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Promotion of Educational Institutions through Press and Publicity Work

Ramesh Kumar Rawat*

Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Manipal University, Jaipur

*Corresponding Author:
Ramesh Kumar Rawat
Associate Professor
Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
Public Relation Officer
Manipal University, Jaipur, India
Tel: 00919829249336, 00916376260477
E-mail: ramesh10jan@rediffmail.com

Received date: Oct 04, 2017; Accepted date: Apr 25, 2019; Published date: May 02, 2019

Citation: Rawat RK. Promotion of Educational Institutions through Press and Publicity Work. Global Media Journal 2019, 17:32.

Copyright: © 2019 Rawat RK. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

Public relations department and its activities are playing an important role in promotion, development, image building and branding of educational institutions. Academic institutions are organizing various events and activities to get media coverage for the same. Educational institutes organize seminars, conferences, interaction programmes, culture fest, student activities, club activities, faculty club activities, national and international visits, campus tours, presentation, convocation, orientation programme, faculty interaction programme and FDPs. Entire activities organized by the various departments of the university or educational institutions through their public relation department try to get media coverage in print, electronic and web media. The press and publicity work is a challenging job for the PROs of educational institutions and organizations. Press and publicity work includes press release, news editing, conducting press conferences and interviews with the visitors and achievers, writing special articles on the campus attraction and facilities, important photographs of the event for the press, videos of the event for the electronic media and help to manage the events. This study is based on my conceptual knowledge, practical experience and a systematic research methodology process. An attempt has been made to understand the role of press and publicity in the promotion of educational institutions.

Keywords

Promotion; Educational institute; Branding; Event; Activities; Press; Publicity

Introduction

Promotion of educational institutions through public relations activity or press and publicity work is an important topic for the research point of view. Press and publicity is an important job in every educational institute. For completion this job and get popularity in proper manner every educational institute appoint a public relation officer or media manager. Through press and publicity work educational institute are getting popularity, developing image and branding, get more and more admissions and generate revenue, create credibility among students and parents for the institute. Press and publicity is not an easy job for a public relation officer and various challenges faced by a public relations officer to cover the event in media or get media coverage for the same [1-16].

Objective of the Study

The objective of the study is evaluating the promotion of educational institutions through public relations and press publicity work.

Hypothesis

Public Relations and press and publicity work play an important role in the promotions of educational institutions.

Research Methodology

The conceptual and descriptive research methodology is used in this research paper writing.

Components of press and publicity in educational institutions

Press release: Press release is written by public relations officer or any other person who’s deputed by the competent authority in the educational institutions. The necessary inputs for press release may be provided by faculty members, Head of the department, Director of the school, Dean of the respective faculty, President and Pro-President of the university. For small event, press release can be written by junior staff members. For big or important event (Orientation Programme, Cultural Fest, Convocation, Techfest, Press Conference, International Conferences etc..) Press release can be written by junior or middle or higher staff member and check by the higher authority. Sometime during the visit and participation of VVIP’s, it is difficult to finalize the press release. Public Relations Officers may prepare press release before, during and after the event. PRO is also accountable for press release content. Therefore PRO should take utmost care while writing press release. He/She should cover entire event, put all dignitaries name, awardee name and other important information for the image building of the institution. The length of press release will be depending up on the nature and importance of the event. Maximum information in press release should be given in inverted pyramid style. Main stream media publish limited information but medium and small newspapers may publish entire information. If maximum information is available in inverted pyramid style in the press release than it is benefited for the organization; because every big, medium and small newspaper have its own impact on readers as well as information.

Editing: Editing is the most important part for finalizing the press release. Before finalizing the press release and sending it to media; it is necessary to edit and remove unnecessary things, repetitions, replace complex words with simple words or colloquial words, using small sentences, proper heading and sub-heading, side story if require, quotes, bullets points, start with 5w 1 H (intro) and proper closing. During the editing there is need to give attractive headline, sub-headline and writing an interesting intro.

Video editing: If possible PRO should edit the video clip before sending it to media houses or depute someone for the this job and give deadline to complete the task. If video is properly edited, it will be readily accepted by media for telecast and will build the positive image for the organization.

Radio production: In press and publicity work, the role of radio cannot be ignored by the PROs. It has been observed that PROs concentrates more on print media and TV channels; but radio publicity is also important for the organization; because many people love to listen radio during free hours, driving and on other occasion. It is, therefore, suggested that PRO should invite radio reporter or akasvani correspondent in press conference and also give press release to them and treat equally as other media professionals. For radio publicity, PROs should prepare catchy story, good interview.

Press clipping file and its circulation: Public relations manager/officer should maintain a press clipping file. Press clipping file work is a mirror of the educational institutions. Through press clipping file organizational officers, board of management, management members, higher authorities (VCs, Pro-VCs, Registrars, Deans, Directors, HoDs) can evaluate the work of the various departments, faculties. Press clipping file also show the history of the organizations. Press clipping files are very important documents for the organizations. It helps attracting new prospective students and their parents, monitoring the progress by higher authorities of the institutions and getting recognition from various regularities bodies and funding agencies such as UGC, NACC, BCI, MCI, NCI etc.. Press clippings should be circulated among the employee and students for information and image building of the organizations. It can be displayed on every day on all notice board of the educational institute. It will be helpful to visitors, student, faculty members can get the current information and update themselves. This process will also increase awareness among the stakeholders (student and faculty) for participate in the various event of the university. It is also show importance of the event.

Photography: Photography is the most important part of the press and publicity work. Without photograph, press releases sometimes remain incomplete. It is said that one photograph is more than powerful/speak one thousand words; this is the responsibility of public relations officer to send the photograph with the press release in the print media and web portals. Sometimes if video is not available than number of photographs of the event can be sent to electronic media and they develop it in video format and run on TV channels.

Selection of photograph: Selection of the photograph is also crucial part in the entire process. Generally lighting of lamp, dignitaries sitting on the dais, release magazine, souvenir, poster, CD, proceedings of the conference, audiences, interaction and question answer session photograph is sent by the PRO. In this context if PRO focuses on entire event than some useful, interesting, printable, newsy, eye-catching photograph can be identified and should be send with the press release to media houses. If we send different type of the photograph with different angle to media houses than it will be create a better chance for the publication. Therefore, there should be more focus on different activities photographs like cultural activities, sports, flag hoisting, oath, group dance, solo dance, technical activities, model presentation, rangoli and painting, exhibition, designing, welcome and many other type of the photograph can be click and send to media houses for the publication. Before the sending the selected photograph should take approval from competent authority. Sometime issue can be raised when authority’s names are not published or photos are not given.

Quality of photographs: Quality of photographs should be good. Few media houses demand high quality photograph and some use any type of photograph send by the PRO of the organization. However, good quality photograph should be sent which should not be heavy beyond one MB if they are sending virtually. Sometimes photographs quality is not good in such cases through photo shop photo quality can be develop; but one should be cautious that subject will not disappear; damage and subject should be as it is.

Videography: Videography is also most important part for publicity work. Without good quality of video electronic media coverage is not possible. During the videography news aspect is necessary to keep in mind. Same as photography need to make a short clip of various important events for send in media. Good quality of video creates possibility for media coverage in electronic media. One clip not more than 45 second to one minute. Install two cameras, one for videography of full event and another for prepare short clipping for media coverage purpose. For media purpose not fix the camera on one place, cameraman can move as per requirement of event clipping like lighting of lamp, dignitaries on and of the Dias, audience, dance, presentation during the event, welcome, memento presentation.

Further uses of video

Event video can be used for library record, circulate among the student, faculty, parents and other stakeholder for provide information, entertainment, educate them and branding purpose of the organization.

Article, special article or stories, feature stories

In the educational institutions press and publicity work is necessary to write Article, Special Article, Feature stories on various issues related from the organizations directly and indirectly. In this connection write only on positive topics for create positive branding of the organization.

Interview

Public Relation officer should conduct interview with achievers, eminent visitors, organizations dignitaries and other important persons and publish in print media.

Promotion of the research work

During the press and publicity work PRO should expose to research work in media; because research work create more credibility of educational institution and research work also recognize by government and private governing bodies on national and international level.

Event management

Generally in press and publicity work PRO conduct event of the press conference or some times as per organization requirement PRO conduct other type of event like international interaction programme, programme for staff members etc. During the conduct the programme PRO should start the programme on time, give respect to all, complete programme on time as per desire by management members. Handle the team and subordinate staff member properly and guide them for betterment.

Management

Management of the event, management of the people and management other things is most important part for the PRO for press and publicity work. PROs responsibility to provide maximum output in minimum sources.

Communication skills

Communication skills are another important part for PRO to complete press and publicity work successfully. If PRO is interact with English or Hindi media reporter the communicate in desire language, PRO also develops the listing skills, if PRO is not listen carefully to reporter and not understand their demand than PRO cannot provide the press release as per desire by reporter. So speaking and listing both skills are requiring for the PRO for proper communication. Besides the speaking and listing skills PRO should be expert in writing skills. PRO should use proper language, with right spelling, short sentences, link one sentence with another, and one paragraph with another, provide entire information with in limited word and avoid repetition.

Creative writing

Sometimes PRO should write press release in creative format as per the event. In the part of creative writing PRO should write about the faculty, student and other staff member’s achievement in creative or feature form. PRO should conduct the interview with achievers and write in creative format.

Time management

Time management is most important part for the PRO for complete the press publicity work, conduct press conference and another event. PRO should make a check list and make a proper plan to complete all necessary work. PRO should identify good and result oriented, positive thinker, skilled full subordinate staff members and give task to them accordingly and put all things in own control. Monitor all subordinate staff members work and guide them time to time. PRO also adopt talent transfer process. This process can help in odd condition and difficult conditions. Always assign work to skillful and related person and to other person.

Stress management

During the press and publicity work PRO may be under stress. At that time PRO manage the stress with spirituality, read some beautiful quote of eminent personality, listen music, interact with positive thinker, discuss and share the problem with higher authorities and take food on time.

Respect to all

PRO should respect to all internal and external stakeholders. It costs nothing but yields grate results. PRO is a spokesperson for the academic institutions upon whom the reputation of the institution largely depends.

Hospitality

Hospitality also important work for the PRO. PRO should give proper hospitality to reporters and other dignitaries during the press conference and in other event as per their/organizational requirements.

Press conference

Press conference is an important PR event and it should be organized in well planned and systematic way. Invite media professionals before one day on good and easy approachable venue. Arrange tea and lunch for them. Before, during and after the press conference give proper response, respect to them and provide all type information related to event and on time. Before the press conference prepare a press kit and put pen, folder, press release and necessary document related from the event in the press kit. Never get angry on media professionals and give reply politely to them. During or after the event invite them for delicious lunch and also invite for media coverage of the event. For the coverage of the event arrange vehicle for them to receive and drop as per there convenient.

Crisis management

Sometimes media professionals reached in press conference venue or event venue on or before and after time. So in this odd condition manage them and engage them. PRO should manage this kind of crisis with proper, polite and respectful interaction with media professionals. Secondly, in this condition PRO should involve to media professionals in other type of activities like arrange some food or soft drink immediately, give reading material and ask to them for visit organization, so they can spend time easily and not feel organizer are ignoring them.

Give correct information

During the press and publicity work always provide right information to media professionals in form of press release and verbally.

Challenges

Various challenges faced by PROs to complete press and publicity work. First challenge is invite the press reporter in press conference, deliver press release on time, give proper response to media people, handle negative things, run with the time and submit news on time, satisfy to media professionals with the news content, photo and video.

Submit news on time

If any event complete in late hours and the dead line is same of the event completion than it is very big challenge in front of Public Relations Officers for submit news on time. If he/she already conduct press conference about the event or provide the event conduct information to media professional than this is more difficult to handle to them. In this condition not release news in late night hours and sent news next day with mention the programme is completed in late night on day and date.

Nice video and photographs

Good photograph and video is always challenging in the press and publicity work. So allot this job more than one or two person and after that select the good videos and photographs for the publication and telecast in media on time.

Image building of the organisation

Image building is another important duty of the PRO in any educational institution. If PRO have some negative information about the organization than not share it with media professionals. Identify the negativity creators in the organization and also informed to management members about them. If media professional publish any negative news about the organizations than with immediate effect conduct any type of positive activity, conduct press conference, invite media people and give positive event information to them for the publication in media.

Handling the media professionals

In odd conditions this is very difficult for the PRO for handle to them. For example if we invite to media professional to cover any film promotion event and they reach on given time but celebratory not reach on time or refuse to come than this is very odd and difficult condition to handle media professional. In this condition handle media professional politely and excuse them and ask for cooperation. If they anger than PRO not anger on them and listen to them other vise they can publish negative news and create negative branding through media. So be careful at that time to handle to media professional.

How can give a hype to an Interview or story in media

Public Relations Officer have good story, news, article in his/her hand; but mainstream media not publish such kind of story, but content of the story is very rich and useful than this is the positive point for the PRO for publish such kind of the story. PRO should meet personally with the mainstream media professionals and show the story and ask them for the publication.

Cover many types of news through various types of activities

In an educational institute various type of activities conducted by various departments. Like national, international seminar by science, commerce, art, engendering departments. Cultural fest, tech fest, sports activities, moot court competition, various food preparation activities in hotel management, achievements by student and faculty, research activities, new innovations, eminent personality (educationist, celebratory, political person), foreigners etc.. So PRO should keep in mind about the principle, process, sources, precaution about the all type of field or beat like sports, education, law, crime, politics, film, cultural etc.., and then write the press release with the news beat type angle and send it to media for the publication.

Budget

Budget planning for press and publicity

At present budget planning is most important aspect for publicity through media. PRO should communicate to management members about the requirement of the budget and take necessary approval for its allotment and take advance from finance department after proper approval. Budget may be related from conduct press conference, purchase flower, memento, gift voucher, venue booking, food and refreshment, vehicle arrangement, advertisement publication, higher manpower, arrange agent and vender for conduct event etc.

Good publicity in lower budget

If we want to get good publicity in lower budget than good relationship is require with media professional. On behalf of good relationship with media professionals send press release to them for media coverage. In this conditions not need to conduct press conference for the media coverage. Another thing is if event is powerful than automatically media will cover it; so need to conduct qualitative event and invite celebratory, eminent personalities for the same. For example, if any prestigious award received by the organization, any employee of the organization and student, robust achievement achieve by student, faculty and institute than news can publish easily and automatically in media and media professionals also demand the such kind of news or information from the PROs.

Good media coverage in middle budget

If average relation with media professional and average quality event or average achievement than we can get good media coverage through conduct press conference for media professional and give good lunch and gift to them.

Good press and publicity in higher budget

If we have lower relation and conduct low level or low quality programme/event than we can get good coverage from the media professionals by the use of higher budget. First we conduct press conference in good hotel and give good facility, lunch and gift to media professionals. Secondly give huge amount of money advertisement in newspaper than we can get success to get good media coverage of any event.

Budget planning for the event and press conference

With the good budget we can conduct good press conference and good event but it is not true always. The reason is bad relationship can create bad result; unexpected event and lack of the space in newspaper kill the media coverage. If regular advertisement not given by the organization then media coverage also not given by the media professionals. This is necessary for the institutions for plan the advertisement budget and gives advertisement in print and electronic media.

Do’s for Public Relations Officers for Press and Publicity Work

• Complete the homework before the event.

• Discuss with the organizer/management about the event and their need and demand for the publication.

• Request to management for appoint one or two junior staff members for help in press and publicity work.

• Write press release through on the spot reporting process, if not possible than receive a signature copy/through mail of raw material copy from competent authority for reduce the mistakes related from facts.

• After completion of the press release send it for finalization or approval for the publication to competent authority or organizer on time. Also request to them finalize press release on time and as soon as possible for send it to media before deadline. Because this is responsibilities of the PROs run with the time and try to publish the press release on time with good space and good media coverage in various newspapers and on web portals.

• Always follow to print, electronic and web media reporters after send the press release, photograph and video clip; because they are always busy in another news and assignment preparation and publication work. Some time they cannot open the mail due to special story, assignment and busyness in another work. So call them and remember them for the same.

• If reporter face problem for download heavy file then send them lighter file with crop the photograph and convert video in you tube video converter format with the help of video converter software.

• If organizer want to conduct the press conference than finalize good venue, good gift, press kit, lunch or tea menu before one day of the press conference. PRO also visit the venue and discuss with the owner, check all facility, check microphone and other facility properly.

• Give invitation to media people and confirm telephonically with them they received or not received the invitation. After that confirm about the duty assign to them or not or to other if he/she on leave.

• On the same day of the conference again follow the reporters, editors for the confirmation for attending the press conference. If some are not on duty, engage in another assignment or event than who will attend the press conference on the place of them and take his/her contact and follow them.

• Receive properly to media professional, maintain protocol, give proper respect, give press kit and ask to organizer for politely interaction with calm.

• After the press conference invite them for tea or lunch and give gift.

• After the press conference event again follow them, send electronic copy of news and photographs and politely request for publication and invite for the event.

• If those press reporter willing to come in the event arrange vehicle for them, lunch, gift, press kit and maintain protocol for them.

• Give press release, provide video clip, photograph and mail same thing and drop them on time as per their requirement and if possible again follow them.

• Public Relation officer always show a sweet smile on face in positive and negative circumstances.

Don’ts for Public Relations Officers for Press and Publicity Work

• Never anger on others, not create negativity.

• Not avoided the suggestion given by the organizers for conduct the press conference, any event prepare press release and for other necessary arrangements.

• No disrespect to media people.

• Not make the mistakes in press release.

Benefit of the Press Publicity work for educational Institutions

Following are benefit of educational institutions from Press and Publicity work.

• Get popularity among the stakeholders, students, parents (Internal and external).

• Help to increase credibility of the organization.

• Increase business and revenue in form of increase admissions.

• Communicate and educate to stakeholders about the organizational activities, policies.

• Help in get approval and grants from various governing bodies.

• Attract to good faculty and staff for work and also attract to good students for admission.

Findings

• Through the follow conceptual research in this research paper we find following.

• Press and publicity work is a challenging job for the PRO.

• PRO Prepare press release as per instructions of management members, with proper content and information, with tight editing and with follow all rules of preparation of press release.

• Duty of the PROs is maintain a press clipping file and circulate press clipping among the internal and external stakeholders.

• The accountability of PROs to give video in media with proper editing.

• The responsibility of the PROs to give equal response to all media professionals including print electronic (TV and Radio) and web.

• PROs should follow the do’s and don’ts of the press and publicity work.

• PROs should plane budget properly and use it with approval of competent authority.

• Good and qualitative photograph should send by PROs to media professionals.

• Educational institutions are getting many benefits to through press and publicity work.

• PROs should conduct interviews; write articles, features and news with different angle.

• PROs should properly handle the media professional in negative conditions.

• PROs also conduct the press conference, press tour for media professionals for receive decent media coverage of the organization and organizational events and activities.

Recommendations

After this conceptual research paper following are recommendations.

• For the betterment of the press and publicity work management member of the organizations should support to PROs and follow the advice given by them.

• Management member should keep a budget for press and publicity work and take advice for the same from PRO.

Conclusion

Finally from this research paper we found Press and Publicity work is a challenging job. During the press and publicity work PRO prepare press release, conduct press conference, send photo and video to media, plan budget, maintain a clipping file, handle to press people, write different types of write-ups like article, feature, interview and news with different angle, manage the crisis. PRO also follow the time management, Do’s and Don’ts, stop negativity and various other things which is benefited for the organization.

Author Contribution

This research paper is written by me on behalf of my 10 years Public Relations officer work experience. In other sources I mentioned about my various types of work experience as Public Relations Officer. On behalf of the experience I elaborate the things in the research paper. This is total original work and real 10 years field and work experience till the date of submission of the research paper.

Other Sources

• Work Experience media coverage of Convocation Programme at Manipal University Jaipur. First, Second, Third and Fourth Convocation Programme. Type of Experience: Conduct Press Conference (Final Venue, Invite Media Professional, Give Respect of Token, and Conduct Lunch etc.), Prepare Pre and post Press Release of the event for Print, Electronic and Web Media, Prepare Video for TV channels Etc.

• Work Experience media coverage of Manipal Ranak National Moot Court Competition at Manipal University Jaipur First, Second, Third Convocation Programme.Type of Experience: Conduct Press Conference (Final Venue, Invite Media Professional, Give Respect of Token, Conduct Lunch etc.), Prepare Pre and post Press Release of the event for Print, Electronic and Web Media, Prepare Video for TV channels etc.

• Work Experience media coverage of Cultural fest at Manipal University Jaipur. First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth cultural fest Programme.Type of Experience: Conduct Press Conference (Final Venue, Invite Media Professional, Give Respect of Token, Conduct Lunch etc.), Prepare Pre and post Press Release of the event for Print, Electronic and Web Media, Prepare Video for TV channels Etc.

• Work Experience media coverage of Tech Fest at Manipal University JaipurFirst, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and sixth cultural fest Programme.Type of Experience: Conduct Press Conference (Final Venue, Invite Media Professional, Give Respect of Token, Conduct Lunch etc.), Prepare Pre and post Press Release of the event for Print, Electronic and Web Media, Prepare Video for TV channels Etc.

• Work Experience media coverage of various national, international seminar, conferences, FDPs workshops events. (From 2007 to 2017)

• Work Experience media coverage of National and International delegates visits at MUJ. (From 2007 to 2017)

• Work Experience media coverage of Industrial Visits, field visit, educational visit by the students. (From 2007 to 2017).

• Work Experience media coverage of World record activities, politician visit, Independence Day, Republic Day celebration. (From 2007 to 2017).

• Work Experience media coverage of various educational club activities. (From 2008 to 2017).

• Work experience maintains press clipping file for all type of educational events. (From 2007 to 2017).

• Work experience prepare video, photo, maintain backup of the vent in video and photo form. (From 2007 to 2017).

• Work experience plans the budget for the events. (2007 to 2017)

References

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