APACD Sustainable Communications Programme in Spring 2021

After three months of joint effort, a group of six PRA students, Jeannie Chen, Grace Leng, Joyce Yim, Otila Cheng, Kimmy Kwan and Arai Zhenis, presented their communication strategies for an NGO HandsOn Hong Kong in the final event of Sustainable Communications Programme organized by the Asia-Pacific Association of Communication Directors (APACD) on 30 April 2021.

The APACD Sustainable Communications Programme not only provides opportunities for students to get hand-on experience in communication industry, but also benefits social enterprises and NGOs with communication support. In this programme, the team worked together virtually with the guidance of senior mentors from HSBC and Prudential to support HandsOn, a registered Hong Kong charity that connects local NGOs with volunteer manpower they need and has a mission of empowering everyone in Hong Kong to volunteer.


Through comprehensive planning and preparation, the team successfully launched an online campaign “Dare to be the change” on Instagram throughout April, aiming to raise university students’ awareness about the importance of volunteering and enhance the social media engagement of HandsOn. In the finale presentation, the students shared their achievements of the creative campaign: 5.5% follower growth rate, 8.9% increase for engagement per follower, 7000+ impressions, and 6500+ reach on HandsOn’s Instagram account.



One of the experienced APACD mentors, Kok Kuen Poon commented: “The students showed a very good understanding of HandsOn HK’s communication problems by clarifying and understanding the client brief. Their client management skills including communication, expectation management, results delivery were outstanding” (see the full comments by Mr. K.K. Poon below).


The students reflected that the amazing opportunity allowed them to gain far more than they expected. They greatly appreciated the guidance and assistance of mentors all along, from which they not only learned many practical skills but also obtained rewarding experience of conducting a real campaign. (Reporter: Grace Leng)


– Full Comments from the ACAPD mentor Mr. Kok Kuen Poon:

“Overall, the students have impressed me with an excellent package of professional communication, client and project management skills, can-do attitude, and strong resilience. 


“The team, thrown together to work virtually because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, has consistently demonstrated superb teamwork, performing effectively across borders and European and Asian time zones. 


“From the outset, they have adapted very well to dynamic situations. When the client changed the brief part way through the project to focus on Serve-a-thon, the students quickly refocused on the client’s new needs, and urgently updated their proposed communication strategy and tactical plan for client approval. 


“The students showed a very good understanding of HandsOn HK’s communication problems by clarifying and understanding the client brief. Their client management skills including communication, expectation management, results delivery were outstanding.  


“Despite not being professionally trained project managers, the team has shown strong capability to set objectives properly, manage time efficiently, and deliver exceptional results for the client time and time again. 


“I am amazed by the students’ creativity. They have a talent for cooking up big creative ideas, and then producing smaller, visually stunning tactics that are managed perfectly to simmer away over the duration of the project. Very impressive! Content production and message development was very high quality too.


“It is a fantastic achievement that HandsOn HK rewarded the students with the right to create content for, and manage its Instagram account. The team showed technical mastery managing the client’s account, and cleverly used Instagram’s features to benefit the client’s communications.   


“The students consistently handled feedback from the client, mentors and mentee-leads maturely and responded in a positive way.  


“I am impressed by the team’s ability to adopt multiple communication technologies to work together because we were not able to meet in person owing to Covid-19 restrictions. The team’s performance was excellent and very professional. They were highly resilient, flexible, and communicated effectively across European and Asian time zones, with a borderless mindset. It is amazing they personified the perfect remote, virtual team while adapting to working in extraordinary and odd global circumstances. The team’s success is all the more sweet given they have built a very close bond and working relationship despite having never met before. This communication project is a terrific example of how the power of technology can enable everyone to work together regardless of where we are in the world.”


– More about APACD Sustainable Communications Programme:

Event launch ceremony back in January


Finale event