Vikypedia.in, brings to you an exclusive interview with the PR Practitioner, who recently won the ‘ACE Business Communicator Prize for Young Professional at the PR consultancy at the recently concluded PRAXIS 2014. Here she talks about the youngsters like her in the industry and how they can look forward to win such honors on such platforms in coming years.
- Your story – what makes you the Ace Business Communicator?
My sheer passion and zeal for communications, drives me to contribute and give back to the PR community, I strive to share my experiences through my blog posts on PR & Social Media, through a weekly column PRQuest on http://vikypedia.in/; and have my own blog too: http://richaseth.com/. Keeping up with this endeavor, I also give guest lectures at various PR institutes and help organize short workshops and meet-ups for industry youngsters on Practical PR that will encourage them to join the industry.
I also attempt to initiate discussions about macro environment impacting the business of reputation management, share insights through knowledge nuggets about media, PR and more on Google Groups such as Indian PR Forum, PR Point & Media Forum. Also moderate one of the biggest online forums for the PR industry Indian PR Forum.
Apart from the above, I am inquisitive and eager to explore new sectors, always on a look out for new initiatives that will challenge my capabilities.
- Your views on the role played by youngsters below 30 in the PR industry?
Youngsters enter the PR industry in the age group of 20-22yrs and have about 7-8 years of high energy and enthusiasm to make their mark in the industry. Their curious and inquisitive mindset has a lot for seniors to learn. It is in these formative years that makes what kind of practitioner he/she will be in the future and hence learning the right things and executing it in the right manner becomes crucial. Professionals below 30yrs are the ones who front-end media and clients on a day-to-day basis. The success of any PR campaign depends on these grass-root level practitioners and their efforts. So I believe that young professionals play a very important role, be it in an agency or at the corporate side because they have the humility to be at the receiving end and yet perform under highest level of pressure.
- Do you think that there are enough opportunities for youngsters to get recognized for the work they do?
There are platforms which do recognize the work done by PR professionals like PRAXIS, E4M & PRCI but the motivation and support to participate on such platforms should come from the consultancies or their respective seniors.
- Today’s youngsters are blamed for lax attitude and slimmer motivation – your views?
I don’t think that is true because 70% of the work in any agency depends on these youngsters who are in between the Account executive to Senior Account Manager level, they are the ones who are the brand ambassadors for an agency, single point contact for clients and have in-depth understanding of media as well. Exceptions are there in every agency at all levels, it cannot be generalized for all youngsters. I agree that today’s youth is more demanding, seeks instant gratification while at the same time are very well aware about the responsibilities.
- It is often said that PR consultancies don’t invest much time in training the youngsters? Is that true?
It is very subjective and often varies from agency to agency, I am fortunate to be a part of the agency, where the company spends nearly 2% of its revenues to train employees. There are training programs customized for people across all levels. Apart from the training programs, I believe the immediate seniors should judge the capabilities of their team members and advise them about external courses as well that they can take up to become trained for the industry.
- Your advice to the young PR professionals?
Well, I have not grown so much in my career that I can advice someone but can certainly share my learning’s that I have gained over these 7 years of my consultancy experience.
- To begin I would like to share an old adage, which still stands true, ‘there is no shortcut to success’, one has to go through the grind and there is no rescue. A lot of time needs to be dedicated to learn new skills, practice the required skills to the level of perfection. And always remember you are as good as your last coverage so continue striving.
- Make most of your free time, read as much as possible and practice writing
- Be inquisitive and curious to know more
- Give back to the community that gives you your bread and butter, do something
- But you din’t tell us how to win The Ace Business Communicator of the Year Award?
Simple, do all of the above and attempt to participate in such recognition programs. Most don’t participate even though they are doing some great work. So I encourage more youngsters to come ahead and participate in such opportunities and the next one coming up is PRAXIS 2015.