59 seconds with… Ivlynn Yap

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Yap Cheng Theng

Ivlynn Yap Cheng Theng
Founder and managing director
Citrine One Sdn Bhd

An IT journalist-turned-entrepreneur, Yap considers herself an “old-hand” in the public and media relations industry having run her own marketing communications, advertising and promotions outfit since 2001.

Citrine One is involved in areas such as strategic marketing communications, public and media relations, content development, events and project management, social media and media training.

What drove you to start you own business?

“Following my stints as a journalist, editor, producer, regional PR manager, regional marcomm manager, I felt some agencies which I dealt with lacking the understanding of how the media actually works and what exactly clients want albeit the limitations and challenges they face.

“Hence, I decided to offer my services based on my experience and knowledge of these areas and to focus on addressing these needs.”

What are some of the obstacles you faced?

“My biggest challenge is to turn around the company and to be in the black again when one of my clients went into liquidation and owe us a six-figure amount which we needed in return to pay to our suppliers. We struggled for one year and a half to pay back our suppliers.

“However, I’m happy that despite this huge challenge, my team stuck together, especially my senior management team who have been with me for more than five years as we worked hard to pay off our suppliers.

“Despite all that, we still managed to pay our staff a fair amount of bonus albeit a smaller amount than usual, and to send them for a company trip to Bali the following year despite year-end losses.”

What are the best moments in the business?

“My proudest achievements to date are when we secured the Canon account for three years, Cartoon Network for two years, managed the Pemandu Government Transformation Programme PR initiatives and being tasked with the media relations aspects for Petronas Motorsports Twin Towers @ Live concerts for three years. Toughest job scope but the team managed to pull through nevertheless.”

What will 2014 bring?

“As we are no longer in debt, we are now looking forward to grow again. A good start to the year 2014 when we were asked again to manage the media for Twin Towers @ Live 2014.

More about Yap Cheng Theng and her business at www.citrineone.com

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