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International exchange programme – Arwa Hussain

Arwa Hussain, senior Vice President at Adfactors PR, Mumbai,  recently joined Lansons as part of an international exchange programme. Mumbai

Adfactors PR is India’s largest PR firm in terms of revenue and is ranked in the top 10 agencies in Asia (Holmes Report). Adfactors PR specialises in banking and financial services, manufacturing, energy and natural resources, transportation and logistics.

Arwa has worked in communications for over a decade and began her career as a journalist. Leading a financial services practice group, she advises major organisations such as Citibank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Aviva.

Arwa’s story with Lansons….

Lansons, London and me
For the last couple of months, my life as a PR professional had become absolutely mundane. There were not enough challenges or new peaks to conquer, all aspects of communications had become so routine that I was finding it exceedingly hard to motivate myself.
I approached my boss and told him that I badly needed to inject some measure of excitement back in my work, he suggested a two-week secondment at Lansons. As I knew of Lansons as a specialist in financial services, being my favoured domain, I was hooked.
That’s how I landed up in London, all excited and eager to savour the experience. I was surprised by my own excitement levels. I had crystal-clear objectives and was keen to bring back the best practices from a matured market to my work at Adfactors PR.

The Lansons Experience

I learnt from every individual that I met – from the CEO to the trainees, working closely with Valentina and Kapil. The warmth and generosity extended by each person was brilliant. I would rate my meeting with the firm’s Chairperson, Clare Parsons, as simply outstanding. Her commitment in sharing diverse learnings about various facets of Lansons’ work was beyond my expectations. I could ask her anything about the firm’s work and she would either explain it herself or arrange for me to sit down with relevant individuals. I felt as though I was a part of the Lansons family.

Lessons at Lansons
Monday morning download is a discussion on major events and developments that took place over the weekend. A simple yet effective idea I admire.
Lansons core concepts – breaking silos, a rather bold approach. The concept provided me with so many learnings – from providing space for every individual’s growth in my team, to managing needs of young professionals.
Up skilling: While every firm believes in conducting training programmes for employees, the breadth of training at Lansons was on a different level. The training sessions were so well thought-out and planned to perfection. In a short stint, I went through training on how to network, and why one should know about the new Defamation Act. The list was endless.
Lansons events – as one of UK’s leading PR firms, Lansons ensures that it is part of every new development that may impact the financial services and communication industry. I attended an event on content marketing that opened up a whole new line of thinking for me.

Trip Highlight

As part of my schedule, I was to present a session on case studies, discussing the Indian media landscape. I realised the extent of ‘knowledge sharing’ within Lansons. Team members were generous and wanted knowledge to flow freely. Though still in London, I eagerly looked forward to my team in India inculcating the same practice.

Lansons is an agency with an enviable track record and very ambitious about the future. By participating in this exchange programme, I realise this will be more than a one-off event. Furthermore, it is the beginning of an exchange of ideas that will continue from my career.

Lansons and Adfactors PR are both members of PROI Worldwide, the world’s largest network of independent agencies.