Archive for the 'Singapore' Category

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.

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 www.whatisthesight.com will select the winners, who will receive an exclusive National Heritage Board winners’ certificate to be placed on their blogs.
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New Media Communications Course at SMU

The past couple of days have been really exciting for me.  In collaboration with the Civil Service College, I facilitated a two-day New Media Communications Skills course held at the Singapore Management University.

The partipants, drawn from Singapore’s public service, came from diverse organizations such as the Police, National Parks Board (which incidentally, has started two blogs: Young Gardeners and Gardening Voices), and Central Narcotics Bureau.

This hopefully is a seed of a greater awareness of new media culture in the public service.

Here is a YouTube clip of my class.

Event PR at Changi Airport – Elvis Impersonation Contest

In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley‘s death–and to inject some excitement–Changi Airport held an Elvis impersonation contest event, and I witnessed the finals while flying in and out of the airport on a weekend jaunt to Bangkok.

Other than flying in Elvis impersonator Johnny Baron from the U.S. and the prizes for contestants, the event probably didn’t cost much (after all, United Airlines, Philips, and Hard Rock Cafe were sponsors), but I think it sure generated lots of goodwill and positive impressions all around.

Johnny Baron as the event opener generated a fairly large crowd, which grew as he belted out a string of Elvis’ hits with gusto as well as numbers from his contemporaries such as Neil Diamond. Tourists and business travelers alike gathered round, some took off their shoes and sat on the floor, cheering and swaying to the music. While grabbing a bite at the cafeteria upstairs, I spotted a couple dancing in embrace to some of the ballads.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled to many airports around the world, and I’ve to say that Changi, my home base, is the airport that is the most unremitting in its gambit to stay ahead of the game, constantly reinventing and improving itself using a whole host of strategies and tactics. This tactical use of event PR, is a great example of how a little bit goes a long way.

Social media tactics are often a fantastic complement to event PR (I shared the Aveeno case study in an earlier post). Now if only Changi used inject some social media marketing elements to gain extra mileage out of this event!

Institute of Public Relations Singapore PR 2.0 Conference

I recently attended a conferenced organized by the Institute of Public Relations Singapore, entitled “PR 2.0: Engaging Stakeholders in the New Media Landscape.” 

  

It featured a number of great speakers with interesting ideas to share.  An example would be Christopher Graves (Ogilvy PR’s President, Asia Pacific), who shared the agency’s thinking on the social media landscape.  It was of course also a subtle plug for Ogilvy PR’s newly launched 360 Degree Digital Influence practice

 

Other speakers include John Kerr of Edelman, who by now is a familiar face in the social media lecture circuit, but who nonetheless always makes it a point to customize his presentation to suit the needs of the audience and occasion. 

Melvin Yuan of The PR 2.0 Universe moderated what was probably the most scintillating panel discussion, owing to a penetrating question asked by Dr. Jim Macnamara (General Manager, Research, for CARMA).  Jim’s point was that while outreaching to “celebrity bloggers” to evaluate or endorse a product was a great promotional tactic, it wasn’t authentic (which was a word one of the panel speaker used to describe such efforts).  I have to agree with Jim.  Even though bloggers are not technically obliged to blog about free products they receive, those who do have made a business out of blogging know that if they don’t, or if they write an overlydisparaging review, companies and PR agencies may start giving them a wide berth.  Even in traditional media organizations, marketing preriodically exert influence over editorial.  Having said that, I hope that consumers will be sophisticated enough to take what they come across in the media–old and new–with a pinch of salt and look for corroborative evidence instead of relying on any one souce to make a decision.

 

My colleague and friend Walter Lim, who heads corporate communications and industry promotions at the National Heritage Board, shared how blogger outreach made a difference in the International Museums Day 2006 and the success of NHB’s Yersterday.sg blog.

SMU PodCamp 2007 – The seeds of a social media movement in Singapore?

While, as organizer Michael Netzley said, the SMU PodCamp 2007 was more a hybrid powwow than an unconference in the purest sense of the word, I think it was an excellent way to get the local social media types–and hopefully a few skeptics–excited about the new vistas that social media can open up to communicators and companies.

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The primary feature speaker was Mitch Joel, president of Quebec-based marketing firm Twist Image.  Mitch did his “Six Pixels of Separation” presentation–essentially making the points that we live in a world that is more connected than ever before and that it is not technology that connects us, it is content.  In fact, he made the point that content is media.

podcamp_six_pixels.jpg podcamp_mitch_joel_2.jpg

The afternoon featured local mobile operator StarHub‘s marketing VP sharing a case study of the company’s blogger outreach campaign in the lead-up to the official launch of its Pfingo service.  What I thought was quite fascinating was that some of the bloggers StarHub provided pre-release handsets and information to were journalists of traditional media who also happened to blog (mentioned was Alfred Siew of Straits Times, among others).  Sure, it’d be a scoop for a blogger to be the first to break the news on a pre-release product, but if that blogger also happened to write for a traditional media organization, what would his/her editor think?

starhub_pfingo.jpg starhub_pfingo2.jpg

John Kerr, who leads Edelman’s Southeast Asia social media practice also presented some interesting slides on media consumption trends in Asia, as well as its now annual Trust Barometer study.

podcamp_john_kerr.jpg  podcamp_michael_mitch_1.jpg

The second day was spent mostly with Mitch doing a demo of some of the cool social media sites such as del.icio.us, Linkedin.  I have to say I wasn’t motivated enough to start my own accounts until I saw what they could do through Mitch’s demo.  Now, my del.icio.us account is at http://del.icio.us/sojourneys, and my Linkedin account is at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/4/8a9/910.  I will continue to build on them over the next weeks and months ahead.

Hopefully this podcamp will sow the seeds, creating ripples of change in Singapore when it comes to social media communication.  Kudos, Michael, for putting this together, and till PodCamp 2008!


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