Saturday, 27 January 2018

Evolution of PR in India & its Growth

Though Public Relation in India is as old as human civilization, this sector has achieved an unparalleled growth since the 1990s as companies realized the mounting need of communicating efficiently with their target audience and enhancing their brand presence. Hence more and more companies began to opt for Public Relations. So, we consider 90s as to be “PR Era”. It was only during this time PR industry came to be known as a profession to Indians.

Public Relations or PR is an art by which we communicate to the public with a view to changing their mindset in a certain direction. Its purpose is to create goodwill for the communicating organizations eventually leading to support from the public. This support is a sine qua non for the success of the given organization.

Sneak peek into its history

  • In India, first PR industry came in 1990s
  • Initial years were not easy
  • In 2000s (growth period) companies emerged
  • Focus was on specific areas like healthcare, technology, brands and finance
  • Eventually demand for specialist in consumer communication increased
  • World Economic regression, brought PR consultants to India and China

Crisis in PR

However, the Indian PR industry had faced certain crisis in past which somewhere or the other had wobbled this industry, like that of 2008 one when there was a global slowdown, it did hit India. The industry was hit in 2010 due to what has come to be known as the 'Radiagate' scam. But these were for a short duration. Soon the industry came over it.

It’s Growth

The growth of PR in the country has been an exceptional till date. PR in its new avatar not just encompasses media relations and employee communication, but is used increasingly for strategic communication, build brand, customer relations and crisis management. From an executive function, PR is now becoming a part of the high-level management job touching upon the core values of an organization. There are scores of PR agencies in cities like Mumbai and Delhi, which are known as the hub of this industry. The industry is expected to touch Rs.2, 100 crore by fiscal 2020, according to a report by Public Relations Consultants Association of India, which shows it has a bright future. The increasingly competitive agency landscape and mushrooming of freelancers have increased the options for brands. 

With more and more multinational companies venturing towards Indian market the future of PR professionals is brilliant and fast growing. The emergence of Online PR and social media gave a new platform to the PR world reaching audience in smarter way. In the Indian corporate sector, PR is well understood and accepted. More companies are investing in PR as social media is in sync with any communication in India and globally as well. In a fast-evolving market place, 2010 saw the continued expansion of digital and social media with companies and government agencies adopting new channels to communicate and engage with consumers, key influencers and all brand stakeholders. The Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI) released a comprehensive report on the PR industry titled ‘State of Indian Public Relations Industry: 2016’. According to the research, the industry has doubled in size between FY’08 and FY’16 from Rs 490 crore to Rs 1120 crore.

PR Education in India

The growing demand of PR has led to spurt in education in India. Mass communication education received a spurt in the 1990s in India after the economy was liberalized.  The Indian Institute of Mass Communication started its exclusive one year PGD in Advertising & Public Relations in 1981. A paper in Advertising & PR is also taught in its Journalism courses, University like Makhan Lal Chaturvedi University of Journalism was set up to exclusively cater to mass communication teaching and training.

The present scenario in the PR industry coupled with the ongoing developments are likely to drive more and more professionals towards it and the industry will be a boon to the Indian market.  

 The author of this opinion article is Ms. Navdeep Nandre at PR Professionals

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