Farzana Baduel is the founder and CEO of Curzon PR. She has contributed to publications including The Guardian, Al Jazeera and Business Today, where she wrote on PR, soft power initiatives and country branding for international media outlets. She currently serves on the board of CARE, Pakistan’s largest educational NGO and Youth Music Theatre UK. Farzana kindly agreed to give career advice to PR students, answering Four PR Questions.
MK: What was your way to the industry?
FB: As a member of the Conservative Party I was appointed the Vice Chair of Conservative Business Relations , my role was to promote the party within the business community. This provided a real insight into public relations, about perceptions, campaigns, events and fundraising. I discovered a real passion for PR and this eventually led me to establish Curzon PR in 2009.
What piece of advice, regarding career, would you give your 20-year-old-self?
Networking is essential. Whether that is through joining an industry body to develop your knowledge and insight, or taking advantage of social media to build connections. Don’t just read about the industry leaders. Follow them on social platforms for inspiration and build a community whereby you can develop relationships with trusted associates within the industry. Remember, learning does not stop when you leave university. It should be a lifelong quest for self improvement. Follow your passion and do not waste time in an industry that does not inspire, excite and challenge you.
Don’t just read about the industry leaders. Follow them on social platforms for inspiration and build a community.
How can PR graduates take advantage of the social and digital platforms, in order to gain attention of the agencies and other potential employers?
Follow the key people within the agency, as well as the brand, on their social media platforms. By doing this you’re developing a more personable relationship with a specific person in the company who will be more likely to remember you.
Find out who the decision makers are and engage with them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Reach out to them for guest blogs or interviews on your own blog which shows initiative and strategic thinking. It’s also important to be consistent in your engagement. Relationships, both online and offline, are built over time and with consistency.
Find out who the decision makers are and engage with them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Reach out to them for guest blogs or interviews on your own blog which shows initiative and strategic thinking.
What is the most undiscovered area in the industry that could be used as a dissertation topic?
The intersection of SEO and media relations campaigns that can drive online lead generation. As digital capabilities continue to develop these paths will continue to cross. PR revolves around producing quality content and developing strong relations, and Google prioritises well written content, so the ideals behind PR and SEO work well together and is sure to develop.
Four PR Questions (#4PRQs) 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!