PR Agency Singapore

Revinesh Kanaiah shares his internship experience with us!

Revinesh Kanaiah_Internship_Bask Communications

Hi everyone, I am Revinesh and I’m currently an intern at Bask Communications. Internships are pretty enriching in terms of skills and experience. As a marketing undergrad, I decided to challenge myself by taking up a second internship in a different field - public relations. I was excited about the opportunities that the internship had to offer, along with the start-up environment and learning directly from Lay Peng, the founder of Bask Communications.

In the past five months, there have been many key moments that will remain with me, ranging from hosting the media tour for a large scale event at PetExpo 2018 to the opportunity to work on SPARK Fest 2018: Asia’s 1st Sexual Wellness Festival.

For the former, I have to admit to being very nervous even though we had thoroughly prepared ourselves prior to the event. However, as time went by and with the opportunities to chat with the media from the start of the registration through to the tour, I gained confidence in becoming a media host, answering questions and making conversations. The simple “thank you” from the media at the end of the event made all the efforts worth it.

As a guy, I must admit that it felt a bit strange to be working on a sexual wellness festival but I stepped into this project with an open mind. In the lead up to the event, we held numerous media interviews together with Erin Chen, Founder of SPARK Fest Asia. It was then when I truly understood the purpose of the festival and was inspired that we are working directly with the game changers trying to #breakthewall to normalise conversations about sex in Asia. Through our project with SPARK Fest Asia, it opened my eyes to the world of sexual wellness, and I was surprised to see how people can be open-minded about the topic when they are encouraged to talk about it.

It’s back to university in July, but here are so key learnings I’ve made in my internship so far.

1) Do not be afraid to ask questions

Asking questions provides clarity on tasks, prevent avoidable mistakes (and a waste of time), and a guide on how to accomplish it. In the PR industry, every piece of information is crucial to writing an accurate press release which will reach the eyes of both the press and public. Asking questions helped me to explore different ways of completing a task. For example, I was tasked to come up with a proposal for a client. Initially, I had mixed feelings of excitement and confusion as it was one of my first few tasks and I was unsure of what information to include or exclude. However, taking a step to ask has allowed me to tailor the solutions according to the client’s needs.

2) Step up to the plate

The responsibility of an intern goes beyond assisting your colleagues. It involves taking charge of certain situations and making decisions on the spot. Even when conducting media drops, the process of logistical arrangements and media interaction has allowed me to explore alternative perspectives in handling different situations.

 

3) Multitasking becomes a part of you

In the PR Industry, you have to be updated on what’s happening out there while managing our clients as well. One moment, you could be writing an email to a client, another moment you could be on the phone talking to another. Therefore, learn to set priorities according to deadlines and hone the ability to multitask.

Overall, this has been fulfilling and as promised by Lay Peng, no two days are the same. It has definitely opened my eyes to the world of public relations.


 

Bask Spotlights: Susannah Jaffer, Founder of ZERRIN

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This month, Bask Spotlights chats with Susannah Jaffer, former magazine editor turned entrepreneur!

1. Hi Susannah! You kickstarted your editorial career in Singapore following your move here from the UK back in 2012. Can you share with us a little bit more about your journey, and what are some of the biggest difference you see in the editorial between Singapore and the UK?

Sure. I’m 27, British and moved to Singapore at 21 to find a job after completing university in the UK. When I came here, I had a teaching job lined up but it fell through because of visa quotas. However, I into a PR internship for 7 months at a local agency. This was followed by being recruited for a job at Expat Living magazine in 2013. There I worked my way up through various roles, from junior editor to fashion and beauty editor, to launching and running a monthly women’s supplement called LIV for the company, to being appointed their creative director. In a nutshell, my career has largely been in media in Singapore until I launched my new company, ZERRIN.

To be honest, I’d say the biggest differences editorially are topical. Trends are often more geared towards a Western audience, which is a lot bigger and more diverse. I’d also say there’s more freedom of speech in the papers back home than there is here, which is more regulated.

2. Having worked in the magazines for over 4 years, what are some of your favourite stories to do?

I love putting together and directing creative shoots, or alternatively conducting or writing interviews with business owners or entrepreneurs. It’s something I really got into when we launched LIV (Expat Living) back in 2015, which featured an inspiring cover story every issue. I had so much fun writing them. I feel so blessed to have connected with many incredible and hard-working individuals over the past few years through those features, a number of which have become personal friends.

3. Any tips from PR and/or brand owners in reaching out to editors for potential story pieces?

Always know and be in tune with the publication’s target audience. Make pitches personal, or as tailored as possible. It’s worth the effort to make a great connection and crucial to make a good first impression.

4. You have recently transitioned into a freelance role with Expat Living, and at the same time launched ZERRIN, a sustainable fashion and beauty online store. Congratulations! Please tell us more about ZERRIN?

Thank you! ZERRIN is Asia’s first e-tailer dedicated to conscious fashion and beauty brands. We source and curate labels from around the world that are environmentally or socially responsible. Our mission with ZERRIN is threefold:

  • To enable women to discover and shop conscious brands conveniently on one platform.
  • To educate women about the impact of the retail industry and what part can we play to make a more positive impact.
  • To empower women to #shopmeaningfully; purchase more mindfully and place a higher value on their clothing.

We’re proud to support and carry a range of labels from around the world including Hong Kong, Bali, Canada and London, as well as home grown labels from Singapore.

5. With a shift in consumer spending, especially in the millennial group, towards businesses focusing on greater good, how do you see businesses creating sustainable programmes to maintain authenticity over publicity to causes that they are trying to benefit?

If you want to incorporate sustainability or social impact causes into your business, my personal take would be to go into it with a true purpose and a real passion behind the cause that you’re supporting. Businesses shouldn’t be jumping on the bandwagon just because it’s seemingly becoming a trend. Be authentic in everything you do, as your customers or clients will soon realise when you’re not being genuine.

6. We celebrated International Women's Day back in March. Are there any female entrepreneurs whom you look up to? 

Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier and Into the Gloss, as well as Yael Aflalo, founder of Reformation, are inspiration from the retail sphere for their drive, smarts and business strategy. I’ve also been so inspired by women in Singapore I’ve met, interviewed or worked with, like Stephanie Crespin, founder of pre-loved designer marketplace Style Tribute. I met her when she first started the company a few years ago and she’s really built an incredible business from the ground up. I think she’s the true definition of a #girlboss!

7. What’s next for you and ZERRIN?

We’ll be focused on brand building and spreading the word about what we do over the next year, in Singapore and in a few key countries internationally. I really want to focus on building our community and changing the way women consume. We’ll also be putting on a lot on local events between now and June. Our next pop-up is happening at the F1 Pit Building on 14-15 April for the Income Eco Run 2018 race pack collection! We’re also hosting an ethical fashion show as part of Fashion Revolution Day, held at The Hive Lavender on 28 April.

OH HAI! We had a double win at PR Awards 2018!

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We are so thrilled to share that Bask Communications has won a Silver award in the Best Use of Broadcast / Video and a Bronze award in the Most Creative PR Stunt for our work for Red Bull Racing in 2017. It's been half a year and we still haven't got over how funny Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were trying durians for the very first time!  

We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to work on such a great brand with a fantastic team who embraced us even though we are a new and lean team; we are happy to be recognised by industry peers for our achievements. Our wins at PR Awards 2018 are for everyone - clients, media, friends and interns - who have supported us in the past 18 months.

Ng Lay Peng Bask Communications

Thank you, and we look forward to more exciting work in time to come!

Social Media for Brands & Marketers

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The role of social media for brands and marketers is indisputable. Today, we have a whole generation who are growing up never knowing life before social media or smartphones. According to We Are Social’s latest report, there are over 4 billion internet users and 3 billion active monthly social media users globally. How can brand owners and marketers leverage on the platforms available to reach out to both journalists and consumers in a timely and strategic manner?

1. Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest News in Real-Time

Social media platforms like Twitter, SnapChat and Instagram stories have allowed followers to stay in touch with the latest news in real-time. Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia encourages reporters to break the news on Twitter while the newsroom strategise on how to tell the story on the broadcast and online channels. What this means for communicators is the ability to track the latest ongoings, and identify opportunities to pitch their clients as experts to respond and provide commentaries on what is breaking.

Additionally, journalists have also been known to utilise Twitter to seek potential interviewees for the stories they are working on.

2. Getting the Content Right for the Channel

With the increased pressure to publish, it is vital to go back to the basics of not posting just for the sake of posting. Get the content right for each channel and react accordingly to user engagement and behaviour.  Postings on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook can be more informative by text, while Instagram posts should allow viewers to consume and understand the post in split second. On the technical end, avoid the awkward crops by making sure the media shared fits the requirements of each social media platforms instead of sharing the same images or videos across the board.

Read about the rise of vertical videos.

3. Measure the Effectiveness of Your Communication

Social media platforms have afforded brands and communicators with statistics that was not as readily available with traditional media tools. Follower demographic, views, user engagements and sentiments are all in just a few clicks, enabling page owners to measure the effectiveness of their content, especially in terms of engagement and shareability.