Two Way PR was established by a woman from Battambang Province and who has years of experience in the public relations industry. Two Way Public Relations is a multi-cultural and innovative communication agency based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. With regional partnerships all across South East Asia and a deep understanding of market insights, the company excels at crafting innovative and impactful solutions that establishes the right level of relationship with audience. Kim Hoan Pheng, managing director of Two Way PR, sits down with Khmer Times’ May Kunmakara to talk about her company, and the challenges and risks on running her own business as a woman.
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KT: You have been in the PR business for years. Can you tell me how many years it has been? What attracted you to this industry? Do you have anyone as your model?
Ms Kim: I have been working in this industry for almost eight years now, and it started from the coordination tasks I received from a friend, who is running Vero PR agency in Bangkok and later became my agency partner in Thailand. Today, I also have partners in Laos and Vietnam.
KT: Why PR? What sector do you see spends the most on advertising?
Ms Kim: I believe that marketing, advertising, activation, and public relations all together are complementary in promoting brands and products.
In everything we do to promote our brands or products, we cannot say one is more important than another, like marketing, advertising, activation, and public relations.
Public relations is rooted in two words, public and relations. These two words focus on the building of trust and confidence between products or services and stakeholders, both internal and external.
While other activities are important to do, PR is the element to make brand awareness reach its goal. I think every industry needs PR, but now it is more financial institutions, healthcare and corporates that pay more attention to this particular field, while I see more on beverages, real estate […] who spends more on advertising?
KT: Let’s touch on your personal life, as you are a strong and independent woman who has built a very successful business. What challenges do you face as a woman entrepreneur? How do you overcome it?
Ms Kim: The challenges I face as a woman entrepreneur are quite similar to those challenges faced by my male counterparts. Gender is not the issue, especially considering my team and I have a trustworthy and reliable track record of providing outstanding strategic communication services, even to large global companies. I overcome challenges through persistence and knowing that our clients count on us to deliver for them.
KT: Do you see any encouragement from the government to push women to become entrepreneurs? In what way?
Ms Kim: Yes, everywhere in the world women empowerment is being strongly encouraged and we can see also in the SDGs number five: Gender Equality. In Cambodia, both government and private sectors are working together to encourage women. You may know we have Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association, Women in Tech, Women in Business Cambodia, and many others.
KT: I have learned that your company has an all-female staff. Why no men?
MsKim: Women empowerment!!! No not at all, we have 11 members in our company with six women and five men, each team member have their own strengths and area of expertise. At Two Way Public Relations we focus on people’s mind and we provide a work environment that allows each to excel and build their career with us.
KT: At the moment, the government wants to put more women in major government roles. How do you see such initiative?
Ms Kim: Of course I support seeing more women rise through the ranks in our government. This makes me proud, especially to see our government institutions strengthen and serve the people of Cambodia. I am also confident that our government will recruit and hire highly competent women, who care about the work they do in service to our nation.
KT: What do you plan to do in your career for years to come?
Ms Kim: I, along with my team at Two Way Public Relations, am focused and committed to provide the best strategic communication services for our clients. We are entrusted with interesting challenges, and we will continue to serve our clients in how we know best.