PR and comms in APAC: challenges and trends with Arun Sudhaman

The PR and comms industry in APAC is unique, and so are its challenges. We speak to Arun Sudhaman to learn more.

PR and comms in APAC: challenges and trends with Arun Sudhaman

In Asia, PR has unique characteristics that set it apart from other parts of the world, including cultural differences, social media behaviors, and government relations.

To gain insights into the current challenges and trends in the APAC PR and comms industry, Leighton Cosseboom of AC Ventures and Enricko Lukman of Content Grow spoke with Arun Sudhaman, the CEO & editor-in-chief at PRovoke Media.

In this blog post, we summarise some of the most pertinent points of the conversation for you.

Finding and keeping talent

One of the biggest challenges facing the PR industry in APAC is finding and retaining good talent.

"It's hard to find good talent, whether fresh graduates, mid-levels, or even at a senior level. It's hard to persuade them that public relations is the career for them, to keep them, and to stop them from joining either another public relations firm, in-house department, or even completely leaving the industry."

This challenge has had knock-on effects, especially with the younger generation entering the workforce.

Sudhaman emphasizes the importance of good employee culture, citing the need for a strong, vibrant, and caring workplace, which is particularly important in an industry that has had a reputation for long hours and a sweatshop culture.

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion

The need for diversity, equity, and inclusion is becoming increasingly important in the PR industry, as is elsewhere.

Sudhaman notes that:

"In some markets, there has been too much of an emphasis on importing international talent, but it is changing now."

Inclusion is also important from a business perspective, as it's essential to have a multi-stakeholder view when it comes to social issues.

China's impact on the industry

As China opens up again, it's natural for agencies to wonder what the impact will be on the industry.

“As much as half of their revenue is tied up in China, so it's an important source of growth.", he shared.

This impact is not just limited to China, but also affects other markets in the region, including India, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.

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The value of PR in APAC

On the value of PR in Asia, he states that the industry has seen a “kind of overall elevation and the value of PR” which, in his opinion, has always been a challenge as it has historically not been valued nor funded appropriately in the APAC region.

“But I think the pandemic reminded everyone that multi-stakeholder view are really important and that business has a role to play when it comes to social issues and that's happening in Asia too."

Get the full episode for free on Spotify, Google, and Apple.

Image source: Media Marketing

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