It has been established that in India we do public relations, using the personal influence model. This model states that public relations practitioners try to establish personal relationships, friendships, if possible with key individuals in the media, government or political and activist groups.These relationships with key people were known as contacts from whom favours could be taken.Krishnamurthy Sriramesh has done some extensive studies in the 1990s and has further developed this model. In 1991, he identified a technique which led to the further development of the personal influence model, it was called hospitality relations.The main idea behind hospitality relations was to build a strong bond with journalists or other individuals which could later help in important decision making situations.He added in his observations that a public relations practitioner working in India said that 60% of the reason a news release gets published is because it has its roots in personal influence and only 40% has news value. Thus personal influence model played an important role in practicing media relations, a function of public relations.
I did a research sometime back on the effect of the rise in regional journalism on regional public relations. The study was presented at an international conference organised by AMIC (http://www.amic.org.sg/) in Hyderabad in 2011. A significant finding was that most of the public relations practitioners felt that there was an increase in public relations practitioners servicing the regional media, though the trend for all organisations to hire more practitioners was only slowly rising. Respondents from all categories interviewed such as public relations practitioners, academicians and journalists gave their views on the education and skills, understanding of regional cultures, to name a few, required by current and future practitioners while practicing regional public relations.
A thought that arises from the above discussion is that is there any practice in public relations which is peculiar to a region in India which is clearly distinct from other regions? Have you observed this in media relations, event management, CSR or any other functions of public relations? So for example will a public relations activity conducted in Maharashtra, influenced by its regional culture, be different from say another state like Gujarat or Tamil Nadu? Do we have a ‘regional public relations practice’ which needs to be studied?
What has been your experience?