`Essence of public relations lies in bringing people together'

CHENNAI, APRIL 24. Public relations and diplomacy are very similar; both involve interpersonal diplomacy, for business, with the public, said Richard D. Haynes, U.S. Consul General, here today.

Public relations make sure that business houses, advertising companies and the media reach out to someone else. It helps in communicating with the others, Dr. Haynes said, speaking at the 10th Anniversary function of Prism Public Relations.

The goal of PR, he said, was moving down a pathway to a new relationship, just like diplomacy was moving down the pathway to a better relationship with people. The essence of PR lies in bringing people together and aid in face-to-face discoveries that people make of each other.

Suresh Krishna, Chairman and Managing Director, Sundaram Fasteners, said good PR could make the vision of a company come alive by communicating it to the stakeholders, be it shareholders, clients or the world in general. He drew an analogy of a company without PR activities with a capable, well-known actor acting in darkness.

N. Murali, Joint Managing Director, The Hindu, said perceptions that PR is all about liaison are changing. PR is no longer media management, information management or spin doctoring; these days it also involves itself in framing communication strategies for companies. The South, which is a hard market to crack in terms of PR due to publicity-shy business houses and a traditional media, is undergoing a change in mindset, as it accommodates PR into its fold, Mr. Murali added. S. Muthiah, historian, commended Prism Public Relations for introducing PR-ism to the city and gradually, taking it to different fields involving itself in social causes.

J. Srinivasan, Managing Director, TTK-LIG, and Pala Palaniappan, former president, Public Relations Society of India, recalled their associations with the organisation. Satyan Bhatt, Managing Director, Prism PR, said the organisation proposes to open its branches in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Dubai.

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