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

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Asia has a storied historical past in Asia Pacific, with workplaces in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Korea, amongst different international locations. It has additionally seen management actions over the previous yr.
Last March, the company introduced on board Jason Cheang to drive the company’s Asia Innovation and Creativity Hub. Just a few months later, Justin Then was promoted to lead Malaysia and Singapore as CEO. He changed H+K Singapore MD and Asia chief consumer officer, Matthew Briant. Then initially led Lumos H+K Malyasia as MD since merging his company, Lumos PR with H+K Malaysia in 2019.
The company’s prowess in PR, content material creation, and technique impressed our judging panel at A+M’s Agency of the Year Awards 2021 in Malaysia, touchdown H+K a finalist spot for Public Relations Agency of the Year. In an interview, HS Chung (pictured), president, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Asia shares what is required for businesses to succeed in at this time’s day and age and the secret sauce to forming a robust client-agency relationship.
This interview is completed as a part of A+M’s winners’ and finalists’ interview sequence for AOTY Awards 2021. To discover out extra about the awards, click on right here.
Tell us about your company and what makes it particular?
Chung: H+K is a full-service world communications company with over a 50-year heritage in Asia Pacific. H+K is residence to greater than 500 staff in 16 workplaces throughout 9 international locations in Asia Pacific together with a wide-reaching affiliate community overlaying each different market in the area. Each market brings a singular cultural perspective to our work that helps us craft highly effective tales for our purchasers which resonate far past our market boundaries.
Our markets are structured round sectors to ship deep trade information mixed with specialist areas of concepts + technique, content material creation and publishing. Behind all of our insight-led concepts and communication methods is a deep understanding of knowledge and analytics, creativity and grasp storytelling. We, as an company, empower our folks to make strategic selections and encourage them to experiment, fail and study from this course of. We imagine this to be an effective way to breed a tradition of innovation and creativity.
We’re recognized in the trade for our robust technological capabilities. Our expertise sector has grown consecutively by double digits over the previous decade. And now, extra so with the pandemic, we see this sector rising considerably in the years to come.
The final two years have been difficult however we’re very grateful for the alternatives they introduced. Our tech purchasers haven’t solely expanded their remit however now we have additionally added a slew of some main manufacturers together with Epson, Twitter, Schneider Electric, Grab, LG Energy Solution and LG Display amongst others. To additional strengthen our expertise communications capabilities, Mark Lensyzyn has taken on the position of Asia Technology Practice lead to elevate the development of this sector throughout the area.
What do you suppose is required for businesses to succeed in at this time’s day and age?
Chung: I believe businesses want to shift from having a standard outlook and focus extra on providing built-in options. The rise of the digital financial system has lengthy since begun and COVID-19 has solely accelerated this tempo of change. Back in 2020, we had established our Innovation and Creativity studio for the area that was hubbed out of Singapore. Over the previous two years, now we have seen larger demand from our purchasers for built-in campaigns stemming from information and analytics and behavioural science.

Agencies now want to give you the option to ship end-to-end options and campaigns straddling conventional PR, print, media planning, show, social and inventive whereas presenting a seamless and constant model expertise.

How do you appeal to the proper expertise to your groups?
Chung: Employee expertise is a prime precedence for us at H+K. To appeal to and retain expertise, now we have put in place insurance policies and programmes that permit for versatile working preparations, additional bettering our advantages and well-being programmes, and offering entry to instruments, platforms and expertise that assist distant working, studying and improvement with a deal with inclusion and variety.

To search the proper expertise for accessible roles inside the organisation, we first look inside our community and make investments closely in cross-skilling.

For instance, if a expertise workforce member is passionate and now desires to achieve expertise in information analytics with the additional enlargement of our Innovation and Creativity Studio, we encourage that switch. We’re striving to obtain a win-win final result, whereby not solely will we develop as an organisation however our folks develop with us too and obtain their profession aspirations.
What do you suppose makes for nice client-agency relationships at this time?
Chung: As with each relationship, for me, it’s mutual respect, transparency and belief. I additionally really feel we want to transfer past simply being PR consultants and step up and tackle the position of having the ability to advise manufacturers on all features of their advertising and marketing methods – past simply PR and assist information them via the more and more complicated fashionable ecosystem to add worth as a strategic accomplice.
What capabilities will you construct on as we head into 2022?
Chung: We are investing additional in our Innovation and Creativity Centre for our purchasers to have devoted built-in expertise in each market throughout Asia. We are additionally additional rising our public affairs and expertise sectors with the promotions of Anna O’Sullivan, managing accomplice, strategic communications and public affairs to lead all strategic communications and public affairs alternatives and Mark Lensyzyn, Asia Technology Practice lead to strengthen expertise communications capabilities throughout Asia.


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