In Conversation With… Sharon Tan, Senior Account Manager at BBG Singapore
1. How long have you been with BBG, and what helped your decision to join the firm?
It will be my seventh year with BBG this July. With my specialisation in policy communications and research, I was looking for a role in public relations as it made the most sense given my communications background.
I had gone into the interview with BBG with zero expectations, and the meeting with Lyna, who is still with BBG Singapore, and Unice, who is now with BBG China, had given me a sense of how much BBG as a company values learning, mentoring, and supporting the growth of executives.
As a fresh graduate back then, that really stood out to me, and was what prompted me to join BBG. I wanted to kick off my career in public relations, and BBG felt like the right environment for me to be in.
2. How has the Singapore office evolved since you first joined the team?
While the Singapore office was a smaller team when I first joined back in 2015, what BBG stands for and its values hasn’t changed much. We still approach work with the highest quality and with great ethics, and collaboration remains a core part of BBG.
As a team, we also care a lot for each other, and always finding ways to provide support and helping each other out, whether it’s lending a hand on other accounts or pulling ideas together through our regular office-wide brainstorming sessions.
3. What do you enjoy the most about working at BBG?
What really appealed to me about BBG is its flat hierarchy, and so there’s really no barriers with me asking questions or seeking help from my seniors, which makes learning a lot easier.
One of my favourite things about working at BBG is also the opportunity to travel. I’ve travelled to China as well as Malaysia, New Zealand, and the Philippines, and was able to learn and explore the local PR landscapes and its cultural nuances for a variety of clients before the pandemic.
Throughout my career with BBG, I had the opportunity to work on a diverse range of industries, from tourism to logistics to sustainable water solutions. I like to think that there are no boring clients; and it is up to us to make it interesting, by turning something very technical into something that is easily understood by everyone.
4. Millennials are often known as the ‘job-hopping generation’. What has kept you at BBG for such a long time?
With the pandemic and the Great Resignation, more people are prioritising themselves and their needs when it comes to a job, which is why we are seeing the trend of millennials job hopping to find something that matches their newfound priorities.
Apart from myself, a number of BBGers have stayed with the company for a significant period of their employment and built their careers with the business, and it shows just how much BBG’s values, work culture, and employee benefits can withstand the test of time.
What kept me at BBG is how the company doesn’t see us as just cogs in a wheel and is always encouraging us to put ourselves first. One key example is when, with the pandemic disrupting how we manage our work-life balance, BBG Singapore extended to the entire team free counselling to help us cope with these unprecendented challenges.
5. Tell us about one of your favourite or most challenging assignments that you’ve worked on during your time here at BBG.
The media landscape has evolved significantly in many ways since I first joined, but what stood out to me was how securing media attendance for physical events has always been a challenge for any PR professional. I recalled a time when we were in Malaysia for a client event and there was no media attendance until the very last minute. With the ease of joining an event virtually or receiving PR materials over email, along with the shrinking media pool, journalists are now very selective when it comes to physical events, and so it became increasingly important for us to find new and interesting ways to appeal to our media contacts.
6. What do you think sets BBG apart?
I think what sets BBG apart from other agencies is how we place an emphasis on building a relationship with our clients. A lot of our retainers we’ve maintained a longstanding relationship and our clients see us as partners. This is because we believe in understanding our clients, knowing deeply what they do and almost having a seat at the table with them.