PR World Congress comes to Dubai


Diva just got an invite to the PR World Congress….normally I would not be so bothered about it as I have done enough courses and attended enough PR conferences to date but this particular one features speakers I know very well or admire, including the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia (Anwar Ibrahim) whose house I used to go to to break fast as an International IIU student. I used to love dinners with him and listening to him talk to us young things, telling us we were the future leaders of the Muslim world and we could do great things if we followed our heart. He was very hands on as our patron and took great care of us during the month of Ramadan when we were away from family so dinners at his home was always a regular for expat students.

I must say while I love my life the way it is, I don’t think I’ve done justice in doing things the way he as our University patron would have wanted me to do. I was one of the first PR graduates to work in the UAE beginning of 2000 when the industry was just blossoming here and most of my colleagues were marketing people taking on PR as an added extra. Thankfully UAE has matured tremendously since and PR is an industry in its own right and may I add one of the most successful one at this point in time. Hence my regret that I don’t do enough for this discipline that I love and keep wasting my time in areas that get me nowhere.

So all the prep talks we received from Encik Anwar Ibrahim on being the best in the disciplines we were studying for did sink in but I wish I had taken action and focussed on my talent and dreams more instead of being distracted along the way. It is fine and well to live someone else’s dream or do things they feel you are good at but essentially at some stage you need to take a call and focus on the work that you are cut out to do and excel in.

Nonetheless, I am thrilled about the congress. As a publicity chick perhaps I am a little bias, but I’m always so pleased to read that top-level industry leaders are endorsing public relations as one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Its about time people noticed and respected our work.

PR is incredibly powerful because of the highly trusted third-party endorsements of media organisations of stories that make a difference – in my opinion, you just can’t beat it. For now, I hope I get to attend some of the congress. The last time I tried attending something of significance like this, I was slumbered at my desk doing stuff I should not have been doing in any event so the episode left diva not very impressed. There is a reason why we have support staff to do the mundane stuff. This time round the world can go to pot as my 2012 resolution is to do what I love and PR is my first love above everyone and everything else!

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