63% of PR professionals in India who participated in the 2nd Unofficial Indian Public Relations Survey on India PR Blog ‘are happy’ being in the PR profession, while 30% are ‘ok’, and 7% are ‘not happy’.
The top reasons cited by those who are not happy being in the PR profession include ‘lack of job satisfaction’ (20%), ‘type of work they do’ (19%), ‘work culture’ (14%), ‘salary’ (11%), and 8% chose ‘bad boss’. 8% of the respondents feel that the work is embarrassing and 6% feel that the job doesn’t just suit them.
When asked if they are likely to change their current workplace in this year, 49% said no, 26% said yes, and 25% said maybe.
38% of the participants felt that a PR professional should stay at least 2 years in an agency before shifting to a new one, while 32% cited a minimum of 1 year and 15% cited 3 years.
PR Agencies in India
There are no best or worst PR agencies. While some might excel in something, others might excel in something else. In India, we have PR agencies of all sorts – those who lead by revenues, or number of networks, or number of clients, or number of awards won. Then there are agencies that specializes in a particular vertical. There are also PR agencies with star PR celebrities, and then with good teams.
So we asked a simple question to our survey participants, which PR agency they liked the most and which they liked the least. The results are below.
PR Agencies in India that the survey participants liked the most
Least Liked PR Agencies in India, according to the survey participants:
PR as a Career
We asked the participants why they chose PR as their career and got some pretty interesting answers. There were only 5 participants who mentioned that PR happened by chance, which means the rest of the participants chose PR as their career.
Some select responses are:
1. Enjoy writing. Enjoy the trip of being an enabler – putting the right words in other people’s mouths
2. I was always lured by the glamor in PR. This job gives me exposure to the latest in a particular industry, the upcoming trends and news and also enables me to handle communication at times of crisis and be an enabler in image building for my clients. Its a dynamic field to work in.
3. To me, it’s fascinating to observe how people form links and relationships. This is why I am in PR.
4. PR allows much room for creative and strategic thinking, rapid planning and action and networking, which i like doing. Secondly, in this profession I came across some of the most interesting people and ideas. Last, this profession is all about change, which is me – dynamic.
5. Everyday is different. Every task is unique. The industry is constantly developing and yet very exciting.
6. For someone who has varied interests, a PR job allows me inside participation across various industries.
7. I am a peoples person, very comfortable and connect very well with them. strong believer in investment in relationships. With very tamed ego , it becomes lot more easier to deal and interact with people… accepting their limitations. So work is fun.. and life goes on.
8. I got into PR by default than design. But once I got into PR, I chose to continue with it as a career because of several factors – the power that it has in building/destroying a company’s reputation, the challenges, the opportunity to interact with top management, the excitement and newness.
9. I found the concept of Public Relations amazing while pursuing a degree in Economics because of the simple ethical component in it. It was an emerging field then and I thought I would be suitable for the field and would be able to realize my potential.
And some more from those who joined the PR industry from other professions:
1. I actually wanted to pursue advertising as a career, but was not able to get a job and there was a vacancy in PR and that i how i got into it. Subsequently, i did get into advertising, but then i quit advertising and came back to PR again.
2. I moved from journalism to public relations department of a state government. A journalistic assignment being the assistant editor of the state’s monthly magazine engaged me into PR activities of the department including leading press parties, preparing different collateral, managing press conferences, which acted as a stepping stone for me to move over to a company to head their PR department.
3. Prior to my current ongoing tenure in PR, I was in Sales and Marketing , sensing I was not going ahead much, I moved in PR . Today after handling assignments and activities I feel I have moved ahead and I feel satisfied too. This is the profession I am going to stay and continue till I live.
4. I was part of the BPO industry involved with operations, training manuals, training modules etc and was desperately looking for a good break and a nine-to-five job. That’s when I began copywriting and developing content for a client and worked together with their PR agency back then. On completion of the project, I was given the choice to join the client servicing team. I agreed to that and learnt on the job. Till today, its been one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken in my life.
5. I started my career with Advertising and than media planning in my early days but i felt that i should go for PR as it will test my all skills of communications. My teacher & senior gave me the feedback that i am a PR guy, i tried and feeling good though somehow I find that its a fat that PR is a thankless job but very dominating in any company.
Activities in the PR Profession
Type of work/activity enjoyed doing the most in the PR profession:
Type of work/activity enjoyed doing the least in the PR profession:
What Indian PR Professionals Want Training On
These are the areas where the survey participants feel they need improvement on:
These are the areas where the survey participants want training on:
Image of the Boss
These are the areas where the participants feel that their boss should improve/ concentrate on:
PR Outlook 2009
The responses of the participants can be broadly summarized in the following responses we pick from the lot:
1. It’s the year of the downturn. PR agencies need to demonstrate value but not cut costs or submit to unreasonable client demands. Align closer with marketing to showcase how PR truly can do better brand consultancy than advertising. Get into social media – but not before you understand it and treat it with respect and not a freebie-tool.
2. Clients’ focus has now shifted to PR in a major way as they have cut down their Advertising, Marketing budgets. So its become all the more challenging for the agencies & teams because clients are focused only on PR now and hence getting more demanding.
3. For Indian PR – 2009 will be more towards sophistication, agencies will try to achieve a good work culture. For Global PR – 2009 will be more towards new media acceptance.
4. Specialization in core expertise areas is a must going forward.
5. Another important thing would be better synergy between the PR and media industries.
About the survey and the participants
The 2nd Unofficial Indian Public Relations Survey was an online survey conducted among the readers of the India PR Blog.
Out of 85 participants, 58% were female participants and 40% were males. 39% of the participants were in the age group of 21-25 years, 31% in 26-30 years, 9% in 41-45 years, 6% in 31-35 years, 5% in 36-40 years, 4% in 50-55 years, and 6% in the 46 years and above category.
In terms of years of experience in the PR profession, 56% of the participants were under 5 years and below, 18% between 6-10 years, 14% between 11-20 years, and 12% having 21 years of experience and more.
69% of the participants have got a formal education in PR.
Disclaimer: The results above are the outcome of the 2nd Unofficial Indian Public Relations Survey that was conducted for research and educational purposes on India PR Blog in Feb 2009. The results are indicative of only the votes given by the participants who visited this blog and chose to participate in the survey. These results might not necessarily reflect on the true workings, image, status, or ranking of any PR agency or other organisations in India. Readers who read this are advised to treat the results as opinions of select PR professionals from the industry, who willingly shared their inputs on conditions of anonymity, and should be awared that these inputs might be subjective. Names and contact details of participants have been withheld and names of companies mentioned in participants’ comments have been removed in this post to protect the identities of participants. The survey is not associated or owned by any PR agency and has been independently conducted by IPRB.
To give credence to the results, we have mentioned that we will contact senior PR industry veteran who is not associated with India PR Blog. Thus, before publishing these results, we have also shown this post with the actual results from SurveyGizmo (the tool we used to conduct the survey) to Mr. K Srinivasan, image audit guru, CMD of Prime Point Foundation, and a luminary in the Indian PR industry. He also moderates popular online groups like PR Point and Image Management. Please see note from Mr. Srinivasan below replying on email.
Our special thanks to the participants of the survey and to Mr. Srinivasan for sharing their time and inputs and making this survey a success.
* The percentages in the above charts are based on the number of participants
For any arguments, compliments, or discussions, please leave a comment on this post. For anything else, email email@example.com
Note from Mr. Srinivasan:
Thanks for your mail and seeking my views. I downloaded the excel format of the data. I found from the IP addresses and other information, there appears to be no attempt by anybody to hijack the survey. All the responses appear to be genuine from the different persons. I have only quickly gone through the responses. I have not made any analysis. You can release them.
I have one personal view. When you are the asking about the best PR Agency, I found at random, the members give the vote only for their companies. Mostly, their personal factors would have influenced the rating of a PR agency as worst or best.
Normally, I used to tell my clients and also in my classes like this. When you want to get the perception of few products or establishments from the audience, I strongly feel that all the audience should have experienced all the products under review. Then only, they can rate them properly. This is only fundamentally a common sense and not any theory.
If you ask 100 people to rate four hotels for the quality, service (under different parameters), I insist that all the 100 should have gone to the four hotels. then only they can rate them. If they do not have direct knowledge about the four hotels, each one will be tempted to give the hotel which he knows.
That is why, whenever, I do an image audit, I will put the questions, where the respondent is familiar with the choices given. Also, I will specify the parameters clearly.
(A PR agency can be best or worst in different parameters. Nobody can be totally best or worst. working conditions, salary, quality of training given, etc. etc. may be different parameters)
In this particular case, all the respondents are from different agencies. They do not have any direct knowledge of the other companies. Whatever they hear is from the peers or not heard. When you ask the question, they will be tempted to give the name which is more familiar, and not necessarily the best or worst.
(Once, when I was doing the Image audit for an IT company, the management insisted for the employees to rate other companies. I explained to the management as above. Ultimately, I made the question as ” what is your dream job and where do you want to work’ like this. Since the responses used to be anonymous, they gave good feedback. Some of them mentioned their own company. Still it was better to find out the loyalty. - some compromise)
If some one asks me who is the best social media evangelist giving choice (1) palin and (2) some person in US whom I do not have any familiarity, my choice is only for palin. I do not know the other person and hence, my vote goes to palin. If i know the other person, definitely, i may weigh both and at that time, the other person also is likely to be rated better.
I have not made any detailed analysis of agencies which they have ranked. However, I do not consider them valid, due to various factors, explained above. Otherwise, I find all other responses genuine. I really liked the responses of what they like, do not like, what they want, etc. I also look forward to your consolidated report. They are worth considering by all the PR agencies.