On the frontline: A Hong Kong PR internship at Sinclair

12 May 2017

As a student, I applied for an internship at Sinclair because of their integrated PR services for big brands and startups in the travel, art, fashion, F&B and non-profit sectors. Its boutique, flat agency structure brings together a team of almost 30 vibrant, charismatic PR professionals from all around the world, creating an amazingly encouraging and inspiring can-do spirit that is always in the air.

Immediately welcomed as part of the team, I was able to choose with my mentor accounts I wanted to work on, to ensure that I would enjoy every day on the job. It’s been a fruitful eight months full of exciting tasks, events and lots of laughter along the way.

Here’s a little roundup of some of the skills I have learnt, and things that I experienced as part of #TeamAwesome:

Think ahead. Try to understand your client’s needs even before they might. Consider potential mistakes such as sentences or even single words in a press release that may somehow be misinterpreted. Come up with needle-moving campaign ideas for Valentine’s Day or Christmas, even if they’re still months away. Remember that it takes time to draft content, get it approved by your team and client, and have it rewritten by journalists.

Always be proactive and committed, because impossible is nothing. It’s essential to be engaging in all of your communications. Reach for the stars, to infinity and beyond!

Get excited. Being emotionally invested in your client’s service or product are key to achieving game-changing results. At the same time, PR is also about connecting people and creating strong relationships with relevant stakeholders. So when you write a press release, think about the journalist who can receive hundreds of press releases a day. Your first paragraph has to include the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why), and reinforcing your client’s product is an absolute must. So stay clear and simple in your choice of words, but think differently to make it a unique story that people will want to share.

Just do it. What I also loved about my internship was that it was really hands on. I accompanied colleagues to client meetings, lunch hostings, interviews, photo shoots and events. The past eight months were like an upscale discovery tour of Hong Kong. I got to know the concrete jungle from a completely different perspective and was lucky enough to have visited the hottest venues in town before anyone else did. I worked on a new restaurant opening and visited locations while they were still construction sites. Founders shared their ideas and inspiration for their “baby” – giving you enough information to write a story about it and help them realise their dreams.

But there is more to explore, like when you set up a new Facebook page or Instagram account for your clients. Creating captivating content on their new fashion line or dishes that are finger lickin’ good. Learning how to boost posts and put money behind them, targeting a specific audience and discovering what kind of people are most interested in your page.

The pace of the office is insanely fast, and required lots of snacks, coffee and multitasking skills. During event peak seasons you have to constantly bounce from one client request to another. It’s impressive to watch your colleagues working on five different accounts simultaneously. As a new intern, you might find it overwhelming at the beginning, but fear not – at the end of the day, you will find yourself growing, learning how to manage a lot of different and truly exciting tasks all at the same time. Just remember there is always someone who will take time to help you – in good times and in bad.

#FridayFunday is definitely an office rule: apart from our casual Friday dress code, we also have monthly team activities. From yoga and gardening classes (my office plant died after a week, RIP) to company dinners, our team activities are always full of fun, surprises, presents and delicious food. Sometimes they involve cats and glitter.

My internship taught me more than any university course could have done, and reinforced that I had made the right career choice. Hopefully, I will have the chance to come back to Sinclair after my Masters degree, because #TeamAwesome leaves a lot of space for your own engagement, growth and creativity.

Apply for an internship here.

As a new intern, you will find yourself growing, learning how to manage a lot of different and truly exciting tasks all at the same time

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