“Hamara PRO” is not your typical example of a book explaining ten things to do to be a good public relations officer. Jayaprakash Rao Puttur, the creator of this book, wanted to do things a bit differently. He opted to use the art of story-telling and included 40 different anecdotes from real-life experiences to explain what exactly does a PRO stands for. Out of 40, 39 chapters are self-narratives of incidents and the last one includes the final words epitomizing the entire philosophy of PR dharma.
Jayaprakash wanted his creative work to stand out from the textbooks that can only be understood by professionals. He wanted to write something interesting so that everyone can understand the world of PR and the duty line of the job. With 40 years of work experience under his belt, he unfolded his experience from five different organisations which are both interesting and informative.
In present days, PRO is a primary part of an organisation. The book articulates the communications made by an organization to the public and media which are the functions of a Public Relation Officer (PRO).
These special stories articulated by him explain the PRO as the life stream of a company. “For a company to perform well, it has to have a good rapport with the public or its stakeholders. And this is where PROs come in and help to make sure that the company stays strong inside and out,” says Jayaprakash.
Public relations is not just a post to hold in a company according to Jayaprakash, it is a way of life. Every human being building new connections each day broadens their hemisphere of knowledge and relationships.
“The more people you know the more you can help others. You can throw open the window of opportunities and build even more relationships. So, every human being can be called a PRO. It is not limited to an office setting,” he said. “Calling it as such creates an ever-encouraging situation where people can help each other out in times of need.”
The world is open to you if you want to help people, believes Jayaprakash. “If you can help someone in your community through the contacts that you have, you become a social worker for your company which will truly build the image of that particular organisation.”
The readers will end up realising after reading the inner stories of the profession in the book that a PRO is not just a person writing few press releases to the media. “Every citizen has the right to ask questions to their tax collectors and service providers. The PROs make sure that the communication is not lacking and that the rights of the people are met along with the duties of the organisation,” he said.
His remarkable work experience finds expression in this book. During his 40 years of PR experience, Jayaprakash held many positions like being the former chief administrative officer (PR) at the Aeronautical Development Agency from the Ministry of Defence by the Government of India, zone president (South) Public Relations Council of India, Former regional public relations officer at DRDO, Ministry of Defence, Government of India and worked as the liaison officer of Dr Abdul Kalam for 7 years. With this background and acquaintance with great personalities like Dr. Kalam, George Fernandes, Pejavara Shree, and other subjects provide an inquisitive reading.
He also worked in Udayavani, LIC of India, Syndicate bank, as an honorary advisor in Southern Railways and district education department and as a former media advisor for Mysuru city police. He even served as a Home Guards officer for 5 years.
Jayaprakash Puttur is credited with the translation of many books starting from Dr Abdul Kalam’s Wings of Fire as “Agniya Rekkegalu”.
PR technique requires a lot of understanding, says Jayaprakash while recalling his experience while working on an honorary basis as media and PR advisor at Mysuru city police station. “In such places it is important that an open forum is created for the media and the public to communicate well about their problems to the administration. As a PR I made sure to help the station reach a level of transparency with the public,” he expressed.
One of the most important features that are necessary for a PRO according to him is patience. He said, “there may come a lot of times when people take out their frustration on you and scream at you when things go wrong, but you should always remain calm and collected and find out how to make the situation better.” He mentions in his book that making a PR person a scapegoat and putting the blaming him for others’ faults is part of the PR profession.
The death of Malayali Officer’s wife at the Central Office in Delhi, one of the stories in the book, has been narrated as if it had happened in his own house and the way he has managed to get the details is really exciting and a tale of humanity. The book opens up about many such personal events and when you read it, you will realise the book is not just a PR experience of the author, it looks like his autobiography.
“The alertness in avoiding adverse publicity on account of suicidal death of officer’s wife in the organization and resolving family disputes is like walking on a tight rope. The resolution of many arduous assignments without affecting any and sending the grief-stricken and their beholden into solace relieves all my fatigue... the self-satisfaction that I receive at the end is a great accolade for me and I hope it touches the heart of the readers,” says Jayaprakash. His narration is very intimate and simple. The specialty of this opus is that readers will experience here the lightness of reading a compilation of the simple thesis or a compilation of stories. The book holds a lot of tips for youngsters who intend to make a career as a PR professional.
Even after retirement, he continues his work as a guest faculty in the Mysuru Police Academy and conducts special courses on Media relations and handling.
Stating, “We should develop self-confidence, introspect and avoid repeating mistakes. Be positive,” the author concludes the book in hopes that this message gets through to all his readers.
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