As Thailand’s first network agency, Yell Bangkok is no stranger to breaking the mold in many ways. This Women's History Month, we had the opportunity to sit down with the talented Arisa Naiyanit (Ann), Social Media Manager at Yell Bangkok, and Pimchanok Thoraneesuwan (Beam), Senior Digital PR, to discuss their approach to building equitable teams.
Can you tell us a bit about your role and your journey to arriving there?
A.N: I am currently working as a Social Media Manager, responsible for managing and overseeing the online communities of various platforms and providing crisis management for the brand.
P.T: I've been doing Digital PR at Yell Advertising for almost 3 years now. I was the first employee in this position, and it was quite a pioneering role. Now, our team has grown to 5 core members. Our work is divided into two main parts. The first part involves working on various project or campaign briefs that involve using KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). I am responsible for proposing KOL lists based on the brief, acting as a liaison between KOLs and the team, and keeping up with the latest trends and popular KOLs to recommend to our clients. The second part involves doing PR work for our organizations.
What barriers do women still face in our industry and how can we challenge them?
A.N: When it comes to discussing challenges, I cannot specifically identify any obstacles that are exclusive to women in this industry. However, as for the advantages that women bring to this profession, we are generally more sensitive and attuned to consumer emotions. In addition, I excel at handling social vulnerabilities, even during the toughest situations. I am capable of controlling my emotions and solving problems efficiently by focusing on my strengths rather than weaknesses. I am committed to doing my best, regardless of gender factors, as it is not a disadvantage for us.
P.T: Personally, I believe that being a woman is not a hindrance to working in this industry. In fact, there are many advantages to it. However, if asked how to cope with the challenges, I think it would be a driving force for developing skills, abilities, and a desire to overcome the idea that women are inferior. Regardless of gender, everything should be judged based on one's abilities.
How do you use your position to build equitable teams that are diverse and balanced?
A.N: First and foremost, it's important to understand the nature of each individual in the team, their strengths and potential areas of development. Some may have a higher tolerance for pressure and possess quick problem-solving skills, negotiation skills, or other relevant abilities. I assign tasks to each team member based on their priority skill sets. Alternatively, if someone is highly creative, outgoing, and enjoys engaging in social conversations or staying up-to-date with the latest trends, they may be assigned to manage brands that require this type of energy and approach.
But no matter what kind of person you are, I always try to provide opportunities for everyone to work in every way possible to enhance skills in areas they may not be proficient in. Because in reality, we don't always get to choose what kind of work we will encounter, and some tasks can't be done alone, so we need to work together as a team to make things run smoothly. As the team leader, I have to eliminate any obstacles that interfere with the team's work and help them focus on the work that will bring out the best results they can achieve.
Due to the fact that we work almost every day, team members must be aware of each other's tasks so that when someone needs a break, someone else can take over that job. This ensures that you can take a break with peace of mind, knowing that the task will be taken care of. As for the work that still needs to be done, the team will manage it together.
P.T: Firstly, it's important to understand the personalities, characters, and abilities of the people in the team. By understanding them, you can analyze how to communicate with each person in a way that suits them. Creating a friendly environment within the team where everyone can talk and exchange ideas, whether it's work-related or not, is also important. Giving everyone the opportunity to express their opinions and dividing tasks appropriately helps to create balance. In addition, it's important to follow up regularly to see how everyone is doing and if they are okay. I also need to make myself approachable, so that team members feel comfortable and confident enough to come to us for help or if they have any problems.
Who are your female advertising icons/role models and why?
A.N: I don't have a role model to follow. This profession requires constant adaptation to the situations on social media platforms around the world. I learn something new every day, whether it's about tools, mechanics, or even social issues that people are currently aware of. This is so that I can keep up with others who work in the same industry. It is my own unique approach that I respect and admire as an example in my work.
P.T: In reality, there isn't yet a person who can be called the perfect role model. However, if someone who is admired and seen as an example is to be chosen, I would choose P.Kwang (Group Account Director of Yell) who is someone close to me. P.Kwang was the first person to teach me the ropes when I first started working here, and I learned many things from them, such as work processes, problem-solving methods, and management skills for both work and people. I can take what I have learned, and adapt it to my own way of doing things.