This is an interview conducted by Aspioneer in its featured issue on International Women’s Day, “The Trailblazer: Women Leaders, 2022”. The issue recognizes and celebrates some of the incredible women in various industries as a reminder of their achievements and contributions, whose stories are both fascinating and inspiring.
Dr. Clāra Ly-Le, the Founder and Managing Director of EloQ Communications, is a dynamic leader on a mission to rewrite the rules of the public relations (PR) and communications industry. Having dedicated more than 10 years to the industry, Clāra understands the nerve of the business and is eager to bridge the gap between the quality that is expected and the quality that is being delivered. A strong believer in providing complete value for money, Clāra leaves no stone unturned and does everything it takes to deliver the promised outcomes. With next-level commitment and passion for her work, Clāra overcomes every barrier that stops her from achieving the desired goal. A leader in the truest sense, despite all the success, Clāra continues to remain grounded and is a leader who is easy to approach and always ready to help.
In a recent interview with Aspioneer, Clāra discusses her vision and what distinguishes the company.
Aspioneer (A): Thank you for doing this with us, Clāra. Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Clāra (C): “I’m the Founder & Managing Director of EloQ Communications based in Vietnam. I also serve as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Public Relations and Communications at Van Lang University. From our main office in Ho Chi Minh City, the bustling business hub of Vietnam, we support clients from more than 30 cities and regions worldwide. EloQ Communications was established on March 14, 2016. That means we will also be celebrating our sixth anniversary this month.”
(A): Can you enlighten our readers about your entrepreneurial journey?
(C): “I’m an expert in PR and marketing, but being an entrepreneur is a different thing. Similar to other PR professionals who decide to open their own business, I struggled with company operation and branding at the start of my journey with EloQ. After identifying the problem, I started to solve it step-by-step. First, a smooth operation calls for a strong team, and I focus on improving our team quality from the recruitment process. We’re not simply hiring people with expertise, but also finding those who share the same passion and vision to create a strong organizational bond. As soon as everything and everybody was in place, we were able to focus on client service. Second, for company branding, I apply my expertise not only to serve clients but also to build EloQ’s brand image to gain new contracts. Now, our reputation has grown out of Vietnam territory to the world. And we’ve supported almost a hundred companies across four continents.”
(A): EloQ is quite a unique name. Can you tell us about it, mission and services you offer?
(C): “The name EloQ is short for Eloquent. It describes our mission of facilitating strong, clear, and fluent communication between our clients and their stakeholders through successful PR and marketing campaigns in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Our agency focuses on the kind of outside-the-box thinking to cut through the noise and gain attention in today’s crowded marketing landscape. We utilize our local insights and combine them with global standards to become an all-around solutions provider that recognizes the interconnected nature of modern PR and marketing communication. In short, you can say that EloQ is a local agency with a global vision! We are highly experienced in supporting multinational brands, from market entry and familiarizing with the Vietnam business environment, to building reputation and strengthening local presence. We offer a range of marketing services, including PR, social marketing, digital marketing, influencer marketing, business, and product branding, crisis communication, integrated strategic planning, and event planning.”
(A): We have to accept that the PR market is quite a challenging one. So, amidst all the big sharks in the market, how has your brand made it big? What makes it unique?
(C): “What makes us unique is, first of all, our target clients. While most local agencies target established companies in Vietnam, EloQ focuses on serving overseas clients. As local experts, our job is to identify and close the cultural and knowledge gap between the Vietnamese audience and the brands, such as advising them on how to adapt their key messages to the local audience, how to engage with the local media, and all the local norms they need to know to get on good terms with the local public. The second difference is our respect and openness to diversity, which resulted from the experience of working with clients from different industries, backgrounds, and countries. The spirit is deep-rooted into our work culture and is reflected through our internal team, where we welcome members from any gender, experience, educational background, race, etc. At EloQ, we ensure that everyone is equal, meaning that advancement and opportunities for female employees are abundant at our agency. We take responsibility to create an open environment where women can lead and succeed.”
(A): What are your views on women in the PR and marketing industry? Any advice for them?
(C): “In the PR and marketing industry, women account for 80% of the workforce, but only 20% of them are in managerial roles. This is known as a fact not only in Vietnam but also worldwide. This is not because women are incompetent in comparison to male practitioners, but women prefer professional work to a leadership position. They tend to avoid being in the center of attention. And it is similar for many other industries. I think women should not fear managerial roles or feel that they’re compelled to impress other people as business leaders. Think of it as a way to step up and realize their dreams. You may be the only person to make your dream come true. Speak and take action for what you want. I believe that if I can do it like many other talented women leaders are doing it, then so can you!”
(A): How has the pandemic affected your business? What was your primary focus?
(C): “2021 was a successful year for my company, despite the influence of COVID-19. We celebrated our fifth anniversary along with several awards and recognitions on a regional scale. But the most rewarding experience, I think, is when our clients’ campaigns translate into success. We won eight new clients, including the global biopharmaceutical business AstraZeneca. It was an exciting experience to help the brand establish its credibility with the Vietnamese public (government, media, and citizens), educate the importance of vaccination to the local community, and consequently, increase the vaccination rate in Vietnam. I think this campaign is not only work but something we can look back to and feel proud of our contribution to the local welfare. We retained or renewed 65% of the past contracts, including ones with the world’s leading messaging app Viber and the hip travel body Hong Kong Tourism Board. And for personal achievement, at the end of 2021, I was awarded the Gold title for Best PR Practitioners award at the third ASEAN PR Excellence Award. Surprisingly, I was the only female candidate shortlisted and won a trophy among the individual award categories.”
EloQ Communications proudly stands as a brand that has broken all the conventional stereotypes and has established a certain order in the industry. With its creative thinking, it has changed the PR and Communications industry. With its prime goal being facilitating strong, clear, and fluent communication, EloQ has become an undisputed industry leader. Today, EloQ Communications is heading the business world towards a more predictable future and intends to make the future more desirable, beautiful, and joyful. EloQ is here to serve. EloQ is here to help.