Telum Talks to... Andy See Teong Leng, President, PRGN

Telum Talks to... Andy See Teong Leng, President, PRGN

Andy See Teong Leng was appointed President of The Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) in May 2023. He spoke with Telum about the new role and his vision for the organisation during his term.

Firstly, congratulations on your appointment to President of the PRGN! What does this new role mean to you?
Thank you very much! I am truly honoured and thrilled to be the first Asian and Malaysian to be entrusted with the responsibility to step into this global leadership role. For me, the role represents a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the PR and communications industry. 

This role will certainly be a new and enriching experience for my team as we work to create opportunities for PRGN members to share their expertise and perspectives to elevate the value of public relations in today's rapidly evolving world.

I see the benefits as not just adding value to the local industry by drawing on global best practices, but also contributing local perspectives to the broader network and add to our collective knowledge. After all, PRGN prides itself as “the world’s local agency”. 

What are some of your goals for your term as President of the PRGN?
One of my key priorities revolves around fostering collaboration within our membership to stay ahead in a rapidly changing industry. We have established task forces and working groups on critical topics like sustainability, ESG, talent management and even AI. These groups bring together our members' expertise and allow them to lead in their local markets, while driving innovation and improving global standards. Our committees on knowledge, business, conference, membership, and marketing provide platforms for sharing insights and industry trends.

To enhance collaboration and knowledge exchange, we are planning membership meetings in global cities like San Francisco and Hong Kong, where members can learn from industry leaders. Expanding our reach is also crucial, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific, South America, and Africa regions. We aim to attract new members and strengthen our connections in these areas to ensure a diverse and inclusive network that consistently represents global perspectives.

By prioritising collaboration, fostering innovation, and expanding our reach, the Public Relations Global Network is positioned as a leading force in the PR industry. Our goal is to empower members to excel locally while contributing to the global advancement of the profession.

How do you plan to foster relationships with other global PR organisations to build the network's effectiveness and reach?
We are always looking at collaboration and partnership opportunities worldwide, and we are proud to be endorsed by global PR organisations such as the International Public Relations Association. Many of our members hold leadership positions in their respective country's PR organisations, which further strengthens our network's effectiveness and reach.

We will focus on developing thought leadership topics and seek out new platforms to share these insights whenever possible. By sharing our insights, knowledge, and best practices, we aim to contribute to the advancement of the PR industry and build strong connections with other global PR organisations. These collaborations will enhance our network's effectiveness and allow us to collectively shape the future of strategic communication on a global scale.

What are your plans to ensure the PRGN remains at the forefront of industry innovation and new trends?
As PR leaders in their own countries, PRGN members are always sensitive to emerging trends. Our regular global meetings are valuable platforms for knowledge sharing across countries and cultures. That’s where we can gain various perspectives which we can then bring back to our own countries and apply them to develop innovative new approaches in whatever context we are operating in.

In addition to our global meetings, we have established an Innovation Working Group dedicated to driving innovation within our network. This group actively explores emerging technologies, new communication channels, and innovative approaches to PR. By collaborating with experts and thought leaders, we identify industry trends and share best practices, empowering our members to incorporate innovation into their strategies and campaigns. 

Our Knowledge Committee also works closely with our members to promote continuous learning and the exchange of expertise. 

In your experience, what is the key to a successful career in public relations?
As PR professionals, we are in the business of helping our stakeholders communicate effectively. To achieve this, we must focus on earning the trust of audiences and stakeholders. The key is to have a deep understanding of our stakeholders and their ever-evolving environment. 

Consumers and stakeholders now expect content to be communicated in a manner that goes beyond the traditional. They expect to have a stake in the news and information-sharing process. As such, the key to a successful career in public relations lies in having a desire to learn and grow continuously, especially in our ever-shifting communications landscape. 

By constantly learning about consumer and stakeholder needs, challenges, and aspirations, we can tailor our strategies and storytelling to better connect with our audiences.

What legacy would you like to leave behind as President of the PRGN?
PRGN is a global organisation of agency owners and leaders. As such, we are not delegates tasked with representing our employers. We all have skin in the game, and the relationships we build are based on shared values and experiences. The knowledge we share is based on trust and a sincere desire to see each other grow in our practice.

As PRGN membership numbers continue to grow, the challenge will be to maintain the strong sense of engagement and camaraderie we enjoy today. My key goal is to ensure that PRGN retains the culture and environment where members are still able to build personal bonds and be engaged. It is my vision to foster a sense of community where members can continue to share experiences, seek advice, and collaborate in a supportive and uplifting atmosphere to create a tightly-knit global community within PRGN.

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