Aden Rehan is a complete package. She’s young, beautiful, determined and highly ambitious. She is genuinely polite, real and no matter how busy she may get, accommodates all on her watch. She stays out of influencer politics, gossip and rumour mills and hence is not just at the top of her game with PR and client management but a humongous fan following that sings praises for her attitude, behaviour and personality on top of her professionalism. I got to know Aden Rehan when she worked at Lotus PR, which is one of the leading PR companies of Pakistan. Shortly after she left Lotus, the young and spirited Aden set out as a solo PR girl, flanked by her husband Rehan Babar, joining forces with him and becoming one team. After that, it was just a matter of weeks, when ARPR became the talk of the town with every prestigious brand roping them in for their events. Cheery, bright and floral are their themes for their events and I just can’t help but notice how our lives should be like that too. “As a fashion marketing graduate from the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, I did see myself eventually entering the world of marketing. I have popularly been a people’s person since I was young and that for sure helped me begin my PR journey. Thus, I can say everything was well planned out and setting up ARPR was only a natural progression in the grand scheme of things,” she tells me on a hot summer day. Aden’s not just a PR mogul but a renowned influencer as well. She’s also a mother of two beautiful children and I wonder how she manages all these roles like a true professional. “PR is not a piece of cake. There are endless days and nights working, often longer hours than I would set for myself but there’s still a certain routine that I follow. There is one rule I have firmly set for myself and that is to prioritise my family despite the challenges and pressures I face from the world of PR. There can be days where back-to-back events and launches set me back but at the end of the day, it’s the family that keeps my sanity intact and I try to make sure it stays this way. Thankfully my husband, who is also my work partner, supports me tremendously and makes being a mother and a wife much simpler for me,” she clarifies. Aden’s partnership with her husband as a working professional is commendable. They both work together and divide tasks and what to look after, only strengthening their bond as a couple. “My husband is no doubt my superpower and the person in my life who truly understood my passion for PR and pushed me one step forward every time I got stuck. At ARPR, we work on projects and brainstorm ideas together. We are called ARPR where A stands for Aden and R stands for Rehan – you can realise how much we work together! We are one team and as a couple, it strengthens the work/life balance for me more than I ever thought it could,” Aden says. Another key to their success is that Aden doesn’t believe that money is ever the priority. “When taking clients, we analyse their nature of business and whether their interests align with ours. If the business does not make sense to us or is a venture we cannot promote, we honestly communicate to the relevant personnel because our reputation in PR is something that is extremely important for us,” she adds. Previously, there has been a significant focus on the lawn season and almost every other PR company marked its calendar for this. The market now is extremely saturated and there is a current lack of innovative ideas and strategies in this arena. ARPR started the concept of lawn launches and being an enormous hit, every other agency hopped on the bandwagon, but it eventually became monotonous because of lack of some creative elements. Thus, as a company, ARPR is now moving towards more corporate brands such as Alcatel and TCL. They even have some leading restaurants, skin care brands, telecommunication companies and fashion brands on board and are currently enjoying this diversity. They have now converted into a 360-degree marketing agency where the creative side of marketing is highlighted. “For us, it is challenging but serves as a constant kick and a creativity booster for my team and me,” Aden tells me. It’s just like Aden said that PR isn’t an easy job. Some clients can be tough to work with. “Communication and dialogue have been the foremost strategy for me. In my opinion, patience and effective communication skills can possibly help deal with many troubles that come my way in PR,” she says. On a separate note, there is a surge in the market with influencers who have fake followers and purchased likes. I asked Aden if she supports this or is organic always the way to go? “There was a time people saw this superficially and did not pay much attention to fake followers and likes but times have changed. Organic is definitely always the way to go because interestingly enough, Instagram uses artificial intelligence, and they keep modifying their algorithm rules. Engagement affects significantly when influencers buy followers or likes and since there is a present surge for this in the market, companies have no doubt become smarter. They now do not simply go by what they see on the surface because an influencer has to provide them insights – you can lie with followers, but you certainly cannot lie with insights. An organic reach of even 20k followers is enough for companies to have you on board and spread their message,” she says. I wonder if Instagram closes down today, in what ways will it affect her as a professional who has major business through the app? How will she do things differently if still in the same field? Aden feels that businesses nowadays have become global and usually structure themselves according to Instagram, but they do not take too much time to adapt. If Instagram shuts down, there will be a shift to other social media applications such as YouTube and Snapchat. Websites and word press are old school but gold – they will remain essential in PR and marketing. So unless the Internet itself shuts down, the closing down of Instagram won’t do much as many new innovations will follow soon after. Aden says she personally would never impose a career on her children because she wants them to choose a career path that suits their interests. If they display passion for PR, she will for sure support them, but she doesn’t believe one can excel in the work they are not passionate about. Whichever path her kids choose to move on, they will have her by their side! Aden created a name for herself in a very short span of time and exploded into the PR scene like a pro. According to her, being positive, calm and adaptable are some of the key work ethics that have stuck with her since she entered PR. “I am generally a patient person and refrain from jumping to conclusions baselessly. Also, the ever evolving and constantly changing business of the PR business is what keeps me going,” she adds. “You must be very passionate and committed to your work because PR wholeheartedly demands that. PR often seems glamorous from the events and flawless campaigns that one sees from behind the screen, but it is always a result of constant hard work and commitment. Take the projects you receive seriously and go above and beyond to show that you can handle them,” Aden advises. With the market now saturated with so many PR companies and solo publicists, it might be hard to retain clients, where mostly people want work done in less money. “At ARPR, we strongly believe in quality over quantity and never compromise on the work we do for our clients. With the returns they have noticed over the years, they have understood PR as an investment and not an expense. Our work speaks for our clients and this is something that has helped us retain our clients over the years,” she says. I asked Aden if there ever has been a moment she thought she would lose her cool with a client or at work or with a publication and yet she managed? “There have been many such moments. There are different kinds of clients I deal on a daily basis, some more difficult than others. Often, clients have their ideas set in stone with absolutely no innovation involved and it becomes very tedious to argue with their ideology. At times, some clients are technologically challenging and not media savvy which creates immense communication problems in PR. In that case, we end up becoming their psychotherapists as well. There have also been instances where clients, upon joining, were trained to learn and understand PR but after a year, they left us for other people in the market. This is disheartening but since the walk never stops, I don’t complain. In publications as well, some unprofessionalism exists because laid back attitudes are prevalent and communication on WhatsApp is common which results in low picture resolutions and chances of the message being lost or not properly communicated. Therefore, using email or WeTransfer is actually a much better way to communicate and act professionally,” she replies. It’s impressive how ARPR have managed to stay not just afloat but still at the top of their game despite the pandemic hit industry. The power couple has paved the way for others to follow and we are simply in awe.