Face-to-face communication is critical to networking. Although technology enables communication, face-to-face communication still plays an irreplaceable role in building relationships with your stakeholders, especially media relationships. By communicating in person, you can interpret thoughts and feelings directly and get instant feedback, which helps to enhance communication credibility and taking proactive actions and planning ahead before everything goes out of control is always the best solution to crisis management. That’s the reason why we organize media trips to New York City every year, offering a face-to-face opportunity for us to meet up with journalists and editors.
As part of my PR Rockstar series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jasmine Lee, PA Manager of Hylink Digital Solutions. As the PR Manager of Hylink Digital Solutions, Jasmine helped establish a subsidiary Brand focusing on Public Relations — Hylink Public Relations. Jasmine has worked for over 30 international brands and serviced Fortune Global 500 companies, both headquartered in the U.S. and abroad.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
The most interesting and special story is what has happened in 2020 so far. Covid-19 has made an unprecedented impact on everyone’s lives and greatly changed the way we work, working from home for nearly six months is definitely one of the most memorable experiences in my life.
With most of the work plans being rescheduled to online, the challenges came in two ways — on one hand, I had to adapt ourselves to remote working quickly to ensure efficiency and output; on the other hand, I need to stay alert to help our client who is also affected by the epidemic to effectively solve problems and overcome crises.
Luckily, we seized the opportunities out of the crisis. I managed to provide high-quality work together with my team in several social campaigns and crisis management for clients across different industries and made significant progress in extending Hylink’s practices and building our own brand by establishing Hylink Public Relations & Co., the subsidiary of Hylink focusing on PR and ePR service.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
One of the most exciting projects we are working on now is Hylink Public Relations & Co. Born in crisis, Hylink PR holds and sticks to our philosophy that in crisis comes opportunity. Despite the pandemic and market shifts around the globe, we endeavored to conquer the difficulties and plan ahead with our local expertise and global vision for our existing clients. For example, we organized public communications and practiced crisis management for American multi-travel brands and DMOs in China during the Covid-19 outbreak. On top of that, Hylink PR has also gained new clients, expanding the industry we serve from travel, fashion, beauty to food, and technology.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Teamwork is better than working alone. There is no doubt about the importance of teamwork. What I would like to emphasize here is that teamwork should happen not only within your own team, but also between teams with different functions. For instance, for my first time to serve a health brand, I benefited a lot from working closely with the social team and creative team. By observing the workflow of the other team and brainstorming with them, I was able to understand more about the client and get new inspirations for my own work.
- Face-to-face communication is critical to networking. Although technology enables communication, face-to-face communication still plays an irreplaceable role in building relationships with your stakeholders, especially media relationships. By communicating in person, you can interpret thoughts and feelings directly and get instant feedback, which helps to enhance communication credibility and taking proactive actions and planning ahead before everything goes out of control is always the best solution to crisis management. That’s the reason why Hylink organizes media trips to New York City every year, offering a face-to-face opportunity for us to meet up with journalists and editors.
- Stay proactive and think ahead. Being proactive is at the core of the way we view public relations. In doing that, we are poised to anticipate the needs of our stakeholders and propose the right strategies and ideas for them. Take media outreach as an example, I found it more effective to proactively contact editors with my tailored editorial topics and stories rather than just waiting for their inquiries. I also learned a lot from being proactive when handling crisis communications during times of uncertainty recently.
- Time management is the guarantee of efficiency. Handling a fast-growing task list and an endless stream of news releases, media pitches, internal and external communications is the daily work of every PR pro. If you want to get everything done on time, it is crucial to learn how to prioritize your tasks and establish a time management process of your own. A good way we adopt in Hylink is to use a time management tool that keeps everything on record so that we can see the working hours we’ve spent on different projects and improve our time arrangement accordingly.
- Don’t underestimate your capability to win awards. One advice for junior publicists about awards entry from me is that always dare to explore and experiment because it is the experience and feedback you get even from the failures that really matters. Only by doing, we learn, and sometimes we also gain unexpected surprises. Take my story as an example, when applying for the Webby Awards for the first time, I was worried that my capabilities couldn’t meet the requirements of the top tier awards. But instead of giving up, I prepared myself by researching and studying a number of previous winners’ cases, which eventually leads to a win.
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
- Get to know who you are talking to. To have efficient communication and networking, make sure you’ve made background research, like titles, focused subjects, preferred ways of contact, etc., before reaching out to others. By understanding more about who you are talking to, you will know what to say and how to make your conversation more fruitful and on-point. Google, social media, and published articles are all good channels to search for information prior to connecting with your target.
- Keep consistency in networking. One of the keys to great networking is showing up consistently in networking events or at least e-meetup. Networking is built on trust and trust is reinforced by consistency. Therefore, it’s important to keep in touch and update your latest ideas regularly with your networking group to maintain good relationships.
- Take chances to communicate in person. As I’ve shared above, face-to-face communication is still of vital importance in relationship building nowadays. If the situation allows, I would suggest taking opportunities to attend offline networking events like forums, media trips, one-on-one meetings, etc., to strengthen your established relationships and cultivate new contacts.
Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?
- Always do research first. As with establishing good networking, the first step to generate great leads is to make comprehensive research. Having done this basic “homework”, you will have enough background knowledge to identify the appropriate targets, maximizing the chance that those leads will be productive and contribute to business growth.
- Utilize tools to help you with efficiency. Lead generation is more than just getting people to visit your site, but also about collecting and analyzing your audience’s information so that you can actually drive communication and conversion for your business, which can be a very time-consuming process. This is why using tools is important. With tools with different functions, you will be able to raise efficiency in collecting data, processing researches, pitching media, etc.
- Establish a consistent media list to generate good leads. For every PR practitioner, there’s always a treasure hidden in your media list. The networks you build based on the media list are valuable resources to generate prospective leads as they’re highly related to and interested in your business. Thus, a consistent and up-to-date media list is not only beneficial for brand publicity but also good for business growth.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
The podcast I listened to that helped with my work recently is the Adweek podcast: Talking With Gen Z, which mainly talks about what this younger generation is facing in this unforgettable time while leading themselves with passion, politics, and transparency.
It’s always important for marketers and publicists to follow the market trend and understand our audiences. Apparently, Gen Z has become an increasingly significant group in the market and has many unique characteristics, which is a challenge for advertising and marketing nowadays. For example, the podcast mentioned that Gen Z has lower brand loyalty compared to previous generations and cares more about self-expression, which inspires me to rethink how to effectively communicate with this young group in future campaigns, what innovations and experiments can we try in the business level to better adapt the new generation and market trend, etc. This really helps me to implement our motto “Smart Thinking = Endless Possibilities” and “Brilliance in Execution”.
Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
As a female, the movement I would like to inspire is gender equality and women empowerment in the workplace. I wish to strive for more opportunities and freedom for women who work with me and work in the industry to express opinions, demonstrate talents and gain new skills.
I am glad that I can achieve the goal together with my company, Hylink. We not only talk about women empowerment, but also implement it during our daily work. 70% — 80% of our workforce is women, and of which, two-thirds of them hold management positions. We have women in positions of leadership, not because of the political correctness, rather an active unbiased training within the organization that anyone who meets the requirements will be recognized.
This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.