Remember, it’s called ‘happy’ hour…!

Having a casual hang out with colleagues is always a good idea as it allows the reinforcement of a positive and friendly working environment. This in effect is the key to a more productive organizational structure.

However, it can also go horribly wrong.

As a PR professional, your colleagues are not restricted to your own firm but in fact can extend to people of the same industry, clients or worse – media. The key to interaction at leisure is to always remember – it is called happy hour for a reason. Means no shop talk! Here are some simple rules that can help you stay clear of potential conversations that may go sour.

  • Avoid gossip

After a long day at work, you might let down your guard and steer the conversation to a negative place. It’s never a good idea to make happy hour into a place to vent about everything you hate about the workplace. This may help you vent and feel better for the time being but may not give the best impression about you to your colleagues.

Bitch sessions about work should stay restricted to limited friends or a spouse – anywhere else and you may as well burn your CV and stay stuck in your ‘sucky’ job for time immemorial.

  • Watch what you say

Even worse than gossip are threatening remarks. Just as in the case of media, remember – you are never off-the-record with work buddies. Speaking out of turn or acting too smart may lead them to judge you. You want to keep your reputation as a competent, reliable employee in tact. Don’t give in your two cents into conversations just because you should take part. Nobody likes a know-it-all and it is completely acceptable to be a listener.

  • Keep it kosher 

Happy hour doesn’t necessarily have to mean the consumption of alcohol. It can just as easily be a relaxing coffee date with your work buddies. Just a light unwinding session to shake off the happenings of the day.

  • Remember, it’s called happy ‘hour’ for a reason

Don’t linger, because you might end up making a casual relationship with work mates into an intense heartfelt debate. You don’t want to be the talk of the office come Monday because you disclosed too much. Keep it clean – keep it classy!

Cinnabon Karachi goes ‘Social’!

Knowing the local social media gurus in your locality is becoming an important practice for any business. The F&B industry is catching up to it as well.

The idea behind engaging bloggers to advocate your product is simple.

– Drive brand awareness

– Increase engagement

– Quick turnaround

– Up those sales!

Cinnabon hosted its first ever Bloggers’ Meet in Karachi in anticipation of creating hype for their second outlet in Karachi. This particular kiosk style outlet offers the full range of Cinnabon delicacies ranging from their scrumptious Cinnamon rolls to their refreshing and ultra delicious Chillatas. My personal favourite are the Cinnamon sticks.

Definitely a great way to keep up the quality and recall of the product. Kudos to Cinnabon for setting up a good practice.

From Pakistan to the World – ‘Come dump on us, why don’t you?’

It is not about improving the image of Pakistan but cutting down the parallel economy of Pakistan. We are so fixated on getting our way by hook or by crook that we don’t realize the collateral damage we do for the sake of making a quick buck. This is the reason the rest of the world uses us for all things negative!

Our country has been a target for all sorts of waste. It started from defected clothes and accessories in “Landa Bazaars” to the e-waste coming in, in the form of used computers, then dengue came in with tyres and now end of life plastic in the form of IV tubes, urine bags and what not.

My question is when will this end?

Most recently I learnt that large containers of medical waste have been entering Karachi with medical waste, I also learnt that they were confiscated by the authorities. I relaxed a little. But then to learn that this end of life plastic has been transported through the dry port in Lahore and already available to local manufacturers??

On my visit to Lahore two days ago I along with some other media friends of mine took a drive down to Shadran which is the scrapyard heaven in Lahore. I see crushed plastic, piles of medical waste, IV tubes and infusion bags lying on the ground in warehouse and people coming to buy them, I caught hold of one of the kids who works there, to my utter shock he tells me that local manufacturers who make plastic products even down to utensils come and buy this scrap to reuse!

Disturbed and frustrated with the lack of common sense in my fellow countrymen and the selfishness of the world for sending us their waste, I researched. Under normal circumstances all medical waste must be disposed off through incinerators after which their smoke should undergo a special process before being released in the atmosphere. The import of medical waste used in operation theatres of countries abroad poses the risk of bringing new and unfound diseases to Pakistan. Pakistan a country where health facilities are not strongly developed, the manufacturing of plastic products from medical waste is a calamity in the making one that can have devastating consequences if the relevant authorities do not step in to curb these practices urgently.

While Pakistan’s import policy clearly mentions that plastic scrap is only importable by manufacturers only for their own use subject to the condition that they shall furnish to Customs authorities a certificate from relevant government agency of the exporting countries that the goods are not hazardous and comply with the provisions of the Basel Convention and it shall not be used in the production of bags for packing of foodstuff”. Unfortunately if one is to look at statistics, the rise in import of plastic scrap by almost 23 thousand tonnes in the last five years is also mainly due to the fact that local trading of plastic scrap is being carried out. The outbreak of Dengue in Punjab was also due to the import of plastic scrap where a mosquito entered Punjab in an imported used tire. More than 300 people were killed as a result while over 14,000 were infected by the disease.

Keeping statistics in mind our masses are uneducated and will eventually be exposed to this plastic in different forms. In fact, the educated population will also not know the difference. As sensationalism goes, I think this new finding is definitely catering to all that our media stands for. Creating a hype over something that actually matters. Stop this waste from being sold any further and care about your fellow human beings Pakistan!

And for the western world sending us their trash – stop dumping your problems on us, we have enough of our own!