What’s On My Desk: Edwina Kluender, Director of Communications of the Mandarin Oriental SF

Ever wonder what the most powerful leaders, business execs and celebrities keep on their desks? Well, we’re about to tell you. Our biweekly “What’s on My Desk” feature will take a look inside the offices and at the desks of the world’s most influential power players.

Edwina Kluender reigns at the helm of communications for one of the world’s most prestigious hotels, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel of San Francisco.  As Director of Communications, Kluender has the demanding task of representing the hotel in a broad range of capacities.  A “jack of all trades”, she manages relationships with high-powered clientele and celebrities, arranges special events, attends workshops and fundraisers, and entertains VIP guests among many other responsibilities. This “PR Princess” pauses to let Haute Living know what she keeps nearby to get it all done with flawless grace.

1.  Rolodex – I keep an online contact list which allows me access to all of my media, vendor, and partner contacts as well as an old fashioned Rolodex just in case. It would be impossible to do my job effectively without organizing these large databases of contacts.

2.  Spa Scents – “Typical” days do not exist when running a communications department. Each day is fast paced leaving little time for peace and quiet. I keep a bottle of our Mandarin Oriental Signature Spa Therapy “Revive” scent as well as a Tibetan Ting-Sha bell near me at all times to keep me calm and collected.

3.  Cup of Tea – Since I drink water instead of coffee or soda, I treat myself to a cup of English Breakfast tea during the afternoon as a quick pick-me-up best complemented with my father’s honey from his bee farm in Germany (the pen holder).

4.  Achievements and Notable Press Clippings – By surrounding myself with recent media placements, I am reminded to meet my goals and keep challenging myself to obtain more successes for the hotel from the diverse stories we are able to share.

5.  Topical Magazine and Newspapers – I receive daily deliveries and have to keep up with trends and the news from around the world. I read an immense amount of publications and am often caught doing so during my commute to and from work as well as at home or on the beach!

6.  Branded Items – Our team produces large amounts of branded items, such as our 25th Anniversary chocolate boxes or coasters for our Brasserie S&P restaurant, and my Pantone books play an important role in ensuring our brand guidelines are met.

7.  Smartphones and Notebooks – I am always on my devices or writing in my notebooks. Whether sharing timely stories on Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco’s Twitter or Facebook pages, keeping up with my email inbox, or knowing where to go for my next meeting, I could not function without these precious tools.

8.  Mementos – Pictures of my visits to some of the world’s best beaches, meaningful souvenirs especially from Hong Kong where I grew up, or ticket stubs from some of the best sporting games and concerts around, bring fond memories and keep me looking for my next adventure.

9.  Parties – A large part of my job is to attend a variety of networking events, fundraisers, and workshops as well as entertain VIP guests. I keep a change of outfit and extra accessories in my office so that I can look the part when representing and be able to give a hint of my personality at the same time.

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