Archive for November, 2007

Explore Singapore! – An integrated marketing campaign by Singapore’s National Heritage Board

My friend Walter heads the corporate communication and industry promotion division at Singapore’s National Heritage Board, and I thought they have rolled out an interesting, multi-faceted marketing campaign, called Explore Singapore!

The campaign (ongoing till Dec ’07) features a gamut of activities from a sleepover at the Philatelic Museum to a grandparents’ day gentle walk at the Asian Civilizations Museum (which incidentally, is host to a world class exhibition called the Nalanda Trail: Buddhism in India, China, and Southeast Asia).  The face of this campaign is Mark Lee, a controversial choice, but given the objective to bridge the gap between museums–which suffer from the perception of being pursuits for the high-brows and elites–and the masses I think the choice was appropriate.  In fact, one of the activities Lee will be hosting is an open house with taxi drivers at the Singapore Art Museum. 

To extend the reach of the program, NHB has designed a social media component that is well-integrated with the overall campaign.  This is in the form of a photoblogging contest

This is where I will take the liberty of lifting text from Walter’s blog (do you mind, Walter?).  To take part…


Simply follow these easy steps:

1) Attend an Explore Singapore! event. Take lots of pictures.
2) Blog about it on your blog (remember to post the pictures!)3) Visit the Explore Singapore! Heritage In Pictures webpage. Register your blog post URL there.

4) If approved, your blog post will be posted on the contest listings page.

5) Check back regularly to see if your entry is up. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

6) Get your friends to check out your entry by putting this Brag Badge on your blog.

Celebrity photographer Dominic Khoo of will select the winners, who will receive an exclusive National Heritage Board winners’ certificate to be placed on their blogs.


Google Singapore Marketing Briefing

I attended a Google Singapore marketing briefing earlier this week.  Located at the upper floors of the M Hotel in the CBD, it featured an analyst from Hitwise as well as Google’s Asia Pacific and Latin America VP Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, with an ensuing panel discussion.


The Hitwise presentation confirmed that social networking sites were on the rise, and this was corroborated by Google’s subsequent presentation showing that consumers tend to trust opinions from those whom they perceive as peers. 

In the travel vertical, I was not surprised to learn that Trip Advisor has pipped Asia Rooms to become Singaporeans’ preferred travel portal.  Trip Advisor features vetted user reviews as the key attraction of its website, with the purveying of tickets and reservations almost as incidental.  I have contributed several hotel reviews there.  Asia Rooms on the other hand, pushes its sales, with reviews incorporated in an almost by-the-way, unintuitive fashion.  There is a lesson to be learned there.

Google also handed out some nifty postcard sized tips.  I’ll share one set.

4 Ways to Strengthen Your Business Online

#1: Make sure people searching on Google find you easily (more info at

#2: Use AdWords starter Edition and Business Pages (more info at

#3: Improve your website and convert more visitors to a sale (more info at

#4: Earn money from relevant ads on your websites (more info at

PRSA International Conference 2007 – Snap Observations

The Public Relations Society of America International Conference 2007 was a fruitful experience.  Some general observations:

  • There is a strong sense of the profession and professional pride by American communicators.
  • Putting traditional media under pressure while opening up new channels of communications, new media is shaking up the profession in the U.S., just as it is doing in Singapore.
  • American corporations seem bolder in their use of new media as a communications tool.  While some could say that the Singapore government has more at stake and hence the need to be more cautious, many of these companies–Xerox, Dell, Blockbuster, the Consumer Electronics Association, and even the U.S. State Department–have plenty at stake too but having made their calculations, they moved in.
  • The Silver Anvil Award case studies invariably featured programs that married traditional media relations with new media outreach.

Some pictures from the conference.

Glitz and glamour leading up to the opening address.

Actress-turned-activist Mia Farrow issuing a compelling call-to-action on the Darfur genocide.  Find out more about her urgent message and what you can do at

NBC anchor Tim Russert talks about the poisonous environment in Washington D.C.  and lessons he learned from his father.

Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State discussing the America’s public diplomacy efforts (she has since announced that she will be stepping down from her post and will return to Texas).

The standing-room only Virgina Tech case study presentation.

The PRSA celebrates its 60th anniversary in a richly-programmed and well-executed conference.  It has much to be proud of.

Flickr Photos


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