Agency Profile: PLUG

Agency Profile: PLUG

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

What services does PLUG offer?
PLUG is predominantly a comms agency focusing on media, influencer, celebrity and socialite relations as well as overall reputation and crisis management. We also offer wider marketing services such as media / influencer events and experiences, visual content creation, social media management as well as brand positioning work.

How big is your team?
Right now we are 26 and will be growing by a few more people in the coming months. We have a great team with local and international experience that focuses on both Hong Kong and regional strategy and outreach.

Do you have a particular area of focus and what kind of clients do you serve?
While our roots are in consumer PR, we have greatly expanded our reach over the years and converted this diversity into a strength and a competitive advantage. We serve clients in beauty, fashion, F&B, design, art, mall, property, hospitality, technology, corporate and medical fields. This diversity has allowed us to build stronger relationships with journalists, influencers and KOLs in these industries and to cross-pollinate our reach to a wider target audience base.

The most exciting development over the past four to five years has been the rapid expansion of our tech and corporate offering, having serviced clients such as Google Hong Kong (including YouTube), Colliers, Hong Kong Baptist University School of Business, Carousell and AQUMON to name a few.

What are the core values of your company?
We pride ourselves on handling business with a conscience, redefining expectations and enriching lives. Our team members are at the centre of everything we do. We encourage everyone to be open-minded and empathetic, to communicate openly and to have a growth mentality.

Any future goals you would like to achieve this year and in five years?
Our main goal for this year has been the same as the last two years of the pandemic - to support and look after our team. This is something we set out to do early on in 2020 when we recognised that both stability and mental health would be severely impacted in the coming years. We placed this goal above profit chasing and growth, focusing heavily on employee wellbeing. We are planning to pilot a six-month four-day workweek later this summer which is something we are all looking forward to trying out!

In terms of business performance, as we exit the pandemic, we would hope to see a recovery by the end of the year to around 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

For the next five years, we would like to strengthen our skillset and offer, cement our foothold in the tech and corporate sectors and grow the team to be the largest independent agency in Hong Kong.

Any key PR trends you are keeping an eye on?
Brand authenticity is a huge trend that has been accelerated by the pandemic and is universally demanded by consumers who have become less forgiving and more demanding. In the era of fake news, misinformation and the 24-hour news cycle, customer trust is hard to gain. Brands are expected to be transparent about their values and ethics and to go beyond their role as businesses to support the communities they serve. They are also expected to go beyond marketing speak and back up their statements with concrete actions that make a difference. This trend is here to stay, and we PR professionals must apply it as a filter to everything we do.

In a more practical sense, the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption in Hong Kong, and immersive, digital experiences are blossoming. Going forward, launches need to consider both the physical and a digital realm, not as mutually exclusive but complementary channels that enhance the overall experience for customers.

In the influencer sphere, there is a move towards more locally relatable content creators that are true supporters of the brand. Short-lived collaborations are largely short-sighted, and brands who find true customers in certain influencers and nurture that relationship will be able to leverage them to reach and positively influence their fans.

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