Where to start on this trip: a taste of working in one of Asia’s – and the world’s – most vibrant economies and urban cultures – Hong Kong? Well maybe the first day, which laid the groundwork for my brief but memorable time at FleishmanHillard HK…
It was this day that set the tone for the rest of an eye-opening week, from a teleconference on campaign directions for a new product line for P&G’s Head and Shoulder shampoos for the Chinese market, to a brainstorm session for a new tagline for a Hong Kong Business leaders conference on creating Shared Value – an initiative to build in socially conscious activities into the operations and profit margins of businesses. All this and amazing Dim Sum for lunch!
Getting a first-hand impression of how marketers and brand specialists are meeting the furiously expanding demand for goods and services coming out of China was just one of the highlights of this week, in which I also participated in an ideas session on launch strategies for a ultra-premium luxury online shopping site for a growing (and discerning) Chinese youth market.
Further into my stay, I gained some fascinating insights from Lynne-Anne Davis, Regional President of APAC, FleishmanHillard into the exciting and challenging imperative of incorporating creativity into the whole organisation as not just the domain of a specialist team, but a holistic way approaching any task you might face. There’s a huge emphasis on the value of staying up to date in a constantly changing social-media environment – and being prepared to tap into an innate creative instinct in all staff, and ‘notice’ more in the world around us and apply that to how we can help our clients.
One of the highlights of this trip was attending the Rise Tech conference (the biggest in Asia) – a bustling marketplace and forum of start-ups, strategies and synergies converging around technology, brand, and social media. For this Brisbane boy, ‘disrupted’ didn’t even begin to cover it…
Lastly, what could I say about the city of Hong Kong that hasn’t been already said? Suffice to say, with its meandering up-hill streets, colourful culture collisions and peerless food, it was sensory overload in the best possible way. So much so that I made a return visit less than a year later. It has cemented its place as one of my favourite world cities!
In summary, a huge thank you to all at Rowland, Geoff Bilbrough, Patrick Yu, Zena Shum and the whole FleishmanHillard Hong Kong team for having me and making me feel part of the team. I can say without exaggeration that this has been a huge career highlight for me and something I’ll always remember.