Rising from The Ashes
It was not another typical day at work. She had come to the office for her usual work routine, but instead of going about their day, as usual, Norzira Syarini and her colleague were given termination letters from their employer. With just a day’s notice, she and her colleagues were forced to pack their things and went home. It was to be the end of her 10-year journey in the media industry. In Malaysia, many media practitioners such as Norzira are at the receiving end of retrenchment that hit the industry hard in recent years.
Recounting those hard times, Norzira said initially had to absorb much of the shock. “I cried my heart out, but then I thought that I had to make a choice. Either I continue to wallow in it, or I could choose to rise again and be somebody,” she told IKON. Subsequently, Norzira goes on to launch a news portal that focused on health, since it was her forte. Initially, she received a number of media invitations and it was smooth sailing. But things took another turn when she realized she could not support herself just after two weeks of setting up the portal.
“The portal needed some time to build its name and brand, and to accumulate followers, but I need an income that could support me as my savings could only sustain me for a month. That’s when I got an epiphany to venture into advertising since I had some experience in the field when I was a journalist at Karangkraf.” She then proceeded to contact her old friends that needed assistance for advertisement.
Norzira has not looked back since. After achieving a five-figure salary, she took a leap of faith and started her advertising agency, Newsfeed Enterprise in January, aimed at bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and the mainstream media. The following month, she explored many other advertising platforms opportunities and manage to strike a six-figure revenue.
With her vast experience in dealing with clients, she stressed that most entrepreneurs exhibit 3 common traits. “First, they have the fear of not knowing what to say in front of the camera. Second, they so preoccupied to the point they do not know who looks for. Third, they have no idea how to approach the media,” Norzira adds.
With the feat achieved by her company, the former journalist says that there a no short cut to success. “We used to seek 50 to 100 clients per day, but only a few would reply. We then found a guru who teaches about branding, and from there, we narrow down our search pool.”
Thus, when Newsfeed Enterprise was offered a deal with Birdnest Essence by PNA, Norzira did not waste her chance. “Their sales went downhill during the Movement Control Order (MCO) but they took the chance to spend on a massive advertising package. We advised them to advertise with TV3, and their sales skyrocketed to RM140 million. Then we set up advertising with TV Al-Hijrah and other outdoor advertisements such as the billboard,” Norzira says.
Norzira says that while many entrepreneurs and founders leverage online media, they should not disregard the traditional media. “Anyone can write and put a claim on their product on social media, but when it comes to trust, credibility, and authenticity, mainstream media is the way to go.”
Albeit many businesses took a big hit during the MCO, Norzira says that those who keep up with their marketing campaigns throughout the period eventually emerged victoriously. “We advise our clients that they should manage their marketing. We can help with that aspect. For us, it is more than selling them an advertising slot. It is about devising a plan for the brand to take-off,” she says.