PR Account Manager for Bilingual Comms, Jonathan Ding journey in communications has been nothing short of an exciting and rewarding adventure. With early experience in Chinese content producing across magazines and social media, he made his mark on the field of Public Relations on Australian Chinese media engagement.
Jonathan embraced the opportunity to broaden his horizons with a foray into mainstream Public Relations. A different language, different audience and different platform led him to a new realm.
Read more about his journey and how far Jonathan has travelled in the industry below.
1. What area of communications do you specialise in?
Working at an integrated communications agency means generous exposure to a range of practices, from Media Relations, Influencer Engagement, to Events Management.
Having spent the majority of the time doing corporate communications, I’ve gained experience in helping organisations in energy, technology, finance and not-for-profit, be it corporate profile building or campaign management.
In terms of Chinese PR, my experience involves WeChat marketing and multi-channel Chinese media engagement. It can be via either a standalone approach or complementing integrated campaigns.
2. What is important about this particular field of communications?
With writing being a fundamental skill for PR and communications in general, I think every practitioner in corporate communications can benefit from being able to efficiently distil information in given areas and skillfully build a connection with the target audience. Staying attuned is key, and approaches like compelling storytelling, newsjacking and thought leadership building are staples.
In Chinese PR, it’s crucial that communicators understand the nuances among channels and audience groups. Weibo and WeChat make loudest sounds but shouldn’t be the go-to for everything related to Chinese-speaking communities. Mandarin or Cantonese? New immigrants or settled residents? Baby boomers, Millennials or Gen Z? They should all be factored in a Chinese PR approach.
3. What would happen if this was not applied in everyday communication practice?
Setbacks appear in myriad forms. Ultimately, neglecting those key considerations is a recipe to ineffective communications – key messages failing to reach target audience at best; copping backfires from the community at worst.
4. What are your views around current trends in PR – Pros vs. Cons ?
With many PR practitioners continuing struggling with defining their identity, the expectation from the general public of PR is ever-growing.
This means both opportunities and challenges in my view. The role of PR cannot be fulfilled only by crafting and delivering key messages any longer. The onus is also on PR or communicators today, at least partially, to facilitate positive behaviours that can serve to substantiate those desired key messages. It can often be a formidable undertaking. This trend, however, signals the immense potential for PR as a profession.