IIPM-The Indian Institute of Planning and Management
Published on August 20, 2010 By pankajspider In The Media

PR practice is as old as the history of civilisation itself. King Kroesus of Asia Minor had his face put on the first gold coins. During the World War II, RAF bombers dropped tonnes of propaganda leaflets over Germany. What’s up in India?

India is trapped in Liliput state. Since 1991, the liberalisation phase India has become home to ever increasing number of rupee billionaires; this meant a shift of power from the ruling classes to the entrepreneurial clan. India’s leaders have of course resented it. Under the Soviet form of communism, Indian development effort got strangulated and poverty got accentuated. However, due to the vote bank politics, poverty became a saleable item. Indian leaders thus have become reticent in claiming success with the new recipe of economic freedom and rapid growth as being the best bet to greater inclusion. The linkage and multiplier effect of rapid economic growth on employment and poverty elimination are not communicated, and deliberately so.


The Parliament elections last year, with 700 million voters, certainly made India proud. According to the 2010 Quality of Life Index published by the travel magazine International Living, India is up 35 places in the list of 194 nations, leaving behind Russia and China. According to an Economic Times-Dentsu survey of ‘Top Hits’, the Indian growth story in 2009 even in face of worldwide recession occupied top rank. There is plenty to talk about.

Even though the vibrant Gujarat Global Investor’s Summit in 2009 was a big success, the No.1 state in India has decided to adopt a modified approach for the oncoming 2011 summit. Now, it will partner with the leading industry associations (CII, FICCI…), which will be entrusted with the job of undertaking a pre-event warming up exercise like special seminars for the investors. A professionals PR agency will handle the whole event.

The phrase public relations (or, PR in management lingo) was invented by Edward L. Bernays who was deeply influenced by psychology precepts. He professed that it pays to be proactive in the battle of winning public opinion. If there is an information vacuum, then either the grapevine communication or one’s opponents will fill it with damaging assertions. The lazy minded information gathering (as against active information seeking) audience will soak it in to our detriment. We need to actively undertake public opinion building.

Political philosophy from Plato to Montesquieu had advocated that the truly free State must have tiniest possible existence. But we are living in an age of bigness. Every subsequent government is becoming increasingly inclusive in terms of the roles it plays in an ordinary citizen’s life. At the same time the resultant size, complexity, and remoteness of the government have created barriers in the path of fruitful communication between the state and the subjects.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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