Relationship-building constitutes the core of public relations. With partners, associates, and staff across Asia, in 2019, Mileage Communications Group Chairman Yap Boh Tiong made many trips throughout Asia and Europe, and also welcomed numerous partners to the Group’s Singapore Headquarters at Mileage House.
Mileage Communications’ 2019 Year-In-Review
Group Chairman Mr Yap kicked off 2019 by visiting Mr Hung Nguyen, CEO of Hanoi-based VietGate. With a partnership, Mileage Communications has an elevated presence in vibrant Vietnam, which benefitted greatly from the U.S.-China trade war. The public relations scene in Vietnam is flourishing with the influx of foreign direct investment and growth spurred by multinational companies, and Mileage Communications expects Vietnam to be a core growth pillar in Southeast Asia.
Following his trip to Vietnam, Mr Yap signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Leencomm [ (주) 리앤컴 ], headed by Mr Jun-Kyung Lee, as Mileage Communications’ new Korean partner. Leencomm services a wide range of clients, including LG, Olive Young, Patagonia, and Save Zone.
While in Seoul, Mr Yap was gifted a range of cosmetics by Mr Lee, and was treated to a sumptuous lunch at a traditional Korean restaurant in Namsan. Under Korean President Moon Jae-in’s New Southern Policy, the Republic of Korea has pursued new regional initiatives to develop strategic ties with Southeast Asian countries, and this has led to more Korean companies expanding in ASEAN and India. Both Mr Yap and Mr Lee expressed interest in garnering new business opportunities from Korean companies looking to enter the ASEAN market.
To bolster the Group’s presence throughout the largest country in ASEAN, Mileage Communications reached out to Praxis, a leading Jakarta-based public relations agency helmed by seasoned practitioner Adwi Yudiansyah, and signed a partnership which allows both parties to cooperate in the exchange of businesses, knowledge sharing and talent development for staff.
Partnering with leading agencies is a hallmark of the Group’s pan-Asia strategy, and Praxis, which was voted as the PR agency of 2019 by local journalists, services clients such as AXA, Bank Muamalat, OVO, NBA, and the Asian Food Network. With a staff strength of 40, Praxis expands the reach of the Mileage Communications Group to provide strategic communications, brand positioning, executive media training, social media activation, research, and event management services in Indonesia.
Over the course of the year, Group Chairman Yap also called on staff in Shanghai and Yangon. Mr Yap met the teams in China and Myanmar and commended them on their continued success. All parties reaffirmed the close ties and extensive partnership, and in appreciation of his efforts at engaging with staff abroad, Mr Yap was presented with an oil painting and lacquer ware as souvenirs from his trip to Myanmar.
Group Chairman Yap also made stopovers in Bangkok to attend events by Neo Target – Mileage Communications’ partner in Thailand. In his first trip of the year, Chairman Yap presented on “Leadership in Crisis Situations” to the management of various leading Thai companies. In November 2019, Chairman Yap attended the 2019 Asia CEO Summit and Awards ceremony, which was organised by Influential Brands in collaboration with Neo Target. The 2019 Asia CEO Summit and Awards ceremony was a glitzy occasion and presented many networking opportunities with regional CEOs.
As a member of the Public Relations Global Network, Mileage Communications had many interactions with its peers from the rest of the network over the course of 2019. Group Chairman Yap took part in the Spring 2019 meeting at Amersfoort, Netherlands, in May, which was hosted by Dutch partner Evident PR. The event was attended by 41 member agencies, and there was plenty of knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas. Participants from PRGN member agencies talked about prospective trends in the industry, growth potential, and shared tips on how to avoid pitfalls in the fast-changing industry that is public relations.
Senior representatives from the Public Relations Global Network also visited the Singapore Headquarters of the Mileage Communications Group in 2019. Mariusz and Barbara from OneMulti of Poland, as well as from Philippe Eberhard and his family from Cabinet Privé de Conseils, S.A. (Switzerland), paid courtesy calls to Chairman Yap and were hosted to a seafood dinner. Chairman Yap returned the courtesy call during a trip to Poland where he met Mariusz and Barbara in the second half of 2019.
Mr Yap was also called on by Andy See (Perspective Strategies, Malaysia), as well as representative Mami Yokoyama from Japanese partner agency Ozma PR.
The Mileage Communications Group has chalked up a lot of mileage on the road, building a huge reservoir of goodwill along the way, and Group Chairman Yap expects a lot of new opportunities to grow the company in 2020.