Sightseers in Tulip Garden
By Aashiq Hussain Andrabi
WITH the establishment of new institutions like AIIMS and NIFT, Kashmir’s Public Relations (PR) industry is witnessing a tremendous potential for growth and development.
The growing recognition of the importance of effective communication and stakeholder engagement is said to be behind this boost.
“But as of now,” said Dr. Archana Kumari, “JK’s PR industry is still in its infancy.”
As Secretary, Public Relations Society of India (PRSI), Jammu Chapter, Dr. Archana affirmed that there is a growing demand for public relations professionals to help new institutions, like NIFT, IIT and AIIMS, communicate effectively with their stakeholders.
But at the same time, she says, the PR industry in Jammu and Kashmir is facing multiple challenges.
“Lack of trained and skilled professionals and the limited access to digital and social media platforms in some remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir are some immediate challenges,” says Dr. Archana, who’s also an Assistant Professor in Media studies at Central University of Jammu.
In an interview with Kashmir Observer, the professor talks about the position and potential of the region’s PR industry.
What’s the current state of the PR industry in Jammu and Kashmir?
The PR industry is still in its early stages, but there’s tremendous potential for growth and development as the region continues to evolve and adapt to changing media and political landscapes.
With the establishment of new institutions in Jammu and Kashmir, such as NIFT, IIT, and AIIMS, there is a growing demand for public relations professionals to help these organizations communicate effectively with their stakeholders.
What’re some of the biggest challenges for the PR industry in Jammu and Kashmir?
One of the main challenges is the lack of awareness and understanding of the role of public relations among businesses and organizations in the region. The lack of trained and skilled professionals and the limited access to digital and social media platforms in some remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir are equally some big challenges.
But despite these challenges, there’re positive signs of growth and development in the PR industry in Jammu and Kashmir. As the region continues to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances, there is a growing recognition of the importance of effective communication and stakeholder engagement. With the right support and resources, the PR industry has the potential to become an important contributor to the growth and development of the region.
What inspired the establishment of a chapter of the Public Relations Society of India in Jammu and Kashmir, and what do you believe this will bring to the region?
One of the main inspirations is the recognition of the unique needs and challenges facing the region. The PRSI Jammu and Kashmir seeks to provide a platform for mutual discussion and constructive ideas towards the growth and development of the union territory.
By bringing together professionals in the field of public relations, the PRSI Jammu and Kashmir can help to facilitate better communication between the government and citizens, as well as among various communities within the region. This can help to promote greater understanding and cooperation, which is essential for the success and stability of any democratic society.
Tell us about the initiatives or programs that the PRSI is planning to implement in the near future in Jammu and Kashmir.
The PRSI is planning to organize workshops and seminars to enhance the skills of PR professionals in the region. Additionally, it’s planning to collaborate with other professional organizations to bring in guest speakers and experts to provide insights and perspectives on the industry. It’s also exploring opportunities to partner with academic institutions to offer training and certification programs to help professionals stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.
But what plans the chapter has in place to grow its membership and retain new members in the future?
Firstly, we plan to increase our outreach and engagement with PR professionals in the region by organizing regular events, workshops, and seminars that provide valuable insights into the industry. We will also use social media and other digital platforms to promote our events and activities and to engage with a wider audience.
Secondly, we plan to collaborate with other professional organizations and institutions in the region to create a larger platform for knowledge sharing and networking. This will provide opportunities for our members to interact with professionals from different industries and gain new perspectives on PR and communication.
Lastly, we believe that our existing members are our best advocates, and we will leverage their support to attract new members. We will encourage our members to participate actively in our events and activities and to invite their colleagues and contacts to join us.
How do you plan to involve and engage young professionals and students in the field of PR?
To involve and engage young professionals and students in the field of PR, our society has established a student forum named Nalanda. This forum is very active, and we have students from various prestigious institutions such as Central University of Jammu, IIMC Jammu, and Jammu University as members.
We believe that grooming students from a nascent stage and providing them with opportunities to learn and grow in the field of PR is essential to ensure a steady flow of fresh ideas and perspectives.
But how does the PRSI plan to bridge the gap between PR professionals and the local businesses?
The PRSI Jammu and Kashmir chapter has established two types of connecting points. Firstly, local business and industry people themselves are members of the chapter, providing a direct point of contact between PR professionals and local stakeholders. Secondly, the chapter has received support from the local media in bridging the gap.
The support of the media has been invaluable in connecting with local businesses and organizations and raising awareness of the benefits of public relations. Additionally, the chapter has actively invited industry people to join hands with PRSI Jammu and Kashmir and support their mission of promoting the PR profession in the region.
This people-to-people approach has been instrumental in building strong relationships with local businesses and organizations and fostering a culture of collaboration and mutual support. We value engaging in dialogue with stakeholders in the community to ensure that our activities align with the greater good and serve the best interests of all.
Share with us the chapter’s plans and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion within the PR industry in the region.
As part of our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, we plan to organize workshops and training sessions to raise awareness about the importance of embracing diversity within the PR industry. Our aim is to create an environment where all members feel valued and supported, regardless of their personal characteristics.
We believe that promoting diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but also contributes to a more vibrant and dynamic PR industry in the region. We look forward to welcoming members from all backgrounds and working together to create a more inclusive community.
Can you discuss any measures that the chapter will be implementing to ensure transparency and accountability in its operations and decision making?
We will conduct regular meetings of PRSI officials, with agendas and minutes circulated beforehand to ensure transparency in discussions and actions taken. Additionally, we will invite all members to attend important activities and events to ensure that they are apprised of the work being done by the chapter.
We are also planning to launch a newsletter to share information about all the chapter’s activities with our members. This will ensure that our members are informed and engaged in our operations and decision-making.
Furthermore, our chapter is accountable to the PRSI national council, where our actions and decisions are reviewed and evaluated. This ensures that our chapter operates in accordance with the principles and values of the national body and remains accountable to our stakeholders.
Overall, we are committed to maintaining transparency and accountability in all our activities and decision-making processes.
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