Unsung Heroes - the project manager: Aloysius Yeo, Meltwater

Aloysius Yeo is a project manager at media intelligence company Meltwater.

The Drum's 'Unsung Heroes' series is a celebration of the people in the industry who slog hard behind the limelight for their companies, brands, and clients. As they are seldom in the spotlight for their contribution to the success of campaigns, this is their time to shine.

Often perceived as some kind of professional 'scheduler' that’s in charge of duty rosters, Aloysius Yeo, a project manager at media intelligence company Meltwater, says he is more regularly found buried in piles of daily reports and summaries to newsletter updates, to collect media data for clients.

Why is your job important?

My role at Meltwater as a project manager is to ensure the timely and accurate delivery of media intelligence reports developed by our media analysts to our customers.

Developing these reports are often time- and manpower-intensive for our analyst team, which is why an important aspect of my job is to optimize processes while creating meaningful metrics and giving recommendations.

What is the hardest and most stressful part of your job?

When measuring the success or ROI of a campaign, many of our clients are starting to realize how Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) is not the most accurate or definitive metric to use. That’s why our team advises them to benchmark the value of PR success through meaningful metrics such as sentiment and potential reach.

However, it may be a challenge for some of our customers to implement these measures when they operate on dated legacy technology that is not able to support newer features.

This is where I work with the senior analyst in every team to advise on how they can overcome these barriers. If they are not able to, then it’s then our job to work around technological limitations to ensure that our customers get the best out from what is achievable.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

As a media intelligence business, we are constantly plugged into the pulse of the industry. By using news media and social media data available externally we’re able to extrapolate trends. This is then used alongside internal customer data for a comprehensive look around their business and competitive landscape.

Only then we are able to provide strategic consultation on the best course of action to our customers. It is extremely rewarding when customers are satisfied with our recommendations, and I love knowing that I’ve had a part to play in their success.

What is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when you tell them your job?

Whenever I explain how I ensure the timely delivery of our reports and coordination between internal teams at Meltwater, many perceive me as some kind of professional “scheduler” – one that’s in charge of duty rosters!

However, my job is really much closer to being a researcher given the amount of data that we work with.

How would you correct/explain to them what you do?

I let them know that since technology is constantly evolving, industry know-how is of utmost importance to my job. And that is why, in addition to strong project and people management skills, my role as a project manager also requires a robust industry knowledge around the regional media and business landscape so as to provide better consultation and metrics to measure success for all of our customers.

I work not just to ensure the timeliness of delivery, but to also drive innovation to optimize resources we have for each project.

Is there anything you want to change in your job?

Doing what we do, we handle a lot of reports – and I mean a lot. From daily reports and summaries to even newsletter updates, we’re only able to collect media data after a specific time period has lapsed.

Given this nature of our workflow, there is really no shortcut to producing quality work when working towards tight turnarounds and deadlines – this keeps us on our toes and it can be nerve-wracking, especially with time-sensitive projects.

This is especially true for some of our customers as they rely heavily on the timely nature of news cycles and our reports to make business decisions like campaigns or tapping into media news cycles. So if there’s anything I would want to be changed in my job, I would love to have more time for these reports.

Which campaign that you’ve worked on are most proud of?

Supporting a local palm oil company with their media intelligence was definitely the account that I’ve been most proud to be a part of. In addition to working closely with the team to measure the reach and effectiveness of their press and content pieces, I have also helped them identify potential crises and to quantify the impact of their CSR outreach, and I have made recommendations on what a newly implemented government policy would mean for the company and its potential implications.

Is there a person in your industry you’re keen to emulate?

Our regional director, Ross Candido, has always been my role model, even prior to taking on a management position at Meltwater. After joining the company, I have new found respect for him now that I have realized just how much additional workload he takes on to make our jobs easier.

Moreover, I am amazed at how he makes one-on-one time for many people in the company despite his busy schedule.

If you weren’t a project manager, what would you be?

I would have liked to pursue my musical passion as a guitarist in an acoustic band. I don’t necessarily have to be famous, though that would be nice!

If you think of someone who deserves to be part of this series, please get in touch with Shawn Lim and nominate them. You can read the previous feature on the product manager, here.

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