Up Close With SS Yoga


Marking his almost 20th year at Star Publications (M) Bhd, SS Yoga has been a prominent Newsmaker in our country’s media landscape. We sat down with Mr. Yoga to ask him the burning questions every PR practitioner would love answered. The new era of News making is underway. More and more media outlets are evolving into multi-functional channels to disseminate news faster and make reporting attractive to their readers. 

From the notable Ashford castle in Ireland to the lost & found Dinawan Island in Sabah, SS Yoga has experienced the best travel and hospitality has to offer. He covers the local and international travel scenes; finding delicious and fascinating angles to lure the readers into the wonders the world. Read more articles by SS Yoga, here. 

SuperNewsRoom welcomes him to our ever growing list of Editors who make SuperNewsRoom the go-to communications portal.


Tell us a bit about your media organisation and its area of focus? 

The Star has now expanded from just a print organisation to the Star Media Group. So not only do we have a national daily English newspaper (with a readership over a million) we also have one of the top websites in Malaysia that also provides unique and exclusive content not found in print. We also have radio stations and have expanded into a TV channel (Life Inspired) and an online TV portal Star TV. 


What’s your job scope? 

I handle the Travel and Hospitality pages for Star2 (the feature pull-out of The Star) and occasionally give content for other sections like News and Supplements. I also handle the content of our Travel channel in, a dedicated online section. I will have to source out and edit content for these sections and for online also upload the content. I also work closely with the advertising department and with clients on projects. Being a journalist at heart I try and also write the content as much as I can.  


What are the current challenges for your media organisation or the media industry as a whole? 

Our media organisation is facing the challenges the whole industry is facing - the very fast moving pace that information and news circulates these days means we have to keep up with that pace. Also there are challenges from social media. We have embraced the challenges and have incorporated social media platforms in our interactions with our readers and clients.  


Proud moment: Tan (left) and Yoga (right) posing with their prizes together with Dr Hilmi and The Star executive editor Tommy Lee at the Health Media Awards presentation ceremony. (Source:


What is your media organisation (or your desk) target in 2016? (Eg-areas of focus, to go digital etc)

We have had a long established digital presence. The target is to increase the platforms available online and even on print. We have launched our online Star TV late last year and this seems to be growing past our targets. We are also strengthening the group across print, online, radio and TV are giving integrated solutions to the readers and the market.  

What are your favourite phrase or words that you used a lot whenever you are stuck with something or faced with a huge problem? 

Oh damn!  


Where do you see the Malaysian media landscape in the next 3 to 5 years? 

As can be seen a lot of media players seem to be out of action - whether that's temporary or long-term cannot be predicted. But everyone is focusing on multi-platforms to remain relevant. So those that don't, will not be around for long. 


What is your advice to Public Relations practitioners who wants to engage with the media in Malaysia? 

Do your homework. Find out for each media who is the relevant go to person. Have a good idea of the angle(s) you want to pitch.


What are the areas that you want PR practitioners to improve when dealing with media such as during functions, press conferences, media releases, press invites, pitching of stories, and etc.? 

Again there are some who do not do their homework. Addressing pitches to the wrong person, the pitch must be clear, do not be vague either because you don't know or you are trying to get the media to come up with one for you. Not having the relevant information to give to the media contact in the press release, the press invite etc. 


What is the one thing that irks you about PR practitioners? Or maybe a good thing about them :) 

One thing only? Never ask when the story is coming out? That's your job to monitor - we can't be answering emails/taking calls from every one of you regarding this. Setting an intern on you and expecting us to train them for you. Buy/read the paper/magazine etc to find out whom and what. Good thing - when you do your jobs, now stop fishing :)


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