Mention some of the PR activities that were carried on in India, prior to dependence?
Some of PR activities were carried on in India, prior to Independence.
The ancient rulers practiced PR techniques instinctively to stay in power and to stabilize themselves. There are evidences that ancient rulers sending spies to collect feedback from the people. There used to inscribe message on rocks. They also used to appoint bards officials to disseminate information.
Later on, the social reformers, philanthropists, patriots, practiced various forms o the PR methods. Jamshedji Tata, founder of the Tata Iron and Steel Company, adopted a number of measures with great foresight that reflected his spirit of service to the community. He is one of the pioneers of Indian industrialization. When he planned to set up a plant, his idea was not limited to the construction of a factory. He had a vision of a township that would be full of shady avenues where the workmen employed in the factory could live in a serene and healthy atmosphere. The community relations and good employee relations, key aspects of public relations, were spontaneously practiced by the Tata’s much before professional PR practices arrived on the scene in the country.
The commercial requirement of the railways also led to promotional campaigns for increasing traffic. Records show that the GIP Railway in India thus, carried on a Public Relations campaign in England in early 1920s to attract tourists to India. They published pamphlets and carried out an advertising campaign for this purpose. The Publicity Bureau of the railway company also introduced a traveling cinema. Later on publicity officers, with similar functions, were deputed to other railways. The Railway Board established publicity bureaus in London and New York also. Both the bureaus used to advertise extensively in newspapers and journals. These offices also participated in exhibitions held abroad to popularize the Indian Railways, and attract the tourists.
The Government of India set up an organization to feed the press and supply news about the war to the people during the World War I. The organization was named as Central Publicity Board. Sir Stanley Reed, Editor of The Times of India, Bombay, was appointed as its Director. The Board had on it representatives from the army and the foreign and political departments of the Government of India. The Board was dissolved after the war and its functions were taken over by the Central Bureau of Information set up in 1921. Professor Rushbrook Williams from Allahabad was appointed its first Director. In 1923, the ,Central Bureau was re-designated as the Directorate of Public Instruction. Later, the organization was renamed “The Directorate of Information and Broadcasting”.