My journey and how it started
As a fresh graduate, I applied for jobs and started off as an entry-level PR associate. My first job was with a reputed PR firm company in India. I entered the industry without any real-time experience, like most of the freshers. My day-to-day schedule revolved around coverage reports and email pitches.
At that point, did I really know what I wanted to achieve? To be honest, at that point, I only knew that I had to survive the daily challenges. I did not want to dive deep into the process of getting tasks fulfilled and the art and craft behind it. My professional seniors did teach me – but then, it was up to me to understand and learn, and I had to learn from scratch.
Today, after seven years in the industry, I would confidently say that the base of my everyday work and even annual planning and strategies boils down to the human aspect of them. Be it working in a team, client interactions, or media relations – every association, every assignment is different and has its own traits. So how do you master things? With the combination of industry knowledge and being empathetic. That is what makes you succeed and feel happy about what you are doing and where you want to be.
How to keep going?
Following are three main ingredients that helped me in some way or the other to stay motivated and happy along my journey:
1) Get inspired to do your best: I derive inspiration from Ted Talks. I listen to people around me and try to learn from their experiences. This way, even small daily interactions become a source of endless motivation. One name I would like to mention here, is Spark Makki, the Head of Corporate Communications at Cicero & Bernay. I maintain a notebook and have sticky notes around at my workstation where I jot down one-liners that keep me going.
2) Read up to expand your skills: I could be literally reading a billboard or be totally engaged in reading the news. Keeping myself upto date and also ensuring I catch up on what I like (including recipes to pass on to my husband), makes me feel on the top of the things and helps me keep up my spirits. It also equips me with necessary knowledge and hence I can engage in conversations on various topics.
3) Have discussions with your peers: I am a true believer of team work. Whenever I have been interviewed for a job – having an empowering team has been my main ask. Be it agreements to disagreements, or a morning dose of positivity that I share with my colleagues Ahmed Malik and Ahamed Nazwan – I feel blessed to be surrounded by amazing people who share similar thoughts and keep me motivated.
That being said, working in the PR sector in Dubai amid the digital revolution that is taking place at the speed of light and the constantly changing demands of stakeholders, it all boils down to being human and trusting your instincts.
Lovelyn Rodrigues is Senior Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me