Telum Talks To... Raewyn McBain, CEO, Pink Tiger Media
This week, Telum caught up with Raewyn McBain on the changes Pink Tiger Media and the PR Industry in Hong Kong have been experiencing since the dawn of the pandemic. Raewyn also shares with us some anecdotes from her career, which has led her to various countries across the globe as she delves into journalism, advertising and PR.
Perhaps you could start by briefly introducing Pink Tiger Media, and yourself...
Hailing from New Zealand, but deciding to start my career in New York and London, one of my first roles was with Dow Jones Markets reporting on commodities. I then moved into a marketing role at a startup ECN before deciding to strike out on my own. When I saw a need for a PR and Marketing agency that actually understood financial products and markets I founded Pink Tiger Media in London, now almost 25 years ago! I like to think I am a perceptive observer, a critical thinker, and a successful banking and financial industry expert with a natural flair to connect with the media. It was only natural that the agency expanded very quickly.
In 2006, I set up our Global Development Centre in Asia-Pacific to penetrate the region and take advantage of an offshore business model. While we have expanded to cover a broad global clientele, our core is still financial services and fintech companies. Not surprising given I hired a talented team that has experience both in the Asian financial markets and in various corporate environments across the world. Myself and the Pink Tiger media team are not only experienced in the fields of FX, Commodities, Energy and Technology, but we also have an extensive understanding of Product Marketing. Many clients have tapped into our expertise to launch successful events and campaigns. With our sense for evolutionary trends in the field of branding, we have a number of completed rebranding and brand enhancement projects under our belt.
Pink Tiger Media is a full-service communications agency specialising in the financial services and technology sectors. We have both in-house marketing and PR teams alongside production and design, which is critical in delivering end to end campaigns in a digital world. Combined 25+ years of industry experience and a young talented team of creatives, Pink Tiger Media allows businesses to take advantage of fast moving media opportunities.
Working from a mixed offshore / onshore model, we allow budget savvy companies to stand out on the global stage, delivering impact and maximum results to multinationals and start-ups across APAC and globally.
Our core solution offerings are Brand Evolution, Public Relations, Digital Media, Integrated Campaigns, Social Media and Event Management.
Pink Tiger Media has been following an offshore model for 18 years. What benefits has this brought the business, and do you plan to evolve or invest in it given the change in working practices from Covid?
While many firms struggled to change operating models due to COVID, it was really business as usual for us. We had invested heavily to promote a virtual and cloud based working model so when our clients were struggling to adjust to the new norm we were able to continue to provide fast and accurate turn around. Pink Tiger Media are used to working anywhere in any place and in any timezone.
As an agency in a fast-paced environment and niche industry, we are continuously evolving and investing. An example being our client communications, we have been using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype and Adobe Cloud for years. We used to have to convince clients that was the medium of the future! Now our clients understand, so we use cloud tools that let us plan, produce, distribute and analyse all in one place
Another good example is Telum, working with you has updated the way we carve out our PR campaigns and reach the media we need to be connecting stories with. We often host and organise client webinars, roundtables and interviews on zoom with key media from anywhere in the world.
Have you seen any noticeable shift in client demands or goals since the beginning of the pandemic?
The most noticeable change came from in house marketing teams offloading to agencies for a more cost-effective option that also offered a reliable and proven track record. We essentially become an additional marketing “arm” to their in house departments,
We also saw big campaigns coming from the financial markets, particularly when the trading floors shut down and thousands of traders had to be able to operate from home essentially overnight. Pink Tiger Media were instrumental in driving a number of remote trading marketing campaigns seen across multiple regions during Covid. With the shift towards software and cloud based trading and communication systems increasing dramatically due to Covid, we played a vital role in communicating that change to our client’s audiences. We did this through digital campaigns as well as local and international media outlets via TV, radio and print.
Do you think the events of this year will hasten the industry’s shift towards a more flexible working model, one that acknowledges the need for fresh thinking when it comes to both client servicing and meeting customer demands?
Yes, absolutely. With regards to our own work process, as mentioned, PTM are already set up for a flexible work process. We are set up exactly to serve the global market as well as domestic. For example, a brief will be in our inbox in the APAC morning and the completed project will be in the client’s inbox ready for the US AM. All done while they are having sweet dreams – after all our tagline is “Feel the Rush”!
Your career has taken you from New York to Hong Kong via London, across Journalism, Advertising and PR. How does the SAR stack up after more than two decades of working around the world?
You missed Singapore and Malaysia from your list! These days I could run the agency from anywhere in the world given a stable internet connection. However, Hong Kong is the dynamic heart of the fastest growing market for our clients and I love the city. Sometimes you think it would be great to be on a desert island far from crazy deadlines then you realise that you would go mad.
You were working in the media in London in the 80s - you must have some extraordinary stories to tell. Any favourite anecdotes to share?
What like when I decided to talk the New Zealand ambassador into lending me his two Rolls Royce’s for my wedding? NZ 1 & NZ 2! I concocted a story around covering the wool market in Europe in order to get an invite to a "small informal" cocktail party at the embassy. I went with my press card in my newsroom outfit - Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister was there along with most of the ambassadors in London! Though completely stage struck I managed to pull it together and made some great contacts with ambassadors from the countries I actually covered commodities for - serendipity? There was no wool market and the ambassador got recalled before I could close the deal on the cars.