Remember the time when as a fresh and raw PR professional, a mentor taught you the ropes? It’s time to return the good karma and share what you learnt from these early teachers and raise a toast to them.
Learning from PR mentors
You are young and inexperience and it’s hard to speak up. One of the first lessons Chandreyi Bandyopadhyay, PR executive with Hill + Knowlton Strategies picked up was to voice her opinion.
For Bandyopadhyay, an early mentor was Rajeev Chawla her professor at the Xavier Institute of Communications. Bandyopadhyay says, “Rajeev always told me to be upfront and speak my views, even if that completely stands against the idea someone else has brought to the table.”
Bandyopadhyay also cites her boss at Hill + Knowlton Strategies as her mentor saying, “ I have been told time and again to be confident about myself and put my foot down if I disagree with something, be it my colleagues or my client. Being a good PR professional entails that we must disagree with conventional ideas to delve deeper into a problem.”
For others it was all about learning to handle a fast paced job.
Sakshi Choubey, PR professional with WordsWork began her career five years ago and counts the company founder Neha Kumar Rastogi as her mentor. Choubey says she learnt to have fun even if PR is a stressful job. Choubey feels that from Rastogi she learnt that, “ Continual growth and success is a result of doing your best and not by simply being the best.”
Rahul Rakesh, acknowledges Vivek Gautam for, “ His simplicity and sincerity of actions, nature to nurture, guide and support.”
Adds Rakesh, “ Another person that I have been in touch with and would look up to him for guidance is Sharif D Rangnekar. Be it any situation, he has always been able to give a new perspective or a new narrative to the situation. That always helps you in taking the correct decisions at work or in life.”
Rakesh says another important lesson he learnt is, “Reading your mail a second time and reading it aloud -obviously not to make the whole office know about it - would ensure the element of error getting minimized by 60-80 percent!”
Akilesh Subramanian, who works with Everymedia Entertainment and Marketing, says he has had quite a few mentors, “ The very first being Rohini Iyer (owner of Raindrop Media) she and her company, was the one who taught me everything in PR. Also, my current boss, Nikhil D’Rozario, has also been a guide for me to explore more options and has shown me a different side of how PR functions. Lastly, one of the major mentors has been media itself, my journalist friends have taught me the finer points of PR.”
Deepa Yadav also with Everymedia Entertainment & Marketing Pvt. Ltd., says, “I was known to make petty errors in my writing and my first mentor, Veera Fernandez at MSL India, made it a point that I get into the habit of proof reading twice before I share anything with the client or the team. She used to send me her own documents for proof reading at times.I make errors even today and I can literally hear her words aloud in my head!”
Rahul Dhall, PR Manager at JD Institute of Fashion Technology, learnt to put aside his ego and says that, “ Over the last two years I also learned that the client is always right; or perhaps it’s better to say “the client is never completely wrong!
Rishi Bammi with Aim High Consulting credits her boss Priya Mathew with teaching her , "clear communication which is both understandable and respectful to ndividual needs. "
What would you like to teach your mentor?
Joyce Fernandez from Ideosphere Consulting feels that her mentor, Tripti Chetnani at Ideosphere, should not let the stress get the better of her.
Richa Seth, account director at Adfactors PR, wishes that there was more mentoring opportunities adding that, “One thing that I notice is that very few people take out the time to mentor the youngsters joining the industry. Having a mentor plays a very important role for the budding professionals and also helps them to stay motivated."
Choubey gets down to basics advising her mentor saying, “ Just chill boss”!
Bandyopadhyay has the last word on the topic with a tongue in cheek comment saying, “I don’t think I have anything yet that goes beyond the knowledge and experience my mentors possess. However, if there is one thing I would like to tell them to try out, it will be how to have a tequila shot and come back to your desk and continue work.”