Pioneering training for Myanmar communications professionals launched


Sonya Madeira, Rice Communications

To nurture local talent and help address the increasing demand for skilled communications practitioners, award-winning Public Relations (PR) agency Rice Communications, has launched a certificate course in PR and Communications tailored for Myanmar.

Rice Communications’ Talent Programme is the first PR agency-led training in Myanmar, created and delivered by seasoned practitioners. The launch took place at the Careers in Communications workshop hosted by the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce at the Park Royal Hotel on May 13.

Speaking at the event, Sonya Madeira, Founder & Managing Partner at Rice Communications, said: “Our amazing team in Yangon proves there is great talent right here. Our Talent Programme is part of a strong commitment to our very own team’s growth, and to make a positive impact in Myanmar by helping deepen the pool of highly skilled, homegrown communications talent.”

Madeira said the agency will invest time and money in providing a market-tailored programme that cover PR fundamentals, industry best practices, on-the-job tips, and insights on current and emerging trends. “Rice is dedicating some SG$100,000 in senior experts’ time, tools and technology, resources and knowledge within the agency as well as our extended network to deliver a high standard of training,” she added.

The programme is open to Myanmar nationals with a keen interest in communications as a career. These include graduates of communications and related degree programs, working professionals in media or agencies (PR, advertising, digital) and those in corporate, government or non-government communications roles.

The programme will be given free of charge to 20 deserving trainees. Registration started at the Careers in Communications workshop, and will continue until May 31. To register, interested applicants can email [email protected].

All registered applicants will be notified of the requirements and selection process via email. Classes will start in mid-July 2017.

The 12-month course consists of full-day classes once a month, quarterly industry-expert workshops, webinars, online consultation, and a suite of project-based learning tools. The sessions would cover such areas as integrated communications planning, content development, media relations, events management, and digital and social media engagement.

The trainees will receive certificates upon completion of the full programme.  Outstanding trainees will also have an opportunity to be selected for a paid internship at one of Rice’s offices.

“Part of Rice’s reach into Myanmar is around capacity building by up-skilling, partnering and facilitating growth and development. We are very much a ‘training agency’, committed to making a difference by transferring skills and knowledge; and along the way, feeding the industry’s and our own talent pipeline in this high-growth market,” said Donna Garcia, Country Manager, Rice Communications-Myanmar.

Headquartered in Singapore, Rice Communications established an office in Yangon in 2014 to cater to the needs of multinational companies and fast-growing local businesses in Myanmar. It counts among its clients global brands such Bosch, Hilton, Dow Chemical, Diebold Nixdorf, Twinings, WWF-Myanmar; and Myanmar companies Premium Distribution, Myanmar Information Technology, S&P, and Myanmar Tourism Federation.

Regional clients include Inmarsat, National Instruments, LinkedIn, Palo Alto Networks, and Subaru.

Careers in Communications

Madeira and Garcia were speakers at the A-MCC Careers in Communications workshop, joining Simon Bruce, Country Manager of MyWorld; Alison Harley, Senior Communications Manager, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)- Myanmar; Edwin Briels, PR and Communications Manager, Myanmar Tourism Federation and General Manager of Khiri Travel; and Hnin Nu Hlaing, Senior Expert Marketing Manager, Wave Money.

Jodi Weedon, Chief Executive Officer of A-MCC said, "Australia- Myanmar Chamber of Commerce is always proud to support members in positive initiatives but was particularly proud to join together with Rice Communications to present the Careers in Communications workshop. I believe supporting capacity building programs for young Myanmar people is more relevant and critical than ever before. We need to remind people that there are so many opportunities out there and that a lack of qualifications or training is not a barrier to these opportunities. Specialists hire for great attitude and the training can happen on the job."

The story of Myanmar – a country of some 54 million people and a growing middle class hungry for information, infrastructure, goods and services – presents tremendous opportunities for communications professionals in the media, marketing industries, and in-house roles.

“Working with hundreds of clients in Myanmar, we see that the demand for quality candidates in the communications or marketing category is increasing constantly. With the increasing competition, companies will continue to spend more on marketing and require more people in their marketing teams. If you are looking for an exciting, challenging, rewarding and reliable career choice, this is one of the best options in Myanmar,” said Simon Bruce, Country Manager of MyWorld.

Commenting on the importance of communications and the opportunities for communications and marketing professionals in Myanmar, the panellists have these to say:

“Communication is absolutely essential. We have conservation goals and we are here to help Myanmar keep its incredible biodiversity, your forest, your river, your wildlife. Myanmar has a chance to avoid mistakes other countries have made and develop sustainably, keep your forest and wildlife for future generations. We have to communicate effectively and take something technical into something interesting and understandable,” said Alison Harley, Senior Communications Manager, WWF-Myanmar.

“Being a communication manager or marketing manager, you have potential to develop your career. Telenor runs global innovation projects annually where they invite all staff from offices across the world to compete and propose a development idea. Our idea, which focuses on educating rural people and building a credit bureau, was shortlisted as one of top 10 projects and we are now developing it to help poor people, Myanmar farmers. I believe we can change millions of lives,” said Hnin Nu Hlaing, Senior Expert Marketing Manager, Wave Money.

“Promoting Myanmar as a destination is fulfilling in that we get to showcase the best of the country to the outside world. My job is to tell the story of Myanmar and it’s a great story about beautiful destinations, people and culture. At Khiri, we also people set up business in tourism. Through community-based tourism, we create livelihood opportunities. You know the best Myanmar food is home-cooked? Today we have families cooking and hosting tourists at their homes, earning a living and showing hospitality at the same time,” said Edwin Briels, PR and Communications Manager, Myanmar Tourism Federation and General Manager of Khiri Travel.

About Rice Communications

Established in 2009, Rice is a boutique agency supporting local and multinational clients in Asia-Pacific through its offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Yangon. Rice provides a full suite of Public Relations and Communications to organisations and companies from a wide-range of industries including automotive, banking & finance, food & beverage, healthcare, hospitality & travel, electronics & engineering, enterprise and consumer technology, digital media, power and energy, mining, transportation and logistics, and professional services. For more information, please visit: www.ricecomms.com

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