How did the idea for Turn Up PR come about?
Turn Up PR was founded in September 2020 out of a desire to be different and impactful. What most people don’t know is that the idea of Turn Up PR started back in 2015 when I used to work at a tech start-up, as the Head of PR and Communications. During my free time between work, I started journaling my thoughts and built a case-study, almost like telling a story from start to finish. And while I was writing my business plan, I needed a ‘make-believe’ name for the PR firm and out of nowhere the first name that came to my mind was Turn Up PR. Fast forward to 5 years later, I met my friend (Co-Founder and Creative Director) Naina, and I pitched my idea to her. She was equally psyched to contribute to the PR scene. I told her about the name, and she loved it so we decided not to change it. Now when I look back, I feel like I have manifested in bringing ‘Turn Up’ into my life through positive intention and belief.
During the ideation stage, I started to ask myself what change I wish I could make in the PR scene in Bangladesh. I wrote down a few questions before I could think of ways to bridge the gap.
- Is this idea unique and powerful?
- Does it resonate with people?
- Does it communicate how the service fits into consumers’ lives or work to make them better, more productive, happier, more fulfilled?
- Does it stand for values above and beyond the service itself??
- And lastly how do I wish to address those needs and meet people’s goals?
The role of PR actually goes far beyond just helping a business or individual cultivate a positive reputation with the public through traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements. When you represent a company or person, you are not just an extension of their team, but also a part of their support system. You are at a position, where you make sure that their potential is not left unfulfilled. You have to learn about their fears and doubts. And in order to do so, one must delve into the person’s life in order to build a deeper connection and mutual trust.
I wanted to feel more empowered and empower others by finding a way to contribute in changing individuals’ lives by honoring the general needs of people — their voice, belonging, status, participation and impact.
This yearning to feel something real has led me to where I belong — Turn Up PR.
What is your vision and mission at Turn Up?
Our vision at Turn Up PR is to integrate traditional PR with our own innovative strategies and unique approach. We are committed to nurture a brand or person’s creative capability and guide them profitably through creative strategy and new business process and specialization. We aim to meet our client’s individual unique needs with honesty, integrity and accountability.
At Turn Up PR, we have a growth mind-set and our mission is often fueled by our client’s mission. We treat our clients’ business like our own, and will never stop being their biggest cheerleaders — always here to support them during all stages of their personal and professional growth.
We are smack at the centre of the transformation, but socially conscious at our core. Our mission is to pave the way through a crowded media landscape so our clients get the visibility they need to make a lasting impact.
One of our core purposes is to curate content by promoting talents, mobilizing partnerships and galvanizing efforts of unique collaborations. As content creators and art lovers, we love to learn about people’s journeys, untold stories and bring out their creative voices through our curated ‘Turn Up Network’.
Turn Up PR was launched with the vision of making a global footprint. Using that ambition, we are also working with prospective clients who live outside Bangladesh — we are helping them connect with local talents and artisans of Bangladesh.
What are some services you provide at Turn Up?
At Turn Up PR, our team always has a ‘make-it-happen’ approach. We are always eager to break new grounds by being unapologetically authentic. We carefully listen to our client’s individual goals in order to carve a unique, strategic execution plan. Our PR services are designed to open opportunities and find new ways to build relationships with the right people for the right reasons — to help you tell your story. We believe that the thought and foresight that goes into how you present yourself and your business is important to get the recognition you deserve.
That’s why when you’re our client, it’s all hands-on deck. At Turn Up we — Curate, Connect, Collaborate
Curate — We are here to develop content with a positive purpose. Alongside traditional media which is quite prevalent in the Bangladesh PR landscape, our aim is to elevate a person or brand’s image and perception through the use of Digital PR. We utilize social media to create direct connections, and build more opportunities with the customer and raise brand awareness.
Connect — We represent and combine our expertise and experience from both the brand and talent perspective. We provide expert profiling services through which we position and shape your story in ways that promote your brand and its values as trailblazers in your industry.
Collaborate — We review, and analyze a company’s strategy and build partnerships to best amplify their brand story to the right target audience. As your PR representatives, we share research & trend reports- we will conduct and provide you with research to make sure you and your brand are aligned with the current market trends enabling a more thorough understanding of your target audience, the market demand(s), and possible campaign outcomes.
What kind of clients do you service?
We have been lucky to have signed to represent both brands and individual talents. Since our launch, we’ve had the opportunity to work with several of Bangladesh’s fastest-growing and also newly formed companies.
We have signed clients whose businesses are over 40 years old to new entrepreneurs who just started. It has been a great learning for our team to be able to contribute to a diverse range of clients who hold different values and approaches to the way they promote themselves.
At Turn Up, we are culturally aware and have the resources to relate positively to people from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds and appreciate the contribution that different groups make to a dynamic society.
Through the course of our work, we have maintained strong relationships with private companies and NGOs. We are also running a PR program designed to create and maintain a favorable public image in order to meet the needs, objectives, and policies of thought leaders, emerging entrepreneurs, special interest groups, business concerns, and non-profit organizations.
Why should start-ups invest in PR?
Initially most start-ups invest heavily on advertising and marketing to promote their business and build exposure. However, it’s important to know the importance of PR and how it helps to build trust by focusing on the bigger picture. For start-ups, PR activities play an important role in identifying and building relationships with influential individuals and groups responsible for shaping market perceptions in the industry where the business operates. A strong PR campaign makes your story highly credible. It has more successful converts in the long run, especially for start-ups because majority of consumers still trust earned media over paid traditional ads.
A well devised PR strategy can help start-ups shape positive public images and establish social media and traditional media networks. It is PR that helps the start-up build its reputation, that will eventually lead to monetary growth and increased sales. However, it is undeniably challenging especially when facing larger, more established businesses. This is the reason why a PR firm or PR professionals in general can become great help for start-ups. The worst thing a start-up can do is to go out prematurely and receive negative press.
Along with raising capital, I believe it’s equally important for start-ups to have a PR strategy in place. PR can help with investors, increase backlinks to your website, increase brand awareness and put you and your business on the map.
How do you support minorities, women led and early stage ventures who probably don’t have big budgets.
Through my time leading PR for tech company that specialized in start-ups business to working as a Business Lead for women banking segment — to ensure financial inclusion, financial independence and reach unbanked and under-served women in our country — I saw how the start-up space, was greatly affected, as many companies struggled to raise funds.
However, on a more positive note most people have adapted to Covid-19 and the protocols put in place, and we’ve observed investors are more optimistic about investing in new businesses again. I admire how the adverse reality has also presented new opportunities for people too. It has been inspiring to see how as a community, we have been able to re-build businesses, and in exchange, form meaningful relationships. With courage and resilience, businesses have been able to contribute and help ease the economic crisis.
At Turn Up, we are helping small business and early stage ventures by positioning and shaping their stories in ways that promote their brand and its values as trailblazers in our industry. Rather than just featuring brand-specific stories, we help many brands and talents shift to a thought-leadership approach where the focus is on how the founders were helping their teams deal with the challenges they were facing during the pandemic and kept their business afloat without giving up.
It’s difficult to get news published in any media outlet for clients whose editorial budget is limited due to the current economic unrest. And considering that their situations are likely to persist even after the current pandemic abates, we support struggling businesses by providing alternate solutions and media tools to have their stories heard. Taking the current situation into account, our PR pitches are now to be more targeted and tailored.
Tell us a little bit about the TURN UP network — how can someone join the community?
I strongly believe that the heart of every community is its people. Our diversity is what makes us strong as individuals, but our collective voice is what makes us powerful as a community. The more we support each other, the stronger our communities can become.At Turn Up PR, we believe that we have so much to learn from each other and we wanted to embody that by creating a new platform.
We launched our new initiative called ‘The Turn Up Network’ with a simple aim: to build a well-rounded community that also serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits. An avenue to not just exchange ideas but also create newer opportunities. In this network, we have creative minds from the worlds of entertainment, art & design, interior, music, food, fashion, health & wellness pieced together under one platform.
We are building this network organically through our socials and email newsletters. Our sign-up forms have helped us collect insights about our members, for instance — their professions, hobbies, and shared interests. Using this data, we plan to target these members to participate and engage within our network — specifically to address different questions under different niches and also to a broader segment. It’s a coalition of authentic voices, each with their own tale to tell. Through this network we want to open the door to develop connections that are real and meaningful.
We are currently hosting rooms on the Clubhouse App. We also wish to host offline events soon. Anyone can join us in this network by registering using the link we have shared in our social media bios or by simply reaching out to us. We are just a DM away!
How do you usually unplug?
I usually unplug by simply waking up early in the morning. It is a part of my everyday routine. What I love most about getting up early is how much more free time it gives me before work. Instead of rolling out of bed and going straight into work mode, I get up slowly and either workout, say my prayers, read a book or make myself breakfast. I also get a head start on the things that normally get (begrudgingly) done in the evening, which gives me more free time later in the day.
Recently, I have also started to go on a digital detox and focus on real-life social interactions without distractions. It has helped me feel more present and be mindful of my surroundings. It does not involve a complete separation from my devices but instead I have set boundaries to make sure that I am using it in a way that is healthy and benefits me.
My mom has always been one of my biggest mentors. She instilled in me the value of hard work and accountability. She has always taught me to take ownership of something that I am expected to deliver. She has been a teacher for more than 17 years and her work ethic always tells me that when you are accountable, your contribution in any place you work will go beyond just the job description. So, your accountability is something you always exhibit — it is not assigned to you. She is my role model, and mentor. She sets the bar for me.
I am also super grateful mostly to people I’ve worked with — my colleagues and supervisors who guided me in my career path and helped me tremendously. I have been very lucky to have met people who provided me with practical and emotional support throughout my career and also believed in my potential.
Fun and interesting fact(s) about you?
I proudly wear my heart on my sleeve. I love making people laugh (sometimes at my own expense). Concurrently, I have the best time laughing at my own jokes. I sometimes wish I could be a stand-up comedian. I have more than 10 playlists categorized to fit my different moods. I am the best car DJ. I am a real hoarder — concert tickets, letters and notes, slam book, CD covers, old keychains, just to name a few. I still don’t know what my favorite color is. The list could surely go on!
Products by Women is on a mission to make skill-based jobs, mentorship and professional development more accessible for women in tech.
Our Goals for 2021:
- Reduce gender inequalities and pay gap that exists in tech by making tech education more accessible
- Supporting minorities and women-led ventures by making resources available to them
- Re-engage women (especially moms) back into the workforce, who’ve been impacted by COVID
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