Agency Profile: Ariff Communications

Agency Profile: Ariff Communications

What services does Ariff Communications offer?
Our comprehensive services include PR, crisis communications, content marketing, social media management, SEO, email marketing, website analytics and digital advertising.

Our belief is that PR should be holistic, integrated, modern, progressive, and data-driven while utilising all the latest digital tools to work together in harmony and help any business or brand succeed in the digital era. At Ariff Communications, we mix PR and digital marketing talents with creative storytelling to deliver the best results for any business.

Where does Ariff Communications have an office?
Our office is located at: The Hub SS2, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Due to the movement restrictions in KL and Selangor, all of us are working from home.
Do you have a particular area of focus?
Our clientele are quite diverse and there’s no industry that we have not had experience handling. From tech to lifestyle, from FMCG to hospitality and investment banks, we’re a jack of all trades.

I think this is down to the fact that we have worked with various types of clients from various industries and this has allowed us to be well-informed and ready to meet the needs of any industry.

At the heart of it, all of us at Ariff Communications enjoy telling stories, which is a crucial skill in PR. No matter what industry our clients are in, we enjoy unearthing those stories, and at the broader level, delivering those stories to the right audiences and by doing so join conversations, especially tough conversations to maybe even change minds.

Who is the founder?
Our founder, Aisya Hanem was originally from the fashion industry prior to her career change to Public Relations.

She presented two collections respectively in 2009 and 2010 at the prestigious Malaysian International Fashion Week (M-iFW). Aisya was also selected as one of the Top 10 Designers to watch in 2010 by Gillian Hung, well known fashion industry expert. In 2011, she was featured by Dato' Bernard Chandran during an exhibition in-conjunction with M-iFW. 

Having exhausted the fashion industry, Aisya started her PR career in Hill+Knowlton Strategies, an International PR agency and it was here that she found her true calling. At Hill+Knowlton Strategies, she truly grew into her own, dealing with clients as far ranging as technology, consumer lifestyle and corporate communications. Aisya moved to a Singapore-based independent agency with a Malaysia office, Vibes Communications in which she really got to hone in on her PR skills and had more say in the decision-making side of big campaigns.

Why did she start Ariff Communications?
Aisya has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. After spending a few years in the workforce, it was natural for her to come out on her own. Having 12 years' worth of experience in marketing and PR, it was fitting for her to launch Ariff Communications.

Her professionalism and colourful character gives her the opportunity to develop and maintain good relationships with just about anyone. Along with a team from various backgrounds in advertising, IT, creatives and marketing, she knew Ariff Communications would grow into one of the leading independent PR agencies in Malaysia.

Tell us about the leadership team.
Our leadership team is composed of senior-level public relations consultants from various agency backgrounds with editorial and creative skills built over years of delivering PR services to top businesses and brands, from high-growth brands to early-stage companies.

What is next for Ariff Communications? What is your five-year goal?
Our five-year goal is to have a greater footprint in South East Asia especially Indonesia. It’s a huge and fascinating market, and obviously we have a lot more similarities than we have differences. Sharing a common language is a plus point and I think there’s a lot of opportunities that can be tapped into.

In a sentence, describe your ideal relationship with a journalist.
The ideal relationship with a journalist revolves around a mutual understanding that benefits both our roles as communications professionals and media personnel. For example, pitching the right stories to the right journalists and being genuinely interested in the journalist’s writing or content. This trust is important to ensure a healthy relationship that will last a long time.

Tell us about a campaign you are currently working on or are particularly proud of?
There are too many to count, but anything that accomplishes our client’s objectives is something we’re particularly proud of (and relieved!). For example, if our content articles help our investment bank client to gain more investors or if our media relations efforts help our client sell thousands of smartphones, that feeling is priceless.

Any key PR trends your agency is keeping an eye on?
Stories based on data - as they say it is the new oil. But data is just a collection of numbers until you turn it into a compelling story. Showing reports and dashboards can be overwhelming without adding a narrative to the data. Any great insight explains what happened, why it is important and how you can use it to turn it into something actionable

There’s a lot of hunger right now for data-driven stories. Telling a great data-driven story can be useful for both stakeholders and customers and can drive better decision-making within an organisation and also drive conversions with customers.

What skillsets do you look for in new hires?
An insatiable curiosity is necessary because you’ll need to fall in love with the brands and businesses that you’ll be working with, no matter which industry they’re in.

On top of having great writing skills, soft skills are important to foster relationships with various parties, like your colleagues, the media, and delivering and pitching ideas to clients. It is also crucial in project management where you will have to inevitably interact with other people.

Creativity is another important skill to have as a publicist. We are constantly brainstorming ideas to drive our PR campaigns especially now we are focusing on digital campaigns.

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