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Ad land’s Young Guns: Simone Pious, Weber Shandwick

Many consider Public Relations to be a rather stressful and demanding profession, however after six years in the industry, Simone Pious believes that PR is her happy place. It is one thing she really finds herself good with. This young PR executive with Weber Shandwick feels that building relationships is an art and not many are good at it. Creating a strong bond through just content requires talent and most of all standing out from the rest needs thinking that goes beyond boundaries. 

While Pious might not there yet, but she is getting there. Through the years, she has learnt that the PR industry has so much to offer and the learning here never stops. This is what keeps her in constant admiration of the industry, knowing that by just being here she can keep improvising and seeing an enriched version of herself every day. 

Read more: Ad land’s Young Guns: Nabil Kureshi, Gozoop

How did you get into the role you are serving?
Communication is something I have been passionate about since I was a little girl. After exploring an alternate profession for a few months with little interest, I decided to venture into public relations and see if it worked better for me. I think that was one of the best decisions of my life. I have always wanted to end up in a profession that grants me the opportunity to use my strengths, work on my weaknesses, while making the entire process an enjoyable and memorable one. I believe if you are certain about what you are looking for; you will find a way to reach there. Today, I can happily say that my role at Weber Shandwick has landed me exactly where I wanted to be and I do look forward for the experiences to come. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Through the years in this industry, I have been fortunate enough to get the chance to work with some of the best professionals across the agencies I have worked with as well as the clients I have serviced. The ups and mostly the downs have taught me to be strong and calm in the most pressured situations. My ability to shrug away anxiety in crises and think strategically with a calm mind has particularly been helpful to me in the course of my career. Also, working in diverse sectors has granted me exposure to different kinds of people. I do take pride in my ability to develop a very good professional bond with media and clients alike in a short span of time. 

How did Weber Shandwick come about?
I got referred to Weber Shandwick by one of my colleagues who had worked very closely with me earlier. Led by some of the most talented professionals in the industry, I found Weber Shandwick to echo my professional aspirations of being in an environment that is conducive to learning and growing. I was certain that working with Weber Shandwick would help me to realise my potential and grant me the exposure, which would be particularly beneficial to my overall growth. It has been over six months and the positive environment, friendly colleagues and incredible learning has only made me more certain about my decision of working here. 

Icons in this field you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
In a creative industry like ours, almost every second person you bump into is an icon in his or her own right and there is so much to learn from everyone. My constant source of advice and my role model over the years has been Dipti Agarwal, who is now with Pitchfork Partners. I met her at MSLGroup, now MSL, back in 2015. She has always encouraged me to learn to be independent and look for solutions myself before depending on anyone else. She has also advised me to keep introspecting to improve and keep getting better. Whenever in doubt, I know she is just a call away. Her guidance and encouragement has shaped me the way I am today. 

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
On a daily basis, I ensure I keep myself updated on the current events across industries, especially pertaining to the clients I cater to, indulge in good reading material, spend some time creating content and increase productive engagement with media, colleagues, and clients. The most important thing that I do is I see that I am learning something new every day. 

Do you think a career in this field is a viable one in the long term?
Through the years, I have learned that the PR industry has so much to offer everyday and you constantly find yourself growing professionally. It is never really a dull day in the life of a PR professional. You will always have to reinvent and evolve because that is what the industry demands of you. This is what keeps me in constant admiration of PR, knowing that by just being here, I can keep improvising and seeing an enriched version of myself every day. It is certainly an industry I see myself associated with in the long team. 

What does it take to succeed in a career like public relations?
A positive attitude towards work with constant introspection and the eagerness to learn is not something that can be taught, but comes from within. It is undoubtedly the most important requirement to succeed in any career, especially ours that is extremely competitive and ever-evolving. 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Be open to advice – both said and unsaid. The more negative your approach is towards the advice given, the less you will learn and grow. Also, learning doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient with yourself and keep reinventing. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
In a span of five years, I see myself taking on a more leadership role and using my experience and learnings over the years to guide others working with me. 

Is there any organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
As much as I look up to the work done by a number of agencies, the way Weber Shandwick is evolving and the enormous pool of opportunity here, I see myself being associated with this place for a long time.

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