Agency Profile: Finn Partners Singapore

Agency Profile: Finn Partners Singapore

Telum is looking to highlight the diverse and vibrant agencies in the Southeast Asian PR agency landscape in upcoming editions of our PR Alert. We want to encourage networking, business opportunities, and to celebrate the great initiatives being worked on around the region. If you'd like your agency to feature, get in touch.

What services does the agency offer?           
We are a full-service integrated marketing communications agency. Our strength lies in providing strategic counsel and integrated communications services to innovative organisations across multiple industries. While our roots are in B2B, we have made serious headway in new sectors including consumer and public  setting the stage for growth through diversification.

Today, we are a team of nearly 60 integrated communications professionals, committed to driving performance through our suite of content marketing, creative services, digital marketing, public relations, and social media marketing services for some of the world’s most innovative brands.

Where does your agency have an office?           
Finn Partners is one of the world’s largest independent full-service marketing communications agencies with more than 800 employees in 19 offices across three continents. Headquartered in New York, our other offices are located in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Hong Kong, Fort Lauderdale, Frankfurt, Jerusalem, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Nashville, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Singapore and Washington D.C.

Singapore is the Asia-Pacific HQ for Finn Partners. Our Singapore team work out of a gorgeous conservation building in Tanjong Pagar, an oasis of calm set in the classic elegance of 1920s architecture in the heart of the city. Plus, we have something very special: a secret garden which has seen many brainstorms, geek-out, and durian-eating sessions.

Do you have a particular area of focus?           
We’ve always focused on creating compelling content for our clients and their target audiences. We’d started out as a marketing communications agency with a strong content focus in 2001. In 2008, we branched out and established a PR business. Since then, we have moved on to become an integrated communications agency covering key markets across APAC.

We have been increasing the integration of our services and teams as part of our organisational transformation. As a result, last year, 30% of our business came from clients who engaged us for integrated communication services, ranging from brand development and media relations to digital marketing and lead generation.

Who is the founder and why did they start the agency?
Finn Partners Singapore (previously Ying Communications) was founded by a husband-and-wife team, Allan Tan and Yeap Yin Ching, who made it their goal to build an agency of great people who do great work and are great to work with. They had worked for large MNCs like Singapore Airlines, Shell and IBM and wanted to create a company that had the best of both worlds – global expertise combined with the personalised service of a small local agency. They also wanted to create a place for comms professionals to work and call home.
Tell us about the leadership team.
Our leadership team comprises a strong core including newly appointed Singapore Managing Partner, Naeema Ismail; Senior Partner for Marketing, Joyce Liong, as well as our founders, Allan Tan and Yeap Yin Ching.

We have a leadership team that truly cares for our people. At the peak of the pandemic, they were instrumental in making sure the team’s safety and morale were kept high. The leadership also initiated #TogetherApart activities to encourage team-bonding during these times. From personally delivering welfare packs to hosting satellite Christmas gatherings within capacity limits, our leadership team’s number one priority has always been its people.  

Our leaders are also firm believers of diversity, and it shows in our numbers. Three of our top four executives and 60% of our senior team (VPs, HODs, and above) are women.
What is next for your agency? What is the five-year goal?
We’re working on further integrating our agency to be much more centred around clients and client needs, rather than product or service siloes. Our focus is, as it’s always been, to help our clients successfully navigate an increasingly complex marketing and communications landscape in order to reach the right audiences with messages that resonate so as to positively influence buying decisions.

There has been a confluence of factors that is driving real and needed change in the marketing and communications industry. An ever-increasing mix of paid and owned channels contrasted with a diminishing traditional, earned media pool. This means that as marketing professionals, we must keep up with the emerging platforms and technologies to create effective, measurable campaigns.

As we deepen the integration of our services and teams as part of our transformation, we look to become one of Asia Pacific’s best integrated communications agencies, providing a seamless experience to clients, partners and stakeholders.

In a sentence, describe your ideal relationship with a journalist.
To listen without intent and build on human touch, putting relations back in media relations.

Tell us about a campaign you are currently working on or are particularly proud of.
Just last month, we produced an online webinar in Indonesia to raise the visibility of a leading gaming and software development company. Our team conceptualised, produced, and engaged 162 attendees in the online webinar which gave a glimpse into what the future of media, entertainment and creative industries could look like. This was a rare win, as ‘webinar fatigue’ has risen in most parts of the world over the past year.

Any key PR trends your agency is keeping an eye on?
“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.” -organisational psychologist, Adam Grant, from his book, Think Again.

With the world becoming more data-driven, so has PR.

To enable our team to generate deeper, more holistic insights and develop relevant campaigns that work, we worked with our Global Intelligence Chief to train our team on research and insights best practices and tools. We also developed the Brand OS methodology to help take our clients from research, insights and planning to execution, measurement, and optimisation for better marketing ROI. This improved our success rate by 30% in a crowded space where many pitches still begin with “we feel” instead of “we know”.

What skillsets do you look for in new hires?
Our team lives by four simple rules, outlined in The Finn Way Framework: work hard and play nice; do the right thing every time; treat your teammates right; and learn like your life depends on it.

We’re open to new hires from all walks of life who identify with our mantra. The industry is not for the faint-hearted. While we don’t expect new hires to be perfect, we do look for candidates who are eager to learn. Proactiveness and drive are important traits that will go a long way in proving one’s salt. A good culture allows us to focus on doing the job well, with no drama, in a supportive and conducive work environment.

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