1. As a PR professional for past 23 years, in and out of Pakistan, there are certain parts in this interview where I would like to comment to give right information to your valued readers of Profit First of all to say that PR agencies act as post offices is more of a sweeping statement. Yes agencies at times get drafted press releases which they release and then use their clout in the media to get them placed but even that is good work looking at the quality of some of the press releases agencies receive. Having said that, PR people are involved in drafting press releases, articles, getting them placed, interviews, digital and social media PR, crisis communications, community communications and a lot more. To call them post offices just because Azfar Ahsen has not chosen the title of PR agency for his organization is unjust and shows lack of knowledge on PR profession. I have worked in two markets and can safely say that PR pros from Pakistan are doing a good job both on client and agency side.

    At another point Azfar’s claim was to have 90 regular clients and up to 150 clients overall that they work with. For a 7 months old agency this is quite unbelievable. According to him, these clients include some of the largest banks in Pakistan, all four major telecom companies, K-electric, and other major energy companies…’ this means, he is claiming that he has got all the competing accounts, a major conflict of interest here, say in telecom sector alone. And isn’t Telenor with Media Matters, PTCL/Ufone is with APR, Jazz/Mobilink is with Syntax, from what I know.

    In addition to that, what constitutes 90 clients remains unclear. Are these retainer clients? Continuous assignments or assignments in the past.

    It is also not true that there are no lobbying firms in Pakistan other than his or to assume that other PR agencies are not into research based lobbying. Factually incorrect information. At this level every lobbyist does his/her homework. Also saying that others who are doing lobbying are just making a quick buck is unnecessary generalisation, insult to others and another sweeping statement. Interesting to note that this interview appeared 3-4 days before his announcement as Chairman BoI and just before this he is selling his organization to the corporate sector as the only lobbying firm in Pakistan. Isn’t that a major conflict of interest and grossly unethical thing to do? So an institution like BoI where lobbyists go to address the policy part of investors will be headed by a lobbyists. Won’t this result in companies falling over to hire company he founded for lobbying? If others are making a ‘quick buck ‘ then what is this suppose to mean?

    I am writing this note as I feel it is the right of the valued readership of prestigious publication like Profit and Pakistan Today to know the right information. Please publish this in a coming issue of Profit so readership would know the situation more clearly.
    Aamir Abbasi
    Chart. PR MCIPR Dip CIPR, UK.


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