The world of a club ambassador

Parties, events, people asking for your number everywhere you turn …. Welcome to the world of a Club Ambassador.

“I work in PR” conjures up the mental image of glitz, glamour and rubbing shoulders with the stars. Of course, not all PR work takes place in a large firm, dealing with the media. One of the many branches of public relations takes place surrounded by the flashing lights and throbbing bass of a nightclub.

That’s right ... nightclub. Most of us don’t really think much of nightclubs other than as entertainment places that probably just barely stay on the right side of the line between fun and dodgy, but there’s an entire team of people who make sure everything stays above board and legal, and it isn’t entirely comprised of the bouncers at the door.

Enter the PR agents of the club; more commonly known as Club Ambassadors. They are the ones who, in a mix of marketing and PR, both promote the club to the public as well as make and keep regular clients, explains Phyo Kyaw, Head of PR for Mist Club and its sister company, Milk.

Phyo Kyaw; Head of PR at Mist Club, Bangsar Phyo Kyaw; Head of PR at Mist Club, Bangsar

It is indeed an interesting career choice, as Phyo explains.

To be an ambassador:

You need a ton of patience, as well as a silver tongue. After all, it is public relations. How well an ambassador performs depends on his ability to convince somebody to calm down and agree to something they may not like. Also, the ability to think on one’s feet is a must; according to Phyo. Crisis management is an everyday occurrence when one is in PR so freezing up is not an option!

The pros and cons of working in a club:

To young people, the pros of working in a club would be obvious as it seems like a lot of fun, while older people (parents, mostly) will only be able to see the cons. However, like in any other regular job, there is a mix of pros and cons, stresses Phyo. Obviously, for those who are in their early 20s, the pros include the club atmosphere where your job literally involves inviting people to parties. And, of course, going to parties yourself.

From a PR standpoint, the pros of PR in the club is that this is one of the few places where the client can be wrong. The nightclub reserves the right to eject and/or call the authorities on any client who behaves in an unruly or illegal fashion, no negotiations. So, if you love PR but dislike the “Customer is king” rule that dictates most industries’ consumer interactions, this might be for you.

And now, the cons: Club ambassadors commonly face the same problem when answering the “Where do you work?” question. Phyo shares, “The minute you say you work in a nightclub, people think it’s an underground thing … when it’s really just another form of entertainment; it’s part of the entertainment industry.” Misconceptions about those who work in this industry are common, ranging from “Partying every night, sleeping through the day” to “They’re all players” but Phyo highlights the fact that many of them are students or even people who hold regular day jobs, with a gig as an ambassador as a way to make ends meet.

It may seem like all play, but there's serious work going on in clubs It may seem like all play, but there's serious work going on in clubs

Balancing job:

Balancing a career and the pursuit of a degree is a challenge that many club ambassadors face, as Phyo himself found out when it took him several semesters to get his time management back on track. In the end, though, one emerges a stronger person with more experience – both theoretical as well as practical – that can be used in the real world.

Phyo, for instance, uses his background in psychology to help him deal with his job: “You understand where other people are coming from, and you know how to deal with it. And obviously, for PR, that’s perfect,” he says, also adding that psychology is a help in any career; “You become a calmer person.”