Seeing the world through technicolour lens: what two weeks at Sympra taught me

Seeing the world through technicolour lens: what two weeks at Sympra taught me

Communication is a big word. It is the bridge that connects the world, people and cultures into a cohesive entity.

As a PR consultant, there is a common notion that we are communication experts, outgoing and adept at spinning stories. But the real question is, what value do I bring to the table?

During my two-week stint at Sympra, I sought to answer this very question.

Life at an agency can feel like an endless marathon on a hamster wheel. You are fueled by passion and drive. It is the daily grind that defines our approach and attitude, ultimately shaping our worldview.

I remember stepping into the Sympra office on my first day. Perched on a hill, the office – resembling a castle tower, stood there as if conjured from a storybook of a child.

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I have always envisioned working abroad in a country I have never visited, embarking on a new journey and embracing the unknown. Although only for two weeks, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I hold dear.

Fast forward fourteen days later, I attempt to encapsulate my learnings and hope this PR exchange between Sympra and The Right Spin marks the beginning of many great endeavours. Through this short yet enriching experience, I would like to share three key takeaways (inspired by conversations with Stefan, Christoph and Rebecca respectively) that I hope will resonate with anyone in the field of public relations:

  • The ‘celebrity’ analogy: This is the power of networking. Humans are social creatures – we have an inherent need for connection to thrive and survive. Networking builds trust organically without you having to sell yourself. Who you are as a person speaks for the work that you do. The goal is to achieve top-of-mind recall, like a celebrity whose reputation precedes them. Ultimately, networking serves as both an active and passive avenue for attracting like-minded clients. I was fortunate to experience this first-hand and had a great time playing foosball (thank you Stefanie for the invitation and for being my teammate!).

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  • The ‘screw’ analogy: Imagine if your client operates in a niche, specialised industry and asks you to craft a pitch for their new ‘screw’ product. How can you transform this seemingly mundane topic into an eye-catching story? This is where finding your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) comes into play. By identifying what sets this screw apart – be it its innovative design or superior durability, you can highlight its unique value. For Sympra, specialising in non-mainstream industries differentiates them from competitors who lack the same level of niche expertise. Similarly, you have to find your agency’s competitive advantage in order to shine in a crowded market.

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  • The ‘farmer’ analogy: To harvest a bountiful crop, a farmer must first invest time and effort in nurturing the seeds. Similarly, to receive more from your clients, start by giving more. Go beyond the bare minimum and think about the additional value-adding services you can provide, such as Sympra’s offering of cybersecurity communications as a service. By enriching your clients’ experiences and exceeding their expectations, you cultivate trust and loyalty, much like how a farmer tends to his crops to ensure a fruitful harvest.

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The biggest takeaway was more than the formal knowledge learned, but the tacit knowledge gained that has enriched my perspectives as a PR consultant. As I return to The Right Spin, I carry with me these invaluable lessons and a renewed sense of purpose. If you ask me about the value I bring to the table, I can now sum it up in a few words: I have more to give. There is always more to give.

 

*This blog post was originally published on Sympra’s blog

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