Telum Talks To: Anu Gupta from IPREX

Telum Talks To: Anu Gupta from IPREX

Anu Gupta is a Director at APRW, a Singapore-headquartered integrated communications agency, who was recently appointed as APAC Regional President, Member of Global Board at global communications and public relations network, IPREX. She shared with Telum her vision for the network and tips for independent communications agencies on picking the right network to join.

Earlier this year, you took on the role of Asia Pacific President at IPREX, which will see you leading the region until May 2026. What does this mean to you and your agency, APRW?
Our appointment within IPREX makes APRW the first communications firm from Singapore to be appointed on the IPREX Global Board. This has significant meaning for both APRW and me.

When we embarked on our journey within IPREX in 2020, our intent was to create incredible opportunities for collaboration, learning, and sharing global best practices with like-minded independent agencies worldwide. This move aligned seamlessly with Singapore’s growing focus as a global hub, and we take pride now in flying the Singapore flag high on the global communication stage.

Our journey with IPREX has enabled us to forge valuable connections and expand our reach, reinforcing our commitment to delivering exceptional results for our clients.

With the IPREX appointment, what will be your focus for communications agencies in APAC?
My emphasis on fostering growth, empowerment, and innovation of communications agencies in APAC stems from tackling the distinct challenges and complexities organisations encounter when expanding their communications endeavours in the region.

Findings from the recent 2023 State of Global Communications and Marketing by IPREX highlighted that stakeholder engagement was a prominent challenge in APAC. The APAC region is marked by diversity with two superpowers like Mainland China and India, global hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong, and substantial consumer bases like Australia and Japan, presenting both opportunities and challenges for expansion.

In the APAC region, the majority of organisations prefer third-party providers when expanding globally, aligning well with IPREX's mission. With nearly two-thirds leveraging networks like IPREX, I see this as a unique opportunity. We will continue to actively look for partners in this region across markets like Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan.

We think the communications landscape has evolved significantly and independent entities like us can thrive by overcoming cultural barriers, fostering collaborations, and joining expansive networks for multifaceted support.

Why is it important for a PR agency to join a network? What key considerations should be made before choosing to join a network?
For independents like us, firstly, it opens the door to a global community of communication experts, facilitating collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the sharing of best practices. A simple example of this, via IPREX we were exposed to the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on our industry way before it even dawned on Southeast Asia. This better prepared us for the future.

Secondly, our partners within the network operate across diverse industries and offer a wide range of communication services. Such a network immediately provides us and our clients access into new markets and vice versa. With 40 years of client-centric focus and a global network of 1,100+ communication professionals in 100+ markets, we optimise the client experience. As business owners, it has also given us access to a strong global network of peers and the confidence that local firms can now do global work.

Thirdly, it gives us the opportunity to expose our people to global engagements via webinars, conferences, training programmes, etc. This has tied in well with our Learning & Development initiatives for employees, giving our talent global exposure.

Could you share some upcoming projects from IPREX, especially in the APAC region, that we need to watch for?
Absolutely! We have an exciting 'Ask Me Anything' webinar coming up on 18th April that will delve into global communication trends and market dynamics within the Europe / Middle East region. Hosted by the APAC region at IPREX, this webinar promises to be a pertinent session with a diverse panel of global experts. APRW is proud to be IPREX’s sole representative in Southeast Asia.

We also have a strong participation from APRW at global IPREX conferences in Chicago, New Orleans (USA), Athens (Greece) and Stockholm (Sweden) later this year.

In addition to the aforementioned endeavours, the ongoing engagements include seeking business opportunities spanning various countries. We are also dedicated to assisting our clients in expanding their communication efforts on a global scale. Our commitment extends to staying abreast of emerging trends and leveraging innovative strategies to drive success in an ever-evolving marketplace.

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