Poruethai Narongdej On Starting Digital Discourse
Businesswoman, influencer and fashionista Poruethai Narongdej, fondly known as Dao, laughs and says it is ironic that in these stay-at-home times she has never been busier. The reason is quite simple—the principle director and producer at Guts Entertainment now finds herself in front of the camera as the star of her own YouTube vlog, Rueng Kong Dao or Story of Dao, which debuted at the start of the year.
Having spent decades overseeing productions, Dao is no stranger to changes in technology and the growth of new broadcasting platforms but admits initially she wasn’t that au fait with vlogging on social media. Shy by nature and generally preferring to remain behind the scenes at work, what finally pushed her into the limelight and the world of vlogging was a broken phone. “Being so busy I hadn’t found time to back up my photos,” she explains, “and one morning my phone stubbornly refused to turn on. It just died and I realised that all the memories I’d accumulated over the years had been lost. It devastated me as all I had left were pictures I’d uploaded to Facebook and Instagram. It was then that friends suggested I have a go at a vlog as a way of creating new memories that would be indelibly recorded for posterity.”
Her natural shyness made Dao reticent at first but after months of cajoling and encouragement she was persuaded to try. “My only setback was the fact that I felt nervous speaking alone in front of the camera,” she laughs. “However, with friends Klaow Nampraw and Bobby Panu Sombatyanuchit by my side I quickly found the filming process relaxed and enjoyable,” she says.
Beyond vlogging, Dao keeps herself occupied with running her late father’s Boonyachinda Foundation. “In fact, I never thought I would be doing other things because I was content with devoting my time to the foundation.” To her surprise though, she found the incorporation of the video work alongside her other commitments to be relieving. “Vlogging began a new phase of my life,” she says. “To record what I love doing is exciting. I’m also focusing on my mental and physical wellbeing at the moment and the lighthearted fun that comes with filming is a great form of release for me.”
Despite her demanding schedule, the executive’s familial roots as a devoted wife to Nop and doting mother of two sons, Nadoln and Bhop, keep her anchored. “I’m blessed that my YouTube channel doesn’t take time away from my family,” she smiles. “It’s the opposite in fact because I can include them in the vlogs. They are a huge part of my identity and my happiness.” It is clear through videos of family outings to temples, birthday celebrations and the like that Dao enjoys documenting these unfiltered parts of her life with those she loves. “I prioritise honesty and transparency in my vlogs because I want to give my viewers a raw glimpse of who I am and what I do,” she says. “Think of the series as a digital diary in which I’m free to express myself.”
Rueng Kong Dao certainly has a bright future and the star speaks of her goal of wanting to become a familiar friendly figure to her viewers—mum, big sister, auntie depending on the person watching. By sharing her thoughts, advice and outlook on life through the videos, which range in topic from fashion to family and work to personal welfare, Dao hopes that her story will resonate with that of other women. “Whatever my viewers are going through, I want them to know that they are not alone,” she says. “I want people to watch my vlogs as a form of catharsis, to feel happy, exchange ideas and learn through each other. I’m thankful for my audience as they’ve enabled me to share a piece of my life with them. Ultimately we aren’t simply creating content together, we’re having a positive ongoing discussion and I love that.”