PR Lessons from Lord Ganesha

The flavor of the fortnight was Ganesh Chaturthi, which kicked off on August 25, when Indians welcomed Lord Ganesh to their homes. The 10-day long festival ended with Ganpati Visarjan, on September 5.

Undoubtedly, his persona pervades through the festival. Lord Ganesha is the God of intellect, good luck and prosperity, and represents the power of the Supreme Being that takes away obstacles and guarantees victory. And when we go through the stories woven through the folklore, we can discover learnings that connect with our profession – Public Relations.

His legends depict lessons in duty, righteousness, kindness and forgiveness. Then there is his prowess as a communicator, his immense wisdom and judgment, his ability to solve problems and remove obstacles, his goal-orientation and his adaptability. These qualities are at a premium for PR professionals today.

  • Communicate effectively

Ganesha is considered to be the Lord of letters and learning. According to the stories, what was dictated to him by sage Vyas, Lord Ganesha wrote with precision; and he had the wisdom to break his own tusk and write the Mahabharata, when his pen broke! This text is considered to be one of the most respected holy texts in Hindu literature. What was also noticeable was that he also exhibited commitment – that conveyed the message that it is important to finish what one commits.

It was pointed out that Ganesha understood every word and its implications before writing it down. The ability to write is one of the basic traits of a good PR practitioner.

  • Be responsible and committed

We would have read the story about how he actually received the head of an elephant. Lord Shiva had beheaded Ganesha which lead to the elephant head of the Lord. The story teaches us that you must put duty and responsibility above everything else. Lord Ganesh tried to keep his commitment to his mother’s instructions, and readily sacrificed His head in order to fulfill the responsibility which His mother gave Him! This is a good lesson for professionals in PR.

  • Be a good listener

Listening is the basic principle in all good communication. Externally, Ganesha’s unique ears symbolise the role of effective communication. It goes without saying that a good listener always manages to arrive at a better understanding of the situation. In decision-making too, listening to others will help you analyse the situation from different perspectives, before leading you to a better solution. Lesson No  3 – for PR professionals.

  • Use limited resources to your advantage

In our worklife, we do encounter situations when we wish we had better resources at our disposal. The story of Ganesha and Kartikeya’s race teaches us how we can make the best use of limited resources. As the story goes, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya were challenged by their parents to run three times around the world; and the one who completes the task would get a miracle fruit. The action that followed was – Kartikeya left immediately on his peacock; but Ganesha was in a fix – he could not duplicate the move with his mouse! So, he circled his parents three times, saying that they meant the whole world to Him! Thus, Ganesha earned the miracle fruit! It was achieved by his presence of mind and the fact that he successfully overcame his limited resources.

  • Be in control

If you are in control, that gives you the extra edge. The trunk of Ganesha is always rolled up in a typical manner, which suggests that he has full control the power he wields. Here, the lesson is – have control over your power and make good use of it. For we see examples on a daily basis, how power can be misused, for power corrupts!

People pray to Lord Ganesha, who is known as Vigneshwara, for he is known to remove obstacles. As PR professionals, it is our duty to remove obstacles and arrive at solutions for clients as we build, enhance and protect their reputation.

  • Be humble and respect others

We notice that Ganesha’s ride is the puny mouse – which shows that he does not discriminate and respects even the smallest of creatures. As PR professionals, this trait is extremely important for us to imbibe. We will be able be make a better impact and achieve success if we act along these lines. Another interpretation is that Ganesha wins hearts through simple methods, and this too holds a lesson. As professionals, we can reach win-win situations through the simplest way, through our action – through simple gestures of affection and respect.

These are qualities that we could do well to adopt to improve and grow as PR professionals. Whether in your professional or personal life, with the right attitude the most daunting difficulties can be overcome successfully.

If you do have more qualities to add, do write to us at:

Shree Lahiri on EmailShree Lahiri on LinkedinShree Lahiri on Twitter
Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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