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Listening is vital in PR Practice: Frankie Stur, The Public Diplomacy Officer,US Consulate Hyderabad

Public Relations and Corporate Communications professionals, former bureaucrats, senior journalists and academics paid rich tributes to Dr CV Narasimha Reddi, the Indian Public Relations Guru, to mark his third death anniversary at a starry programme organised by the Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) Hyderabad chapter this weekend.

The Public Diplomacy Officer, US Consulate Hyderabad, Mr Frankie Sturm, led the memorable homage by delivering the ‘Dr CV Narasimha Reddi 3rd Memorial Lecture’ on “Representation, Relationships, and Reason in Public Relations” based on his 13 years of experience as a career diplomat. Referring to the theme of his topic, the jovial diplomat said at the outset: “So you could call it my RRR speech! But don’t worry, I won’t attempt the Naatu Naatu dance in public!”

Mr Frankie said that PR is an act of representation because the practitioner represents something much, much bigger than himself or herself. “Relationships are at the heart of public diplomacy and public relations… And, PR creates the space for reason and rationality to play a key role in public life,” he added. Underlining the need for a feedback process in any successful communication, the US diplomat said: “At its best, PR is a forum for conversation. But only when it’s open to feedback. Sure, dictators have PR teams, too. But they only talk. Listening is vital in the PR process.”

Mr Frankie said that Dr CVNR’s life as a PR professional had served as a model for so many others. “I must admit, I do feel a bit small when I think of the long and illustrious career of Dr CV Narasimha Reddi. I have nowhere near his wisdom nor his experience,” he said.

The Chief Guest of the programme, Mr C Shekar Reddy, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Telangana, said that the glut of information coupled with misinformation necessitated the appointment of PR professionals for key functionaries and institutions. “We are living in an era where a single tweet can destroy the image of individuals and companies. PR professionals are needed to tackle fake news and save the situations as part of image building exercise. They should improve their skills in tune with technological advancements.” He elaborated how right communication techniques helped him convince officials, journalists, colleagues and people in the process of building modern Hyderabad in his 30-odd years of experience as a real estate businessman.

Noted Editor, Dr K. Ramachandra Murthy, the Guest of Honour of the programme, recalled his association with Dr CVNR and said that he always strived for the betterment of the prevailing situations as a PR professional. “He showed a lot of passion while discharging his duties. He always worked hard to improve the standards of the PR profession. He brought repute to the PR profession with his dedicated efforts,” he added.

The national general secretary of the PRSI, Mr Y.Babji shared various angles of the illustrious career of Dr CVN Reddi, who authored 32 books on journalism, communication and PR and served three Chief Ministers as the Director of Information and Public Relations of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.

The Chairman of the PRSI Hyderabad chapter Dr S Ramu summed up the nature of Dr CVN Reddi in his opening remarks.

‘Noted journalist and author Dr Govindaraju Chakradhar, who penned the biography of Dr CVNR was felicitated on the occasion.

The PRSI Hyderabad chapter joint secretary Mrs Aparna Rajahans introduced the guests to the audience while its secretary Mr K.Yadagiri proposed a vote of thanks. Mr Yadagiri profusely thanked the ASCI Chairman Mr K.Padmanabhaiah, former Union Home Secretary, for providing a venue for the memorial lecture in a befitting manner. Dr CVN PR Foundation Chairperson C.Ramadevi and Director C. Ravinder Reddy felicitated the guests with shawls and mementoes. Mr Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao, Chief PRO of the Telangana Chief minister was among a host of PR professionals who paid their tributes to the Indian PR Guru.


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