I am still at the age where people ask about my time at university. When they realise I didn’t study comms, they often follow up with “Why do you work in PR”?
My journey started with a close friend who previously interned at Mutant. She recommended that I try my hand at PR, and since Mutant was hiring, I took the leap of faith. Fresh-faced and full of excitement, I went into my first chat nervously, got the role — thanks boss — and then time flew and I’ve suddenly been here for two years!
There has been so much to see, learn and understand, and I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of it. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve learned so far:
#1: Launching a brand from scratch is hard – but not impossible
I don’t want to bore you with the details of my work but launching a brand, helping them earn f media visibility and creating relationships with the public isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Yes, it sounds daunting but if there’s one thing that I learnt the past two years, it’s that it gets easier.
Initially, I was only dabbling in brand launches, supporting more senior team members and helping to execute plans. Soon enough, I realised that there is something of a formula to making a brand launch a success. (No, I’m not going to tell you the formula. At least, not for free :))
Case Study: Temple Street
Along with my colleague, I was tasked with launching “Temple Street”, a range of locally produced, hand-crafted and bottled premium cocktails earlier this year. The key activities of the launch included an announcement, media activations and media interviews. Through this launch, I was exposed to strategic thinking, the process of negotiation and stakeholder management. I’m very pleased to report that we secured 51 pieces of earned coverage across online and social platforms, and also facilitated two interviews with key target media for the brand.
Case Study: OrderEZ
Ever wonder how B2B brands are launched? While not very different from their consumer counterparts, these brands require a specific approach due to their niche target audience and the technical nature of their products. Earlier this year, I led the launch for centralised end-to-end business management platform OrderEZ,which had just gotten its seed funding.
The experience taught me how to think outside the box when speaking to the media, while building up the brand’s credibility with thought leadership pieces. For the latter, I worked closely with Mutant’s very own content team to identify relevant topics and greenlight the articles. Our hard work paid off, and we secured 52 pieces of earned coverage across online, print and broadcast platforms, and landed five interview opportunities with key target media for the brand.
#2: Media engages with innovative ideas
Having gotten half of my work experience during a full-blown pandemic, I feel like I’ve had the
the unique opportunity to experience both working in an office, as well as a hybrid team.
in PR. COVID-19 has made things more complicated for PR agencies, especially in terms of engaging the media. The reduced facetime and lack of social gatherings means we have had to come up with innovative ways to keep the media engaged while fulfilling our duties.
Case Study: Hmlet
We helped co-living space Hmlet launch their largest and most flexible property, Hmlet Cantonment in 2019 with a large-scale media staycation. Complete with
activities such as yoga, sketching classes, DIY dinner and cocktails session, our media friends had a great time mingling and experiencing the property for themselves.
Fast forward to a year later: Hmlet Cantonment re-opened its doors with a built-in co-working space catering to hybrid working. We had to think outside the box to ensure that our friends in the media had as great a staycation experience as in 2019 – but with safe-distancing measures taken into account. We replaced the interactive activities with an itinerary of things to do and see in the area that fit their interests. Additionally , we encouraged a free-and-easy approach for their staycation, allowing them to interact organically and safely with others within their comfort zones.
It was a huge success and solidified the importance of exploring alternatives tailored to the media’s interest, while retaining the core essence of the brand.
#3 Teamwork really does make the dream work
This is such a cliché.. But nonetheless, this is something that I hold close to my heart and make a point to share with any juniors or interns that walk through our door.
Firstly, with functions across PR, design and content, it is important to understand how to work seamlessly and utilise Mutant’s resources effectively to provide the best work for our clients.
The pandemic has also strengthened my resolve to work collaboratively with my colleagues.. With tons of articles penned about pandemic fatigue and burnout — it could have happened to any of us.
To address this issue early-on, the management team at Mutant started having weekly check-ins with us to discuss our workloads and mental health. This allowed them to shift workloads to better support colleagues in need of help. I really appreciated this, and it went on to be the best thing I’ve learnt: instead of letting one person shoulder the responsibility on a project, spreading out the workload and sharing the burden allows for more efficient and effective work.
Finally, it’s one thing to see each other in the office and work together,but another to do so over a screen for the past year-and-a-half. Even so, working together – even remotely – allows me to identify areas I can contribute to, while also seeking guidance and constructive feedback about ways in which I can improve.
Looking forward, there is much to consider with new ways of working following the pandemic. Personally, I definitely want to tap into new territory and dip my toes into a broader range of industries, further solidify my presence and of course continue to make loads of noise in our many Slack channels!
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