Karen Ko, Founder & Director, K.Kommunications in Hong Kong, takes the Telum spotlight in this edition. Having set up shop in 2018, Karen shares her secret talent, the commercial that creeps her out and F&B trends on vegan foods and ice cream.
By way of introduction
I founded K.Kommunications in 2018 to primarily serve Hong Kong's food and beverage industry. I worked in both advertising and PR for eight years and thus have a unique understanding of the extensive impact they can have on businesses. I specialise in media communications, with a goal to help clients obtain news coverage that advertising dollars cannot buy and reach people in a way that is more informative than intrusive.
Ogilvy & Mather Fellowship Program.
Schedule of a typical workday
A typical workday for me involves a lot of multitasking. I usually start with checking emails and sorting through press releases. Next, I may have calls or meetings with clients to discuss new projects or campaigns, organise tastings and events, liaise with journalists to discuss upcoming stories, etc.
Top 3 daily reads
Food Navigator Asia, Marketing Interactive, Campaign Asia-Pacific.
A secret fun fact about yourself
I can make a paper rose with 100 folds in less than five minutes.
Your stress reliever
Origami and running are both great stress relievers for me. They help me decompress outside of work, and I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I feel when I complete an art piece or reach a milestone.
Best thing about working in F&B comms
It’s the amazing people I get to work with. From the chefs to the servers, everyone is so passionate about food and hospitality. It's a privilege to be part of this industry, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented people.
Most memorable campaign
I remember a commercial for the movie "The Blair Witch Project". The commercial was a person talking about how scary the movie was, and it really creeped me out.
Advice to anyone looking to set up a PR firm
It's important to have a strong understanding of the media landscape and how to pitch your stories. You also need to have a strong network of journalists and media professionals that can help spread the word about your company and clients. Building a good reputation is key, so always put your clients' needs first and make sure you deliver high-quality work. Finally, make sure you have the resources to handle a large influx of new business.
One thing you would change about the comms industry
One thing I would change is the way that pitches are often judged on quantity rather than quality. Pitches that are well-researched and thoughtfully crafted often get overlooked in favour of those that are hastily put together. This is a shame because it can lead to bad decisions being made and subpar work being produced.
Upcoming F&B trends you look forward to
The continued rise of plant-based foods. I think we will see more and more restaurants offering vegetarian and vegan options or meat-based dishes made with plant-based proteins. I think there will also be a lot of interesting developments in the ice cream category, with more artisanal brands popping up and experimental flavours gaining popularity.