Origin of PR

Origin and development Of Information & Public Relations Department in Punjab

According to 'Operation Manual' published by the information & public relations department in 1984, the public relations department was set-up immediately after the second world war ended in 1945, but this organization remained intact till partition, with its headquarters at Lahore. After the partition in 1947, the headquarter was shifted from Lahore to Shimla and the organization was re-named 'Publicity Department'. At that time, there was another organization named 'Information Bureau'. These two organizations were under the control of Director General of Publicity and Information. These organizations were purely temporary in nature and were provided with sanction of six months. At the fag end of 1950, these two organizations were merged into one-Public Relations Department with headquarter at Shimla. On January 12, 1951 this department was confirmed by the then Government headed Gopi Chand Bhargava, Chief Minister of Punjab. Consequent upon the reorganization of Punjab on 1st November 1966, the Public relations department shifted its office from Ambala to Chandigarh-the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana. In 1977, the name of the Public Relations Department was again changed to Information & Public Relations Department.

Organizational set-up of the Information & Public Relations Department

Role of the Minister and Secretary, Information & Public Relations

The Information & Public Relations Department, Punjab is headed by the Minister in-charge, who takes major decisions related to policy, personnel and budgetary allocation. In this task, he is assisted by the Secretary, an IAS officer. The role of the Information & Public Relations Department at the level of the Government has been spelt out as:

  • Planning;
  • Major personnel decisions relating to gazetted employees;
  • Goals and objectives of the Department;
  • Induction & Training of key personnel;
  • PR within the Information & Public Relations Department itself. In other words maintaining cordial relations between the Information & Public Relations Department and the other Administrative Departments of the Government and ensuring that the Department properly services the communication/PR requirements of the other government departments;
  • Introduction of major technological innovations;
  • Major system changes leading to better effectiveness of the Department;
  • Liaison with the media both print and electronic, particularly at the level of the editors;
  • Liaison and coordination between the Public Relations Department and the other Government media- All India Radio, Doordarshan and the field publicity units of the Government of India.

The outstanding feature of the Information & Public Relations Department is that there has to be an emphasis on action and results rather than procedures alone and hence the Department has developed its own style of functioning without sacrificing the requirements of accountability. Paper work must not become an end in itself and the emphasis should never shift from action because, in public relations, mistakes, once occur, cause irreversible damage.