A LA MODE MEDIA'S CHIEF TACTICIAN
Tabitha Ong Tune is the kind of girl to whom you want to spill your deepest, darkest secrets—maybe it’s the poker face (you have a feeling she knows how to keep mum) or the warm, inviting energy she radiates, beckoning you to divulge all. Regardless, you don’t have to worry: Even though there’s rarely a time she’s not sending a Tweet or crafting an Instagram post, she won’t tell. Or rather, she’ll figure out a way to break down your brand to its nuts and bolts and share the most important bits with the world via social media. After all, a company without a digital presence is like a chef without a sous: It’s 2019; you need to be putting yourself out there—and Tabitha wants to help.
The native Singaporean relocated to the United States for a communications and media studies program at Boston’s Emerson College (Class of '01), from where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She was always fascinated by American culture—specifically radio, MTV and the TV show Friends. Tabitha knew she wanted to work in media and entertainment in some capacity, which inspired the trajectory of her career: After she and her husband moved to his hometown, Nashville, she accepted a marketing and sales coordinator position at the local indie rock radio station Lightning 100. Four years later, she left her post to dabble in event planning & marketing, yoga instruction and professional blogging, but it wasn’t until Twitter launched in 2006 that her dream career clicked into place.
The natural connector saw social media as a great marketing tool for small businesses. Tabitha desired to help them flourish by facilitating a relationship between customer and proprietor, and so she started À la Mode as a catalyst for launching companies into the digital sphere. Clients like restaurateur and Top Chef alum Arnold Myint quickly took note of her knack for 140 (now 280) -character storytelling and hired Tabitha to invent original, online presences that would stand out in a sea of hashtags and newsfeeds. Nowadays, she strategically tailors each company’s messaging to its respective industry and individual needs.
But most of all, Tabitha loves new beginnings and watching mom-and-pop shops grow from the ground up. Her greatest thrill comes from witnessing the concept of an idea become a company’s first dollar bill. To her, the human connection is most important—whether it’s with clients, customers or new followers. “It’s always someone’s first day somewhere,” she says. “And I love being part of that.”