Touch of success

This post is sponsored by Touch PR & Events

Touch PR & Events shares having the right business fundamentals while understanding and capitalising on current terrains and trends are still proven strategies to thrive ahead.

If you’re in the beauty and lifestyle industry in Singapore, chances are, you’ve heard of Touch PR & Events.

Since its incorporation in 2007, Touch PR has risen to prominence rapidly among lifestyle media and key influencers for its engaging portfolio ranging from home-grown outfits to global brands in beauty, fashion, entertainment and travel. Today, the award-winning full-fledged agency counts LVMH Beauty, Bvlgari jewellery and fashion, Unilever and City Square Mall as clients.

Despite COVID-19, Touch PR has found success in recent months, most notably as the new representatives of Glow Recipe, Nudestix and Anastasia Beverly Hills which are among the fastest-growing indie beauty brands from the USA. The agency is also expanding within Southeast Asia — it has helmed the FOREO account in Singapore and Malaysia since the start of 2019; it now aids the brand’s growth in Thailand and Indonesia as well.

Touch PR is no stranger to awards either.

Founder Eileen Wee was recognised for the agency’s success as one of the honorees of the prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards in 2011. As a forerunning lifestyle PR agency, Touch PR has been awarded multiple high-standing awards including Promising SME 500 2013, Best Event-Use of Venue (Bronze) at Marketing Events 2018; Best PR campaign – Entertainment (Gold and Silver) at PR Awards 2020.

Vincent Ong, managing partner of Touch PR shares how it pivoted during COVID-19, and its core values which differentiates the agency from its competitors. Prior to Touch PR, Ong spent several years in leading MNCs such as Procter & Gamble and the L'Oréal Group marketing, leading beauty brands such as L'Oréal Paris, Maybelline and Kerastase.

Tell us the story of Touch PR’s journey. 

Wee started the company in 2007 after spending several years with the L'Oréal Group, leading its corporate communications division. The company has since grown into a regional integrated PR agency responsible for many successful brand and PR campaigns across traditional, digital and social media platforms in the consumer lifestyle sector.

Our recent milestone is the regional expansion of our network and capabilities within the Southeast Asia region. Local teams were set up in Malaysia and Thailand and we have also established strong partners in Indonesia and other Southeast Asia countries. Through our partnerships with several regional accounts, we continue to extend PR levers and influencer branding as key accelerators to fuel our clients’ growth ambition in a competitive landscape.

How does Touch PR differentiate itself from other agencies? 

There are three key components that consistently represent who we are. Firstly, we keep a focused yet diverse client portfolio within the consumer lifestyle sector. Beauty has and will always be our core. It is a highly innovative, competitive and fun playing field to learn and grow from and we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this category. Beyond beauty, Touch PR is also known for our solid track record in other lifestyle segments such as retail, fashion and health and wellness. In all, we believe the lateral learnings from our diversified portfolio help elevate our creativity, strengthen our media connections and create new brand collaborative opportunities for our clients.

Touch PR is also known to be an integrated PR, influencer and event agency — we have demonstrated our strength through many successful brand campaigns and retainer partnerships. Our PR matrix is built on traditional, digital and social media platforms to give both breadth and depth for maximum brand engagement and reach.

Finally, and probably most importantly, Touch PR is always about people, our team. Most of us come from different professional backgrounds, yet each of us bring our relevant skillsets to the table to contribute as one team. Among us, we have PR practitioners with past careers in international agencies who understand the rules of the game; brand/business directors with senior management experience who fully appreciate the importance of brand and business indicators; and former editors who bring with them creative content and pitches that resonate with the press. Some of our team members are even lifestyle influencers themselves — this is advantageous, since social media is at the core of our expertise. Such diverse experiences bring a certain richness and edge that propel us to always be ahead of the game.

What has been the biggest evolution in the PR world that has impacted Touch PR? 

It must be the rise of social media as part of the PR lever brands have been capitalising on. Social media has always been our core at Touch PR. I believe we were probably one of the first boutique PR firms that recognised the importance of social media, particularly Instagram, and how it will become a pivotal platform for consumer lifestyle brands. Since then, we have conscientiously built and solidified our connections and understanding with the influencer communities in this region. Many of our clients are currently using influencer branding as their most strategic marketing pillar in their 360 brand plan.

On the other hand, traditional and digital media titles will continue to play a very important role too as they tell stories through unique editorial angles and bring deeper insights to trending topics from on-season fashion themes and new superfood recipes to trending beauty ingredients.

What are some of the values your agency will never compromise on? 

We are acutely aware that it’s a people business we are in and there are many stakeholders we are accountable to, but the first group of stakeholders we prioritise is our team. Hence, values such as teamwork, integrity and open communication are what define us at Touch PR. Beyond that, creativity and entrepreneurship are in many ways our lifeline — we believe in constantly challenging ourselves with new approaches and new ways of thinking.

How do you build successful relationships with your clients? 

We see our clients as partners and Touch PR is a part of an extended team with vested interest — not just to create a successful PR campaigns, but also bring positive impact to their business growth and brand equities through our PR levers. Most of our clients are on retainer contracts and we work on both short- and long-term planning. Fundamentals like thorough brand induction, alignment of vision and goals, as well as open and constant dialogue are keys to building mutual trust. To us, PR is not a “nice-to-have” marketing matrix but a key brand and business driver for our clients. We are fortunate that our clients recognise and appreciate the value we add to their brands.

How would you like Touch PR to be remembered?

To our team, it’s a place where they learn, grow and have fun.

To our clients, we are their valued growth partners.

To our media friends, we are strong content providers.

The writer is Vincent Ong, managing partner, Touch PR & Events