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A seminar on 'Building professional image through website - Emerging trends and unknown techniques' was held by Prime Point Foundation on 27th July 2002 at Hotel Palmgrove, Madras, India.

Inaugural speech - Mr Vivek Harinarain IAS

In the past few years, the Internet has emerged as one of the most powerful communication tools. It is estimated that in India alone 6 million people have started using the Internet and at the global level, more than 1/2 billion people are using the Internet. There is an urgent need for the Public Relations and communication professionals to get themselves prepared for this new tool. The project, which started in early 1970 as a defence initiative interconnecting just four computers in the United States, has now grown into an International network covering the entire globe.Mr Vivek Harinarain, Secretary, Information Technology Department, Government of Tamilnadu

2. April 21 is christened as World PR Day. The genesis of the term ' Public Relations' can be traced back to a speech by US President Thomas Jefferson in 1807. While drafting the 'Seventh Address to the Congress', Jefferson scratched out the words, 'state of thought' in one place and replaced them with 'public relations' instead. And thus the word 'public relations' was born. People often confuse the meaning of public relation with selling, marketing, promotion or publicity. Michael Levine in his book "Selling Goodness" aptly clarifies this ambiguity through an analogy. Says Levine, "When the circus comes to town and you paint a sign about it, that's advertising. Put the sign on the back of an elephant and march him through Beverly Hills, and that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flowerbed, that's publicity. And if you can get the mayor to laugh or comment about it, that's public relations." 'Public Relations' in common parlance means the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between any organization and its 'publics'. Alternatively referred to as stakeholders, these 'publics' comprise groups of people whose support is critical to the successful working of an organization.

Eight principles as defined by William Dupuy President and Editor LeFile.Com that should govern building an image to the Internet are:

  • Objectives
  • Audience
  • Usability
  • Content
  • Source
  • Clear policies
  • Security
  • Prepare to evolve
However, there is a need to evaluate the information sources, in our case the websites. The following questions should be clearly answerable.

  • Who has written the information?
  • Can the information be checked?
  • Is the information biased in any way?
  • What are the aims of the site?
  • Does the site achieve its aims/
  • Is the site relevant to me?
Mr.K.Srinivasan has given very a good idea when he talks about the concept of a Media Room. Provide Media Room in your website, to enable the Media persons to access latest information easily. Post the latest Press Releases in chronological order. Provide Logo of the Organization, Photos of the Senior Executives. Quote the opinion of the Media about your organization. Provide contact details for the Media persons

Mr.N.Vittal, Central Vigilance Commissioner in a speech ‘Transparency and Public Relations’ talks about the importance of communication. In fact we are living in the age of communication. However, communication, which is a major function of Public Relations, can have different objectives. The basic function is to communicate the essential objectives of the Organization, its roles, its performance and so on. We all know the story of how if there is no effective communication, it can lead to embarrassing situations. There is this story about the famous painter Van Gogh. A Polish countess wanted her portrait to be painted by Van Gogh. She therefore sent a message to him asking whether Van Gogh would like to paint her in the nude for thousand guilders. Van Gogh replied politely that it would not be possible. She therefore raised stake to ten thousand guilders and again the answer from Van Gogh was negative. The bid finally went up to a hundred thousand guilders. Then Van Gogh, after great hesitation, replied: "Madam, I am prepared to paint you in the nude for hundred thousand guilders but you should permit me to wear socks because that is where at least I can keep my brushes".

6. Communication however, can have both positive and negative facts. At the Government level we not talk about Transparency’s easily understood. It is the lack of opacity or obstruction. It is the lack of any attempt to hide or make things not easily visible. In the context of building an image Professional Transparency would mean the communication of all facts and all the nuances without any modification or attempt at secrecy. Transparency is nothing but a step towards ensuring that truth is communicated to all concerned at all times. The best reputation comes by not telling lies but by telling the truth. Truth brings all the positive consequences. After all, the public relations professionals are trying to project the image of the organization or the individuals in the organization for earning prestige and reputation in society. The best method of doing it is by telling the truth. We have to learn from Gandhiji. Between what he preached and what he practiced, there was no shadow. Can we build a true Professional Image through the Website i.e. the challenge before all of us.

Mr Vivek Harinarain - A Profile

Mr Vivek , an IAS officer of 1980 batch is presently the Secretary of Information Technology Department of Government of Tamilnadu and Chairman of ELCOT. Graduated from Lucknow University, he completed his post graduation from London School of Economics. He may be contacted at harinarain@yahoo.com


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Prime Point Foundation

Prime Point Foundation is a non-profit Trust incepted in December 1999, to create Communication awareness among all the people.

K Srinivasan (Communication Strategist ) is the Founder and Chairman the Trust.
  • The Foundation offers Training, workshop on all Communication related subjects, including Image (Perception)  Audit.
  • The Foundation publishes a monthly eMagazine PreSense since March 2006.
  • The eMagazine PreSense has five initiatives. viz (1) Education Loan Task Force (ELTF), (2) Sansad Ratna Awards, (3) Next Gen Political Leaders (NGPL), (4) Digital Security Association of India (DiSAI) and (5) Digital Journalists Association of India (DiJAI).
  • Every year, the Foundation honours the outstanding Parliamentarians with Sansad Ratna Awards
Profile of K. Srinivasan may be downloaded from http://www.prpoint.com/profile/srinivasan.pdf

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K. Srinivasan
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