PR, an exciting avenue for new graduates

Dubai - A successful PR professional needs to be creative at writing, coming up with a new approach to an old idea, or finding ways to attract new customers


Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Sat 5 Aug 2017, 10:09 PM

Last updated: Sun 6 Aug 2017, 12:11 AM

With the growth of public relations (PR) in the country, many young people continue to choose the field even after graduating with a different degree.
Israa Jaser started working at the Sharjah-based National Network Communication (NNC) while she was still studying marketing at Al Dar University College.
"I found that PR is similar to my major and working in it gave me the practical work experience that complimented the theories we study," said Jaser. She says it has taught her communication skills, patience, time management, and meeting deadlines. Although it can be stressful, she says the environment and friendliness of her colleagues makes it a rewarding experience.
"I never felt that am working just because I have to. My colleagues and coworkers are like my second family now and I have to give my best for them," she said.
Farah Nadim graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a Bachelor's degree in International Relations, but looked towards PR after a lack of job opportunities in her field of specialisation. She has been interning with Impact Porter Novelli, though she never imagined she would get into PR. "It was the only opportunity I got at the time, but it helped me develop the skills I need to pursue my career later in life," said Nadim, who also minored in Mass Communications.
Media relations, she said, helped her develop communication and social skills, presenting her with new challenges. "I enjoy working on projects that involve influencers or celebrities, since it is challenging to persuade them to join a certain brand," noted Nadim. She added that working in PR has increased her chances in the job market.
Echoing similar thoughts is Farah Al-Obaidi, head of the Media Relations Department at Sahara Communications, who said the PR industry in UAE is a very interactive field for beginners and fresh graduates, teaching them a wide range of skills. "The UAE is a target for big companies and professionals searching for new markets and new opportunities, which gives us better exposure," Al-Obaidi said.
Many of the companies operating here have an international focus and therefore, as a young PR practitioner here in UAE, she was required to communicate regionally and internationally with different media. "It gave me a great opportunity to build a good future career path and increase my expertise in the PR industry, with the ability to grow and occupy high levels of responsibility in my company," said Al-Obaidi.
A successful PR professional, she said, needs to be creative at writing, coming up with a new approach to an old idea, or finding ways to attract new customers. "It is important that you have at least a basic knowledge of how to manipulate various types of media. You may not be a blogger, but familiarity with where and how to post a blog is greatly beneficial," she said.

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