Navigating the Gaming PR Realm with Kelly Chiew, Head of Public Relations at MOONTON Games

10 mins read

Welcome interview series, where we illuminate the achievements of outstanding women making waves in the field of public relations. As the industry experiences a notable rise in female leadership, we are thrilled to spotlight these influential individuals who are driving innovation and shaping the landscape of PR. Today, we have the honor of featuring Kelly Chiew, Head of Public Relations at MOONTON Games, whose expertise spans across the gaming industry, technology, and corporate sectors.

In this enlightening dialogue, Kelly shares her remarkable journey, offering valuable insights, strategic perspectives, and the impactful campaigns that have marked her career. Join us as we delve into Kelly’s vision for the future of PR and the significant contributions women are making to its evolution.

PRNEWS.IO: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your journey to becoming the Head of Public Relations at MOONTON Games?

Kelly Chiew: My name is Kelly, and I’ve worked in public relations for nearly a decade. Prior to my current role as the Head of Overseas PR at MOONTON Games, I’ve mostly worked in agency settings with a focus on tech, fintech, corporate and investor relations. 

PRNEWS.IO: As the Women In Games Ambassador, could you share your perspective on the current state and future prospects for women in the gaming industry and any initiatives you are involved in to promote diversity and inclusion?

Kelly Chiew: Compared to its heydays, the gaming industry has become more welcoming to women. Now, there are many inclusivity and diversity programs for women in esports, such as the recently announced MDL Indonesia Season Nine, which is fronting two all-women teams to encourage more diversity across Indonesia esports. There are also now new mentorship programs or activist groups that promote gender equality and enhanced education on fair playing fields, especially when it comes to hiring women into executive boards and job roles. This year, the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Women’s Invitational (MWI) will also be held alongside the Esports World Cup, featuring one of the biggest prize pools (USD 500,000) to encourage more all-female teams to participate in professional tournaments. I currently serve as an ambassador for Women in Gaming, which strives to support women from all backgrounds to achieve fair representation and parity for all, and have been providing mentorship to young professionals looking to pursue career opportunities and suggesting upskilling initiatives.

PRNEWS.IO: With several years of public relations experience in both corporate and tech fields, how do you adapt your strategies when working in the gaming industry, and what do you find most rewarding about PR in the gaming sector?

Kelly Chiew: Think from the perspective of a player instead. Player experience and gameplay satisfaction are the very basic tenets of gaming PR 101. The industry is very dynamic and has a mostly young audience, unlike corporate or tech fields, which have a completely different demographic. From there, everything learned or honed in public relations, such as crafting storylines, building personality portfolios, and media strategies, will begin to make sense because you are trying to appeal to like-minded people like yourself on what would pique a player’s interest. It is always a breath of fresh air to find individuals with similar tastes and hobbies in gaming or esports, and knowing that you’re part of a bigger force in changing and nurturing the landscape brings a lot of meaning and fulfillment to me each day. 

PRNEWS.IO:  How have you seen the gaming industry evolve, and what trends do you anticipate shaping the future of gaming and esports?

Kelly Chiew: The gaming industry has evolved greatly since the pandemic, when almost everyone around the world has been gaming away. It used to be seen as something ‘uncool,’ but it is now the norm, especially amongst the Gen Z’s and millennials. Some of the key trends in the upcoming years could be:

  1. More and more women taking a stake in competitive esports, from founding their own organizations to taking the lead in operating or running their own tournaments 
  2. Community-building events organized by women for women to cater to subculture interests or esports-centric fan meets and activities 
  3. Greater mobile penetration and the rise of mobile gamers across Western countries – most of the PC games of today require a high-end model, whereas mobile gamers are now much more accessible, with many that are free-to-play and do not require an initial purchase. In the future, most of the younger generation may take to playing mobile as their preferred medium. 

PRNEWS.IO:  Singapore has a unique mentality and cultural landscape. How does this influence your PR strategies, and are there specific aspects of the Singaporean mindset that you consider when managing external communications?

Kelly Chiew: There’s a term called ‘kiasu’, which is commonly defined as ‘fear of losing’ or, in Gen Z terms, FOMO. It’s directed at individuals who behave irrationally or competitively to attain their means. But I think what we should really act on is ‘fear of the unknown,’ given the economic and industry climate. Lately, I’ve been thinking that a future-proof approach is the best method instead. 

    PRNEWS.IO: Being an anime enthusiast, how does your passion for Japanese sub-culture influence your approach to PR?

    Kelly Chiew: It helps me keep up with current trends, which inculcates in much richer storytelling and coming up with fun narratives such as hero/villain arcs, as the majority of our audience are ACGN (Anime, Comics, Games, and Novels) fans. 

      PRNEWS.IO: Can you share some insights into the challenges and opportunities of running the PR department for MOONTON Games, especially when dealing with diverse gaming communities and esports enthusiasts globally?

      Kelly Chiew: Every day is very fast-paced, and the changes are dynamic. Nothing really stands still, and sometimes it’s tough to manage communities given their passion for esports. However, one must look at it from a different lens as a positive step for growth and to learn from mistakes to become a better leader. 

      PRNEWS.IO: How do you go about building and maintaining relationships with gaming journalists and influencers to secure positive media coverage?

      Kelly Chiew: Keeping an open channel and doing the old-school way of inviting them offline to events or getting to know each other through a coffee chat. I consider many journalists a ‘friend’ rather than a working acquaintances. We’ve made many lasting memories together on several overseas media tours that have strengthened the relationship between us and the global media. 

        PRNEWS.IO: How do you believe the role of public relations contributes to the success and growth of esports communities, specifically within the context of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang?

        Kelly Chiew: Definitely more interest and awareness of the MLBB ecosystem itself, and more ‘knowledgeable.’ Most of our gamers are very aware of how our system and gameplay works, and do actively follow up on the latest news about the game. We’ve also seen a jump in fans turning into hardcore, passionate Mobile Legends: Bang Bang players thanks to several PR campaigns involving event marketing, and will continuously look to such initiatives to nurture their love for the game. 

          PRNEWS.IO: Finally, as someone with in-depth knowledge of the industry, what advice would you give to aspiring PR professionals looking to enter the gaming and esports sectors?

          Kelly Chiew: If you’re looking to break into the industry, don’t give up. It takes time, effort, and even a little bit of patience; every bit of relevant experience helps, even if it’s non-endemic. 

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