An interview with Etsuko Tsugihara, President of Sunny Side Up, Inc.
Stevie Award-winner, Sunny Side Up, Inc of Tokyo, Japan won a Gold Stevie Award in the 2016 Stevie Awards for Women in Business for Women-Run Workplace of the Year. President and CEO Etsuko Tsugihara also won the Silver Stevie for Female Executive of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand. Tsugihara shares what winning the Stevie Awards this year meant to the organization.
The 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business will open for entries in May. If your organization has operations in Japan or any of the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region, you may participate in the 2017 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.
What does Sunny Side Up, Inc., do?
We are a multi-faceted Public Relations firm offering a wide range of services from standard PR and marketing, to Sports Marketing, Casting, Digital Marketing, Business Development, Media Relations, Sales Promotion and more. Recently, we've expanded our services globally and our strength is in assisting foreign companies entering the Japanese market.
What is the organizational vision?
Our company motto is "Let's have fun!" We seek to create a buzz by continuing to evolve and expand, in order to stay ahead of social and cultural trends.
What sets your company apart in this category?
Japan is still a very conservative business culture with many challenges for women. For instance, less than 1% of the 3000 companies listed on the Japanese stock exchange are run by women. In fact, I may be the only female Founder! The Japanese government has a target to increase the number of women executives drastically by 2020. In my own small way, it would be great if I'm able to encourage and inspire the future businesswomen of Japan.
How did you first become acquainted with the Stevies®?
Some of our global partner companies and clients had received an award, and we wanted to see if it applied to our company as well.
What was it like for your company to win this award?
It's quite exciting for the entire company because this is a joint effort. Our company is young (average age is less than 35), with more than half being female employees. I hope that the award will help motivate them even more!
How has the win affected your business?
We hope it increases our visibility so that people who see our fun name will associate it with Public Relations in Japan. Perhaps we'll also be able to attract new team members?
What changes in the industry does your team find interesting and why?
Having been in the PR business for more than 30 years, I've seen how we've changed drastically with the diversification of media. For a very long time, mass media meant TV, newspapers, magazines and radio, and we were able to gain exposure by establishing strong working relationships and ties with the major media sources. With the expansion of the internet and social media, even the source of news and how it’s generated has expanded. In fact, anyone can be the source of news/information. More than ever, it’s not important how much you spend, but how creative and original you can be in creating newsworthy information. Sunny Side Up is known for creating a buzz, so we're in perfect position to be the trendsetters!
What is the story behind your organization that might inspire our audience?
I started the company when I was 17, and not only have we managed to stay in business for more than 30 years, we've been listed on the local stock exchange since 2008.That's quite a feat when you consider less than 1% of Japanese companies last that long. I hope that more young and motivated people are inspired to break out on their own!