Thursday, October 21, 2010

Disconnect between academics and the PR industry in India

Firstly I would like to take this opportunity to thank some few of you for all the help you have always given to me and my students in research conducted by us.

But it has been my experience that majorly the PR industry is not as helpful as it appears when it comes to contributing to academics. I have been teaching Public Relations for more than 5 years now and I have observed that they do not readily co-operate in research related queries from students.Sometimes we academicians also face the same problem.Barring a few professionals who help others keep postponing to even give an appointment. The students have shared with me their experience the problems they have faced when trying to conduct surveys in Public Relations.They are often told to contact later and emails are usually left un-answered.It has also been seen that you have to have a friend or a relative working in the institution to get an appointment with the required personnel.

The students feel disheartened because they are keen to learn and such a lukewarm response leaves them with a bad impression of the place where they will be starting their professional careers.I can understand that certain students do not have very good communication skills so they may get rejected out right for the fact that they cannot even speak properly, though care is also taken from our end to train them as far as possible in interviewing skills. But can the industry be a little patient with these budding professionals of the future?

In foreign countries the researches done by academics are funded by the industry and the results are used by the industry in furthering their prospects, so here can we atleast answer queries so that our profession is understood better? We are also growing in our understanding of the profession and a little help in the form of answers goes a long way in helping both of us.We must understand research is a very important element in helping a profession grow otherwise companies would not have R&D departments.

My question to all PR industry professionals is why do you shy away from questions? Is it so difficult to spare atleast five minutes to answer queries which might even help you back in return? I wonder if this post will be read or simply ignored as questions are.