The Indian School of Communications and Reputation (SCoRe) is a premier school dedicated to the development of education and research in strategic communications and reputation management. The school will offer full-time post graduate programmes in corporate communications & political communications in the realm of public relations and public engagement.
In the words of the Founding Dean, Mr. Amith Prabhu, “SCoRe is an idea whose time has come. In a rapidly growing country like India it is surprising that there is no specialised school for the development and research of Public Relations as a discipline.”
In this exclusive interview with Richa Seth, Amith Prabhu, talks about his inspiration and plan forward for ScoRE. Read more below:
1. What inspired you to build the Indian School of Communications and Reputation (SCoRE)?
SCoRe is an idea whose time has come. In a rapidly growing country like India it is surprising that there is no specialised school for the development and research of Public Relations as a discipline. The age of mass communications schools offering Public Relations as a specialisation will always be there. But it certainly does not do justice to a subject that is both an art and a science. With a great demand for super specialised talent and the presence of most of the Top 20 global firms there was certainly a need to up the talent quality that is available at the entry level.
The inspiration has come from witnessing first-hand the gaps that exist in the efficacy of PR firms’ and in-house communications teams’ identification, acquisition, on boarding and activation of talent. While there is no shortage of talent joining PR firms, growing complexity and size of their assignments, mandate this talent to be versatile in several skills, and perform immediately. Several consultancies invest a lot in incubating & training the professionals that they hire. Our objective is to minimize such investments, and enrich the fraternity by imparting the skills and knowledge that young professionals will need to become highly productive immediately. To impart these skills and knowledge, we’re assembling the collective knowledge wealth of some of the fraternity’s top professionals, delivered in a structured manner through our flagship programme.
2. How are the courses offered at SCoRE different/unique than those offered at other institutes?
SCoRe is the first of its kind in the following ways: It will offer in less than a year what other post-graduate schools offer in two years. It is located in Gurgaon, India’s new business capital and in close proximity to the national capital which is where political communications and public affairs play an important role. The programme is designed by professionals and not just academicians which is essential for the tightness of the programme. Case studies and live projects will form the basis of the programme. Students will be treated like they would be in a PR firm or a corporate communications department.
3. What is the objective of ScoRE offering specialization in Political Communications and Public Affairs?
This is the need of the hour. There is a dearth of talent in these fields. Juxtaposing professionals from various streams is a quick fix but won’t hold ground in the medium to long term. Since we anticipate demand for communicators in these fields to grow, we want to get the professionals who currently are experts to train the professionals of tomorrow. We have seen political and government outfits put more and more faith and reliance on such experts for their communications needs, instead of relying on their traditionally followed, in-house teams. This talent needs to be fostered and we are upto it.
4. What are the future plans for SCoRe?
The future is bright and we are planning for one year at a time. We certainly want to offer executive education, management development and customised trainings. Online courses and leadership retreats are definitely on the cards. We plan to be present in the two other metros in the years to come. Hopefully, we will become a global player and compete with the world’s best PR schools. The Indian School of COmmunications & REputation is here for the long haul.
5. According to you, what is the scope of building a career in Public Relations?
In the past communications leaders have become organisational leaders but in the last few years we have seen organisational leaders also acting as the communications leaders. The way the likes of Anand Mahindra and Narendra Modi communicate and put stakeholder outreach at the centre of their business purpose is nothing but building a larger scope for Public Relations. Hence there is scope for the profession both ways. How professionals open up to the challenges that reputation management brings with it will play a big role in the way the profession evolves. The sky is the limit and there is immense scope for those who want to make a career in public relations.
6. How do you see the field of PR evolving in the next 5 years? And what is the role that SCoRE will play to mentor youngsters to meet the industry expectations?
Every year brings a new set of challenges and opportunities. Crystal gazing into 2020 is hard. No one had imagined five years ago the power of digital in business and politics. It is being increasingly acknowledged that reputation is going to be a major driver for corporate & political entities.
In this dynamic scenario, SCoRe will play a big role in sensitizing youngsters to the scope of PR & strategic communications. They will learn of the spectrum of elements that PR strides alongside, and get a greater understanding of their fitment in it. SCoRe will create a more interactive interface for them with the practicing professionals during their learning phase. Finally, we will equip them with skills needed to create greater value through communications efforts.
7. Is there anything else you would like to add?
All we want to say is SCoRe has humble beginnings with a very young team and an average age of 30. We are raring to go and here to offer something that has never been done before at this scale. We invite you to be part of the journey.