If there is one thing that ails the all buoyant and ever ebullient Public Relations community in India is a great dearth of talent. A deep insight into the availability of the right kind of PR personnel who can leave some impressionable trails would tell you that there is a need to strike a balance between the demand-supply equation, so far as talent spotting is considered.
Analyse this. When you think of talent spotting, the billion dollar question that pops out of your thought bubble is, “Where to head in order to catch the right talent at the right time?” While the definition of the ideal – taking from spotting the right talent to doing a SWOT on whether the ideal candidate fits the industry like a ‘T’ is completely relative, there are certain aspects like talent grooming that determine the success ratio of talent spotting in the Indian PR frame.
Finding the guru
First and foremost: how many mentors from the industry, who can spot a sparkling star, has the academia managed to garner in order to groom industry-ready talented youngsters?
Second: how often do brilliant PR minds get to interact with students in need of practical and feasible industry insights?
Third: is the academia in dire need to create new frontiers PR knowledge base enabling effective talent pumping into the industry, which is ever eager to absorb promising young guns?
Well, there may be many theories and theorems that can be written and deduced, but the crux of the matter remains the same. And that is – where can a young PR aspirant possibly seek that ideal mentor who can provide the “Guru Gyan” very much required during the formative years of his or her career. For that matter, how many professionals with an impeccable PR repertoire are even able to contribute to the academic aspirations of these fledglings?
Bitter pill it might be which is very hard to swallow, but the truth is that there exists a dearth of talent which is directly related to talent nurturing and grooming at the very basic level. While the citadels of PR education await the intellectual contribution from the many industry trailblazers, it is the responsibility as well as duty on our part to play the role of mentors and pathfinders.
Scripting a Futuristic Role-Play
While it can be argued whether the law of diminishing marginal utility applies itself when it comes to tasting the outcome of success due to the industry-academia collaborations, paving the path which can benefit both the academia as well the industry will definitely create an ecosystem that will achieve a near perfect supply-demand balance.
As is the case with other industries, which are putting forth some future forward industry-academia initiatives, the dearth of talent in the PR industry in India can be addressed by creating new frontiers in PR industry and academia collaborations with a major focus on mentoring, talent spotting and drafting new models of PR education to make individuals industry ready.
The road ahead is not as simple as it looks at the moment though. A lot depends on what kind of blue print is being drafted and what kind of concrete measures are being taken by both the industry and academia that can lead to sustainable talent creation for both the sectors to benefit from.
PR Professionals as Willing Contributors
Allow me to reiterate the very fact that in order to create a pool of talented PR professionals, it is imperative on our part to collectively shoulder the responsibility of mentoring these young minds and showing the way forward. Let me take you through the flashback days of our childhood, wherein our grandma would tell us the story of Pandavas and their first meeting of guru Drona. The way guru Dronacharya displayed an exceptional perspicacity by showing the Pandavas how to fetch a ball from a deep well, every established PR professional in the country need to show the aspirants the best possible way to realizing their dream careers.
It is here that one’s willingness to be an integral part of the mentoring process becomes very important. Again, the quantum of contribution may vary from individual to individual. It is something that will not only provide the much needed succor to institutes in need of qualified and experienced faculty with the necessary skills, but will also enable the industry to spot genius minds waiting to be nurtured as phenomenal story tellers.