Roundtable: A wellbeing break for media and comms professionals

Roundtable: A wellbeing break for media and comms professionals

Telum Media and PRHK co-organised a webinar panel discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on media and communications professionals' wellbeing. The webinar was joined by hundreds of attendees across over a dozen countries, and was moderated by Erica Stein from Aon. 

The pandemic has redefined how media and PR professionals work and communicate. For Kiri Sinclair, Founder and CEO at Sinclair, it is about learning a different way of communication with stakeholders. Between colleagues and across offices, Sinclair now organises a weekly town hall to chat. She also stressed the importance of having video turned on during online meetings, as "face to face connection is everything".

"The PR field sits in the middle of many relationships," Kiri said. Not only do PRs need to work with the media, but they also need to constantly monitor, analyse and interpret the news and break issues to clients. 

Victor Ting, News Reporter at the South China Morning Post, whose work involves attending the daily COVID-19 press conferences held by the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority, needs to constantly take notice of developing situations and come up with interesting ideas for his feature stories. He also shares his challenges with working from home, where having to conduct interviews remotely and not being able to vox pop people are new territories as to what he is used to.

On the positive side, Victor described that reporters have started to revisit stories and topics that have emerged relevant again as a result of COVID-19, including manpower shortage, telemedicine, and how the private sector can contribute to the public sector during these unprecedented times.

As part of a charitable organisation aimed at improving awareness of mental health, Carol Liang, Communications Manager at MindHK, admits her biggest challenge is to balance her own and her team's mental wellbeing, while also promoting it at the same time. In response to COVID-19, MindHK has been putting out more resources and webinars on how to manage wellbeing. 

The panellists also pointed out that every single person is essentially an emotional human being, and that now is the time to have a big sense of community and be mindful of others' emotions when interacting. Carol suggested that, instead of asking a general "how are you" in a team meeting, bringing something positive to the conversation such as sharing "what made you smile today" makes a big difference.

The webinar concluded with a hands-on wellbeing practice led by Abigail Croft, Managing Director at BRIDGE Partnership. She shared the following strategies to ease stress levels and keep your health at an optimal level:
  • Place your feet flat on the floor
  • Take a deep breath and exhale through your mouth
  • Understand your holistic needs from a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual perspective
  • Design your day in the form of journaling
Click here to watch the full webinar.

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