By Esther Koh (Also a Youtuber).
Hello semua, I am Esther and I am a PR practitioner cum part-time YouTuber, as how my boss likes to introduce me to our clients and the media. “Did you know that Esther sings?” – this is THE ice breaking line that my boss has been using since 2020 when I attend meetings with her. And since then, I have been desensitized by it and believed that I am an awesome YouTuber, and will nod proudly every time my boss says it. Can’t stop her, so I adapt.
Events have been pretty mundane with most of them happening virtually from 2020 till 2022 due to the pandemic. Something changed in March 2023 and this was the turning point of my work experience.
Shiseido was planning its Eudermine Activating Essence launch at a grand scale slated for 14 March. At the same time, another client – Clarks was going to launch its Clarks x Daiyan Trisha Spring/Summer Collection in the same week, (i.e., on 16 March). Our agency has not had a back-to-back event as such, so this was a new experience for me and the team.
Of course, I did not handle both events at the same time. Shiseido was under my stewardship and Clarks was Liz’s, (our employer of the year who I myself recognised and awarded the title to). Challenges for each event that we faced:
We oversaw media & influencers’ engagement, and the phasing for the event included a soft-launch for pre-event, grand launch event, and post-event.
For pre-event, we had to secure media coverage on the soft launch news release + influencers’ postings. As the soft-launch was so close to the grand launch, with only a 2-week gap in between so
it was a challenge to secure media coverage. Naturally, most of the media will wait for the grand launch to publish the story.
Influencers’ wise, you know the drill. Proposal > Review > Approval (mostly rejection due to various reasons such as tight budget, and mismatch of schedule.) > and Repeat. This process goes on forever. Anyhow, this is what we do and so we manage. I will be covering more details about the challenges in engaging influencers in another article.
For the grand launch event, we managed to obtain RSVPs of over 70pax which is equivalent to 83% attendance rate. I was and still am proud of that achievement. Media & influencers showed up and they seemed to enjoy the event.
Post-event coverage was great as well and smooth-sailing, other than having to follow up with the media a couple of times and say “Hi, may I know if you will publish the news and when please? Hehehe.”
Clarks x Daiyan Trisha
I was not the one handling this event, but my dear colleagues seemed to be super stressed out about it. Too many parties involved and too many ideas got thrown around without us knowing what the client wanted, as we did not liaise directly with the client. Half of the team was based in Singapore, and half here in Malaysia.
There were a couple of miscommunications about the event décor, flower arrangement, PA systems, music license and more. Another challenge was also the limited event space in the store and there was only so much that we can do with such a small space.
Finally, it was the day before the event and all parties came together for a pre-event briefing. Then,
it all came together.
I am writing this from an observer or attendee’s point of view because I wasn’t fully involved in the planning stage. On the event day I was only involved media management. It was quite an interesting and enjoyable event as I got to meet fellow media whom I have only spoken to on the phone many times but have never met them face to face. You can never imagine how different someone can look as compared to how they sound on the phone.
Overall, March 2023 was an interesting time for us, and I look forward for more to come.