15.09.18 / Posted by jirehconsult

Last year, I had the opportunity to visit Tokyo, Japan as a work + reward trip from the company. The main purpose of the trip was to visit the Tokyo Motorshow, the most anticipated auto show! It was a dream come true earlier than expected and I am so thankful for it, even now.

Before I went to Japan, I used to wonder why so many people love this country so much. As I was preparing for the trip, I heard horror stories of how complicated the Japanese trains can be. Well, after staying there for 5 days and 4 nights, I fell in love with Japan instantly (and perhaps even more!). I am also pleased to say that I survived their train system, and in fact, I would now say that, they are just simply so efficient! :P

Despite the communication barrier, it didn’t stop me from enjoying Tokyo and I really learning a lot from the visit. Top on the list of what I learned and missed the most are:

  • Japanese people who are the most courteous and polite people I have ever met
  • The efficiency and speed which is top notch
  • Their thought for other people which resulted in the provision of as much convenience as possible

When I think of these and relate them back to my job in PR, these are values that truly resonate with us. Being in PR, it is all about those smiles, being courteous and polite to people even after having worked till 4am and being at the event venue at 7am.

Professionalism must be at the forefront regardless of the stress or pressure we have to go through in order to have an amazing PR event. For us, another reason for this is simple – we always ask ourselves if we would like to be greeted by someone with a smiling, happy face or with someone with a sour look? I believe no one wants to receive a ‘vinegar look’ at any time. Hence for us, we keep the smiles and manners on always!

If you have been to Japan before, you would not deny the efficiency in that country. Being efficient means cutting the extra time needed for anything, and things are done promptly. To them, time is precious and should have not be wasted. And we should also respect the time that other people give us. These two values are likewise, very important in PR. Well honestly, to be an efficient PR personnel it takes training and one must have a lot of experience. But once we get the hang of it, these values will be so ingrained and become part of your work ethics in no time.

Another thing that I really like and miss about Japan is the convenience. Amongst the memorable experience in Japan was when I first reached Tokyo and my colleague and I were trying to find our way to the hotel. I asked for help at the information counter in the train station and they guided us in detail on which train to take, where to stop, how long will the ride be and the cost of the entire journey. They even wrote all the information down for us, one by one! My jaw simply dropped at the extra miles they go to.

This is also what we need in PR. We should be able to provide convenience to our media so that they can do their job with ease. Even a small gesture such as arranging coffee or tea for media for early morning events. I believe the thought will be appreciated even if we do not get a pat on the back for it.

The three values that I saw and experienced in Japan are also values that are very important in PR and should become our habit. On a side note, even though it was a short trip, I enjoyed my days there so much and am dreaming of the day when I get to go back to the land of the rising sun!

September 2018