June 01, 2016
24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella Asia’s world. Today, we hear about a day in the life of Yeap Yin Ching, the co-founder and MD of Singapore B2B PR agency Ying Communications.
5.45am. The day begins. Three kids to get ready for school so it’s an early start. Clear my emails by 6.00am. We get the kids out of bed, down to breakfast, teeth brushed, socks on, and meet on the sofa by 6.20am for a cuddle and a chat. I take my eight year-old for the two-minute walk to the corner for the school bus. The 10 year-old and 14 year-old get ready for the drive to school. It’s early, it’s hectic, but it’s the best part of our day.
7.30am. Back from the school run, we settle down to home-made bread with dollops of butter, soft-boiled eggs and home brewed teh C siew dai (translation: tea with evaporated milk and less sugar). Allan [Tan, who co-founded Ying Communications with his wife 15 years ago] reads the news and wonders at the madness of the financial markets but more importantly, the intricacies, miracles, drama and wonders of English Premier League football. I just drink my teh and watch the birds in the garden feast on the daily breakfast of seeds we provide (which reminds me I need to get some more).
8.15am. One of my favourite things to do is read up on potential clients before I meet them. So I start with the annual report of a cloud computing company we will be meeting later. Is the company growing or shrinking? Which business units contribute the most? What do they think about the APAC region? What are its major initiatives and key messages? What are some of the challenges? THEN I look up news articles on what the market thinks of the company. Internal perception versus market reality – check and balance. Learning about new businesses is one of the things I love about this job. Send out a few more emails and get ready to go to the office.
10.00am. Monthly catch-up with a senior staff member for our usual chat. In addition to half-yearly appraisals for all team members which the GMs run, I make a special effort with our senior team to talk to them regularly about their personal growth and development, as well as anything else they may have on their minds. Another part of the job I really enjoy.
12pm. We have a birthday lunch with cake every month for the birthday folks. Bumper crop this month with six birthday people. Menu is sushi – five huge platters which are inhaled in no time – a lovely strawberry shortcake, and… bubble wands for the birthday kids! Half the group don’t want the birthday song so we try to blow the candles and divvy up the cake without calling everyone else back. However, we get busted and birthday song is sung.
1.45pm. Quiet time to prepare for messaging workshop. Lock myself (figuratively) in the room to work on an upcoming messaging workshop for an automotive parts company. Learned loads about the industry through hours of desktop research, meeting with the product management team, kopi with the sales manager, and meetings with the largest distributor and a workshop owner. Consolidating all this into workable insights that we can then build the brand messaging on for presentation to the leadership team in a couple of weeks.
2.30 pm. Get call from kids arguing over which of the three has to be the first one to start Chinese tuition. Pick one and yell at the rest to start their homework. Nobody’s made happy by the solution. Tough.
3.30pm. Meet potential client with Ying PR GM Naeema Ismail. Interesting business with lots of potential. We had a great conversation with the client. Fingers crossed. Just need to work on a proposal next. Naeema and I have been working together for such a long time we have a great Laurel and Hardy act going. We know what the other is going to say and which areas each will focus on. And given our different personality types – me the introvert and she the extrovert – we find that most people will relate to one of us somehow.
5.30pm. Rush home and throw bread flour, sugar, salt, milk, water and yeast into the bread maker to make pizza dough. Chop onions, garlic and mushrooms, grate cheese, get the pepperoni ready – a process made considerably more difficult by the kids wanting to help. Stick the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes and feed the hordes at 7.00pm.
8.45 pm. Drill sergeant mode. Start yelling at kids (a common theme) to change into PJs, brush their teeth and go to bed for 9.00pm. This takes a lot longer than it should.
9.45pm. Fall into bed. Since the next Tom Clancy book won’t be out until June, read the latest book by David Robbins on a US para-rescue team. Trashy novel it may be, but I like it. Asleep by 10 pm. Rinse and repeat.
First published in Mumbrella