Next Wave of PR Talent Will be from Tier 2 India

This blog is a part of insights on Public Relations shared by SCoRe. Know more about what we do to spread PR Knowledge: www.scoreindia.org

While looking for fresh talent, Public Relations firms apply several filters, the most prominent one being spoken and written language skills. Except for firms working exclusively with local/vernacular publications, English language skills are considered indispensable. For the longest time this criterion alone limited the talent pool to youngsters who grew up and were educated in Tier 1 cities. But at SCoRe we observed that the trend may be changing. Over the last few months we organised several seminars on PR, for youngsters curious about what a PR career can look like. Several of these were held in cities not conventionally considered as a talent pool for PR such as Jaipur, Chandigarh, Agra, Calcutta and a few others.

We realised that this gap of language skills was diminishing rapidly. Students of mass communications in these cities are no longer as far behind their peers in larger cities. And along with that, several other factors emerging in these students’ lifestyles and ecosystems are more conducive to helping them become more impactful PR professionals. This evolution of demographic characteristics is happening at a time when PR consultancies are booming and a shortfall of quality and quantity talent is around the corner. This leads us to believe that these geographies could be nesting a large flux of tomorrow’s workforce in PR. Additionally, this shift can be attributed to the following factors:

  • Passion driven by bolder aspiration

Cross tier migration is common for aspiring professionals. Today, increasingly it is not just being fuelled by the superficial glamour and access to better earning. The need to progress and the opportunities to do so beyond certain artificial ceilings inherent to Tier 2 pull them in. This becomes a unique source of passion that makes them push themselves farther, harder and more creatively.

  • Increasingly homogeneous pop-culture

Another remarkable shift has been how the socio-cultural gaps have closed in, owing to the dwindling language barriers and greater access to edutainment media. Due to intermingling and homogenisation of cultures across boundaries, trends and cultural sensitivities are becoming equally comprehensible, and therefore communications around them a lot more fluent

  • Improved access to media, especially digital

The advent of digital media for communications has virtually erased geographical boundaries of information exchange. Knowledge resources, and information on trends and current affairs are equally accessible to all, and therefore are a matter of how they are utilised. As more and more youngsters participate in global fashions and discourses, the psychological and materialistic barriers for them to transcend into more advanced parts of the country seem to diminish.

  • Ability to bring the best of both worlds:

Jumping up across markets for education and careers can be an advantage few have the luxury to experience. Those jumping from a Tier 2 upbringing to a Tier 1 employment can, over a period of time, understand market dynamics of and serve clientèle from both worlds. Invariably communicators factor in the cultures and experiences that shape them, and therefore the Tier 2 psyche becomes inaccessible to those who have only experienced Tier 1.

Consequently there could be an ocean of high value talent sprouting up in geographies otherwise ignored by large PR and Corporate communications set-ups. Hopefully these geographies will not stay ignored for long. As firms need to grow, it will do them immense good to nurture an industry-academia interface in these cities. They may also benefit from pro-actively reaching out to student communities and future PR talent in these cities through platforms to educate them on what PR is. Ultimately this could be the next frontier of our intellectual resources of PR which cannot be ignored.

Do you think there are other factors fuelling this shift? Or barriers that may prevent it? Let me know in the comments below.

School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe) — India’s only insitute dedicated to PR education. Know more about our PG programme in PR, and other activities we do to share PR Knowledge: www.scoreindia.org

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