To London, to London, to visit the Queen (or our Client Ciena)

Sometime back in June my bosses came to me with the following question, ‘How would you like to go to London and present the Annual Review to Ciena in August?’. ‘Err yes please that would be amazing!’ was my answer without a seconds hesitation. I was too lost in my fantasy of imagining myself as a serious businesswomen jetting off on a business trip to actually bring myself to think of the work involved. I could just picture myself in a boardroom standing by a projector screen and a roomful of people applauding my presentation…all this and only 22 years old! July passed in a summer haze of similar visions and before I knew it, it was time to pack my bags and say ‘Masalama’ to Dubai and ‘Hello’ to London!

Now before I tell you about my trip I have to make a special mention to Claudia Curici for all her hard work and time spent on this review, as well as my bosses for their time and effort and giving me the opportunity to take this trip. So thank you all! 🙂

My journey started well with me charming my way to an upgrade on the plane, and I only started to worry when it emerged that my mobile phone had been stolen/misplaced on the way along with my bosses UK numbers who I was supposed to text upon my arrival. Oops! I had made sure I had multiple copies of the annual review on my person in both soft and hard formats so there was no room for misplacement/theft there luckily.

Me and Big Ben.

Me and Big Ben.

On the morning of the Annual Review I felt confident that I would be able to conduct an interesting and lively presentation and was looking forward to meeting the Ciena PR team face to face after many months of phone calls and email conversations. In my enthusiasm to master my presentation and meet the Ciena team/ my terrible map-reading skills I somehow ended up getting lost for 45 minutes after disembarking the tube at Old Street. Thankfully this time was taken into account for in my commuting travel time and I managed to grab a quick coffee around the corner from Ciena’s office. In my haste to drink up and read my notes one last time I must have spilt my coffee about six times each time narrowly missing my pink shirt. Sawsan, Louay and I met outside the Ciena offices a few minutes before 9am and before I had time to feel nervous we were already inside.

We met the lovely Artur, Paola, Mervyn and Marija from Ciena and then sat down for the Annual Review. The meeting went well – we covered a range of topics and I was able to provide my input and recommendations as a PR consultant which was really excellent. I even managed to get a laugh in with a story about how my family was all nonplussed by my interest in the optical network our house needed for a better internet connection. We ended the meeting with a string of action points to take based on our discussions from the review so it was a really productive meeting. We covered PR activity, an analysis of coverage achieved as well as an analysis of media and types of articles that the Client was mentioned in and the PR strategy from a more holistic perspective.

As a relative newbie to the PR industry it was a really fantastic opportunity for me to learn from, and it really gave me a lot of confidence in my work. Ciena even told us that their local office had told them they were really impressed by the PR activity we had been undertaking which was great feedback to hear considering the genuine enthusiasm, time and effort we put in. I am now working on another Annual Review for another of our clients and am looking forward to this one without any nervousness. The journey is a little shorter though, this Client is located in Media City so no overseas trips in the pipeline at the moment!

Overall it was an amazing experience and I am so glad I was given the chance to take part. I am really loving working in the PR industry and working at Active where I am regularly given more and more responsibility and learning all the while!

Until my next entry..Ta-ra!