Remember those scenes from ‘Sex and the City’ where publicist, Samantha Jones, swanned around attending cool parties, getting her friends into the trendiest events in town. OK, if you're under thirty years of age may not! But the truth is movies and TV shows have been a big reason that people think PR is one easy glamorous job and want to join it.
The Glamour of PR!
Best movies and TV shows about PR
Wag the Dog- Robert De Niro as a political consultant and PR guru
Scandal – Olivia Pope’s character is supposed to be based on George W Bush’s press aide, Judy Smith.
West Wing – The wonderful character of CJ Kregg as press secretary. A personal favourite
The Newsroom – HBO’s show about TV journalism is a must watch as it is, inevitably, about PR as well.
Main Azad Hoon –Shabana Azmi uses the suicide of Amitabh Bachchan as a propaganda tool to build her own place as a columnist.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro – Two photographers caught in the wily clutches of a newspaper editor not averse to using her newspaper as a PR weapon to get rich.
Gayathri Chandrashekar, corporate communications consultant, Global Analytics India Pvt. Ltd, admits that she too fell for this idea, “Honestly, I had no idea what PR is when I went for my first job interview with an agency except for the preparation I had done online. I probably thought several years ago, that PR is a glamorous job to be in (thank the movies for it!) but only when I started out did I realize that it is challenging one. PR gives me that sense of happiness. It also gives me the excitement of being on your toes all the time. If not PR, I don’t know where else I would be or choose to be.”
Sanya Bajaj has worked in PR for just over three years and also says that, PR always held for her, “The image of being a glamorous and lavish industry to work in.” Says Bajaj, “With time I realized that this comes along with the reality of hard work, long hours and dedication.” But she still liked PR well enough to take the leap towards starting her PR firm, Column Inches.
The power of Public Opinion
Akshaara Lalwani, founder & CEO, Communicate India, finds this career satisfying as it influences public opinion and can help build the image of an individual or brand. This and the opportunity to work with a diverse set of people is what attracted Lalwani to PR.
If variety is the spice of life, then PR is the career for you. George Samuel, junior account executive with Avian Media says he was fascinated with the word ‘variety’ and that’s why he was attracted to PR.
Top reasons for joining PR
- PR is Glamorous
- PR influences people
- You get to work as part of a team
- PR offers variety
- PR has more opportunity than advertising
- Love for writing
PR is better than advertising
While this will certainly shock the creators of Mad Men, Reshmi R believes that, “Advertising is slowly declining and the need for PR is becoming more important nowadays.” This is what attracted her to PR as she felt it would give her a better chance to grow over advertising.
Inspite of having a degree in advertising and marketing management, Kalpana Swamy joined PR. She says, “When I was doing my post graduation we had a small syllabus on PR and although it was not the main subject, something caught my attention. While advertising focused on set creative and paid communication formats and journalism was too specific for my taste back then, I thought PR will be the next big thing. It is always fun to create headlines in your mind and weave a story relevant for journalists.”