Rules of Engagement for Corporate Communications & Public Relations Agency

Rules of Engagement for Corporate Communications & Public Relations Agency
We discuss the rules of engagement with PR agencies and the corporate communications team on the recording process for interviewees on Analyse Asia.

How do corporate communications lead from different companies or high-growth start-ups engage us? Here are the rules of engagement which you should read before communicating with our host.

Why should your stakeholder come to Analyse Asia for an interview?

We are the premiere and pioneer podcast brand in the Asia Pacific. We have completed up to 400+ episodes and hit close to 3M plays for the past 8 years distributed across three major platforms: Apple Podcasts, Spotify and SoundCloud. Our audience demographics are 40% from the United States, 10% from China and the rest split between the major cities of the Asia Pacific and Europe. They consist of investors, start-up founders, and senior c-suite executives from the US and Europe with a focus on investing in Asia Pacific. On the investor side, we typically have institutional, mutual and hedge fund listeners who have contacted us for due diligence.

There are two types of start-up founders who are listeners to the show: one within the Asia Pacific region and the other from the United States and Europe thinking of expanding into Asia. We have also been listened to by think tanks in the US and Europe, who want to understand the Asian point of view (POV) in the current global geopolitics. We are mentioned as sources in the top-tiered US and European podcasts as the destination of the first call if you want to be in the Asia Pacific.

Our host, Bernard has been invited to speak at global leadership summits for two Fortune 500 companies and closed-door sessions with important people who are patrons of the think tanks. He has discovered some key decision makers who attended World Economic Forum (WEF) are fans of his show through giving a talk on drones with an overflowing panel in Vietnam WEF 2018.  

What is the understanding that PR agencies and corporate communications need to learn before engaging us?

Please note that Analyse Asia is a boutique media outlet and our host, Bernard Leong is not a journalist but a media outlet owner with past start-up background with an exit of selling a media company to Tech in Asia, a known angel investor with the XA Network and corporate experiences as a senior executive with different firms: Vistaprint, Singapore Post, Airbus and Amazon Web Services.

The style of the interview is non-aggressive unlike the western media and assumes a heart-to-heart conversation with the guest. Please understand that our host is a senior executive himself and he knows many senior executives out there. It is not in his interest to embarrass his guest if the executives understand game theory. If the interviewee does not treat the host with respect, she or he should not be here as well.

How should PR firms engage us?

Please do not send us press releases because we are not interested in amplifying your message. Press releases are so 20th century. If you want to help your client, please come up with a narrative and work backwards on how you want your client to be presented on the podcast. Here is the procedural flow of our engagement:

  • For corporate communications leads and PR agencies, you can email us here at this address: hello at analyse dot asia or approach our host via a LinkedIn InMail. In the email, please state who you want us to interview, the biography of the individual with their LinkedIn profile and the topics which you want us to cover.
  • Upon receiving the request, if you do not see a response within two weeks, likely, your email does not gain the interest of the host and you can try again in a few months with a better pitch. For LinkedIn InMails, you are likely to get a direct rejection very quickly. For account executives and managers of PR firms, do not attempt to connect with our host if you have not met him in real life. This is met with the consequence of a 100% probability that he will reject your connect request followed by an InMail rejection.
  • If you get a reply from our host who is interested in interviewing your interviewee, please follow the five steps process described.
  • First, we agree on a date and time with your client who would come on as a guest. It is the prerogative of PR firms and the interviewee to send materials, for example, basic corporate information, case studies, and discussion points that they want us to cover. Our host is a senior executive and hence he will request either Tuesday or Thursday evenings 9-10 pm.
  • Second, the Analyse Asia editorial team will send a set of questions to be vetted and agreed upon between both sides. Note that the host has the right to double-click (or dive deeper) a question during the interview. We will not deviate from the main flow of the questions.
  • Third, during the recording of the interview, if the speaker made a mistake or misspoke, she or he can request that part be cut off. It will be removed with no questions asked. We can do that at the end of the recording. After that, the recording will be sent to our production team for editing. Please note that the host will do a final listen before it is released for publication. Our turnover is about 3-4 weeks for the published podcast depending on the backlog.
  • How should you prepare your client (or the interviewee)? Please make sure that the client is in a quiet room with a pair of headphones. Microphones are optional. One interesting thing to ensure high audio quality is to help your client to figure out how to record on his side.  
  • What happens if we are recording in a video podcast? We are using zoom to record and hence we can only have the speaker and the host on the show. If we are recording audio, the PR and corporate communications lead can attend.
  • Here's our preference in engagement:  We prefer to engage the corporation communications head of these corporations directly with the guest instead of working through their designated PR firms. In our experience with Google, Facebook, Servicenow and South China Morning Post, which we believe to be the best experience for our interviews to go smoothly without fail, it is best practice to just directly engage us from the corporate communications lead from the company instead of a PR firm. PR firms tend to be slow and they often try to dictate before consulting their customer.
  • Here's the red line 1: if any corporate communications lead or PR agencies attempt to ask for the edited recording to listen to before publication, we can choose not to publish the recording and move on. Hence do not try to challenge this rule or even bother to ask if you have engaged our host before.
  • Here's the red line 2: We will blacklist a PR agency that makes changes at the last minute, for example, a change of the original speaker. If the original speaker agreed to speak with us and could not make it due to unforeseen circumstances, we are happy to reschedule. What we do not entertain, is a PR agency having a CEO of a company agreeing to speak in our podcast and making a last-minute change to their CIO or COO and going to another podcast. The problem is not about going to the other podcast but the change in guests from the company. It means to us that the PR agency and the client does not respect the brand and reputation of the podcast.

We will update these rules of engagement from time to time so that everyone gets a clear understanding of how we operate before engaging us.