SS: How did you end up in PR?
MA: Considering that I had served a few good and experienced years in the industry, I came to a realization that there was a distinctive disconnect between people and PR entities. Which is why I was motivated to open my own PR business; I wanted to bridge that very gap so I could provide a platform through which businesses and talent could come together more easily. Collaborations are very necessary in order to make an impact not only on the public but to build a positive personal image as well. I am in the PR industry to build those very bridges that will aid people get that extra push to enter a larger pool of collaborative options.
SS: Describe yourself in three words.
MA: Confident, determined and content.
SS: How has social media affected PR?
MA: The relationship between PR and social media has definitely strengthened, since social media has turned into a very powerful communication tool between businesses/brands and talents. Everyone can now have a say on the digital channels and that is why PR consultants play an important role in starting a community for clients. Social media has in some ways made our lives easier and difficult at the same time. Publicizing or spreading news about anything can be done within seconds, whether it is positive or negative. Having said that, we have to be very careful about how to address certain issues online, keeping in mind that there is a wide range of audience present there and everyone is free to express their opinions. In that way, it is essential that we pay close attention to what content is being shared and how it is being shared. However, yes, social media has become very steadfast in taking the PR business forward as the public can easily access information about clients.
SS: What are the challenges you face as being a successful woman in PR and how do you push yourself through tough times?
MA: Just like anyone else who has experience in starting their own business, I too, faced some challenges. However, that is not to say, that these challenges were gender specific to me as a woman as such. Initially, I found it tough to build a trustworthy team, who would be able to truly understand my work ethics and be able to take my plans forward. I’ve also had to confront several prejudices in the industry considering that I’ve seen some of my very good relationships and friendships get weaken simply because I had switched professions and wasn’t in the position to enable any of their requests that I previously could. I’ve always been one to maintain professional relationships and well handling situations under pressure is some of my strongest characteristics. Now that I think I’ve managed to make a distinctive mark in the Pakistani PR industry, many people trust me, my clients have faith in me, and I’ve been lucky enough to have found an extremely reliable team.
SS: Do you consider yourself successful?
MA: I always wanted to start my own business, and since MINT PR is now an established and a reputable PR company, I guess I do consider myself to be successful.
SS: How do you achieve work/life balance?
MA: I am lucky to have an extremely understanding husband; Hamza is really supportive of my work and understands the time commitment required of this industry so we both manage to take out time for each other without any extra fuss. Other than that, I really do believe that I have built my career and because of that, I haven’t had the need to separate it from my life as such. My work is a part of daily routine, and since a lot of my clients are and have become my really good friends, so it’s fairly easy to manage work and play together.
SS: What’s your super power and why?
MA: My super power is that I am a woman. Even when women are constantly being challenged, they take on struggles with grace and determination, which is what I think makes them the real MVPs.
SS: What are your favourite social media platforms and why?
MA: As ironic as this seems, I am not very active on social media other than my work requirement. But whenever I get a chance, I browse Instagram to keep up to date with trends and to see what’s happening around the world.
SS: Any suggestions for women who want to get into PR?
MA: No one’s gender should be seen as a hurdle or an obstacle in the way of moving forward and pursuing a career choice. Even though, a lot of industries and spaces are run by men, there are now many strong women in businesses as well as in the PR industry who are heading their successful businesses, which have been a direct result of their own constant hard work and determination. One absolute advice that I would share is that, always remain confident about yourself and your work and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!