Blogger Nisa Tiwana of nisatiwana.com talks to Team TMN about her blog and impressions of media in the UAE, as well as the advice she would offer graduates looking to begin a career in media…
Name: Nisa Tiwana
Current Job Title: Blogger/Guest Editor
When did you first arrive in Dubai?
I was born in the UAE and have been living here since.
Where did you work prior?
I worked for Thomson Reuters in their financial sales department. I love the corporate environment and fast-paced jobs – you never get bored. The hustle and the bustle of the sales environment keeps you motivated.
What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
It seemed small. I remember when newspapers were the only source of fashion and entertainment news in the UAE.
Has your opinion changed much?
Oh yes, for sure! The industry has come so far. Now we have access to a huge range of international magazines, covering topics from fashion to business and lifestyle. There has also been a huge advancement in online media.
Is blogging your full-time job or a part-time passion?
A part-time passion
Tell us about your blog…
I started off interning for Grazia in 2012 while I was studying at university. Working at Grazia provided a great opportunity for me and it meant I was well exposed to the fashion and media industries; I met so many people and worked with some amazing brands. When I left there, I started my own fashion and lifestyle blog as I was so inspired and wanted a way to express my personal opinions on fashion as well as my own style. I now work with brands on styling projects, blogger collaborations, lifestyle projects etc. It’s a fun blog that covers everything from fashion to lifestyle.
What’s the most rewarding part of blogging?
I love receiving feedback from my followers. They have so many nice things to say and you get more and more inspired everyday.
Which international bloggers inspire you?
There a few I really admire like Aimee Song of songofstyle.com, Marianna Hewitt of lifewithme.com and my dear friend Maria Alia of mariaalia.com.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in media in the UAE?
I think it is one of the best industries to work in, especially in the UAE. I would recommend that young graduates get as much work experience as they can, as it really does help. People think that working in media is easy and with loads of perks but there is so much work that goes into forging a career in this community.
What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?
I think there is an on-going improvement in the quality of media publications in the region and things appear to only be getting better.
How do you find PRs in the region?
Dubai has some amazing PR agencies, with very professional teams who know what they’re doing and can come up with incredibly creative ideas whereas some agencies can make you question PR altogether!
What’s your pet PR peeve?
A lack of research from their side – annoying calls to confirm attendance or sending the same, irrelevant press releases a thousand times.
Do you accept press material from PRs?
Yes. I do.
Would you rather be contacted by phone or email?
Email preferably, I think that phone calls are only for urgent issues and I would always rather get a work call on my mobile.
Describe yourself in five words…
Optimistic, energetic, friendly, driven and creative
What’s your most overused saying?
Five things you can’t live without?
My family, friends, mobile, tea (Yes, I’m a tea drinker!) and movies.
If you weren’t in your blogging, what would you be doing?
I’d be a lawyer or a TV host (I love to talk).
What would be the next step for you as a blogger?
Having already worked successfully with brands such as All Saints and Charles & Keith, I definitely hope to continue these kinds of collaborations. I’m always keen for opportunities to take the blog further and would definitely be receptive to ideas for collaborations on style features or style/street style campaigns.