With the intention to recognize an influencer within the company every month, MSLGROUP Social Hive handpicked associate account director Rashi Oberoi to kick-start this initiative. Apart from her charming smile, this National College alumnus has an interesting story to share. An expert in the public relations sector, Rashi has spearheaded some exciting and challenging PR campaigns which took off to success. A quick chat with the pretty lady reveals more about her voyage:
What skewed your direction towards public relations?
Graduating in Communication (BMM) left me amazed with this newly discovered world and boosted my confidence to embrace it. Well, the course also left me highly confused about what I should take up since I couldn’t figure out what I was actually great at.
In short, I was clueless about my career. Initially, I joined my friends in taking up a job at a marketing firm, where it was more about partying and less working. Eight months with the firm and I was having lots of fun, but it didn’t reap a learning, so I decided to switch. In the meantime, some other friends were strolling in and around PR, and I decided to give it a shot. Nine years hence, I can’t seem to get rid of this sector.
Was there any other inspiration apart from your friends?
Going by the eight month stint at the marketing firm, I just wanted to have a job that made sense. Also, I had heard so much about agency culture so it was more about venturing into the culture and being a part of some ‘cool ‘ planners.
When did you join MSLGROUP?
I joined this company in May 2011 as a senior account manager for Lifestyle, Consumer and M&E vertical, and I still feel like a newcomer. Also going by the trend in the company, where-in most people have been here since adam found his apple, I feel like I have just stepped in.
Tell us about your days here and how you’ve grown within the organization over the last three years.
The journey through MSLGROUP has been very exciting since day-one. What’s catchy about MSLGROUP is that the ones who’ve spent a good number of years in this company have got this immense opportunity to evolve with the organization while trying their hands at other areas in the communication spectrum.
Today, I can proudly say that almost all of us do so much more than PR for our clients which transcends across influencer engagements, collaborations, marketing tie-ups, digital outreach and so on. This in itself has ensured that motivation levels are at an all-time high, as each day people do something outside of their comfort zone, and in turn their overall learning is massive.
In terms of growth, I believe that we are in a field where ‘People’ are our assets. So if each day I am able to work on something new, with new people and bring forth new ideas that inspire all of us and make us believe that we are doing something meaningful here, the growth is immeasurable.
Take us through your journey in the public relations world.
I started my journey in PR with Perfect Relations, which served as the grounding platform for me to learn the tricks of the trade. The learning was enormous and I won the opportunity to work for some of the biggest music, sports and entertainment events and brands in the country.
Later, I was also associated with Kolkata Knight Riders for an IPL season and then tried my luck at mar-com at HDFC Ltd. After spending two years on the other side, I realized I wasn’t meant to be with the corporate world. Why? I found it extremely slow, stagnating and bureaucratic. It’s everything an agency is not! So, I jumped back and was lucky to find a spot at Hanmer (now MSLGROUP).
What are the challenges you’ve had to face to wade through this ocean of public relations? Share your learnings with us.
I think the biggest challenge one faces while in PR is to be able to manage themselves around different kinds of people. It is critical to be patient and most importantly trust others around you. If you are not a people’s person, or generally cannot manage to evaluate others’ expectations; it is a tough road ahead. And you don’t necessarily need to be a social butterfly. Try and be a good listener and genuinely thinking of others’ interest along with yours, is the best way to keep most challenges at bay!
Name a couple of your favourite campaigns of which you were the mastermind.
I wouldn’t like to call myself the mastermind as every brilliant campaign has the sweat and blood of multiple team members. Some of my favourite campaigns — The James Bond Festival on Star Movies, for which the team bagged three international awards in 2012; The MasterChef Australia campaign , for which we partnered with other MSLGROUP clients as well as media to create multiple city events, where-in not a single rupee was exchanged and the impact was just brilliant! Also, we recently did a barter campaign with Mandira Bedi for Singapore Tourism Board, which again was done through a barter deal, was extremely creative and impactful.
Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
Aarrghh! I hate this question. I don’t know and I don’t like to think about it either. I find it extremely boring to have set goals. While it is important to track your growth and have a vision, I think setting an aim makes you lose focus somehow. So hopefully, in five years while I do not know what I would be doing, I hope I continue to have all the friends I have made so far, while working in this great place and industry! Importantly, I hope I am able to significantly contribute to the sector so that it becomes a little more valued and understood than it is currently.
And how would you like to make this contribution?
The global leaders at MSLGROUP are already making significant and landmark contributions by introducing award winning, creative and strategic services that are elevating brand marketing to the next level. I’d like to get more involved with such teams, contribute and lend to new thought leadership in this industry. So hopefully, I will get more chances to learn and work with such leaders as well as the millenials who are buzzing with ideas and creativity to optimize my contribution.
What’s your message to the millennials joining MSLGROUP?
Enjoy the work you do every day (some days it’s really hard, but try). Make lots of friends, because that’s what makes work even more interesting. And step out of the box. We have some amazing case studies on Noovoo that are so inspiring and which can be totally adopted for your clients. So make use of it.
As told to Suezelle D’Costa, senior account executive, MSLGROUP Social Hive.