Trust media will be on demand by consumers, confused with the true and fake news appearing on social media, he said, noting that public relation people need to have cross-functional capability and ability to analyse business cases under multi-parameters.
Basar said he set up the agency in 1995, two years before Thailand plunged into a financial crisis, which also hit all countries in the region.
“We were lucky in that the crisis led us to set up a business system and structure, lean and flexible,” he said, adding that “It has ensured our survival”.
Basar said that all staff at Bangkok PR possess cross-functional capability, from decision making to execution and customer services.
“We have a thin layer of command. We are able to reduce costs and able to serve our business clients promptly,” he noted, adding that under today business circumstance, speed seems to be everything.
“When the crisis started, we had to cope with less clients and a narrowing margin. We then turned the focus on clients of higher quality for more profits,” Basar said. At the time, Bangkok PR’s customers were nearly100-per cent multinational companies.
Basar said that Bangkok PR currently has 14 employees, which is close to 24 years ago when the company was formed. However, the company’s annual revenue has increased by five-fold.
“When our staff gained more experience, they were able to do more difficult work,”
“As a public relations firm, we are a service provider carrying important messages from our business clients to the public through the media. So, we need to understand the requirements of news editor as well as their readers, as our contents will rely on their judgment,” said Basar, adding that the company’s duty is to blend the requirement of its business customers with those demanded by news editors and reporters.
“Our organisational culture is ‘boundaryless’, from responsibility to seniority,” said Basar. However, the confidentiality of a client’s business is the most important factor, he noted.
“In recruitment, we do not focus on their knowledge but their thinking process and analysis capability under multi-parametres,” said Basar.
“For staff retention, we take care our people emotionally, physically and financially. For immediate benefits, they have a good salary and bonus and, in the long term, they would have gained valuable experience, which will be their individual assets for the future,” he said.
“Our motto is to work with a small number of business clients, doing a lot for them and stay with them for a long time,” said Basar.
Basar said that PR agencies today need to understand the media and channel landscape, and maintain a good relationship with their clients.
“Social media allows individual consumers to access large volume of contents compared to traditional media, such as television and newspapers,” he said. “PR agencies need to be strategic in picking the appropriate media channel for their messages to go through most effectively, and who are the target groups,” said Basar. “Each media channels have a unique behaviour and character,” he said.
The number of public relation firms involving only in media relations will decline dramatically with most expanding their business scope to devicing communication and public relation strategies for their clients.
“At Bangkok PR, half of our work involves the creation of strategic PR plan for our clients, with the other half on media brokerage activities, which include media relations,” said Basar.
Today, he said almost 100 per cent of the company’s clients are Thai firms, which have been growing and expanding their businesses internationally.