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Q&A with Aneela Ashraf, PR & Outreach Lead


Blog Article

We sat down with Aneela Ashraf, our new Digital PR and Outreach Lead, to get to know a bit about her, her career, and what she does when she’s not managing PR and Outreach campaigns for clients.

Tell us a bit about you

After leaving University graduating in a Fashion discipline in 2016, I wanted to pursue a career related to Fashion Marketing and PR. However, with a bad internship experience I wasn’t sure it was the right path. 

I continued exploring different marketing roles in agencies, from social media, to events and eventually landing back into more traditional PR and content roles in a fashion brand.

How did you get into the industry? What drew you to Digital PR and Outreach?

After my final attempt at working in my “dream” career in traditional fashion PR, I decided to go back into an agency environment, beginning my journey with Edit in 2018. 

I wasn’t sure what SEO was at the time, but the idea of going into digital marketing was interesting so I took the leap. Once I got the bare bones of the role, I joined the team at iProspect in 2019; which is where I really honed my understanding of outreach and got to work with some big brands. As the lead DPR on The Body Shop for iProspect, I was really tested on my adaptability to different markets and the changing expectations of brands.

What’s your Outreach strategy for Honchō clients?

At Honcho I would like to bring my adaptable approach to outreach. This means being open to changing to clients needs, as well as understanding that there has to be flexibility with pitching to keep in line with the ever-changing news agenda.

Outreach to me isn’t a fixed method. Even the best researched campaigns with glorious looking content can still falter. To me the key to outreach is finding the balance for the best story at the right time for the journalist and knowing when to add and tweak when something new is dominating the press. 

To do this, understanding the client’s brand values is key, the best campaigns to outreach are the ones that make sense for the client to talk about. If they have authority in the topic space, then you are one stepping stone closer to getting the most sought after links. 

And finally I am a big believer that without a strong media list, you can’t pitch effectively. I will be introducing the importance of researching your journalists and publications before even considering sending out a pitch. Sometimes with access to large databases, this is an easy step to miss out. 

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not busy getting links for clients?

Lately, I have started to write scripts for a true crime podcast. I spend a lot of my time whilst working listening to podcasts and music so I thought I would write my own. I am nowhere near my “30 scripts before pressing record” goal, so I imagine this will be keeping me busy for the foreseeable!

Occasionally I create content for my personal “cliche fashion” Instagram which has taken a hiatus over the past year. 

I also have started to rekindle my love for playing video-games during lockdown. Most recently finishing It Takes Two with my husband. It was really fun and recommended if you enjoy co-op games! 

Are you planning your own Digital PR or Outreach activity? Find out how we can help you create inventive, strategic Digital PR & Outreach campaigns to get people talking about your brand. Get in touch using the contact form below to speak to one of our specialists.

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