Archive for the 'new media' Category

New Media Communications Course @ SMU

It was exciting conducting a second round of a two-day program on new media communications for colleagues in Singapore’s public service. On Day 1, participants were brought through some trends and developments of Singapore’s online space, and agencies such as the Health Promotion Board, the National Heritage Board (pics below are of Walter in action), and the Ministry of Education shared case studies, followed by a sharing on Wikipedia.

Day 2 saw many of the participants making their maiden foray into Web 2.0, creating their very first blog posts, contributing their first pictures onto Flickr, and uploading their first YouTube video. Ivan from the National Library Board brought the participants through how to create a podcast. Here are some pics.

The participants came from diverse walks of Singapore’s public service, such as Temasek Polytechnic, MINDEF, the Central Provident Board, the Energy Market Authority, and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, just to name a few. Here is a video of the class in session, taken from Day 1. If you were part of this class, please send me your blog URL. 🙂

APCO Study – A case of poor disclosure and premature pronouncements?

In my earlier post, I highlighted a study by APCO Worldwide declaring that PR suits and blogger pros were at odds in their perceptions of how well PR executives were doing in reaching out to bloggers. I asked for a detailed report of the study, and while none surfaced, a fellow blogger–Bill Sledzik, who teaches PR and media ethics at Kent State University–sent me a four-page summary that concluded with five broad pronouncements that APCO termed “consensus points” based on its discussions with bloggers.

But for this specific study, guess how many bloggers did APCO hold discussions with? Well, the population sample size for this study was a grand 102 people (55 PR professionals and 47 bloggers). While I don’t think that the conclusions themselves are anything terrificly new or controversial, delivering industry “best practices” based on a survey of such minute sample size is. APCO does no credit to the marketing research profession. It even did a press release publicizing the study, and ironically enough, a website that aims to “bridge the gap” that it found in the study. Is the company aware of criticisms of its study in blogosphere?

The summary report–quite appropriately entitled “badscience”–that Bill Sledzik sent me is attached. Thanks, Bill.

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Singapore2010 – New media to be extensively used in Youth Olympics 2010

Perhaps in recognition of the power of social media to transcend national and geographical boundaries as well as its ability to generate awareness and build excitement, the organizing committee behind Singapore’s successful bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010 announced that new media will be extensively used. 

This is what the Straits Times–the country’s state paper–said: “The new media platform will be extensively used to reach out to youths worldwide by developing youth communities and strengthening the connections between young people even before the YOG begins.” (Feb 21, 2008, ST)

Check out the following 2010 social media sites:

Friendster

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Facebook

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Youth.sg 2010 discussion forum

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Social media trends for 2008 by Kami Huyse

‘Tis the season for predictions, and there are many.  But one of the most succint and reflective that I’ve come across is one by San Antonio based new media PR practitioner and blogger Kami Huyse.  Read her post here

On the first trend of the rise of viral videos, I’d have to say that Singapore has had its share.  Most of them, however, have been by “citizen journalists” making social commentary.  On the side of the corporates, the most notorious was the MDA “senior management rap” (an oxymoron, if you ask me).  By and large, companies here have not caught on to this trend.  In fact, when famed British 3D street artist Julian Beever was in Singapore last year at the expense of Nokia, the Singapore office failed to leverage on a new media video campaign to boost the reach of its PR program, unlike Aveeno, whose YouTube campaign garnered significant attention (read my earlier observations here).

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What’s your New Year resolution? – A YouTube video by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board

Singapore’s Health Promotion Board, the state agency charged with building a nation of fit and healthy Singaporeans, has made its first foray into online video campaigns.

The video, uploaded onto YouTube, takes viewers through the trials and tribulations of “Clara,” who decides to take a smoke break to seek solace from a hounding boss, to quite unexpected results. 

The video is also available at Freshair.sg, the smoking cessation website targeted at women.  One suggestion I have is for both the video and the microsite to be more visible from the corporate HPB site (or at least the Quit Smoking section).  Otherwise, I think it’s a great start, although patience is required to keep trying until one produces a hit.  If anything else, the messages are targeted and intended.  Referring to the inadvertent and notorious MDA “senior management rap” (an oxymoron, isn’t it) YouTube video, I don’t believe that even bad publicity is good publicity.

What do you think of the video?  To appeal to the pragmatic sensibilities, there is a lucky draw from viewers to share the video with friends.  Sign-up here.

Blog Dissonance…

I always enjoy reading Rohit Bhargava’s blog because he consistently delivers insightful, well-considered commentary.  I learn something new each time I visit his blog.

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Using the phenomenon where Scott Adams–the creator of Dilbert–as an illustration, Rohit discusses why it is possible for a brand (I loosely consider the Dilbert franchise a brand) to suffer a reduction in following because of its blog.  This happens when the audience sees a brand and its creator as one entity, but realizes through the creator’s blog (where one tends to express oneself more authentically) that his/her personal persona can speak with quite a different voice from the brand, hence the dissonance.

As Rohit explains, Adams sometimes blogs on his views on politics and social issues, which some of the readers (many of whom are drawn to his blog because they expect to hear the more of Dilbert) do not understand or agree with.  And when some of his audience see that the voice of Dilbert is not always consonant with the voice of Scott Adams, they swear never to return.

There are some useful lessons for marketers here.  Please read Rohit’s full commentary for more insights.  I believe it will be worth your while.


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