Happy 4th Anniversary BrandCulture


Surrounded by happy chatter and bursts of laughter from the BrandCulture team gathered in Tosca, the Italian Trattoria in the DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru, it dawned on me that I was probably the only guest (Read: outsider) among them.


The BrandCulture team at the poolside
outside Tosca, DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru

When I accepted the invitation from BrandCulture to join them for the agency’s fourth anniversary celebration, I sent a congratulatory message to Grace Chiam and her reply simply read as, “See you, Peggy #ffijb”


Since its inception in April 2020, Grace Chiam the PR personality, has become synonymous with BrandCulture, the Public Relations, Marketing and Communications agency.


Grace and I met at the DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru some time in June 2014 when she first arrived in Johor Baru on her job appointment with the hotel.


Happiness is snapping a we-fie

I was in the hotel as a pre-opening media guest for a trial stay to provide value feedback for improvements before the new hotel opened its doors to real guests.


It was a memorable stay for many reasons. One was because I was back at Jalan Ngee Heng, the same road as where my grandfather’s house was once located at No.154, opposite the hotel.


That was when I became what Grace calls, her “first-friend-in-Johor-Baru” and earned the moniker as her, #ffijb.


In the following years, I had the privilege to work closely with Grace on various events hosted in the hotel and developed a warm relationship with the DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru.


The BrandCulture team in Grey and White theme

With the support of the then General Manager, the hotel graciously hosted the book launch event for my book, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage on 15 July 2017.  In the first week of its launch, this book went to the Number One spot of the MPH Non-Fiction Bestseller list.


I had the pleasure to document many exciting events as 2017 turned out to be a momentous year for the hotel and for me.


As her career in Marketing & Communications continued to soar in Johor, I had much fun as I continued to work closely with Grace in her PR MarCom role.


Also a joint birthday celebration for three,
[Left to Right] Iqwan, Zoe and John

Then in February 2020, I (ahem!) her #ffijb, was honoured to be among her few guests to witness her wedding, hosted in an intimate reception. Not long after that, the global pandemic reached our shores and the nation went into lockdown.

I am happy that My Johor Stories was among the media partners who have had a long partnership with BrandCulture even during the challenging years of the global pandemic.


When I arrived at Tosca for the event, I discovered that it was a double celebration for the agency as well as for the recent birthdays of team members, John, Zoe and Iqwan.


A sample of digital poster by BrandCulture
for My Johor Stories in 2022

A day ago, Iqwan followed up with a reminder on the invite. When he added that the theme for the event was Grey and White, it sent me on a search through my wardrobe for garments that met with this theme.


While many in the team were dressed mainly in White and shades of Grey, Shahrul showed off his ethnic charm by dressing in flowing White kurta and pantaloons in Grey, with a patterned Beige shawl thrown over his shoulder, the perfect foil for his outfit.


Grace looked elegant in her White pantsuit teamed with a Grey long waistcoat so I did not appear too out-of-place in my outfit of Grey-pinstripes and White.


It was good to meet the team again and to see many new faces among familiar friends who have worked with me in the past.


Ready to blow out their candles ...

In 2021, when I celebrated 10 years of My Johor Stories, Grace and her team applied their digital skills and took my brand to new heights in social media.


Then in 2022, when Think City Johor Baru launched the Downtown Johor Baru grant, Grace encouraged me to apply and gave me professional support to engage in the My Johor Stories in Downtown Johor Baru project that ran from January to April 2023.


Grace all a-glow with her
4th Anniversary cake!

My Downtown Johor Baru project comprised a Heritage Walk in the morning followed by a Book Reading session held in various downtown hotels in the afternoon, arranged in themes like The Segget Waterway, Our Heritage Traders, Teochew Heritage and Cantonese Heritage.


While the project with Think City was successfully completed in April 2023, I continued to receive enquiries for the next Heritage Walk, which (to me!) was proof of the positive impact of these activities.


I am deeply grateful for the professional support from Grace and BrandCulture in 2023, which set My Johor Stories on an encouraging footing to forge ahead with Heritage Walks and other My Johor Stories activities. Thank you ever so much!


...woosh...candles blown out!

As candles were lighted on individual miniature cakes and handed to the three celebrating birthdays and Grace on their 4th Anniversary, I felt deeply honoured to be counted among their esteemed media partners to join this cool celebration for the agency’s Anniversary, hosted in hotel that has a special significance for both Grace and I, her #ffijb.


Happy 4th Anniversary BrandCulture PR Marketing & Communications, with my warmest wishes for greater heights of achievement in the coming years!


Since its inception in 2020, BrandCulture has achieved significant milestones, serving 75 brands, managing more than 250 projects and collaborating with over 200 influencers and media partners.


For effective marketing campaigns with an experienced team, connect with BrandCulture through Instagram (@BrandCulturePR) and Facebook (facebook.com/BrandCulturePR) or send email to grace@brandculturepr.com

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