WeRI Communications appoints Then as managing director
There are tremendous opportunities to be a trusted adviser and build credibility and trust with clients in further boosting WeR1’s Malaysian business.
JUSTIN THEN WeR1 Communications Sdn Bhd managing director
KUALA LUMPUR: WeR1 Communications Sdn Bhd has appointed communications veteran Justin Then as its managing director (MD) to head the Malaysian operations.
His appointment at the communications-specialist boutique agency will see him bringing in more than two decades of industry experience in the area of crisis issues management, technology as well as training to WeR1’s clientele in Malaysia.
“This would help build WeR1 beyond just having its core expertise in investor relations work,” said Then.
“The advantage of smaller public relation (PR) companies, compared with the bigger multinational-type PR firms is that the smaller firms are agile, they provide high-touch services and offer deeper insights.
“Agencies don’t just provide PR services, it is also about having a lot of conversations and brainstorming sessions on the companies’ strategies,” Then told NST Business recently.
He said WeR1 was different from other agencies in the way the company deals with clients, and types of services and relationships the firm has with clients.
“There are tremendous opportunities to be a trusted adviser and build credibility and trust with clients in further boosting WeR1’s Malaysian business,” said Then.
He said communications practitioners today bring greater value to their clients as they are in a position to tell them what we think as we are on the outside and we can discuss with them their strategies.
WeR1 Communications founder Lai Kwok Kin said Then was joining the agency at a very interesting time, when the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were growing.
He said the dynamics of serving the SMEs was different than servicing multinational corporations.
Then, who also has extensive experience in the field of communications and consultancy work for the technology sector, added that agencies now need to be more creative in getting more coverage as corporate engagement with customers was becoming more important, especially as many stories are being read and shared on the social media.
“There’s user-generated sharing-of-thoughts and ideas. So, people’s comments are becoming more important.
“Clients now can use various tools to measure sentiments and the quality of the conversation with their audience, regardless of whether the sentiments are positive, negative or neutral.
“When encountering negative comments, clients think about how to address them, and when it comes to neutral comments or sentiments, the task is how to make people the client’s advocate,” said Then.
Then, 51, said engagement has now become an important metric and a lot of business owners see value brought to the table by the social media.
Echoing Then, Lai said at present, deep insights go beyond PR services when it comes to giving feedback to clients, and SMEs today are more open to criticisms.
“We help broaden the conversation and find strategic objectives the clients can adopt,” said Lai.
On Then’s appointment at WeR1, Lai said, “We are elated that Then, who has more than two decades of experience in the media, public relations, stakeholder management, and crisis and corporate communications, has decided to join the WeR1 group.
“I am confident that he would lead the Kuala Lumpur consultancy to deliver first-class, purposeful communications strategy to our clients in Malaysia and the region,” he concluded.