Question: Is PR necessary to be successful? Answer: PR=Pathetic Relations
I am not of the kind who finds a great pride in saying, "I don't travel by public vehicles". I travel by public vehicles. I have my 5th car, a typical middle-class one; still, I purposefully travel by public vehicles. It is because:
a. I want my foot on the ground
b. I find stories in public vehicles. And I found one more story, this one, which you are now reading.
Recently, on my way back home by bus, a boy by my side happened to have read my article 'How much is your 10-years salary?' and started a small talk about #AskSanat. After some chitchat, he wanted to know if ‘PR is necessary to be successful’. I told him to read my next story on it. It was indeed a fruitful 'busxperience'.
Now coming to PR, I have usually met the following kind of PR figures in our Nepal market:
a. 'Bakshyos' PR Specialists
They would say yes to anything to establish or maintain relationships. These experts are also big-time liars and actors. They need the relationship to survive for bread and butter, as it is their only talent. Their PR strategy is that they would praise you with 10000mg extra concentrated words and gestures. ( eg: 'mantri jyu': to a former deputy minister). Interesting is they would address you 'bakshyos' when you are 'PR important person', else 'shyos' or even 'tapain'.
b. 'Leech' PR Specialists
Leech PRs feed on company resources to maintain personal relations. These experts act resourceful and always talk high about themselves but bend down in 4 limbs in front of their bosses. They usually parasite on stupid bosses (stupid but powerful and resourceful ones) who are unaware of the leech growing bigger. Leeches PR experts are policy corrupts, always talk bright about their company, falsify company's figures and hide risks, and are sometimes capable of even overthrow their bosses. They do not allow smart people to interact with their bosses in the fear that the news ones may outshine them.
c. 'Hollow' PR Specialists
Hollow PRs claim to know everyone through their innovative gestures to establish a relationship with you. They use a fictitious bait ( Mahato dai, Gyanendra uncle, Prachanda Bhinaju, Gates bro) to impress you. If you caught them wrong any day, they would either 'ha ha ha' or come with another interesting new character ( like Modi bhaiya used to talk about him). Hollows, as the name suggests, do not have any particularly big interests. They just want to talk big everywhere. They are innocent liars and many times act having not heard you for anything they do not know or wnt to talk about.
d. 'Beggar' PR Specialists
Beggar PRs take 'dalali advance' from someone for a job telling that they already know you and then literally cry or dance or offer bribe or catch your feet to establish their relationship with you to have the job done. Interestingly to make more murgas, they capitalize on this first testimony. They may also print photo of the person in brochure or post selfie in Facebook thereafter to keep the dhanda rolling.
Now, a few common but key qualities of some highly effective PR Figures I have met:
a. Running like 'the Flash' with a business card. Keeping extra stock in the car for card crisis situations
b. Nodding head more frequent than necessary and exhibiting artificial smiles like a toilet air-wig
c. Making an unwanted presence and sometimes not leaving even after getting 'please leave signals'
d. Waiting hours just to witness a VIP and telling 'Important Meeting' to others (sometimes making family wait hours somewhere just for this)
e. Asking unwanted irrelevant questions in a conference to seek attention
f. Trying to feature in camera frames with big-guns ( no matter how cheap you have to appear for this)
g. Commenting always and irrelevant social media posts and forums to be known to a PR-important person
h. Talking about the degree or university if big, companies, associations or honors even when not required or relevant at all
We can keep adding. It doesn't end. I have observed a big inferiority complex in PR greedy people. They are not confident with the people they have. So the hunger is always on. I have been faded up with such activities of a lot of my PR greedy friends.
I took a right decision, which hampered them then, but they appreciate that step now.
I might be a bit biased in this article, as PR has never been my area of interest and strength. I have always looked for lesser but deeper relations. I have few but best friends. I have few close but extremely loving colleagues. I have few but highly inspired spheres. And yes, I have earned many enemies who still respect me a lot. I made enemies with them for my work and profession. I took a right decision, which hampered them then, but they appreciate that step now.
My relationship circle is small but wonderful. Every time one of my colleagues from my first job fifteen years ago gets a promotion, he calls me to thank me. I feel proud. I am poor in PR but the few relations I have, they do not need regular 'servicing'. I may not be a good example of successful person but I do not rate myself unsuccessful.
Just a relationship cannot make you successful. A relationship can just facilitate your success a bit. And lack of relationship network will not be a mandatory failure. Relationships are by-products of a cause. If it is a good cause or purpose you are engaged in, good relationships are bound to happen. PR may only give you forced relations. Relationships made by force are bubbles. They look beautiful but are nothing.
So let's work on building causes and purposes than building relationships. With good actions, relationships are bound to be with you anyways.
Mr. Ashutosh Tiwari had once posted a status on Facebook about people standing in front of someone during parties but looking somewhere else. He had suggested to rather talk well for a while with the person you are with and taking excuse go to meet another person. I had loved that post. It is a bitter truth.
Yes, when anyone says PR, this particular person who is standing in front of you rolling eyes somewhere else and mind again somewhere else comes on the top of my mind.
Another person who comes to my mind with PR is a friend who used to be seen in any or all-important parties whether or not invited. "In the corporate world, who knows who invited whom or not?" he used to say. All VIPs and intelligentsia knew him, but nobody actually liked him and his presence. While he thought he was 'PR Hero', many called him 'Joker' on his back. As more and more I talk about my PR rich friends, I keep feeling more and more pity for them.
Actually, big companies who needed a surrogate influencer to color corruption and ‘make anything happen’ might have brought this PR named pollution in relationships. I felt ashamed of my nation's protocols when a Nepali PR Head of a big company said " I can make you meet the PM anytime you want" while trying to flaunt his PR capabilities. I smiled and replied, " I respect PM of my country and would not bother him with my wants as he is to do much bigger things" without caring much what would he think. I am not a PR person.
I have not much heard any PR departments maintaining relationships with communities with clear and right intentions unless mandated by their head offices as part of a mega-PR happening at a regional level to influence the world again. And amateurs tried this in total ignorance. Now look at them, they are going crazy thinking only network, access, and proximity to power is going to make lives happier. A good relationship is needed everywhere in each function and at each point. I wonder why companies have separated them in a function or as a department specific competency.
While it is said one of the key needs of an entrepreneur is 'need of affiliation', I do not think this affiliation means that PR which we usually refer to. I think this affiliation is more about the establishment of a deep-rooted exchange of support and collaboration than that dry ' who knows whom PR'.
I think PR has a fear- a fear of losing.
I think PR has a fear- a fear of losing. This fear kills your authenticity. This fear will keep you away from bigger goals of your life. This fear keeps you away from family. This fear keeps you away from facts. This fear keeps you poor. This fear keeps you near to who are not near to you and far from who had to be near to you.
While we are talking about individual names than customers at a chunk, while modern management, as well as personal approaches, are becoming more and more individualistic, a blanket PR approach is just like a casually forwarded new year e-greeting dumped in your mailbox (the recent one was that clock).
Be it in personal life or in business, ‘PR’ does not make relationships. PR harvests pathetic relationships. ‘Pyar’ cultivates relationships. Your success depends on your 'karma'. But relationships grown through pure 'pyar' will always make you happy and complete. So, ‘Pyar’ or PR?
Disclaimer: This article is a personal opinion on a topic based on individual experience and observation and is not projected towards any individual or institution. The limitation of actual depth external research on it is regretted. Author will not be rsponsible if readers categorize anyone in their PR circle as bakshyos, leech, hollow, or beggar specialists.