Tell us more about your role at Vulcan Post Malaysia.
In essence, my role is to be the “face” of Vulcan Post Malaysia
. To break that down, I’m tasked with making sure that our publication’s editorial integrity is maintained at all times in whatever we do. I also have to ensure that our content creates value for our audience, so they can be better informed when making their own decisions about a brand whose background and mission we've shared. If we’re talking about my day-to-day routine, then it definitely involves lots of editing, some writing, and catching up with interviewees, for the most part.
Could you share more about your editorial selection criteria?
We don't have any hard-and-fast rules; we prefer to look at each potential topic on a case-by-case basis. However, there are several baselines that we know can help create a great editorial article.
Firstly, a brand’s story must be interesting with takeaways for the readers. It’s not always about the success stories either, as there’s a lot to be learnt from failures and the founders who faced them.
If it’s not the brand’s story that catches our eye, then it’ll be its product or service. That has to be intriguing enough that we’ll wonder what the challenges and triumphs that come with selling it are, and this is what we’ll explore in the article.
Secondly, our interviewees have to be open to being honest and candid with their sharing, as the details they can provide are what make the stories engaging for both writers and readers.
Thirdly, everything we write about has to have a Malaysian element since we want to champion local pride or share how a foreign company expanding here can benefit Malaysians.
Since the pandemic began, what are some of the most distinctive changes that have taken place at Vulcan Post Malaysia?
Our entire company is now working from home, and as of this month, it will be one year since we bid goodbye to our office (we still keep it though). Thus, we went from having lunch together almost every day to arranging a virtual lunch meetup every Friday on Gather, where we created our dream office virtually.
The pandemic has led to other changes in internal processes, of course, but what’s reflected in terms of our work would be the kind of content created. For example, more emphasis on digital startups, the digitalisation of businesses, the pandemic’s effect on and opportunities for different groups of people, and more.
You have been writing about startups, tech, and entrepreneur stories. Has any of these stories changed your life or your perception of certain topics? If so, what and how.
100% for sure. I mean, I came to Vulcan Post Malaysia knowing next to nothing about startups. What even was a startup? It felt like a miracle the day I made it into the company, and I’m still grateful for the chance I was given.
But even more than that, I’m grateful for the opportunities I get to keep growing my knowledge about Malaysia’s startup ecosystem. I can’t single out a specific story that’s changed my perspective, as they’ve all cumulatively added to my knowledge bank up in my brain. I’d say my understanding of our startup ecosystem and its players has matured a lot.
As for how my work has changed my life, I would say it’s vastly grown my network of professional connections, and I feel more confident speaking to CEOs, executives, founders, and more, since I can actually involve myself in their conversations (but I’m still rather shy).
What are the highly-sought pitches that PRs should note, and how can PRs make your work easier?
What makes a pitch really stand out for us is firstly a strong title that emphasises what’s unique or interesting about the subject. However, it should not oversell it.
Tell us why a founder’s story is worth paying attention to. If it’s an interesting product / service, tell us how it would impact Malaysians (or the world). Is it making a process X% faster, cheaper, less dangerous? If it’s a for-profit project, what’s the projected revenue or profit it can bring in over X amount of time?
For me personally, a good pitch is like a good marketing campaign: don’t hard sell your product / service, keep it genuine, and show us the potential of your idea.
What are three must-haves tech gadgets that would make our life easier while working from home?
A bed laptop stand for when I want to work in bed (I know it’s bad, but I need to change it up sometimes), a great pair of wireless earbuds for meetings, and a non-laggy laptop (one day I’ll get an upgrade!)