Monday, April 15, 2024

Sheikh Harris Javaid’ A Communications Expert Contributing Towards Media Industry

The digital media and communication industry is excelling in Pakistan where many Pakistanis are behind the success of this industry. The significance of media, PR, and communication is highlighted by Startup Pakistan; however, we have conducted an interview with an emerging personality in this field, Mr. Sheikh Harris Javaid.

Many people in Pakistan have their interest in the field of digital media and communication but they always require a proper guideline as to which academic education they should opt to enter and excel in this field; meanwhile, Harris has shared his educational background along with his career achievements, challenges, and journey, that might help many to join this digital media industry.

Educational Background

According to Mr. Harris, “I’ve always believed in an education which is based in and out of institutions, not just in the classrooms. Practical learning helps you understand those words mentioned in your coursework. I’ve started my Bachelors in 2012 from Greenwich University, didn’t know what my majors would be at that time, but I always had an inclination towards marketing.”

He further added that “With time and the moving industrial developments, I form an interest into Film Making and end up doing majors in Film Production. Took a long break from institutional learning and geared my boat into the practical world until recently in 2019, I’ve started my MS (Masters in Sciences) from Greenwich University only in Advertising which is completed early this year”.

Corporate Career and Achievements

Harris officially started his career in the last semester of his Bachelor’s (in 2015) as a journalist, Sub Editor, at The Express Tribune, one of the leading English papers in the country. However, according to him, he can’t ignore the learning and earnings he had before starting official.

He had worked for Radio Station for few months to learn; meanwhile, he worked with different activation agencies, spent time at BTLs while he was doing his studies. His two and half year’s period at the Express Tribune changed his perspective towards many things like Information manipulation, reporting ethics, media landscape is all out there.

Before quitting ET and moving to a corporate world he spent a year or so in ET’s creative department polishing his skills with his educational degree. He was a video director at ET’s creative department, did some visual magic for the digital wing of the newspaper also.

Harris later on joined TPL Trakker also known to people as TPL Holdings later turned into TPL Corp that is a conglomerate running multiple companies under one umbrella. This opportunity was a conversion point in his career to the comms (Communication) world.

The IoT (Internet of Things) based company gave him a chance to learn from their corporate culture, how they communicate and when they communicate while using his skills and expertise that he had from the media world.

According to Harris, “Working as a Senior Communication and PR executive I’ve taken the knowledge what brand needs and how media can provide but the only missing link in between was who will liaise between these two verticals and that’s where my next journey started joining a Public Relations Firm – Talking Point.”

The experience of working in various organizations has helped him achieved the position where he is today. His knowledge, experience, and skills have made him more confident and enthusiastic in his field.

Corporate Challenges

Upon asking a question, “Did you face any major challenges during your career shift from journalism to corporate communication and PR?”

Harris stated that “You’ll only face challenges if you are not ready to start new beginnings, or you have a fixated mindset of knowing it all. You are always learning with every step of your life. I’ve only taken one challenge with myself, I have to learn every vertical in this interlinked field to understand the complete system.”

Valuable Insights of PR for the Betterment of Youth

Harris shared the valuable insights of PR for the betterment of our youth or the ones who are looking forward to joining this field.

“Public Relations and Communication is not just a field, it’s an art. As a PR expert, you are in a position where you need to charm the public to convince them that your client is indeed amazing — and that alone should be enough to define PR as an art. Because you can’t learn, how to be charismatic?. But what you can learn is equip yourself with knowledge, understanding, learning to support and develop your personality.”

He quoted Michael Turney here a fellow PR expert from the industry, “PR deals with people where they need to build relationships with the public and create feelings within their audience which means that it will always be an art. The more sophisticated, more experienced, and more human its practitioners become, the more artistic, elegant, and effective its practice will be”.

This media expert suggested our youth to learn, research, and work on self-development. No institute, No workplace, No mentor can teach you what you can learn for yourself through reading yourself for your own development. Look for contemporary solutions for old problems and you’ll become relevant in any field.

Requirement of Domestic or International Online Certifications

Harris has completed and achieved many certifications in his field; however, he was asked to share the benefits of these domestic or international online certifications for the people who are working in Pakistan in the relevant field.

He mentioned that “hunt for knowledge is important it equips with new learning. I’ve done multiple certificates, from North Western University to Saint Petersburg University Russia, from Reuters to Linkedin. What matters the most is the knowledge you took out of those courses. It gives you confidence in everyday work, you do it more efficiently, you do it with better understanding, you do things new-way, you are knowledge equipped.”

He further added, “Coming back to your question is it relevant in Pakistan or not? Yes! It’s relevant anywhere in the world, every organization wants to have someone with little extra skill and knowledge that can bring smart solutions to old problems.”

Mehjabeen Qasim
Mehjabeen Qasim
Business Journalist at Startup Pakistan

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