MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT
Edwina A. Klünder worked across three different Mandarin Oriental properties in a span of a decade. Now the founder of her own marketing consultancy, Edwina supports her clients in public relations, brand development and marketing strategies.
After more than 10 years as a Director of Communications across three different Mandarin Oriental properties, what prompted you to launch your own consultancy?
While leading the marketing communications efforts in three distinct markets, including the flagship property in my home city of Hong Kong, I was fortunate to work closely with a number of highly accomplished, outside consultants who had continued their professional development by launching their own businesses. Their insights were based on careers within their industries that were further enriched by collaborating with various properties and businesses as consultants. It became clear to me that I wanted to grow professionally by working closely with a select group of top brands to understand how these other businesses and non-profit organizations approach, evaluate, and invest in PR and marketing communications. Over the past three years, I have been selective and ensured that my portfolio is diverse, building solid relationships with my clients that have remained strong throughout this pandemic. My goal would be to return to hospitality so that I may bring my insights and understanding to my next exciting role.
What is your most memorable career moment with Mandarin Oriental?
Working at MO presented me with many opportunities for learning. During the hustle and bustle of key initiatives, launching strategic partnerships such as with Art Basel Hong Kong, or opening a hotel, I deepened my learning of working effectively under pressure. However, many of the skills I rely on today come from the quiet times, building the strategies that led to these public successes. My clients appreciate the level of care, detail, and imagination that I put into my planning. Having said that, a key highlight of my career with MO would be having trained and mentored junior team members as they grow in their respective careers and remaining friends with such a diverse group of industry professionals around the world!
With the outbreak of COVID-19, what advice would you give to organizations navigating through the pandemic?
The pandemic affects every aspect of our lives so first and foremost, we have to empathize with our colleagues and their daily struggles, many of which take place in private, away from work. Organizations have had to adopt processes that might have seemed impossible just a few short months ago. The logistics of working from home for many mid-sized to large organizations seemed insurmountable and many of my clients have transitioned rather smoothly to a remote workstyle. Those that have adapted successfully to this new normal openly communicate with their employees and promote flexibility within their work schedules, appreciating the very real impact that self-care and dependent care have on the health of their teams. Having welcomed a new baby boy into our family at the beginning of the year, my husband and I have quickly adapted to new expectations and plans too.
Not enough can be said about staying positive, empathetic, and agile through it all. Thinking about what life will be like after the pandemic while still being sensitive and open to what others are going through is at the top of my mind. We need to not forget to take care of each other as best we can and take time out of our day to take care of ourselves too!