SS: How did you end up in PR?
SR: I ended up in PR quite by chance. I have been a freelance journalist for almost three decades now and had once gone to interview Sultana Siddiqui for a newspaper some 13 years ago. At that time, she was planning on launching her television channel. After the interview was published she called me up and asked me to join her as the Head of PR and Publications in hernetwork. I was not sure at all if I would be able to handle it, but at her insistence I joined her and remained with the network for 11 years! Two years ago, I felt it was time to launch my own PR company as my son and daughter-in-law were also interested in joining me.
SS: Describe yourself in three words
SR: Workaholic, perfectionist and sincere.
SS: How has social media affected PR?
SR: Social media has become a vital component of PR as I keep trying to explain to clients who hire a digital agency separately, and PR company separately, and then the work begins to overlap. No PR company can survive today if it is not actively doing social media or linking with other social media sites, as print and electronic media are now not given as much importance by most clients as social media is.
SS: What are the challenges you face as being a successful woman in PR and how do you push yourself through tough times?
SR: I don’t think there are any challenges specifically to my being a woman in PR – I may have faced those even if I were a guy! I have always been a very upfront, honest, friendly and social person, and perhaps, my greatest challenge has become dealing with so much negativity that seems to have suddenly been triggered by people who apparently can’t seem to stomach my launching my own PR company!Though it upset me in the beginning, I have learnt to immerse myself in my work and let my work speak for itself, rather than get bogged down by people who are actively indulging in politics.
SS: Do you consider yourself successful?
SR: I feel I have a long way to go still, but yes, I suppose if you evaluate pragmatically how far we have come as a company in these two years, the kind of projects we have undertaken, the international and local awards we have won, and the kind of clients that are constantly approaching us, I must say I have a lot to be thankful for and it would be ungrateful of me to say otherwise.
SS: How do you achieve work/life balance?
SR: This is a question asked of me very often! I am lucky that my family is working with me now so we are together most of the day anyway, and if we are not at work, I am busy spending time with friends and extended family, or writing my book or article while relaxing at home, so manage to balance out my day.
SS: What’s your super power and why?
SR: My son and daughter-in-law! They make my work worthwhile and fun, and it is because of them that my company has grown so fast.
SS: What are your favourite social media platforms and why?
SR: I think I am most active on Insta although I enjoy Facebook a lot too. The former I use mostly because of my work, and the latter I enjoy to keep in touch with the whole world!
SS: Any suggestions for women who want to get into PR?
SR: It is a great field to be in – especially for women, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! And there is plenty of work to go around – as long as you work honestly and with dedication, the work will come to you itself. Don’t waste time trying to steal anyone’s clients or indulging in negativity!