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H+K Asia’s secret sauce to succeeding in the new age

Hill + Knowlton Strategies Asia has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, etc. and has a well-known history in the Asia Pacific region. We have also seen leadership movements over the past year.

Last March, the agency hired Jason Cheang to promote the agency’s Asia Innovation and Creativity Hub. A few months later, Justin Zen was promoted to lead Malaysia and Singapore as CEOs. He replaced H + K Singapore MD and Matthew Briant, Chief Customer Officer of Asia. After that, since he merged his agency Lumos PR with H + K Malaysia in 2019, he initially led Lumos H + K Malyasia as MD.

The agency’s prowess in public relations, content creation and strategy impressed the following jury. A + MAgency of the Year Award 2021 was held in Malaysia and H + K was selected as a finalist for the Public Relations Agency of the Year. In the interview, HS Chung (pictured), President, Hill + Knowlton Strategies Asia shares what agencies need to succeed in today’s era and the secrets to building strong customer-agency relationships.

This interview will be part of a series of interviews with A + M winners and finalists at the AOTY Awards 2021. For more information on the award, click here..

Please tell us your agency and why it is so special.

Chung: H + K A full-service global communication agency A 50-year heritage of the Asia-Pacific region. H + K has more than 500 employees in 16 offices in 9 countries in the Asia Pacific region. With an extensive affiliate network covering all other markets in the region. Each market brings a unique cultural perspective to our work and helps us create powerful stories for our clients that resonate far beyond market boundaries.

Our market is centered around sectors that provide in-depth knowledge of the industry, combined with ideas and strategies, content creation and publishing disciplines. Behind insight-driven ideas and communication strategies is a deep understanding of data and analytics, creativity, and master storytelling. As an agency, we encourage employees to make strategic decisions, experiment, fail and learn from this process. We believe this is a great way to foster a culture of innovation and creativity.

We are known in the industry for its powerful technology. Our technology sector has seen double-digit growth over the last decade. And now, with a pandemic, the sector is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

It has been difficult for the last two years, but I am very grateful for the opportunities they have brought. Our tech clients have not only expanded their authority, but also added several major brands such as Epson, Twitter, Schneider Electric, Grab, LG Energy Solutions and LG Display. To further strengthen its technology communication skills, Mark Lensyzyn has taken on the role of Asia Technology Practice Lead, driving growth in this sector across the region.

What do you think an agency needs to succeed in today’s era?

Chung: I think the agency needs to shift away from the traditional outlook and focus more on delivering integrated solutions. Many years have passed since the rise of the digital economy, and COVID-19 has only accelerated the pace of this change. In 2020, we established the Innovation and Creativity Studio for a region hubbed from Singapore. Over the last two years, there has been a growing demand from clients for integrated campaigns derived from data, analytics and behavioral science.

Agencies need to be able to deliver end-to-end solutions and campaigns that span traditional PR, printing, media planning, display, social and creative while providing a seamless and consistent brand experience.

How do you attract the right people to your team?

Chung: At H + K, employee experience is a top priority. Access to tools, platforms and technologies to further improve your benefits program and support remote work, learning and development by implementing policies and programs that enable flexible work styles to attract and retain talent. Is provided. Focus on inclusion and diversity.

To find the right people for the roles available in your organization, first look inside your network and invest heavily in cross-skills.

For example, if a member of your technology team is passionate and wants to extend Innovation and Creativity Studio further to gain experience in data analysis, we recommend that move. We strive to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, not only as an organization, but also as employees grow together and achieve their career goals.

What do you think is necessary for a great relationship between clients and agencies today?

Chung: As with all relationships, for me it is mutual respect, transparency and trust. In addition to becoming a public relations consultant, he is also responsible for advising brands on all aspects of their marketing strategy to guide and add value through the increasingly complex modern ecosystem, not just public relations. I feel it is necessary. As a strategic partner.

What features will you build for 2022?

Chung: We are investing more in the Innovation and Creativity Center so that our clients have dedicated and integrated talents in all markets of Asia. Also, with the promotion of Anna O’Sullivan, Strategic Communications and Public Relations, a managing partner who leads all strategic communication and public relations opportunities, and Mark Lensyzyn, an Asian technology practice that enhances technology, the public relations and technology sector. We are aiming for further growth. Communication functions throughout Asia.

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