We normally think of evolution in terms of physical changes. Some evolution occurs perhaps by need or desire. But even more interesting is the prospect of being able to evolve your whole person in specific new, healthy directions. Many people lament – why they don’t think they can change, or grow. But believe me conscious evolution is possible. Even scientific research indicates that the capacity for self-evolution of your personality, mental capacities, relationships and actions in the world is based on conscious intent. That is, shaping your being is an art form – the way an artist develops, evolves and creates a painting; or a composer creates music. I think today’s highly interconnected, interdependent world is arousing in people a new need or intent: to evolve capacities that support both personal well-being and service to the larger human community.

Always remember, change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. Everyone needs to evolve whether at the beginning, the middle or deep into their Public Relations careers. Practitioners need new experiences to become better. Organisations need Public Relations practitioners strong in the art and the craft of profession who help advance their objectives now and in the future.

You need to be a killer speaker so hone your skills over time, with every chance you get. It’s not so much what we say or what we write that matters. Only when it is understood do you forge the kind of relationships that matter. That’s what public relations does; builds relationships, regardless of the medium. For this, think critically. If you can think with clarity you can probably speak and write with clarity. Those skills go hand in hand and they are what make Public Relations professionals so valuable. After all your role as a Public Relations professional is to ensure that leadership at your company considers how any given message or action will land with the impacted stakeholders. You cannot achieve this desired goal without evolving.

You need to wake up every day and believe you are going to be the best in the world at what you do. Mediocrity is not acceptable. You need to be all in. Not just ankle-deep. Your stakeholders should not only respect you, but also fall a little in love with you. To sum up, not only should you aim to be smart, but you should also aspire to be fast thinking, clear-eyed and straight talking. With the deep understanding of your goals and targets build a network of influencers in a really strategic way. To gain all the above you have to evolve consciously. Never stop growing and seek inspiration everywhere. Pursue excellence in everything.

Another point is what makes public relations professionals so valuable is our ability to use the evolving channels, tactics and resources in service of a greater objective of developing relationships that matter. So when IT came in a big way in the country, naturally it fell into our realm. Indeed, Public Relations folks were among the first to embrace social media because we saw the incredible potential for connecting with our audiences. Having seen it all and done it all, personally, I always get excited about what’s new in the Public Relations toolbox. I can claim I have been an early adopter of vehicles that give us greater amplification and reach with better speed.

Command Some Power

One of the best definitions of power I have ever heard is that it’s the ability to get things done. The odds are that your use of power will get someone a job. It will accomplish the goal, whereas the routine procedures will probably not get results. Whether you are going to approach for small favour or meet some powerful leader to get a big favour, the relationship will involve power.

There are all sorts of power, and all forms of power are used to influence events. We all know the hard side of power. That’s the side of power you can’t miss. It’s the power of position. It’s the power of authority. There is also the power of money. There is the power of the facts.

Not to ignore the soft power. We don’t give much thought to the softer, less obvious types of power. Yet they often have more influence than conventional ones. Just think of the power of beauty and this applies to both genders. My experience is: in any workplace whether it is private or public sector, an organization or even a not-for-profit organization highly attractive people have more power than others. So, one has to keep this fact in mind. Whether you like it or not you have to be presentable.

But the big question is: how to gain power? I’ll try to answer this question from my experience.

First of all visibility is important. Be visible to others. This could be done by using social media platform which is most popular and accessible to all. Be in regular touch with people you know and you wish to know. Next is your access to power. It needs self-confidence, likability, and trust and integrity. These qualities you have to develop otherwise you can never reach to people who command power. After all in their reflected glory you will have to create your own world. Trust is among the most important attributes we have as human beings and it is a crucial element.

Having power means having the ability to obstruct and delay! This requires tremendous physical energy, showmanship, a winning attitude and above all an aura – the illusion of power. You have to follow certain self-set rules and behave in such ways that the illusion of power is felt when you enter a room or meet anyone.

About the author: Dr. Ajai Kumar Agarwal
Dr. Ajai Kumar Agarwal
Dr. Ajai Kumar Agarwal is a veteran Public Relations person. Public Relations Council of India in its global conclave held in Bangalore has conferred on him prestigious Dr. KR Singh Memorial Life Time Achievement Award in the field of PR at the national level. It speaks a lot about his achievements. Presently he is VP Corporate Relations of the CBSL group of companies and former national president of the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI). He was heading Corporate Communications of Central Bank of India before retirement. He is also an advisor to the SME Chamber of India and has been a very prominent speaker at various gatherings, including a keynote speaker at an international conference on Media held in Rome.

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