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Kiri Sinclair

Membership Chair, CPRFHK Board (2014-2015)
Founder and Managing Director of Sinclair Communications

Kiri Sinclair (3)

  1. How did you get into the PR industry?

Life is full of opportunities; it’s the ones you say YES to that change your life. When I returned home after university and travelling, I took a PR position at Kowloon Shangri-La. At the time, I was lucky to get a job as Hong Kong was in the midst of a recession. It wasn’t my dream job, I wanted to work in marketing, but as it turns out it was the start of a dream career. Working in hospitality at one of the world’s leading hotel brands taught me about professionalism, customer service and the importance of a can-do attitude. And the long hours of the hospitality industry reinforced a strong work ethic. Handing the SARS crisis from within the hotel was a landmark learning experience for me. It was an amazing first career job that, in hindsight, is the foundation of my career.

As the daughter of a journalist, PR came naturally to me. I grew up working for my dad: helping in interviews, researching for in-depth articles, and traveling the world reviewing hotels, travel and tourism destinations. Dad was always “on the job”, and therefore we were always chasing a good story. What better training could I have for a role in PR!

  1. What challenges did you face setting up your own agency?

Sinclair Communications was launched in 2009 with the vision of building an integrated agency. The key challenge was recruiting talent. As I love to train and mentor, in the early days I built the team by employing based on traits and training for skill. Many of our first team members have stayed on, choosing to grow their career with us.

Hong Kong’s welcoming start-up community made the other challenges easy, with excellent suggestions and go-to expert contacts for IT, law, property, invoicing, and such. The process helped me thoroughly understand the unique difficulties faced by SME and start-up, and I take great pleasure now in working with many new brands to create impactful PR campaigns. Helping to build brands is a passion of mine.

From the client side, the majority of our clients find us through referrals from current clients and media friends. We have grown organically in terms of size, geography and skill set, alongside our client’s needs.

  1. You have many years of experience working with lifestyle clients. What do you enjoy most about lifestyle marketing and PR?

What I enjoy most about my job are the challenges. I like to create big ideas that make an impact to consumers and communities. I like working within the unique industries and sectors which are always evolving with the latest in technology and innovation. I like to work with entrepreneurs and business leaders who bring me into their business, teaching me new perspectives on business models and management. I feel like my role is akin to living inside the case studies that we analysed during my MBA!

My passion is developing strategy that has long-term impact. To me the exciting role of PR is in long-term brand building and that comes from strong strategic planning, creativity, collaborative client relationships and coming up with wacky ideas. We then implement this strategy across media, marketing, social and digital channels in tandem, and watch as the dial moves for the client.

Giving back is another great passion of mine.  We work with a wide range of Hong Kong charities on a pro bono basis to make a positive impact on our community. This year alone we have worked with The Great Chefs of Hong Kong, Drink for Good, The One, Ocean Appreciation Month and Zero Waste Week.

  1. What are the three pieces of advice you would give to young PR professionals working in Hong Kong?

Find what you are passionate about and move your career in that direction. Passion leads to curiosity, dedication and commitment. All essential traits if you want to be the best.

Challenge yourself. Take risks, make mistakes, and explore your boundaries.

We work in the business of relationships. Work on developing mutually beneficial relationships with people who you find interesting and inspiring.