Ten Rising Stars: Kash Shaikh

North American communications manager, P&G Fabric Care division

North American communications manager, P&G Fabric Care division

Kash Shaikh

At 26 years old, Kash Shaikh does not have a need for Procter & Gamble's Olay anti-aging products. But that did not stop him from showing outstanding results for Olay as the skin care communications manager: securing more broadcast coverage and achieving the highest ROI and earning the highest scores in coverage quality than any other P&G beauty brand.

His beauty secret? He took a cue from another popular cosmetic brand, StriVectin, which was touting itself as an alternative to cosmetic surgery in a campaign.

"What Kash did was he worked with a dermatologist to craft a strategy piggybacking on their campaign" says Anthony Rose, P&G associate director of global beauty external relations. As a result of P&G anti-aging pitch, which capitalized on the national desire to look young and the influencer relationships that the company had built with dermatologists, subsequent articles mentioned Olay prominently.

"[We had to] ensure that we really understood the business and our marketing objectives and translated them into PR goals and strategies that mirrored what the [Olay] brands were trying to do as a whole," says Shaikh.

"We want young people to bring in a fresh pair of eyes and also take risks with PR techniques," says Rose. "[Shaikh] is very outcome focused. And coming out of that campaign, there was a substantial lift in business within a few weeks."

Unlike many of our rising stars, Shaikh knew right away that he would pursue a career in PR, majoring in the subject at the University of Texas.

"I had a passion for writing. I started getting more exposed to elements of PR, which still gave me the connection to writing with the added excitement and strategy of the PR industry," says Shaikh.

The entirety of his career so far has been with P&G, an experience that began in March 2003 and has put him in contact with a network of talented people both inside and outside of P&G. He feels the relationship between the in-house communications team and PR agencies should be a collaborative partnership.

"You're only as strong as your strongest PR agencies," Shaikh says. "I look at it like we are truly one unit bringing to life the right strategies and the best programs that build our business."

Since September 1, Shaikh has been the North American communications manager for the Fabric Care division. He will be working with some of P&G's biggest brands: Bounce, Downy, Gain, and $3 billion Tide, the biggest brand in North America.

Still, it is not all about dollars and cents. Shaikh says he was "inspired" by Olay's national skin cancer awareness campaign, which showed how easily preventable the disease is with sunscreen use. And he will be going to New Orleans next month to participate in the ongoing "Tide Clean Start" campaign, which uses Tide detergent to wash the clothing of Hurricane Katrina victims.

"From a PR standpoint, the best projects that you work on also make a difference in the community," Shaikh says.

With the new position in fabric care, Shaikh wants to continue earning positive business results, while bringing the brands to life for the media and consumers.

"People are surprised by the exciting things that we can create when we're talking about laundry detergent."

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