By Natalie Lowe
The Hoffman Agency, Shanghai
Hi, I’m Natalie, and I’d like to officially introduce myself.
I’m Australian-born Chinese, and you know us Aussies – we love traveling! I left Sydney, my hometown, almost 15 years ago. My first stop was Singapore where I started my communications career, and since then I have lived and worked in Hong Kong and now Shanghai, the city I’ve called home, for the past six years.
Since my appointment announcement in November 2013, I’ve been asked the question, “How did I end up in Shanghai, and what attracted me to join The Hoffman Agency?” I always thought that my being in Shanghai, or landing this position, was out of pure fate. New opportunities presented themselves at the right time, and I just accepted them. However, after considerable thought to these two questions, I realized that I assessed these opportunities carefully and I chose to be here.
Today marks my first day as Managing Director, Asia Pacific for the firm, and I wanted to share with you three reasons why I chose to join The Hoffman Agency:
First, the people.
The team at the The Hoffman Agency is amazing. They are passionate about making a difference, and determined to succeed no matter what challenges come their way.
I’m excited to be joining such a reputable firm and honored to be leading the Asia Pacific division. We opened our first office in Singapore in 1996, and since then have expanded to six wholly owned offices, employing more than eighty employees in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Japan.
In 2013, around 65% of the company’s global revenue was generated from Asia Pacific. We have a strong commitment to strengthening our footprint in this region, and we can only achieve this through leveraging the intelligence, skills and talents of our employees, and nurturing them for future success.
Second, our passion for storytelling.
After more than a decade of experience in corporate communications, I must say, gone are the days of one-way dialogue (or “corporate speak” as we like to call it). With advances in social media, consumers now have the ability to participate in conversations.
As PR practitioners, our team at The Hoffman Agency knows how to connect with our audiences, and build relationships that count. We listen for the positives and negatives, and develop compelling narratives that are relevant.
Third, we really put customers first.
We’re an independent PR agency, and that means that we only answer to our clients. We have a one P&L philosophy that allows our teams across geographies to leverage resources and content without fighting over revenue.
Our teams care about the company’s global state of business – not just their own markets – and often put clients’ needs first.
I honestly believe that we at The Hoffman Agency have the right corporate culture and mentality to drive excellence. However, is there more that we can do?
If you have a comment, or suggestion as to what we can do to better to serve you and your team in 2014, and beyond, I welcome you to participate in the conversation by connecting with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.
You’ll be hearing more from me in 2014, and I hope I can count on you to provide me with honest feedback on how we can improve.