Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hill & Knowlton and me

I am subscribed to Social Media Today although I admit I don't read it very religiously unless something interesting catches my eye. Well, something did today. The blogger of the week featured Mr. Niall Cook, who is Worldwide Director of Marketing Technology in Hill & Knowlton. I don't know Mr. Cook. But H&K caught my eye.

Sometime not too long ago, earlier this year, I was offered an interview opportunity with H&K. And although the result was negative, but this series of interviews were one of the most valuable lessons in my life. I had the pleasure of meeting the Managing Director of H&K China in Singapore. And I flew to both Beijing and Shanghai to meet with 13 business directors in all. I was also fortunate enough to be invited to an internal workshop on digital PR. The entire process opened a new perspective and worldview for me. It was quite an exciting and mind-blowing process. Although I've always knew PR is a niche by itself, but only then did I began to understand how in depth and what kind of expertise is required to be a successful PR person. It is all a very different ballgame from where I came from. And although the interviews lasted almost 3 months (it continued when I returned Singapore) but I must say it was a time and money well-spent. I couldn't explain how rewarding it was, but I sincerely appreciated the opportunity.

H&K is somewhat very different from some other PR companies I know. I have friends who work for renown PR firms in Singapore and although I don't know much about PR but the values they hold are very different. H&K has very strong integrity about their business and they strongly encourage their clients to anticipate and practice the same transparency. They also understands the importance of constant innovation and finding a new niche in PR with the everchanging technologies. And that the lines between advertising, marketing and PR are constantly getting blured and it no longer is about "traditional" or "digital" anymore. It is essential that each is integrated into one another to provide a complete solution for businesses. Every business director has a clear idea on the kind of team they want to groom and the vision of the company is very clear. Which is something I value alot because I find it impossible to contribute too much to a company I can't seem to see the vision. Getting lost is simple in a mundane office life. Vision, values and positive culture in a company are some of the things I consider the most important when seeking a potential employment.

Someday, I still look forward to be a part of H&K. I think there is a wealth of knowledge and new worldview for me to apprehend from there. It is an organisation I will want to work for.

And here's to share with everyone, the blog of Mr. Niall Cook.

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