SHE has interviewed top leaders including Heads of State Vladimir Putin to Abdullah Badawi, and entertainers like Shahrukh Khan to Sir Elton John, besides moderating business dialogues with top CEOs around the world.
It was indeed an honour and pleasure to welcome Lorraine Hahn to The BrandLaureate’s 10th Anniversary Awards celebrations. Her presence is a great endorsement to the BrandLaureate Awards and the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation (APBF).
Looking great in her stunning outfit, Hanh a recipient of The BrandLaureate International Brand Personality Award 2014, specially flew in from Hong Kong for the event, accompanied by her husband Michael Wang.
It was their first visit to The BrandLaureate’s gala dinner and they were excited to be here. Sitting at the main table, they were impressed by the huge turnout, and enjoyed the entertainment showcase by Michael Jackson impersonator, and danger-act by Belgian magician and mentalist Aaron Crow.
As a well-known news personality, Lorraine Hanh is no stranger when it comes to cutting-edge interviews with international icons and celebrities. Her riveting show, both informs and entertains.
No one does it better during her time as host of CNN’s Talk Asia and Biz Asia. She also spent three years at CNBC hosting its flagship program, Business Tonight, before calling it a day in November 2006. She said: “I had enough of the daily grind. Now I have a life, I play golf, and produce documentaries on the environment”.
I had the special privilege of interviewing Hahn for the second time. The first was in 2013, when she made a special trip to Kuala Lumpur to conduct a “World-class Presenter Masterclass” workshop with Media Prima, on how to develop natural styles of presentation. During the interview, she said: “We are in the infotainment business. People listen to snappy interesting interviews. In talk-shows, first impression counts, and you must look authoritative because you represent the station, and you are the brand of the station,” she added.
During the awards night, Hanh, was in good spirits and paid kudos to The BrandLaureate Awards. In her congratulatory note, she said: “As the previous winner, I am so happy to fly here and be a part of The BrandLaureate’s 10th Anniversary Awards — a celebration of minds, a celebration of will, and a celebration of passion — something that we see all the time in people who are successful,
“At least that’s what I found in my work. Congratulations to the team, for all their hard work and many more years of success ahead of them!”
During her 27-year news career, Hahn must have attended hundreds of similar events around the world, interviewing VIPS and rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, but she was still amazed by the big turnout at The BrandLaureate Awards.
“It’s amazing to see the ballroom jam-packed with more than 1000 people. I haven’t been to any event in Malaysia, or Southeast Asia for that matter, that garners so many people in one area… and recognizes them for all their hard work and dedication,” she said.
“I think Branding sets you apart from all the rest. People have brand recognition, and that’s what so many companies and individuals strive for, and that’s very hard to achieve.”
Based in Hong Kong, Hahn now conducts live interviews in the corporate world, works on freelance TV programming, gives talks and lectures at Hong Kong University and other media outlets. She also develops and anchors Earth Factor Asia, an educational environment video series, being aired around the world.
Being in the forefront of the movers and shakers in the world, Hahn must have a good understanding on the importance of brands and branding in the business world.
“I think branding sets you apart from all the rest. People have brand recognition and that’s what so many companies and individuals strive for, and that’s very hard to achieve,” she said.
As a celebrity interviewer, Hahn was also impressed by the long list of International awardees who have received The BrandLaureate Awards — including Muhammad Ali, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Hillary Clinton, as featured during a multi-media presentation at the ballroom earlier.
Hahn herself has the distinction of having interviewed many of these people, including heads of states like Vladimir Putin, Vincente Fox, Abdullah Badawi, John Howard, Helen Clark, Gloria Macapagla-Arroyo, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and Thaksin Shinawatra, amongst many others.
“Do you recognize some of the International Brand Personalities who have received our awards?” I asked eagerly. She answered: “Of course, it is the who’s who of people I’ve interviewed before… and the people I would love to interview. So yes, I know. What an amazing group of awardees!”
As a TV host, Hahn has demonstrated a strong understanding of Asian economic and political issues. She has also been called-upon to be the master of ceremony or chairperson of various major events including APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, APEC CEO Meeting, The Global Leadership Forum (Malaysia), and the ADB Journalism Awards, so she is well-versed on the economic climate in some of these countries.
Looking from a global perspective, Hahn said now is a good time for The BrandLaureate to spread its wings to other Asian countries where there are great opportunities for brands and branding.
As The BrandLaureate celebrates its many achievements over the past 10 years, looking forward, what’s next in the horizon? Her advice:
“As what Dr KKJohan has said during his speech, I think they would have to focus on going international. Spread their wings and go to different parts of Southeast Asia, and make this an International event”.