20 years: A Solid Foundation for Sustainable Growth
Strategic Public Relations Group Limited (SPRG)
The management believes in continuous education and has never cut back on training even during lulls in the market. The Group has organised 18 training sessions, conducted by internal and external parties, and encourages staff to attend workshops, with the company covering relevant expenses. SPRG also grants examination leave and subsidises relevant courses taken by staff.
INTRODUCTIONA Human-Centric Business
SPRG wholeheartedly promotes staff development. In celebrating its 20th anniversary, staff in Hong Kong were presented with new name cards, macarons stamped with anniversary logos and a letter of appreciation from the Chairman. Before the official commencement of celebrations, 130 Hong Kong staff and their families travelled to Seoul, South Korea for a 4D3N trip to unwind and prepare for new opportunities ahead. The Group further invited some 150 overseas colleagues to Hong Kong to visit the headquarters, enjoy a day at Ocean Park and a grand banquet. A cocktail reception with some 600 guests created the perfect climax. Subsequent activities included a boat trip, private movie screening and a Christmas barbeque.
Localisation and Trust
Since its founding, SPRG has hired local professionals as general managers – consistent with the management’s belief in trust and delegation. This belief, backed by a high level of autonomy for the Group’s offices has resulted in extremely low turnover. Currently, SPRG has 295 staff members in the region. In Hong Kong, 15 employees have been with the Group for 15 years or more, and 44 exceeded 10 years. Also, 11 employees have been with their respective offices since inception, and one-third of the workforce have been with SPRG for five years or above – retention rate at 74%. Furthermore, 40 out of 42 director-grade staff have been with SPRG for the past year – the majority exceeding eight years.
Power of Mentorship
All current Hong Kong directors and senior staff have ‘graduated’ from the founder’s mentorship, and have significant industry exposure, hence can lead a large-scale unit of the Group. Continuing the mentorship tradition, junior staff report to one director while working with other directors through different jobs to gain knowledge and business exposure.
The management believes in continuous education and has never cut back on training even during lulls in the market.The Group has organised 18 training sessions, conducted by internal and external parties, and encourages staff to attend workshops, with the company covering relevant expenses. SPRG also grants examination leave and subsidises relevant courses taken by staff. The Group’s exchange programme further allows Hong Kong staff to have stints at different regional offices.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYNew Learning Experience
The Group launched a regional training course, i.e. SPRG Dynamics 2015. To develop a programme suitable for 70 participants, a survey was conducted which was overseen by the general managers and director of overseas offices. Participants were subsequently provided with a comprehensive course, complete with the chairman sharing his views on the industry.
Building a Happy Workplace
Consistent with the management’s belief in creating an enjoyable workplace, member offices organise team-building activities and birthday parties. In Hong Kong, annual dinners and holiday meals are organised where family members are invited. The offices in Hong Kong also allocate monthly allowances for snacks. Birthday leave is another benefit extended to the staff in Hong Kong. Placing importance on employees’ health, staff at the Beijing, Singapore and Malaysia offices can work from home when air pollution is serious, and the Beijing office has been fitted with an air filtration system.
Providing Peace of Mind
The management advocates promotions ahead of recruitments. Moreover, a substantial amount of gross profit is shared among staff. To encourage communications among senior staff, a regional meeting is organised annually covering staff development, business direction, operational enhancements, etc. Examples of SPRG’s receptiveness to staff needs include providing rooms for nursing mothers, and fathers-to-be offered five-day full-wage paternity leave (Hong Kong offices) – preceding the Hong Kong Government’s ordinance ratified in early 2015 which entitles new fathers to three-day paternity leave and four-fifth of their daily wages.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTContributing to Society
Pro bono services are offered to not-for-profit organisations in Hong Kong and abroad, while volunteerism is encouraged among staff.
FUTURE DIRECTIONNurturing Future Practitioners
SPRG maintains an internship programme which in 2015 offered over 37 positions. The Hong Kong offices even provided 25 interns with tailored programmes supervised by at least one senior staff member. SPRG also conducts career talks for university students regularly.
SPRG is among the largest PR networks in Asia and the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong. It is an integrated PR group and an investor relations and financial communications specialist, with 290 professionals working from its nine offices across Asia, providing clients with a comprehensive suite of world-class PR services.