Looking back: PR lessons learned from 2016

9 Jan 2017
Holly Chan

2016 has come to a close and we rang in the New Year with a hello to Brexit and Trump, and a goodbye to CY Leung. As a PR practitioner, it was another challenging, but exciting 12 months. Here are my key takeaways from the year that was, as well some of the best moments as part of #teamawesome:

Be bold
We are writers, thinkers and storytellers for brands. In 2016, we worked on successful travel campaigns on behalf of our clients Tourism Australia, Singapore Tourism Board and South Australian Tourism Commission. Rather than featuring influencers alone, we invited their family members to join on a trip and filmed short clips to be released on social platforms. The interactions between the celebrities and their family members were real, human and fun – authentic stories that inspired family travel.

Be prepared: PR is now 360
We saw more print publication closures in Hong Kong in 2016, including HK Magazine, East Touch, and the consolidation of New Monday, Weekend Weekly and Oriental Sunday titles, showing that print media is on the decline. This change was also reflected in the way we do PR. Our objectives are increasingly shifting towards online coverage, and today’s brands are looking for not only exposure but also engagement with their audience to stimulate sales.

Take responsibility
PR crises were among the top trends in Hong Kong social media in 2016. Incidents involving Leon Lai, among others, provided us with the best lessons on how to deal with a crisis and how to take responsibility.

Be active
We worked with a number of sports and entertainment clients in 2016, including Arnold Classic Asia, LeSports HK, Odinson and more. Working with world sports stars such as Robbie Fowler, NBA Legend Clyde Drexler and Ms Chan Yuen Ting were definitely some of my best PR moments of 2016.

Be a travel geek
Over the past few years, Hong Kong has taken a big step towards online travel booking platforms, with the emergence of more online travel agencies as well as traditional travel agencies entering the online space with digital booking portals. Having worked with Expedia and Tourism Australia, I have become a travel geek, taking every opportunity to get out of Hong Kong and visit new places. My 2016 trips, best summarised with the hashtag #roadtrip, included a self-drive programme in Australia with ViuTV and an adventure in Northern Kyushu.

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