161. The Promise of PRomise Foundation
Having spent eight years in the Public Relations business I realised it was time to give back to the profession. I had decided that when I complete ten years as a PR practitioner I must give back my first year’s annual salary to a cause that benefits Public Relations in India. While I will complete 10 years as a working professional in 2014 I completed 10 years this month as a student of Public Relations (PR).
To mark that milestone I’m contributing Rupees Two Lakh and Two Thousand – equilavent to my first annual salary towards setting up of The PRomise Foundation. The PRomise Foundation has evolved from several conversations I have had over the last couple of years with fellow communicators both in-house and at PR firms. The PRomise Foundation is straight forward in its approach and has been created keeping in mind the student, the fresher, the mid-level manager and the leaders of Public Relations and Corporate Communications.
The first initiative of The PRomise Foundation is a scholarship for post-graduate students of Public Relations and Corporate Communications studying in India. The scholar will be selected based on an essay submission to be judged by an eminent jury. The author of the winning essay will receive upto Rs 40,000/- that will go towards an ongoing education loan and if the person is from Middle India (small town India) he or she is eligible for an additional Rs 10,000/- making the entire scholarship worth Rs 50,000/-
The second initiative is a quarterly newsletter called PRISM. It will be sent free of cost to subscribers once a quarter containing articles on reputation management, public relations, corporate communications and the changing landscape of media in an ever evolving digital world. The first edition is being planned around November and will follow every three months thereon.
The third initiative will be the National Public Relations ‘weekend’ Conference and the first edition is proposed to be held in Pondicherry in November. The name of the conference, whether Pondicherry will become the permanent venue for this annual property and other finer details are being worked out. While information on this event is floating on Facebook, a microsite will be up and running by mid-July. In a nutshell this event is for professionals who have three years or more of work experience and are willing to invest two days for learning, sharing and ideating for their own future and the future of Public Relations in India.
The fourth initiative is co-funded by two of my former co-workers who are now friends for life (Thank you Bodhisatya and Chitrangada). This event/programme is being fleshed out and is aimed at professionals in 0-3 years of their career, who have just begun their professional journey. Since freshers are not encouraged to attend the weekend conference until they have three years or more of work experience, this initiative is exclusively for them and will be announced in March every year.
All these above mentioned programmes will feature on the Foundation website. There are two more initiatives which are planned for the second phase of the Foundation and I will write about them in due course. These are little drops in the ocean of giving back to a profession that is evolving in India from teenage to youth.
I hope these programmes go a long way in bringing the Public back into Public Relations and enhancing the Reputation of Reputation Management. All this would not have been possible without a handful of people who have been sounding boards, secret supporters, silent admirers, suppliers of inspiration and solid advisors. I want to mention their names in no particular oder so that this goes down in history:First set of the Founding Board of Advisors (Indrajit Gupta of Forbes India, Anant Rangaswami of Firstpost.Com, Roma Balwani of Mahindra Group, Lloyd Mathias of Green Bean Ventures, Senjam Rajsekhar of Vedanta Group); Silent Admirers (Amit Misra, Akshar Yadav and Sonia John); Secret Supporters (Ajit Pai and Shane Jacob); Suppliers of Inspiration (Prema Sagar, Jaideep Shergill, Ravi Kiran, Robert Holdheim, Valerie Pinto, Ragothaman Gowthaman, Paresh Chaudhry and Radhika Shapoorjee); Sounding Boards (Umesh Nair of Fleishman Hillard, Shrey Khetarpal of Burson Marsteller, Supriya Morde of Waggener Edstrom, Liza Saha of Text 100, Vishwajeet Ganpate of Edelman, Bhuvaneswari Joshi of Mumbai Indians, Mariam Joseph of Hanmer MSL and Shreysi Chandra of Weber Shandwick) [In case I missed out your name and you think you contributed let me know and for those of you mentioned here in case your name is spelt incorrectly let me know]
The entire premise of these initiatives is that goodness and happiness move around in circles. I have experienced good and I want to give back that goodness. It is all possible if one starts small and thinks big.
This logo is straight forward – the way PR should be. The P stands for People who make up the Public and for Public Relations the profession. The double C it creates in mirror ‘image’ is for Corporate Communications. Together PR practicioners and corporate communications professionals lead organisational and brand reputation. The smile denotes the happy people the practitioners ought to be and ought to make of its clients and organisations various stakeholders.
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