I spent three days last week doing something I have been wanting to do for a long time – teaching young graduates that I was part of selecting, the art and science of Public Relations. The dream of creating a school for communications and reputation finally took off on July 18th when eight young ladies, from a pool of over 35 enrolled, were selected to be part of the first batch of SCoRe. The model is straight forward. We are partnering with existing or upcoming institutions who understand the need for Public Relations training. They provide the admission, administration and infrastructure support. SCoRe manages the selection process, curriculum design, programme delivery and placement management.
This way we are asset light and get to focus on mentoring the talent that will become the future of PR. During the three days I spent in the classroom interacting with the eight smart women two things emerged. One, that the future is bright. And second, that I could deliver eight lectures of two-hour duration each and this is certainly my new calling. Well, some of the highlights of the programme are that it will be a compact 10-month deep dive into various facets of communications. Students will get exposed to a value system that makes them Street-smart, Courageous, Outstanding, Restless and Ethical. They will get exposed to 30+ courses over three terms of three months each, with a major focus on writing and presentation skills besides campaign planning. They will meet and hear at least 18 stalwarts during their tenure doing masterclasses. They will write a 50,000-word dissertation. They will do atleast one paid internship.
They will also have 20 field visits (visit a PR firm on their own, visit at least five corporate communications departments, visit four different offices of different media outlets and few marketing communications companies). They will work on six field projects, including PRAXIS, Reputation Today Conclave, CommFest and couple of others.
The best part is, that they will operate like a PR firm to a great extent. They are divided into two groups that will have their own name, website, business cards and pitch for businesses. The PRomise Foundation will be their primary client and they will work on various assignments. Each student will write a compulsory blog every week which will be published on the website of their firm.
The entire experience will be one exciting ride for these students. The topper in each batch will get some kind of international exposure in the graduating year either in the form of an immersion or internship or event access.
I’m committed to taking 8-10 classes every month which is about 100 classes a year. I can’t wait to get back in early September and teach them Corporate Communications. The first time around we did an overview of the history, ethics and measurement of Public Relations. My colleague Hemant Gaule has relocated to Mumbai to mentor and monitor this exceptional bunch of eight budding professionals.