Belinda Tan | The Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2019

Belinda Tan

VP & Head, Corporate Communications & Responsibility, AP/EEMEA


“Logistics too can be sexy”

Responsible for developing and steering the communications & responsibility efforts for DHL in Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Belinda Tan’s approach to content marketing in particular stands out, helping to future proof the organization and creating a global blueprint for the logistics giant. Prior to DHL, Belinda spent several years at Hill+Knowlton and was with Grayling Public Relations running several regional accounts across a range of industries.

How do you define innovation?
Burger King’s award winning Whopper Detour campaign makes for a textbook case study — inventive, memorable, engaging, and delivering results — everything great marketing aspires to. Logistics too can be sexy. Our DHL Express Middle East team ran a campaign with famous soccer star, Mo Salah. His retreat from social media generated worldwide speculation and his subsequent reveal linked to his partnership with DHL secured a lot of earned media.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
There’s lots of great talent across agencies and brands doing really interesting work. For several years now I've joined the judging panels for several industry awards. It’s always inspiring to see fantastic ideas brilliantly executed.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Innovation is a journey, not a destination. Four years ago, we launched our corporate content hub, Logistics of Things. That was the start of a journey to transition the department's work — from a corporate PR team to one embracing the opportunities afforded by digital marketing, leveraging and upskilling the team in an ongoing transformative process. We're constantly exploring avenues to do better…definitely keeps us on our toes!

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Tom Bilyeu – on mindset and the pursuit of excellence – the fuel for innovation.

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Inspiration comes from any source... we all need time to day dream.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
There’s a saying “no man steps in the same river twice” for neither the river nor the individual are the same again. Innovation is change, and change is a part of life. So embrace it and see where it takes you…

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
I'd love to have one of Hermione Granger’s “Time-Turners” so I can exist in multiple realities at the same time — I'd be a criminal profiler, animal trainer, dive instructor, holistic doctor, farmer living off the grid... the list goes on. Life would be exhausting, but oh so cool.

Favorite book/movie/podcast/article that's not related to PR/marketing/business?
"Relentless" by Tom Grover who trained Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and other elite athletes. I'm hardly athletic, couldn’t tell you the first thing about basketball, but the book is a great account of the sheer discipline and mental tenacity that separates talent from legend.

What's your favourite time of day and why?
Early mornings before sunrise. Best time to day dream.