All entries for Thursday 09 March 2017

March 09, 2017

Interview with Mianco Wong – Managing Director and Founder of Mention PR Consultants Ltd

Writing about web page

By Olivia Mui and Oscar Yu

1. Please describe your business and competitive edges.

Mention PR is a full-service public relations (PR) and marketing communications agency, we provide customized communication solutions to clients from different sectors, while specializing on arts and culture related projects. Our mission is to connect people and convey the right messages to the designated group of audiences. Our staff are passionate, energetic and dedicated to delivering comprehensive services with an emphasis on devising creative media-based solutions to our clients. Moreover, upon my past working experiences in the PR field, extensive networks have been established which formed parts of my current customer base.

2. How did you discover the business gap and start up your business?

Mention PR was established in June 2010. Before that I had worked for PR agency, Hong Kong Arts Development Council, a statutory body and Home Affairs Bureau, one of the policy bureaus in HKSAR. In the many years I worked in the sector of arts and culture as a researcher, I observed that part of the reasons leading to the undesirable development of Hong Kong arts is lacking of promotion. And I found myself particularly interested in arts and cultural projects. By that time, PR agencies in Hong Kong are mainly serving commercial clients like banks, listed companies and retailers whose audiences are rather mass, while I realized art-related organisations require more patience, lower budget, more customized and innovative communication solutions. In addition, in view of the emerging art-related CSR initiatives in Hong Kong and the lack of art project consultancy in the market, I decided to set up my own PR agency to provide a wide range of high quality customized PR and marketing services, specifically in the arts and cultural field.

3. Do you think PR consultant committed to arts and cultural projects is a niche and creative business in Hong Kong?

Yes, it is niche because the traditional PR consultants are normally engaged on international brands, which publicity is generated through joint promotion, celebrity endorsement and gimmick campaign etc. PR management in Hong Kong is not really innovative, while creativity is always crucial in the arts and cultural industry. In order to draw the press and public attentions to our clients’ projects, we have to be creative in messaging and event planning. Arts and culture are used to be something niche in the market due to limited audiences, while we aim to popularize and bring it to the mass though interesting communication solutions.

4. Is promoting arts and culture in Hong Kong one of your major objectives? How does Mention PR achieve it?

Promoting arts and culture is surely one of our core objectives. Despite project scale, we passionately care about and appreciate every details of the subject. By digging deep into every project patiently, we attempt to unveil fascinating facts behind and provide down-to-earth and valuable insights upon our solid experiences which effectively draw media interests. Meanwhile, we call media proactively to provide them with sufficient information and materials to facilitate reporting.

In addition, Mention PR, as distinct from other PR agencies, we perceive the development of local arts and culture more than just a job, but as our reward and devotion to our home, Hong Kong. We proactively locate gaps in the arts and culture sector, then correspondingly launch different initiatives such as the Art Next Expo to address market needs, to create a platform channelling through various parties in the sector, upon our own assets or assets garnered from the society. Likewise, we will proactively suggest our clients to conduct some potent and sustainable PR works, for audience development and thriving results in the long term.

I believe that the development of arts and cultural sector is very important to the growth of an international city like Hong Kong, we being a professional PR agency, always do our best to serve and deliver the right message to the right people.

5. Throughout last seven years, what difficulties have you encountered? How did you overcome them?

One of the key challenges is manpower management, turnover of young employees are in particularly fast, whose often just stay 1-2 years then quit. As a relatively small agency, I attempted to simplify the hierarchy and coach every newcomer by myself, hope that they could grow with the company, even if they eventually leave Mention PR, they know how to do promotion for arts and culture in Hong Kong. In addition, we adopt open discussion most of the time to encourage expression of thoughts and opinions.

6. Meanwhile you want to expand your business, how do you balance between cultural values and market needs?

Cultural values and market needs are not contradictory to each other, I think the higher cultural values, the higher acceptance of the market. The point is how we deploy technique, use PR solutions to bridge cultural values and the market via interesting ways or easily understanding methods, to achieve win-win situation. We always craft the media angle carefully to balance the interest of public/media and the content of the project.

We try to prioritise our resources to serve arts and cultural clients. Fortunately, we gained the trusts of major art-related organizations. In these years, we have been working for West Kowloon Cultural District, PMQ, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, K11 Arts Foundation, SHKP Reading Club, Hong Kong Design Centre, Sun Museum, Poly Auction, China Guardian, Kwai Fung Hin Gallery etc.

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  • Thanks to Olivia and Oscar for posting this some great questions and food for thought here. by Ruth Leary on this entry

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