My today’s #4PRQs (Four PR Questions) interviewee is a journalist, author, and corporate communications and reputation manager in Arabian Peninsula at Procter & Gamble — Alex Malouf. “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and don’t stop studying once you graduate,” advises Alex.
MK: What was your way to the industry?
AM: I started out as a journalist who asked far too many awkward questions. I was then offered the chance to do the same on the agency side! I’m still asking lots of difficult questions today. For me, the move into communications was a natural career choice after working as a journalist. Our job is about being able to tell a story on a topic that our audience should be interested in. We have to bring stories to life, through any media, to engage and inspire, to shift mindsets, attitudes and behaviours. That’s what I love doing.
What piece of advice, regarding career, would you give your 20-year-old-self?
Explore, try as many different intern roles as possible before settling on one that you most enjoy, and keep on learning from others, through networking, mentoring and volunteering. The more you try your hand to, the better placed you will be to know what you want to do and why you want to do it. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and don’t stop studying once you graduate. I’m learning more about what we do today thanks to technology than I’ve ever been able to do previously.
The more you try your hand to, the better placed you will be to know what you want to do and why you want to do it.
How can PR graduates take advantage of the social and digital platforms, in order to gain attention of the agencies and other potential employers?
The first simple answer is to engage with others online, through associations or directly with organizations and individuals who you are interested in. Ask them for advice and input. You’ll be surprised how many people respond positively. And, if you don’t want to reach out, just listen. I really enjoy reading other online comments from thought leaders in our industry. Soak up that information, and impress your next employer when you’re up for your next interview.
Engage with others online, through associations or directly with organizations and individuals who you are interested in. Ask them for advice and input.
What is the most undiscovered area in the industry that could be used as a dissertation topic?
Obviously social media is a huge topic that still needs further research. I’d love to understand how technology is changing how digital natives (and other generations) interact, especially on a local level. There’s also dark social, the likes of WhatsApp and Telegram, and the importance of these communications channels to the public (few brands understand well how to use dark social). Whatever you choose, make sure that you enjoy your area of research and that it’s clearly thought out.
Make sure you follow Alex on Twitter.
#4PRQs (Four PR Questions) is a weekly series on the blog. I am on the mission to help PR graduates (including myself) make right decisions about their future careers, by asking industry leaders for an advice.
Would you like to give me a feedback or feature in the series? Drop me a line to kl.marcel [at] gmail.com or tweet me @marcelkl. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!