FOR those of you who are not very acquainted with Shekhinah PR founder and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Raj, or for those who have just got to know him, it may come as a total surprise to know that the man is more than just the head honcho of a PR agency.

Christopher, after obtaining his Diploma in Public Relations with the Institute Public Relations of Malaysia (IPRM), he ventured out to Australia and got his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ballarat in Victoria. Also, he is very well versed with Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and is often consulted by corporate giants on matters pertaining to public relations campaigns and social media strategies.

With sports being his first love and forte, it was not surprising that Christopher was appointed Media Officer for the AFC Presidents Cup in Maldives in 2015 and the 16th edition of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup which was held on Jan 9-31 in Australia. The following year, he was appointed AFC Media Officer for the Asian Under-23 Final Rounds in Qatar, and earlier this month (March) he was also appointed as AFC Media Officer for AFC Beach Soccer tournament which was hosted by Terengganu.

Christopher started his public relations career as a PR Executive with Pro-Sports Management for a period of two months venturing out and taking on the much more challenging task of being the Media Officer for the Football Association of Malaysia from 1995-2003. He had also served as Media Officer with the ASEAN Football Federation, Asian Football Confederation and also at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championships held in Malaysia. He was also the Media Centre Manager for cricket at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. And if all that is not enough, Christopher also managed English Premier League club Arsenal’s tour of Malaysia in 1999.

In 2007, he joined the Sports Desk of the New Straits Times Press in Kuala Lumpur where his duties involved covering major sporting events and on occasions, general news events too. He left after two years

Gold award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category at the MPRA 2016

Gold award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category at the MPRA 2016

However, the highlight of his career was serving as consultant to Cardiff City Football Club (2010-2012) and managing and strategising PR campaigns involving English Premier League clubs in 2011 which included Arsenal (July 13), Liverpool FC (July 16) and Chelsea FC (July 21). All three played matches against the Malaysian national team at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. This was followed by the Manchester City Summer Tour and Arsenal Asia Tour in 2012 and Chelsea FC again in 2014. In 2015 Shekhinah PR was picked to manage Liverpool Asia Tour FC and Borussia Dortmund FC Tour of Malaysia.

Recognising the strength and depth of Shekhinah’s proven PR record and media expertise, Christopher was then entrusted to support all initiatives for the ‘Protect the Goal Campaign’, a football-based HIV prevention programme headed by United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). This was in collaboration with the Asian Football Confederation, Asian Development Bank and ASEAN Football Federation.

Shekhinah PR, over the last six years, has also managed brands such PUMA, NIKE and in 2016 was appointed by ADIDAS Malaysia, and in that time Christopher was involved in or spearheaded close to 62 projects. And for all his hard work, trust, dedication and professionalism, he was recognised as the Young Indian Entreprenuer of the Year in 2016.

In 2014 Shekhinah PR was involved in several major projects which included the US$1 Million Axiata Cup, FAM-Frenz Asian Champions Trophy Under-16, ISTAF SuperSeries Finals, FIH Pahang Hockey Champions Challenge Trophy, AFF Suzuki Cup, WWE Live Malaysia, TNB – Malaysian Hockey League and Frenz Under-18 International Cup which was played simultaneously in Kuala Lumpur and Palembang, Indonesia. And in 2016 Tenaga Nasional Berhad appointed ShekhinahPR Sports Consultants.

Christopher Raj was awarded the PERDANA Young Indian Entrepreneur of the Year for Sports Category

Christopher Raj was awarded the PERDANA Young Indian Entrepreneur of the Year for Sports Category

And in another milestone for the agency, Shekhinah’s dedication and hard work over the years was yet again recognised when at the ‘PR Awards 2015 South-East Asia’ by Marketing magazine which was held in Singapore on March 5, 2015, it was picked as one of the finalists in the ‘Best Engagement for a Targeted Community’ category. Shekhinah secured the bronze medal for its outstanding work in the ‘Protect the Goal’ campaign.

A firm believer in ‘Hard Work Beats Talent’
Christopher is also a columnist with leading English daily ‘The Star’.

More was yet to come when Shekhinah PR added another feather to its cap by winning the gold award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category for its ‘One Goal’ project at the Malaysia PR Awards (MPRA) 2015/16.

And to date this year, there have been some some ground breaking events completed with excellent public relations value mainly for the FIH Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 2017 & SS Purple League 2016/17.

A firm believer in ‘Hard Work Beats Talent’ Christopher is also a columnist with leading English daily ‘The Star’. He also frequently appears on Astro Awani, Astro Arena and RTM as a sports pundit, and serves the Football Association of Malaysia as Media Committee Member.