Name: Darain Faraz
Job title: Head of Global Consumer Communications
Did you go to university?
I studied Media & Psychology at Trinity & All Saints College (University of Leeds). I originally had my heart set on becoming a psychologist, but it was about half way through my first semester that I realised my real passion was in the media space.
it was a great place to cut my comms teeth – we did everything from crisis PR for “incidents” at their nightclubs to national consumer PR
What was your first job in PR?
I was an account executive at a small PR agency in Milton Keynes called CJPR. Our largest client was First Leisure Corporation; it was a great place to cut my comms teeth – we did everything from crisis PR for “incidents” at their nightclubs to national consumer PR when they had PA’s appearing at their venues. A particular highlight was meeting Jason Donovan and Dannii Minogue within weeks of each other. Quite the coup given the Aussie soap junkie I once was!
How did you get from there to your current role?
A bit of luck, dogged determination and shameless networking!
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I lead on the development of LinkedIn’s global consumer PR and social initiatives. My job is the envy of many a friend; I could be in Milan one week opening our new LinkedIn office, in New York the next working with our latest influencer (we signed up Gwen Stefani quite recently) or working closely with our global teams on the evolution of award-winning campaigns like Bring In Your Parents Day.
What do you like most about working in PR?
No two days are ever the same.
What’s the hardest thing about working in PR?
The fact that we still haven’t cracked the measurement piece in PR remains a perennial frustration.
Her gutsy approach to marketing remains an inspiration to this day.
Who is your PR inspiration?
I’m fortunate enough to have had a string of excellent role models throughout my career, but one that stands out is Rebekah Horne – my former boss at Fox Interactive Media/MySpace in Australia. She plucked me from a boutique PR agency and and took a chance on me. Her gutsy approach to marketing remains an inspiration to this day.
Its PR not ER!
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
“Its PR not ER!” from aforementioned Rebekah. This has remained with me since then… we’re not saving lives here! Unless of course you work for Medecins Sans Frontieres (or such like) but I think it’s safe to say most of us are not and it helps to keep some perspective.
Which PR blogs, news sites and websites do you read?
Unsurprisingly, much of the professional content I read is consumed on LinkedIn itself. By following particular industries on the platform my newsfeed has become a personalised trade newsletter. I also follow various industry folk and bodies on Twitter too.
What are your tips for aspiring PRs?
Communications is a people focused industry, so my advice for aspiring PRs is to make the most of their networks whether it be for career growth, finding their first job or forming new relationships. LinkedIn can be a great way to do this and help our industry stay connected. Here are 3 of my top tips:
- Raise your profile. The more complete your LinkedIn profile, the easier it will be for potential employers to find you through search engines – so make yourself visible and your interest in PR clear.
- Meet a mentor. LinkedIn is a great way to research and even find a mentor in our industry. You can use the platform to check out the people already doing your dream job and see how they got there to map out the next steps in your own career and talk to them about your development.
- Engage with your industry. Joining Groups related to PR or the companies you are interested in working for is great way to make new connections and get inspiration. Whether these connections give you some valuable advice or end up hiring you, having a wide and diverse group will serve you well.