Keeping it fresh and fun: Hong Kong's next generation of communicators

Keeping it fresh and fun: Hong Kong's next generation of communicators

Hiring the right talent is no easy feat, but for Golin's Carol Yeung, the answer is in the next generation. Young PR practitioners bring with them a blend of enthusiasm, technological prowess and a willingness to embrace change; these skills can infuse communications teams with fresh, modern ideas.

Carol is the Managing Director of Golin in Hong Kong, and the Chairperson of PRHK. In a chat with Telum, she shared her thoughts on the state of communications recruitment in 2024, as well as tips for companies to champion Hong Kong's next generation of communicators.

Telum Media How important is it to hire fresh, new talent in the PR industry?

Carol Yeung Regardless of the industry you work in, it is always important to bring in new perspectives to stay relevant and creative.

I recall that during a past 'company day' at Golin, we invited colleagues from all levels to share ideas on how to make the industry better.

A younger team member shared her thoughts on improving work-life balance and reducing unnecessary overtime. This subsequently led to the creation of PRHK’s Work Smarter for the Future guidebook, which was developed in conjunction with the association’s Next Generation of Leaders subcommittee and designed to tackle the challenge of overtime in our industry.

Telum Media What have you noticed about young people entering the communications industry in recent years?

Carol Yeung The real slashers: One of the interesting trends is how talented young people are at bringing their business ideas to life! They might be influencers or have started businesses already. This equips them with the basic knowledge of marketing and attracting and engaging audiences, which is very helpful when you’re starting out in the communications industry.

Quick learners in tech: Young people embrace technology - it’s no surprise that they are the first ones to try out ChatGPT and other AI tools.

Vocal in DEI: They have an in-depth understanding of DEI topics and volunteer to create change in the office!

As leaders, it is important to understand and embrace these young professionals for who they are and create synergy from there.

Telum Media In 2024, what can industry leaders do to encourage more young people to pursue a career in PR and communications?

Carol Yeung It starts with awareness and education on what a modern career in PR and communications could look like. At PRHK, we have a committee that focusses on university engagement, where we organise career talks, office tours and mentorship for students looking to break into PR. We also collaborate with universities to conduct guest lectures and share glimpses of what a career in this industry is like.

It is essential to be where the young, emerging PRs are and communicate in their language. In recent years, local PR meme pages are popping up on social media, sharing PR news and industry experiences in entertaining ways. If we want to generate interest and attract young people to this industry, we need to speak their language and keep things fun.

Telum Media What advice would you give new entrants in the Hong Kong communications scene in 2024?

Carol Yeung Be innovative in your problem-solving and focus on developing the right mindset. Our industry has changed very rapidly in recent years, particularly with the growth of technology such as AI. A lot of work can now be streamlined, but problem-solving will remain an irreplaceable core skill.

As a leader of Golin’s Hong Kong office, I embrace technology and encourage everyone to think about the ways they can work smarter. It is essential to develop an ability to problem-solve creatively, as well as an open and agile mindset.

Telum Media What continues to excite you about the communications industry?

Carol Yeung Even after more than 10 years in the industry, no two days are ever the same. The communications industry evolves alongside people, trends, technology, economic and political situations…basically anything that happens in the world!

There is always something new to learn. When I first started in the industry, print media was the dominant channel, but now, digital and social media have transformed the way our industry works. ESG has become an increasingly popular area of focus, while in 2023, much of the attention was devoted to AI.

I believe a career in communications is best suited to those who are constantly curious about the world and eager to learn.

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