Staff Reporters
Jan 28, 2024

40 Under 40 2023: Dominique Backhouse, Companion Communications

Spotting an underserved niche in the boutique comms agencies, Backhouse’s business and people management skills have helped Companion thrive in the face of adversity.

40 Under 40 2023: Dominique Backhouse, Companion Communications
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Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise

Dominique Backhouse

Managing director
Companion Communications
Hong Kong

In the summer of 2019, as Hong Kong was embroiled in the thick of socio-political protests and on the verge of a pandemic that would decimate it for the next three years, Dominique Backhouse, a seasoned communication professional, founded Companion Communications, her own lifestyle PR agency. Looking back at the macroeconomic adversity of those years, it wasn’t the sweetest business idea to go solo at the time, but hindsight is a perfect thing—always twenty-twenty.

With 15 years of experience in communications across Asia-Pacific and Greater China, Backhouse's innate understanding of local cultural nuances became a cornerstone for her agency’s success. The venture specialises in hospitality, travel, F&B, and wellness, and has witnessed phenomenal growth over the last four years with projects, people, and profits—not necessarily in that order. Before Companion, Backhouse honed her craft at agencies like MSL, GHC Asia and in-house with COMO Hotels and Resorts.

Her story isn't just about launching a business; it’s about thriving in adversity, a testament to her strategic prowess and utmost agility in shifting comms experiences, budgets and strategies to meet the changing regulations and consumer expectations in the Covid period. Although the agency did not escape the economic sledgehammer of the pandemic-induced closures, Backhouse and her teams rose to the challenge and somehow managed to flourish. They doubled their portfolio, attracted global clients like Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Teardrop Hotels, Shangri-La Group, ballooned from a single-person army to a team of seven senior consultants and expanded to the Singapore market.

Backhouse’s contribution to the industry extends beyond business. She envisioned Companion as the region's only senior-led consultancy, staying boutique to prioritise client servicing. As passionate as she is about servicing clients, she is even more emboldened by finding ways to empower women returning to the workforce, a fact evident with Companion’s sixth maternity leave arrangement. A firm believer in flexibility and supportive work environments, Backhouse rejects the industry norm of long working hours and lives by the “free-range PRs are better than computer-bound ones” philosophy.

With unwavering dedication, she leads Companion Communications, crafting a narrative where adversity transforms into opportunity, making her a noteworthy figure in the 40 Under 40 list of young achievers.

 
SEE ALL OF THE 2023 40 UNDER 40
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise

 

Source:
Campaign Asia

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