View from Asia

Our Hong Kong-based Senior Account Director Moira Kan on Asia’s top notch talent pool, the opportunities for content experts and why it’s such an important market for global brands.

Firstly, tell us a bit about your role and why you’re currently based in Hong Kong…

I’m a Senior Account Director and I’m really lucky to be entrusted with the task of growing TVC’s global offering in Asia. There’s a great opportunity to support our global clients with their Asia activities locally as well as support the APAC teams at our parent company, The Economist Group, in delivering smart, high-quality integrated content and communications solutions for their clients. It’s an exciting challenge!

Are there any big differences between the world of comms in Asia compared to the UK?

At the end of the day, comms is about telling a brand’s story in a compelling way for the right audience via the most appropriate channels, so those fundamentals remain the same. Here we’re trying to help global brands speak to Asian audiences and Asian brands shape their narratives to connect with cultures in the west. We’re lucky in the UK to have a very sophisticated talent pool when it comes to content production. There’s top notch talent to tap into here in Asia too but the market isn’t as mature so doesn’t have the same breadth just yet.

What advice do you have for anyone working in PR who is considering a stint in Asia?

Do it! International experience is never going to hurt your CV. If it isn’t already, Asia is going to be such an important market for global brands. If your ambition is to work at global agencies or with big brands, that first hand experience of the market – understanding the nuances around doing business, the local trends, consumer segments and media landscape – is going to be a boon. It’s going to inform your strategies and how you collaborate with clients and teams around the world. And of course there’s the personal experience too. Is there a better way to learn about another culture than living amongst it? I’m certain you’ll also learn a good deal about yourself while you’re at it.

Are there any particular comms trends you’re noticing?

I’ve been here long enough to be getting served a lot of local market content in my social feeds (only half of which I understand). The market is hot on digital marketing but there’s wild variation in the quality of the execution and how brands speak to their audiences.  This means there’s tons of opportunity for comms and content experts in the region. But act quick. Progress in Asia moves at a cracking pace! I’m sure it will be no time at all before we see better mastery of content.

What have you learnt from your Hong Kong way of life that you’ll be bringing back with you?

Talk to everyone. Say ‘yes’ to everything. I’ve been lucky enough to have my stay out here extended so can really chip away at the bucket list (which I’m adding to faster than I can tick things off). Knowing the opportunity isn’t forever is a good reminder that time is short so seize the day, meet new people and create unexpected opportunities. Luckily, Hong Kong is full of people who are out to embrace new experiences and make new connections.

And finally, what are the three best things about living in Hong Kong?

1. The food 2. The food 3. The food

Actually, that’s not true. While I doubt I’ll ever go hungry here, there’s so much more to Hong Kong than restaurants, malls and high rises. It’s such a vibrant place with a dynamic blend of east and west. It might surprise a lot of people but there are mountains (get it?) of hiking trails for burning off those delicious noodles, small islands to day trip to and even beaches for cooling off during the intensely hot summer months. It’s also a great jump off point for exploring Asia on the cheap. There’s so much to love about Hong Kong.

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