Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Business Insider: PR firm eyes Cambodia’s growth

Business Insider: PR firm eyes Cambodia’s growth

Pheng Kim Hoan in Phnom Penh.
Pheng Kim Hoan in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Business Insider: PR firm eyes Cambodia’s growth

As more international companies enter the Kingdom and domestic firms begin to see the value in branding, public relations firms are poised to see demand for their skills take off. The Post’s Hor Kimsay sat down with Pheng Kim Hoan, managing director of Two Way Public Relations, to talk about her personal entrepreneurial journey as well as the larger corporate communications sector in the Kingdom.

What did you do before running your own business, and what made you decide to start Two Way Public Relations?
After graduating in 2004 with a BA in general management, I worked for companies in neighbouring countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar before coming back to Cambodia in 2009. I worked for the Canadia Group as an assistant to the vice president of the company in charge of public relations and marketing, and I was gradually given bigger and bigger opportunities at my job, until I was promoted to the chief public relations officer at the Diamond Island development. In 2014, my friends gave me the idea to run my own business and become a public relations service provider.

How much money did you need to run this kind of business and how did you first start?
Our company started in the middle of 2014 as All Public Relations. We began with $40,000 in capital and four shareholders. I started off with just one-third of the salary that I received at Canadia Group, and at that time I was a general manager and the company only had two staff members, me and one other employee.
In the first year, I only got two clients. But we finished the year with a gross revenue of $400,000. It was unbelievable, I was very happy.

How does the current growth compare to the first year?
Now we have more clients, five in total, who have signed a contract with us for our public relation services for one year. We also have clients who need our services for other projects. We currently have 12 employees with gross revenue of $1 million per year.

What do you think about the potential for growth in public relations in Cambodia?
Our country is a developing country and receives high foreign investment inflow. Those companies coming from developed countries, they clearly understand the advantages of spending their money to build confidence among the public through a professional public relations company.

There are a lot of domestic companies growing very fast, but they don’t yet understand the advantages of public relations services. I think they will gradually start to understand more, and this is another potential for us as a public relations company. Our vision is to look for domestic companies because they are growing and can pay more for public relations.

As a female entrepreneur, did you face any discrimination or obstacles because of your gender? What advice do you have for other female entrepreneurs?
I have not experienced any discrimination. The clients are confident in our company, and I think that, for this job, women have more potential than men.

Sometimes women can negotiate more successfully with men. [Men] have emotional feelings and value women; they want to give opportunities to women who have good skills. For example, a man, however high a position he has in a state agency or in a company, will always open the door for us when we walk together. Or sometimes, when we have an appointment, they will pay for us. In my experience, women are always given an opportunity.

For other women, I say if you have a dream, you have to start really working now to fulfil your dream.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided