PR encounters brief & lasting


BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro

“May your efforts turn into opportunities to hear your client’s journey as bells ring in 2021,” I email promising PR.

PR Guru Carlos “Charlie” Agatep says “brand storytelling should inspire, it should resonate, it should build trust and forge a relationship.”

Apo Agatep, ex-newman and original commercial TV program director, is first public relations practitioner to accept 2020 Agora Award from Philippine Marketing Association; sixth person to get Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Communications Award, a 2014 category introduced to value storytelling in hyper connectivity age.

Saying thank you to a newspaper of choice’s editor, Agatep cites a “well-written, superbly laid out article… posted online on Facebook that generated thousands of ‘likes’.

PR gives me two bottles of water. Chairman emeritus known for “not talking” gives me dry, “boring” interview.

Pregnant PR ignores my texted tight deadline inquiries; spews an earful after I squeeze surplus Christmas info during this season of giving direct from the horse’s mouth.

Fuelled by pre-Covid, socially distanced PRs from March 2019 until the once-in-a-century pandemic closed borders, I’m on avid HARI chase for REINA ride sans a Santa Fe SUV purchase.

To keep my engine running, I frame Korean car dealership showroom selfies in North Africa and Middle East.

On eve of this Morocco-Qatar sojourn, Sheila Pino Ylagan from Angono, Rizal arranges Intramuros interview-photoshoot.

Her client CEO Melencio Manllinllin books an Ilustrado function room cum lunch. We wrap up in Mercantile’s green three-story headquarters, where telenovelas are often filmed; “where money is printed” in paintings-laden room. Near Port of Manila, this prosperity-colored building behind Manila Cathedral hosts 43 tenant-customs broker offices.

Because Manllinllin has never met Sheilah’s boss, she promises to arrange a coffee meeting.

Sheila’s 2020 starts with Margie T. Logarta, The Mania Times’ Boardroom Watch (BRW) (on Fridays) and Keep In View (Sunday Business) editor, posting on Facebook four-paragraph PR Praise:

“We’d like to extend kudos to Grupo Agatep (Sheila Pino Ylagan), who, for once, presented the often last minute task of photo captioning in a power point like format. Why, they even thoughtfully combined the photo AND caption, so we knew exactly what photo to choose for the layout.”

Sheilah was “Rookie in 2006, promoted to office in 2008. 2009 Employee of Year. Assumed higher office 2010. Undeniable proof of Sheila’s loyalty and passion for work. Certified fanatic of Twilight Saga series, toy and Little Twin Star collector, loving mom to son Inigo, 6. Serves with gusto as Grupo Agatep’s Media Relations Head.”

Until Sheilah’s November 2020 email: “After six years (total of 14 years) of exciting and memorable stint, I am bidding adieu today to Grupo Agatep to become a mom, teacher/tutor to my kindergarten and a baker. It’s a scary thing, but this pandemic has forced me to look into my fears and face them.”

Because Sheila has stepped out of Grupo’s building, pre-Covid19 coffee in percolator with Cagayan townmates Manlinllin and Agatep, and me is unserved.

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