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“Digital-first communication will dominate the PR industry in the upcoming years”

Afreen Choudhury, an Apeejay alumna and PR professional with Adfactors, highlights trends and key aspects in the field of public reactions

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“The first step in achieving anything in life is making up your mind to accomplish it, followed by having the willpower to put up the necessary efforts,” says Afreen Choudhury, an alumna of Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC). The Apeejay alumna is currently working as an Associate Account Executive at Adfactors PR, Bengaluru. The Apeejay alumna is currently employed at Adfactors PR as an Associate Account Executive. This is her first job which she got through the AIMC’s placement cell. She was able to clear the interview on her first attempt.

Born and brought up in the Gateway of Northeast India, a region which is dotted with awe-inspiring natural landscape, the bug to work as a communication professional bit Afreen when she was in her high school.  After completing her masters in English, she then applied for admission to AIMC in 2021. With a certainty  to work in the PR domain, she started to prepare herself to achieve this goal. “I have always believed that if I gave everything I had, I could accomplish anything, ” Afreen emphasised. Read edited excerpts of the interview:

What is the most important aspect of PR?

I believe articulate communication is the most important aspect in PR. Be it my own team or client and even media, on a day-to-day basis, communication is what we have to do. Effective communication requires authenticity, and for that, it has to align with the purpose. Therefore, it is crucial to be clear and concise in all of our communication.

How do you think AIMC prepared you for your professional journey?

At AIMC the teaching methodology is holistic enough to accommodate students from non-journalism backgrounds like myself. I was a blank canvas when I first enrolled at AIMC with no prior knowledge in the field of mass communication. We need practical information in addition to our theoretical knowledge to be industry ready. At AIMC, students are provided with theoretical and practical information, which has aided in my professional growth. I was able to overcome my anxiety of public speaking at that time, thanks to daily group discussions and presentations. My professors and peers at AIMC have always encouraged me and helped me become the person I am today.

The field of public relations has evolved over the years. What are some of the trends in this field that are here to stay?

It’s safe to conclude that the era of merely sending news releases to journalists is over given how the industry has developed. As the field of public relations evolves, experts are being driven to explore different, creative ways to assist their clients. I believe digital-first communication will dominate the PR industry in the upcoming years. There have been many advancement and innovation in the last couple of years on the digital front, with new-age technologies like AI/ML making their way. More direct communication between publicists, brands and their customers will result from the introduction of Web3. One of the fastest avenues for subject matter experts to contact the media will continue to be social media, particularly Twitter and LinkedIn. Publicists will broaden their sphere of influence and establish connections with new platforms and content formats, such as podcasts and newsletters. Owned media will become more essential for brands as they develop their online exposure and presence.

Key tips for aspirants planning to pursue a career in PR

The career of  public relations is dynamic, ever-changing, and never dull or monotonous. One should always have the zeal to learn something new about life at every turn.

1. It is necessary to watch the news every day to stay informed about major world events that have an impact on India’s economy, in addition to becoming more aware of what is going on in the world. 

2. Understanding top trending topics like fintech, cryptocurrencies, ChatGPT etc is going to be useful. 

3. PR is all about relationship building. Building relationships with the media is of the utmost importance. 

4. Hone up your writing skills and give writing contents like press releases, press invites, drafting responses, and articles more consideration. Once you are in the field, all of these tasks will become part of your routine.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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