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Days go by in the blink of an eye. It has been five months since I joined Sinclair Communications. Over this time, I have come to realise that there is nothing better than working at a PR agency with a great boutique culture which makes me look forward to work every day, and working towards shared goals with interesting people I enjoy being around. Though there are many reasons why life at a boutique PR agency suits me, it boils down to three main points.

Communication is key

Different from a traditional hierarchical system, the boutique environment fosters and encourages close communication between colleagues at all levels. Managers and junior team member engage constantly. I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts and opinions honestly, and managers often ask juniors to help find the best solutions.   This has been a huge opportunity for me to learn from their guidance and quickly grow as a professional. Conversations here are open and when I point out my concerns to the seniors, I know I am heard.

Flexibility in choosing clients

We have a matrix system rather than set teams within the agency, which allows people to work across clients and across colleagues. Team members are encouraged to put their hand up for accounts and brands that interest them, which allows me to develop my media relationships and experience in the direction I want. This flexibility allows us to handpicking clients, and work on dream accounts with others that also want to be part of the account team. Because of the shared interest, team members are energized by the common mission in which they passionately talk about and constantly think of ways to actualise it. The motivation and dedication in working for the clients is so much greater.

Strong team spirit

Working in Sinclair Communications, you can quickly feel the sense of unity among team members. Through all the team-bonding activities, celebrating events like birthday for each colleague and recognition of work, we work towards something bigger than ourselves. Everyone works well and plays hard to foster an exciting, caring and welcoming working environment within this small agency. I am immersed in positive energy in the workplace, which makes me willing to continuously put my best efforts forward in return.

All in all, the above reasons contribute to one idea that everyone is looking for – it’s not just a job. Colleagues are more than people that you work with but friends during and after work, and work is not just about getting things done for the agency and our clients, but are the things that you enjoy doing. I am sure that there are a lot more good reasons yet to discover about boutique agency life, and I very much look forward to finding out! 

Milllennials with laptops in the park

As integrated PR professionals, we need to be knowledgeable on the various communications channels and tools in order to determine the best channel to get key messaging engaged with the target audience.

Every country has their own best-performing or preferred communications tool, but no one goes quite to the extent of creating new tools as mainland China, and with 1.3 billion people it's a market full of communications opportunities.

With an office in Shanghai, the team at Sinclair Comms are active across these platforms, both personally and on behalf of our clients.

In mainland China, many of the communication tools commonly used around the world are blocked by the "Great Firewall" as it's come to be known colloquially. Although these tools, sites and apps can be made available with a Virtual Private Network (VPN), though potentially running at a much slower speed, Chinese netizens have created their own channels that mimic – and sometimes downright copy – versions that most of us already know and use.

There are many potential reasons for mainland China having their own communications tools: the western versions are just not performing well enough for daily use, due to slow VPN or no VPN, a lack of Chinese language provision within the app, increased government support behind the homegrown national versions, localised tools that work better in China, and just better versions of existing apps as they aren't bound by the same copyright pressures.

Most of these mainland Chinese communications tools perform multiple functions (and are available outside of China), but their primary role is shown with the popular tool it takes the place of in the table below. And this is by no means an exhaustive list.

These are some of the more popular tools:

No.

Popular Tool

Mainland China Tool

Blocked /

Not Blocked in China

1

WhatsApp

WeChat (weixin)

Not Blocked

2

Facebook

Weibo

Blocked

3

Amazon

Taobao

Not Blocked

4

NYT or Guardian

Sohu News

Blocked

5

Google

Baidu

Blocked

6

Instagram

Nice

Blocked

7

Youtube

Youku

Blocked

8

Netflix

Letv and iQiyi (Baidu)

Blocked

9

Gchat Messenger

QQ

Blocked

10

Apple Pay

Alipay or WeChat pay

Not Blocked

More