In addition to the times of the pandemic that we find ourselves in as of this writing, many individuals also claim that we’re living in the time of an ‘infodemic’, where it is becoming increasingly harder and harder for the general masses to distinguish fact from fiction. One of the internet’s founding commercial moments was the complete democratization of the media ecosystem that traditionally consisted (and still does) of Print, TV and Radio. Now all three of them find themselves hosted on internet platforms in myriad forms.
The result being an explosion of content creation by millions of individuals having different thoughts, ideas, beliefs and ideologies.
And this has reflected in the marketing spends and budgets being put up by major consumer brands and start-ups alike. Of course, an ‘infodemic’ does not mean that every publisher of content on the internet needs to be looked at with suspicion, since that’s what we ourselves at Bangalore Insider are doing our best to do. But it means that brands need to build an authentic voice amidst all the clutter and half-truth masquerading on the internet of ours today, and being lapped up by the masses.
Today, at Bangalore Insider we spoke to Ayushi, a freelance Public Relations (PR) professional who’s started to map out the PR landscape, all in a bid to help her client brands make their organic selves evolve in today’s media ecosystem. Below are the excerpts from our interaction.
Please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into the world of PR?
The exploration of endless possibilities in the world has led me to be a Freelance Public Relations Consultant with limitless ideas and strategies for building a brand. With Exclusive communication and people’s skillset as my strong asset, PR is a space that I aim to thrive and be the best at. The PR Industry has me in awe as I have the freedom and an abundance of creativity, ideas, and strategies to ponder over in order to build a brand. It is rightly noticed that I find joy in building brands, being part of their communication team, and watching them eventually acquire success. An experience I find satisfying and in due course rewardful.
Life took sail for me with schooling from Vidya Shilp Academy, to embracing Christ University and being an undergraduate from Jain University in Bangalore. The road to doing my masters from a reputed university is the one I am looking forward to pursuing. Starting from an early age, working and the drive to take steps towards entrepreneurship is something that came to me naturally as I have seen entrepreneurship run in my family as well from my grandfather to my own mom. Stepping into the event management industry in my 2nd year as an undergraduate, I worked with two event management companies that prospected events and activations. In the course of two years of working with them, I gained all-round experience and valuable personal growth.
As a passionate intern and a half-time employee in these companies, I was wholeheartedly happy with what I was doing. At the completion of my graduation, as much as I enjoyed curating and working for events, a thought struck my mind that this isn’t something that I would like to do in the long run. It rightfully felt to me that there were endless opportunities in the world to reach out and explore and so I did. In the span of 4 months and working with 3 different companies later, it gave me clarity on the fields that I definitely did not want to pursue. As Oprah Winfrey states, “working towards being significant” is a mantra I follow towards success.
Life took an alluring turn in the world of PR as I worked with two leading PR Firms. The experience gained during my tenure at these PR Companies had led me towards a grateful love for PR. Although the agency set up felt suppressive to my creative ideas and bound to what my higher up’s had assigned her to take forward, I felt a greater need to change the PR & Communication space as an individual. Along with my optimism, she highly believes in being able to contribute towards a greater change in PR leading to a decision of quitting my comfortable and secure agency job.
As a PR professional what do you think is your biggest strength?
The ability to be patient. This industry as a profession really requires patience and having that is something i’d consider a big strength.
You left your job at such a young age to start your freelancing career. How has been the experience so far?
The experience so far has been great to be honest. It has its highs and lows just as any other business would have but starting freelancing at a young age of 22 did certainly teach me a lot that I don’t think a comfortable and secure agency job would teach me. The journey has also been filled with a lot of knowledge and learning that I have been fortunate to receive while working with some of my clients who have really taught me a lot across different industries. Each client has taught me something new and I enjoy this process of being able to learn new things.
What is the one thing you like more about freelancing than working for a company?
The freedom to ideate, execute exactly what you’re thinking without others telling you what to do. The freedom to be creative and not restricted and also being able to do things at my own pace.
Are your clients from multiple domains (like real estate, ecommerce) or you only cater to a fixed set of domains?
No, I don’t have clients in a fixed domain. In the last 3 years of freelancing, I have serviced about 28 brands. Some on retainers and some even as projects. These clients range from the F&B industry, Home Décor, Fashion & lifestyle, Real estate, Skincare, Travel & Hospitality, Fitness, Salon.
How do you decide that you would want to take up a client? I mean what makes you decide that you would like to work with the company/brand and present it to the world?
The story that the brand has to tell me is one thing that is very important. Because only when a brand’s story is something interesting does it really make it more interesting to come up with creative ideas as to how one can contribute in growing a brand. Knowing what really sets them apart and makes them unique is something that really matters to me and also something that I find myself most often giving a lot of importance towards.
The other thing is really understanding how well the client and I understand each other and our wavelengths matching. If we are going to be working on one brand our ideas and synergies definitely need to find a common meeting point and that’s another thing that’s also super important for me.
How does a typical day look like for you? Tell us your schedule from the morning till the time you hit the sack.
A typical day for me starts with my morning work out followed by breakfast and tracking the papers and getting familiar with the news. I then start with planning my day and all the things that need to be completed before I call it a day. I then also inform and brief my team of the responsibilities they have. A lot of my day goes with me being very involved in the laptop and phone as most of my work usually requires a lot of the laptop and phone being used. In the evening I end a long and tiring day by unwinding with my pet, cooking sometimes and just binge watching on some netflix shows before going to bed which again isn’t late as I wake up early.
Freelancing can be really challenging at times due to multiple clients and fixed timelines. How do you keep yourself stress free?
Yes, sometimes freelancing/consulting can be extremely challenging with multiple clients, fixed timelines and different expectations from different clients. But the most important thing that we freelancers need to remember is that we can never battle this stress if we don’t give ourselves a breather. Sometimes when the stress really gets to me and I think I need a quick break traveling and going away from the busy city work life is my best escape that really has me come back completely fresh and ready to take on everything I need too with the same enthusiasm.
Any advice you would like to give to people who might be on the edge regarding starting their own freelancing PR career.
I would always love to motivate people to do what is best going to help them grow on their journey be it personal or professional. With personal experience I can say that I was glad I made the decision to start freelancing at 22 because this pathway of 3 years has only helped me grow in both ways. My advice to people who might be on the edge of starting their own freelance career would be ” Know where you want your dreams to take you. The people you want to meet, the relationships you want to build and the things you want to accomplish. When forks in the road appear, use clarity as your compass to decide which direction to go”. There are going to be times things don’t work the way you may want it to and at that time ACCEPT IT and MOVE ON.
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