Ken Hong | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations
ken-hong-2018-influence-100

Ken Hong

Senior Director Global Communications
LG
Korea, Asia-Pacific

 

A popular figure on the global PR circuit, Ken Hong has overseen a transformation in LG Electronics’ public profile since taking on global communications leadership a decade ago. That has included the launch of the LG-One WPP unit, which handles the Korean giant’s global PR duties, and has helped to drive particularly strong results for the company at key trade shows such as CES and Mobile World Congress. Recent years have seen Hong support the launch of LG’s first ever premium brand in North America and Europe, and the critical reorganization of LG’s offices in Europe.

Prior to LG, Hong spent numerous years agency-side, at MSL and Weber Shandwick - in China, Thailand and Hong Kong - giving him a unique perspective on the challenges that face Asian brands.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
I do not believe that communications has a direct impact on business performance, or if it does, it cannot be measured to my satisfaction. Good communications is like exercise — the results appear over time.

What do you love about this industry?
The fact that every day presents a new challenge.

What most frustrates you about this industry?
The inability to accurately measure the influence we have over an organization's reputation.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities?
The lack of strong, consistent creativity.

How do you relax or change pace when you're not at work?
Long walks and binging on movies and podcasts.

Can you share a book/movie/TV show/podcast that teaches a valuable lesson about PR?
Every episode of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast conveys the power of stories in shaping what we believe.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
A movie critic.