Begoña Lucena is the Managing Director, SE Asia, of Artemis Associates Singapore Ltd.
Hola Begoña, could you please introduce yourself?
I am a strategic communications and public affairs specialist with 20 years of experience in Europe and Asia advising high profile individuals, global businesses and charities.
I have been based in Singapore for four years and currently head the SE Asia operations of Artemis Associates, a specialist reputation management agency, founded by Diana Footitt, and headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in Singapore and Shanghai.
Prior to that, I was based in London UK for seven years where I worked as media advisor to Ms. Miriam Gonzalez, the wife of Nick Clegg, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. During my time in the UK, I also worked alongside Ms. Gonzalez in founding a leading charity and advised large corporates on their communications and public affairs strategies. Before that I was based in Spain where I was a senior communications manager with the Spanish Foreign Ministry and a broadcast journalist on TV and radio.
Can you tell us the main activities and services provided by Artemis?
Artemis Associates is an Asia focused reputation management specialist, covering financial communications, issues and crisis management, and building visibility for corporates and UHNWIs across Hong Kong, mainland China and SE Asia.
We act for international and local privately-held and listed companies, family owned businesses, entrepreneurs and ultra-high-net-worth individuals across a range of sectors including consumer, luxury, financial services, telecoms, media, technology, healthcare and biotech and industrials, creating, changing, protecting and building their reputations, legacies and brands.
To do this, we operate across five core practices that are essential to successful holistic reputation management and legacy protection – financial communications, issues and crisis management, building visibility, training and content development. Our counsel is delivered through various channels, including traditional, digital and social.
You have offices in other Asian countries. How would you briefly explain the company’s business strategy for Asia?
Artemis Associates are headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in Shanghai and Singapore. We are also a member of AMO, one of the leading global partnerships of corporate and financial communications consultancies, giving Artemis global advisory and execution reach.
We have unrivalled, long-term relationships with Asia’s most prominent media and market influencers. Our local knowledge gives us a deep understanding of the business environment and the financial markets. Our issues and crisis communication expertise and processes enable clients to prepare for and then best-manage any reputation-impacting event.
Artemis Associates’ trilingual team includes former senior investment bankers, accountants and financial journalists, together forging a team of some of the most experienced communications advisors in Asia.
Within your work, what are the main strategies for companies and people for creating, changing, protecting and building their reputations, legacies & brands?
Communication strategies are not region-specific, so we decided to export our successful business model from Spain and Portugal to Asia. Listening to the market, to the local culture and insights, we decided to focus on social media and digital marketing to give response to the big challenge for the international companies and other players to be positioned on the digital ecosystem.
How do you think the current pandemic has changed the Social Media Marketing for companies?
First of all, each client, whether a family office, a global corporate business or UHNWI, is different and needs a personalized strategy, according to their needs and their future goals.
All companies and senior leadership teams must realize that a solid communications strategy is key to their success. Building your brand and enhancing your reputation are no longer an option. In today’s world, and especially in the post-pandemic world, we expect our leaders to be good communicators, empathetic, approachable while professionals, driven and passionate.
Does your personal brand reflect that of your company? Is the public image that your company projects in the media different from the image you and your employees think your company should have? Does your company’s reputation deliver the results you expect? What is your company’s track record in previous crisis?
The answers to those questions will determine the specific strategy you and company need.
As a journalist, what is the role of the digital, social, visual and traditional media for building appropriate and relevant visibility for families, companies, individuals and their brands?
We live in a 24/7 news cycle, amplified by the social media. Our public exposure has increased exponentially, and companies need to be aware of the different channels they can use to communicate with different stakeholders.
Each platform has its own rules and serves a different audience, which makes matters more difficult for businesses – especially the small and medium ones –to control the narrative. It is not just about what you say, but also how you say it, where and when, because all media play a role.
In Artemis, we create bespoke strategies for each client, depending on what they need. You can’t apply the same solution to all businesses across Asia. The social media landscape in mainland China is completely different to the channels that we would use in SE Asia. And the same apply to the traditional media. You need to adjust your strategies to the local culture, the business rules and the media requirements.
What advice would you give to a company or family that has never worked before with a reputation management company and has now decided to select a company to provide these services? What would be the most important thing when selecting a reputation management company?
You are putting your reputation and your company’s future in the hands of someone else. It is a big deal. Make sure you trust them and that they understand not only what you need but also where you want to be in five years-time, because they will help you devise the way to achieve this.
Don’t get drawn by big international names where your company and your project could get lost. Find the right team you feel comfortable to work with because they will be your best confident but also your biggest critic.
And to finish, since you have been living in Singapore for several years, what are your favorite places in Singapore for your free time?
I currently live in Sentosa which feels like an eternal holiday, with the marina, the beach and so much greenery. China Town always surprises me, and I love discovering the new restaurants along Amoy Street and Telok Ayer. The Bukit Timah Reserve is also a must and so is – but for very different reasons! – Emerald Hill, with its charming shop houses.
Gracias Begoña!For more information: https://www.artemisassociates.com/