Telum Talks To…Malyn Molina, President and Chief Operating Officer, EON Group

Telum Talks To…Malyn Molina, President and Chief Operating Officer, EON Group

Following her return to EON Group, Telum caught up with Malyn Molina to speak about her leadership style, latest trends in the Filipino communications and PR landscape, and what's next for the agency.

How have your experiences shaped the person and leader you are today?
I have always been an agency person since the beginning of my career, so my world view is set on helping to create solutions that unlock growth opportunities and build trust for my clients. Being in communications, we have to accept our responsibility in impacting business and society and to me, problem-solving for clients is non-negotiable.

My inclination towards behavioural science, specifically the intersection of anthropology, psychology, and sociology has made me constantly curious about psyche, culture, and society. I enjoy learning new things especially through conversations with people.

As a leader, I focus on people strategy. Everything begins and ends with talent. If I am able to recruit, retain, and grow the industry’s best talent under my team, I will also be able to win, retain, and grow the best clients, which in turn puts the business in the right place. Having said that, I do set high standards for myself as I do for my people. And while I am willing to take risks and make mistakes, I will also not compromise on speed and learning.

How would you describe the Filipino communications and PR landscape, and how do you see it developing over the next five years?
Filipinos have always been great storytellers, and our culture as a people is an intricate network of beautiful and inspiring stories. This is why the communications industry will never stop growing and will always be a driver of business and society. Indicators point to economic progress for the Philippines in the next five years, and together with this will naturally be the exponential increase in access to technology and emerging digital channels.

As more people engage in digital platforms, the challenge of upholding credibility and truth will be a bigger issue for which brands and key institutions will need support. Communications and PR are the best champions and custodians of this critical challenge.

What’s next for EON Group? What sectors and markets are you looking to for growth opportunities?
It’s a milestone year for EON in 2023 as we are celebrating our 25th anniversary. What started as an events' company is now a fully-integrated communications consultancy - a hybrid between an agency and a think tank. We will be staying the course of strengthening our research and analytics initiatives to create data platforms, similar to our biannual national study on trust - the Philippine Trust Index. These allow us to ground our strategies on data and increase our ability to hit our communication objectives.

For growth, we are looking at sharpening our expertise in critical sectors like healthcare, financial services, and the associated technologies (FinTech, health tech). We will also be doubling down on our offerings in social, content, research and analytics, impact, while maintaining our leadership in advisory work given regulatory expectations and need for government engagements.

What are the key issues that are going to keep you and your clients busy in the second half of 2022?
There’s definitely a lot of unpacking and decoding to do as we welcome a new administration. A lot of navigating as well of socio-political challenges heightened by inflation, supply chain issues, regulatory changes, and yes, even the lingering uncertainties of a pandemic that is still very much with us. All this while trying to ensure that trust is built on platforms replete with disinformation and misinformation - so you can already imagine how busy we are going to be?

Finally, what advice would you give to young guns starting in the industry?
Be fearless - in diving neck-deep into the work and getting your hands dirty. Be relentless - in challenging conventions, changing perceptions, and shaping conversations with facts. Surround yourself with people who are better than yourself, be teachable, and share what you know.

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