PRAXIS9: Futureproofing Public Relations

PRAXIS is an acronym for the Public Relations And Corporate Communications India Summit. It is the world’s largest festival of Reputation Management. It has over the years become a place for initiating important conversations about the trends in the ever-evolving space that is Public Relations. This year was no different, with the world coming out of the pandemic and with more and more changes in the way people connect, consume and curate content, it was based around a very pertinent theme, Future Proofing Public Relations. With 2 packed days of learning, networking and yes partying. It was a convergence of knowledge, networking and fun.

The summit is supported by the leading PR firms based in India. Participants include senior communications directors, CEOs of PR firms, and middle management. The conference ensures that the audience stays in one or two official hotels which ensures bonding and time to connect.

As the graduating batch of the School of Communication and Reputation, we got an opportunity to volunteer and have our convocation at the event. The convocation is unlike that of any other institution, where we got our degrees in presence of 600+ industry professionals, and leaders, and what a better introduction could one get than in front of the very industry one aspires to be a part of, the convocation was a culmination of a 10 months course which happened completely online, this was the first time the entire batch and faculty were together.

The volunteering experience at the biggest summit of its kind meant that we got to learn from some of the great industry leaders who form a part of the team from across organisations. The founder of PRAXIS is Amith Prabhu who is also the founding dean of SCoRe. Volunteering at the event in the team of Amith Prabhu is in itself an accelerated course in the art and science of event management. Providing a behind the scenes view into what goes into the realisation of plans at this scale, from registrations to managing the digital side of things. Great learning at the conference was time management and even with so many moving parts, the sessions happened on time and a great lesson in punctuality. A blend of fun and learning, it was a great experience to unwind after a packed day and dance to the tunes of Euphoria the first night. The second day gave us the opportunity of being part of the digital team and tweeting the learning from the sessions as they happened which helped in understanding how the digital outreach of an event happened and also share our learnings with others.

The two-day event provided a great opportunity to interact with luminaries from across the industry from various sectors, helpings them understanding the vast scope of the industry. As a part of SCoRe, our faculty organised interactions with industry giants like Kass Sells  COO and President, International, WE Communications, who helped us understand how to have a more global look at things while balancing the local happenings a great lesson in balancing the macro and micro, a great outlook to have for someone like us who are just beginning our careers.   In a session with  N S Rajan and Bela Rajan, they have played a foundational role in the evolution of public relations in the country, they shared their experience and learnings and how has public relations evolved over the years and how they have evolved with it. A great session on learning about balancing work, life and ambition. The challenges they faced and overcame, are something that we could all learn from as budding professionals.

PRAXIS was also special because it afforded us a chance to interact with our dean Hemant Gaule who has been nothing short of a mentor these last months, a guiding light in helping us make decisions which would help us grow as professionals moving forward. Interacting with faculty we had only met digitally and also our student’s affairs coordinator Tamanna Singh who herself is an industry professional and a great support resource to the students. A cherry on top was interacting with our peers from the Spring Batch and learning together as we volunteered through the summit.

It is a great learning experience which broadens the scope of how one perceives public relations, especially for someone like me who is transitioning from a student to a professional, it gave a great insight on what to expect from the industry and an opportunity to draw from the experience of industry leaders on what the way forward could look like.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Abhinay Chandna
Abhinay Chandna is a management associate in the Public Affairs and Citizenship team at MSL. He has done a Postgraduate program in Public Relations with a specialization in Policy Communication from School of Communication and Reputation, Mumbai. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations from IIMC New Delhi. He also holds a M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Noida. He is looking to build a career in the tech policy space.