). Then, I shifted from journalism to PR mostly because PRs are better paid than journalists.
Journalism v/s PR
This is because journalism is a profession, while PR is a business. But mind you, not all PRs are able to make good monies. Many who are not able to adjust and adapt to changing times also fade away. There are also many journalists and editors who have entered PR from time to time, but haven't been able to sustain.
This is simply because the profession is extremely demanding. It takes a lot of passion to stay put. Some think PR is a lot of stress and builds anxiety like no one’s business. True to an extent! But a great PR also learns how to handle that and treat his work with media like a game. Once that feeling sets in, PR is cakewalk and the passion for delivering impacting service, peaks. And then, he plays.
What it takes to be a great PR
To be a successful PR, one has to have a combination of at least the following -- intelligence, knowledge of market, intellect, street-smartness, contacts, connections, shrewdness, manipulation abilities, writing abilities, scheming techniques and tact and flamboyance to spin. And these are only the basics.
There's lot more to PR including spokesmanship, legal knowledge and mass perception management, psychology and even basic knowledge of psychiatry! Yes, you read it right! There are times, a PR has to double up almost like a psychiatrist; advising and guiding some clients who could be jittery about controversies and scandals that crop up in our gossip-hungry media.