Meet the Yappers: Cheong Cheng Jie (CJ), Senior Account Executive

Find out more about the day in the life of a Senior Account Executive at YAP Global! An aggressively explorer of the world of DeFi, Crypto, Blockchain and Web 3, CJ has a strong thirst to understand and demystify the underlying complex technology. More here, in our fourth #MeetTheYappers blog post.

What does a day in the life of a Senior Account EXEcutive at YAP Global look like?

I like to sip a cup of black coffee and light breakfast to perk up and get ready for the day ahead; to say that the world of Crypto, Blockchain. Decentralised Finance (DeFi) and Web 3.0 is fast-paced is a gross understatement- one week feels like one year so it’s really critical to check the news daily. I like to check CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, Financial Times, CNBC, and a few other sites for important events and to see what’s trending.

The day typically consists of preparing for client calls, brainstorming angles and ideas to help communicate meaningful and accurate narratives for the projects/protocols that we represent, as well as drafting pitches and building relationships with journalists.

To help demystify and simplify complex underlying technology, I also like to explore the client platforms and relevant partner projects, read their whitepapers, tokenomics, and any information and material that can help me understand to the best of my ability. This helps me in identifying unique strengths and utility, serving as inspiration for delivering quality work.

Before and after working hours, I also make an effort to check Coingecko to see how my investments/experiments with DeFi projects are doing, to at least ensure I haven’t been rugpulled in my sleep ✌️

What is your favourite part of being a part of this industry/ROLE?

Being in the thick of things and getting to learn from industry experts really help accelerate my understanding of the complex concepts and technology – I may not be able to create mind-blowing ideas and projects, but being able to understand them and hear from the horse’s mouth keep me ahead of the typical mainstream understanding.

I love that we are encouraged to ask and learn as much as possible, and have access to mentors who are experienced in all relevant areas from PR, Journalism to Blockchain, DeFi, Crypto, and Web3.  For example, our Head of DeFi and Head of News both have a wealth of experience and are always willing to share and educate.

This helps to fuel my growth as a PR professional and also personally for financial literacy. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t taught the importance of investing and managing my finances at a younger age, so being able to tap into the financial innovations that DeFi helps make up for lost time). I am a firm believer in the ability of DeFi to bridge the wealth gap – if there is effort and time invested to understand, research and manage risk by exploring the projects.

YAP Global has been operating through remote working since before the pandemic and the team is spread globally. How do you manage your daily schedule to communicate with the team and clients?

We have handover systems in place to ensure that fellow Yappers and teammates are able to tag-team and take over tasks (Trello, Slack, and Telegram).

Of course, this also means every one of us has to be proactive in following up on tasks and being aware of timezones and schedules (Google Calendar is really useful in this area).

Learning to prioritise tasks according to urgency and time sensitivity and schedules of teammates in other time zones are really important to ensure nothing gets stuck in the pipeline, and workflow is efficient and effective.

What personal qualities would you say are important to be a good fit for the YAP family?

Character-wise, I’d say accountability and team spirit are really important, as each Yapper is busy with their own tasks.  Being in a global team, having a self-starter mindset makes a big difference as everyone is responsible for executing and following through with their tasks until completion or objectives are met.

Thinking for teammates and their capacity is also vital to ensure all clients are serviced well and everyone can manage their tasks and work in a balanced manner. Being strategic with executing tasks and cutting out the unnecessary can also help save valuable time.

Having the willingness to learn and being open to taking feedback can really help to speed up the fine-tuning of editorial work and raise the quality of writing over time.

What do you love about working in PR and communications, especially in such a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry?

No day is ever the same – it never gets mundane or routine, and there is always something new to learn.

I’m introverted by nature and not a social butterfly, but I’m always excited to connect with industry experts and people who are passionate about the DeFi, Blockchain, Crypto, and Web 3 space. Getting to geek out with them to improve my knowledge and get Alpha are definitely highlights for me!

How do you keep your pulse on what’s going on in the blockchain/crypto space given it moves at a lightning speed?

I think Twitter is a great medium to keep updated on critical events. Following influential figures and projects is a great way to stay connected to the grapevine and relevant events as they happen in real-time.
Joining Telegram and Discord groups for client projects and relevant platforms are also a great way to understand what goes on behind the scenes before it goes public or gains traction, giving extra time to prepare and plan when necessary.

Any tips for those looking to work in PR and communications for emerging tech projects?

Always have a humble and student-like mindset.I came from a drastically different background before this in business development, marketing and sales for the men’s fashion industry and didn’t have prior knowledge, so I make sure to make the most of any knowledge resource and learn as much as possible.

As the industry is fast-paced, nascent and always evolving, concepts and ideas are always being redefined every day; thinking you know enough or getting complacent is a sure path to becoming irrelevant or mediocre.

We should always seek to improve and advance together with the emerging tech ecosystem. In fact, I’m always excited to discover I’m wrong about something, as this means I have a chance to correct that misconception and improve.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to explore the projects themselves and put your money where your mouth is (I personally find having skin in the game forces you to learn and understand as much as possible, although this approach is definitely not for the faint of heart). This comes with the important disclaimer of not being financial advice, and one should always do extensive research before investing in any project due to the inherent risks associated with being in a nascent space.

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