Inspired by the Khans of Bollywood, this South Asian Dallas, TX Technologist turned marketer has the suave of Saif Ali Khan, a giver like Salman Khan and the marketing savvy of Aamir Khan
An Outstretched Hand in the Darkest Hour
Qamar Zaman Founder & Chief Growth Officer of KISS PR Story has converted his paid press release platform into a free storytelling system helping everyone from around the world. In these past months his company has offered over a million dollars' worth of free press releases for the world's small businesses
The world has never known a pandemic like COVID-19. The rapid and colossal spread of the disease, especially by asymptomatic people, and the yet unknown extent of damage to the body by the virus, are deadly features of this pandemic which know no equal in history.
As the infection rate galloped, and businesses closed at the peak of the pandemic in April/May 2020, parallel to widespread lockdown of economies, millions were suddenly out of work, the world over.
In the U.S., stay-at-home orders led to about 60% of small businesses losing income, while 13% had no revenue at all. This led to more than half the businesses laying off some employees, while 14% laid off all their employees. While about 4 in 10 small businesses closed their on-site operations, around 14 million businesses feared getting wiped out.
This scenario deeply affected Qamar Zaman, a bold entrepreneur with South Asian roots, who, over 18 years ago, created a revolutionary platform, KISS PR Story
, for companies to tell Brand-related stories, and stimulate demand for their products. During these eventful years, Zaman engaged his platform to tell compelling stories of small businesses, in a cost-effective and classy manner. He created over 31,000 and growing daily stories for businesses around the world, and carved for his company a special niche in the world of content marketing.
And now, in the face of a bleak business environment, Zaman, remembering the tough times he endured in the past, feels empathy for faltering businesses, and reaches out to help. Journalist Daryn Kagan, said, “Bad things do happen in the world, like war, natural disasters, disease. But out of those situations, always arise stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” Thus, beginning in March of 2020, Zaman converted the Kiss PR paid press release program, to a completely free program called Kiss PR - Free Press Release COVID-19 Fund
As Zaman explains, the Kiss PR COVID-19 Fund has, over the past months, given away over 1400 free stories to business owners, globally. The free business totals over $450,000. Apart from this, Kiss PR has also given discounted Press Releases worth $700,000. Zaman is proud to acknowledge that his company has given away over a million dollars in free marketing help to distressed small businesses. Especially in Dallas, Texas, Zaman’s offer of free press releases has helped to revitalize troubled businesses. Says Zaman, “My main motive to offer free press release service through KISS PR, is to allow new businesses to grow in the gloomy economic atmosphere during COVID-19.” His advice to discouraged businesses is, not to give up in the face of hardship.
In an interview with Forbes India, Zaman said. I admire the giving nature of Salman Khan who continues to help with his cause. While I do not have a degree in Marketing, I have learned product launch from Aamir Khan who always uses new ways to market his movies.
Zaman, just like his childhood idol, James Bond 007, never gives up on life, even on the several occasions he brushed up with death, like being on a hijacked plane to Pakistan, and on another plane crashed in Texas. In 2004, he nearly died in the deadly Category 5 Hurricane Ivan in the Cayman Islands. His house, his fledgling business, and his dreams for the future were all smashed into pulp during the deadly hurricane.
After that, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, Zaman relocated and started life anew, in his new community in Dallas, Texas. Adapting to his new life, he enjoyed socializing and regaling friends with colorful tales of surviving Hurricane Ivan. He found himself becoming the life of each gathering, fascinating his audiences with vivid stories. And, with each interaction, Zaman realized that people, whatever their differences, loved stories, and therein he discovered his greatest gift - storytelling.
This is how Zaman’s revolutionary platform for small businesses to tell their stories, came to be. Over the years, Kiss PR digital marketing services included identifying target audiences and creating amazing Brand stories to touch them, providing social media distribution and scheduling and distributing press releases to nearly 6,000 outlets.
It is this press release service that Zaman is offering free to small businesses in these days of COVID-19, with 31% of small businesses in the US currently being non-operational.
Focused on storytelling, Zaman understands the need to primarily build trust with the consumer, engaging them in a personal narrative that demonstrates vulnerability and courage. With this approach, customers are drawn to products and services through emotional affinity, making Zaman’s company the preferred choice of small business owners.
Even as his business extended globally, Zaman’s focus remained on small businesses. He was especially sensitive toward the small businesses of his home state of Texas, of which there are 2.7 million, , according to recent figures, and they employ 4.7 million people. In the U.S. as a whole, there are 30.7 million small businesses, and, significantly, more Millennials and Gen Z entrepreneurs are engaged in them today.
Furthermore, the manner in which businesses unreservedly reach out to him to seek his digital marketing services, showed Zaman, that the world is endorsing platforms such as his, as the future of content marketing. As marketing analyst Robert Rose, put it, “Traditional marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
And, during the widespread stay-at-home orders and self-isolation of people with underlying conditions, the Internet and social media are popular distractions to pass the time of day. But audiences are well able to distinguish between just “content” and “engaging content.”
“Qamar Zaman is the truly THE SEO Expert and pays attention to every detail and facet required to reach your organization's goals. One of the aspects that I appreciate most in working with Qamar and his highly professional team is that they are always willing to educate us on what they are doing and the reasons why. There are a lot of companies out there that will just "buy keywords". Qamar is a Strategist and KissPR is the right choice if you are searching for a holistic approach.” Kytari Chapman Sales Manager at Venture X Dallas Campbell Centre.
Even as real strength comes from an indomitable will, Qamar Zaman, the energetic entrepreneur with suave of Saif Ali Khan; Zaman and his storytelling platform continues to paved the way for undreamed of success, knows the value of an outstretched hand in the darkest hour. He has also willingly reached deep into his pockets so small businesses can survive.
Author Shannon L. Alder, once said, “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
Forbes Agency Council
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.