Telum Vox Pop: What is the biggest PR lesson you have learnt in 2022?

Telum Vox Pop: What is the biggest PR lesson you have learnt in 2022?

As 2022 draws to an end, it's the perfect time to reflect on the lessons we've learnt to prepare for the new year ahead. Telum's Southeast Asia PR Team has gathered insights from prominent public relations and communications practitioners across the region on the biggest PR lessons they have learnt in 2022.

Nurul Rasheed, Associate Director, APRW
There will always be a need for authenticity in this industry by building real, personal relationships in communications, whether it’s with clients, media or consumers.

The pandemic has significantly shifted how we forge and strengthen relationships with media. We need to discover new ways to engage and create conversations, such as arranging a 15-minute virtual coffee catch-up or reaching out when reading an interesting piece of editorial coverage they produced. Taking these small steps will go a long way as we figure out these massive shifts.

Being intentional in carving time out to disconnect is also important in this demanding industry and will help us reconnect with more vitality and creativity.

Tim Williamson, Founder and Managing Director, Leon Communications
This year has been a wonderful reminder of why the human element is so important in what we do. It has been great to see and meet people in-person whether that be working together, networking or the return of the in-person events like the Singapore Fintech Festival.

It’s also been a reminder of the importance of having real strategic communications objectives. So much of what we do can be measured and tracked that it's easy to fall into the trap of focusing on outputs and metrics rather than outcomes particularly during Covid. So really it’s been about getting back to basics and focusing not just on deliverables but what our organisations and clients really need from a communications perspective.

Putri Mahardhikarini, Head of PR & Influencer, Ogilvy Indonesia
2022 was a year full of relearning and re-adaptation. After two years of online meetings and events, we learned that client events are no longer geographically bound. And to answer this, we saw more and more hybrid and offline meetings and gatherings held in 2022. Everyone is quite excited in attending the offline events, with online channels to accommodate the needs of those who could not participate physically, due to geographical challenges.

We also see an increasing need from our clients and stakeholders for communications campaigns on multi-channels and multi-market exposure, where incorporating influencers have also become a must-have. There is an increasing need to get positive exposure in markets outside Indonesia, as well as through more variety of communications channels on top of conventional media. This is one of the opportunities where young PR practitioners play an important role, as they grew up with those varied digital channels and will be able to identify the right channels and find the relevancy with the content that needs to be delivered.

Malik Ridhwan Zaihan, Communications Manager, Bank Rakyat Malaysia
Working in public relations teaches me many things, some of which are important life lessons that will serve me both in my professional career and my everyday life.

If you’re going to have one exceptional trait, be reliable - I have come to realise that it is very easy to commit to something, yet not as easy to follow through. Whether it’s a deliverable or a simple response to an urgent email, being reliable is something that people remember. To be cliché, actions truly do speak louder than words, so make your actions heard.

Matthew De Bakker, Country Manager, Singapore, Mutant Communications
We started the year really bullish, but it was only a matter of time before economic and geopolitical conditions impacted some of that optimism. Fortunately, we’re seeing many senior clients and leadership teams continue to prioritise long-term communications efforts through public relations, content and social media.

Rather than being at the mercy of markets, many of them are doubling down on credible earned media efforts, are more willing to experiment and push the boundaries with content types and formats. In return, they’re asking agencies for new and better ways to measure and map KPIs, to justify budgets.

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