Though only running for 2 years, Fazz PR and Events has already worked with the UAE elite, become a regular organiser of the Chaand Raat Hungama festival – noted for its multicultural nexus as one of the top ten events of London 2013- and is the first Asian business to voluntarily endorse Macmillan Cancer Support. Faz Zia, the glowing head of the outfit herself, was also recently given the Leadership and Mentoring Award by Hounslow Community Council, out of 4000 potential candidates. But what is the secret to Faz’ new-fangled success? Well, it’s not so much that Fazz PR is actually her second signature business – the first was a profitable, 18-year old beauty company which got her in Glamour Magazine 2002, and eventually onto TV doing her own live shows – as the diverse career experience it represents. Discussing social and personal issues in the studio alongside her more practical, aesthetic efforts in the salon, and later studying film and completing a MBA in business from the London School of Finance, Faz has experienced the very best of many worlds: “There isn’t one aspect of my CV that doesn’t have an intriguing link to another,” she beamed. “That’s why I thrive on the professional platform of PR: it is as important to be broad-minded and understand and grow the brands as well as offering them a list of contacts. It’s a creative business; not a one size fits all. You have to be able to able to draw from yourself and personal dynamism, and connecting with your clients – their personality, mottos and themes - create a grabbing vision that’s at once very new. That applies to the way one approaches any given problem. You should never overly rely on the outside world to define you. Your path is what you can make it – don’t wait too long to figure that out.” Emanating life lessons as well as the sharp industry know-how, Faz really is the genuine PR Guru.
How has your film degree helped you with PR?
I have been on various breakfast and health shows and was really curious to know what was happening behind the camera. In order to put together events you do have to understand the ergonomics of the space you’re working with: for example the event for UAE was a big Bollywood concert with great actor and singer Salman Khan so there were press conferences to factor in as well as other televised components. PR is about knowing the minutiae of potential events. Media and entertainment is a huge part of that.
Yes and Social Media is very important. Do you have any tips for maximising success with this?
Your brand needs to be trustworthy so make sure you remember when you’re posting content. Use it to talk about your current projects and clients - keep the focus on why you’re good. This isn’t the place for random updates about whether or not you have a migraine! You should use it to show how productive you have been; why you’re worth investing in. That’s why I also make sure to have regular photos with me featured: it radiates company confidence. I see some professionals posting images of their handbags, favourite designer labels and even sometimes their feet! That oozes insecurity and goes against the point of the whole medium.
What’s been the most important element to keep in mind with PR?
Company reputation: you need to keep it up because that’s the trade you’re in. If you slip up, it’s hard to get back up.
Why exactly did you choose to switch from the Beauty Business to PR?
My creativity energy for that vocation seemed to naturally come to an end: there was a point where I could close my eyes and be doing someone’s make-up. When you’re not feeling the same level of inspiration anymore, it is time to challenge yourself again and change the environment. PR is an area that asks of my imagination in a bigger way: every day is varied and requires intense strategic focus. You’ve got meetings to organise, sponsorships, raising funds and clever, comprehensive planning. I’m working with the colour of an organisational context. I’m looking forward to seeing where it’ll take me.
What’s a common misconception about PR that simply isn’t true?
That it’s all glamour; it’s not – there’s a lot of hard work involved.
What have been some of your proudest projects to date?
I’m proud of the Macmillan Cancer work because it is pro bono and it’s good to give back to the community. I also tragically lost my mother to cancer so it’s a cause very close to my heart. The Salman Khan event also stays with me because it was in commemoration of the National Day of UAE and it was thrilling to see it such a success. It was a very vibrant event with bits red, white, green and black.
Finally, do you have a motto that keeps you going?
Just that you need to keep going: don’t hold onto the negativity. Become a positive resource for yourself.