Did your heart just skipped a beat when you read the title, girls?..:p.
Koukla is a nickname Affi created when she first joined Fashionese Daily because she wanted to keep her anonymity for fear that it would create conflict of interest with her previous job. Now she doesn’t have to worry about it anymore since she has kissed her previous job goodbye. A job that a lot of girls would kill to have. We’ve never made an official announcement regarding that so now we have decided to announce it, 10 months later and changed the nickname Koukla to Affi.
Affi Assegaf Leads The Way
After almost a decade working in the entertainment and beauty industry, Affi Assegaf also known as Koukla, is highly regarded in the beauty and public relation industry. She is the Managing Editor of Fashionese Daily, Indonesia’s award-winning blog and a leading fashion and beauty online media.
Affi is the first Indonesian female to leave the stable corporate environment and turn to a full time Blogger. She was previously MAC Indonesia’s Public Relations and Communications Manager. Other stints prior to that includes Hard Rock Cafe Public Relations Manager, Air Personality at Hard Rock FM Jakarta, Bali and Cosmopolitan FM.
“At first I was a little concern with my career move”, said Affi. But now she admits that it was a move she was glad to make and never looked back. Besides writing articles and managing Fashionese Daily’s day-to-day operations, she leads Fashionese Daily consulting division, a boutique Public Relations and Strategic Marketing focused on Fashion and Beauty industry.
With the emergence of social media, the transformation of technology and media landscape, her extensive experience in public relations has made her to be the Fashion and Beauty industry’s key player for social media strategy, digital influencer and other PR 2.0 activities. As one of Fashionese Daily residence experts, she provides consultation works, helping companies with strategies designed to build brand awareness and brand activation through both conventional and digital channel.
Here’s an interview with her to get an insight on what she’s doing now at Fashionese Daily
Since you no longer have a 9-5 job, most people must think you have all the time in the world to relax and lay low. Is that true ?
Yes, most people think I now sit around doing nothing all day which can’t be further from the truth! Just a few days ago my brother in law asked me if I’ll ever consider “going back to work”. I guess some people just automatically think that if you don’t work in a 9 to 5 office environment, you don’t have a job. I am actually twice as busy and now that our team is getting slightly bigger, I also spend a lot of time in the office as well as out and about attending press events, launches and meetings.
How did you become interested in PR, especially considering that it was still an unpopular field when you first started?
I wasn’t planning on choosing PR as a profession, I sort of stumbled into it. When I was a teenager my mom always said I would make a good PR because I am good with people and have the ability to communicate well with people from different backgrounds. I never thought much about it until I was working as a radio announcer at Hard Rock FM and was offered a job as PR Executive for Hard Rock Cafe Jakarta by Yoris Sebastian, who was the General Manager at that time. Former occupants of that position were Meuthia Kasim and Teges Prita Soraya, both were established names in PR and media while I hadn’t even graduated college at that time and was only 20 years old! I was so inexperienced but Yoris obviously saw something in me so I accepted the offer. My last post as MAC Cosmetics Indonesia PR & Event Manager has made me more certain that I would like to continue my career as a PR practitioner/entrepreneur in beauty-related industries.
In your previous job, you were managing a brand and mostly dealing with the media. Now it’s the other way around. What’s your take on that ?
I like both positions but to be honest, my current position as a media and having to work with so many different brands are more challenging. Each brand has a unique identity and I have to understand them in order to provide the most suitable strategy. It’s like now I have so many hats and I have to wear a different one everyday. But I am loving it!
Does the emergence of social media and changes in the media landscape make a PR job more easier or challenging?
I would say being a PR today is more challenging. Many of the things we did in Public Relations and Marketing in the past may or may not apply today. “The more you spend, the more exposure you get” mindset is no longer applicable in most cases I’ve seen. And today, people can say anything about your brand at anytime and there is no way to stop them. But you know what, I also think that now is the time for PR to really go out there and talk to their consumers, something they couldn’t do as easily before. Listen to what they’re saying and respond with respect. There is no excuse for PR practitioners not to engage in social media, perhaps even have a specific person or team to do the job if possible. It may seem daunting for people who are not familiar with the way it works, but it is worth learning more about because taking advantage of these social media tools is a cost-effective way to broaden your outreach. Today’s media landscape holds challenges and promises for everyone. It is my goal to help our clients tackle those challenges and turn them into opportunities by helping them understand the landscape, define their objective and translate it into executable strategy.
What is the best way for someone to kick start their career in PR?
Apart from getting a degree in Communications-related field, try to make as many contacts as possible with industry people – you can do it easily through social media: Facebook, Twitter or visit their blogs, if they have one. Don’t just add them and do nothing though, introduce yourself and ask politely for info or advice regarding jobs as PR. Most of them are willing to help but if someone refuses or ignores you, move on to the next person When you finally get a job at PR, don’t stop building your network. They will become very valuable for you to do your work well. Keep yourself updated with current events, especially on news about industries you are in. It is also very crucial for you to have an impeccable communication skill, both written and oral.
How does it feel to be your own boss? What’s the hardest part?
Being my own boss is both wonderful and frightening. I’ve always wanted to have freedom to call the shots but I also realize this comes with tremendous responsibility. I can no longer expect people to get things done, I have to do it myself. And the more people we have on board, the greater that responsibility is. And also, if I slack off, I lose opportunities and I’ve learned this the hard way.
Any advice for those who are planning to resign and jump into the entrepreneurship world?
If you think you have something worth pursuing in your hand, a great business idea for example, don’t wait for it to become “something” so you’ll feel safer about leaving your job. No matter how you do it, quitting your office jobs and starting your own business poses great risks. But that is also part of the fun Do take time to consider the positives and negatives, but not too long because before you know it, someone else might do it sooner than you and you’ll lose the lead.
What do you love most about working for FD?
Tough question, because I love every aspect of it. But I have to name a few, it would have to be the fact that working for FD combines several of my passions: writing, beauty and PR. Because of FD, I’ve also met many incredible women and some of them became my good friends. I also have the chance to try and review more and more beauty products which is a really nice icing on an already tasty cake I never stopped thanking my lucky stars for the chance to meet you a few years ago which led me to manage the hottest fashion & beauty online media in the country
So do you think you have the dream job?
Aww, thank you for sharing with us Affi. We’re looking forward for many more exciting adventour with you..:)