We often find a relative, or neighbour or childhood friend and sometimes our own parent, sibling, spouse or offspring wondering what a Public Relations job entails. Sometimes it is difficult to explain. We have written about the House of Public Relations and the PR Alphabet to describe Public Relations in simple terms. We went a step further and created an entire board game called PRonto, inspired by three games we learnt to play as kids. It has ups and downs from Snakes and Ladders, it has 64 squares designed like a maze inspired by Chess – which is a game of strategy and has various situations drawn from Monopoly. The objective was to keep it simple and yet make it fun. It also aims to bring back the culture of board games in an age of increased dependence on social networks for entertainment. All that one needs is 2-4 individuals or that many teams if one wants to play an advanced version.
The basic version starts with players keeping a token or coin outside the board and rolling the dice. The younger person starts first. One places the token/coin on the board only when the dice shows 1. Thereafter, one rolls the dice when it’s the turn and moves the number of spaces the dice denotes. From three to sixty there are 20 situations placed between every three tiles. There are six ladders and six snakes on the board. The token can land on an empty tile or a tile with a situation. If the tile has a ladder leading to a higher number, then the player moves to that position. If the tile has the snake’s head, then you move down to the snake’s tail. The idea is to read each situation along the way. There are eight tiles with situations mentioned that do not have a ladder to climb from or a snake to bite. Those who choose to play the advanced version will need to act on them.
These 21 are some of the situations PR professionals, whether working in a consultancy or in an organisation (in-house), encounter along their day-to-day work as a communications and reputation management professional. There are easy days and difficult days. The 21st situation is placed on Tile 64 and the one who reaches there first, is the winner. The winner can tweet a picture of the board with the other player/s present to @praxisind and @reptodaymag using #thePRgame as hashtag. Ensure your DM is open as you will be sent a discount code of Rs 1000/- valid for 30 days for you to register yourself online, to the next edition of PRAXIS. These codes are sent on the first working day of each month and the discount is applicable on prevailing rate online. All who use this code and register will be honoured online in #thePRgame hall of fame in August 2020.
The basic version takes less than one hour for two players.
In the advanced version aimed at young professionals and students, all parties involved have to undertake the task that they land up on. These specific tiles do not have a ladder to climb or a snake that bites. This does not apply to crossing the tile. If you choose to play this version, each player or team will need to have either a laptop with Word and PowerPoint or three sheets of A4 size blank pages per player or team to undertake activities that the situation demands.
So, for example if Jai and Sia are playing, this is how it pans out.
If Jai starts and is on Number 1, when his turn comes, he rolls the dice which shows up 2, so he gets to move two spaces. This is Tile 3 – ‘Year Plan’ (1) Here, both or all players take time off (30 minutes) to make a Year Plan either on an A4 sheet of paper or on a word doc. The imaginary client is Reputation Today which has six activities during the year (a summit, three conclaves and two networking events). The year plan should include timelines, themes and tentative budgets.
If Sia rolls her dice and gets four on the dice once she is on the board, six the second time and one the next time, assuming she is ahead of Jai because he has not moved beyond 11, then both or all parties spend time (30 minutes) to write or type a 200 word ‘Report’ (2) of the last professional event they attended because that is what Tile 12 demands.
Thereafter, whoever lands up at Tile 15 first, gets everyone to ‘Connect’ (3) with one person from their phone book who is a business connection (journalist or PR professional preferred) and tell them they are playing PRonto and asks them to join the game in future or buy a set* for themselves (10 minutes).
Next, when one reaches Tile 21, they need to ‘Research for a White Paper’ (4) whereby all players need to either go online or refer to a magazine or newspaper and look for four topics (20 minutes) that would interest an audience for a conclave on Innovation or Influence or Impact.
Later, the first to land up at Tile 27 will ensure everyone goes to www.praxisonline.in and ‘Draft a Media Release’ (5) announcing the news about the eighth edition held in 2019, along with date, venue, details on speaker line-up and partners (40 minutes).
On reaching Tile 42, everyone works on a four-slide ‘Presentation’ (6) either on a PowerPoint or on a A4 sheet paper on a strategy and three tactics to market a post-graduate school of public relations (40 minutes).
If one reaches Tile 51, it is time to List down three CEOs (7) with name of the organisation in the city you are based in without seeking online help or any help (10 minutes). These CEOs of corporates are those who can be potentially invited for a conclave on Reputation Management as speakers.
The final activity is on Tile 57 which is ‘Time to Party’ (8) because your campaign got nominated for a Fulcrum Award. Once you reach this tile you can spend five minutes, planning the venue for the next celebration.
The advanced version is like a workshop and mainly aimed at budding professionals. It is a great way to learn and improve Public Relations skills and players can decide to allot more time per activity at the start of the game. We have suggested shorter timeframe to ensure the advanced version does not exceed three hours.
- Tile 3 – Year Plan (30 minutes)
- Tile 12 – Write Report (30 minutes)
- Tile 15 – Connect with Stakeholder (10 minutes)
- Tile 21 – Research for White Paper (20 minutes)
- Tile 27 – Draft a Media Release (40 minutes)
- Tile 42 – Presentation (40 minutes)
- Tile 51 – List down CEOs (10 minutes)
- Tile 57 – Party planning to celebrate award nomination
You can also choose to play the Compulsory Version which can last up to four hours, with additional time devoted for all eight activities listed above. They are all actioned upon the first person crossing these tiles. The activities can be judged by a referee or by opponents at the end of the game and feedback shared for improvement.
This game was created by Amith Prabhu, the board designed by Roshan Alexander with inputs from Anubhuti Mathur. The first two individuals to play this game were Gurbani Bhatia and Ameeta Vadhera. The game remains the intellectual property of February Networks (which runs The Promise Foundation and Reputation Today).