Norman Ng

Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Social Media “Indigestion” – A Tipping Point in Communications

In Public Relations, Social Media on February 13, 2012 at 10:26

Among the constant stream of social media statistics that have rolled out, one particularly stood out for me in 2011/2012 –

“73% of people think employers overshare on social media”

I think we’ve reached a tipping point in enterprise communications, where enterprises become increasingly reliant on social media, where audiences are correspondingly more battered with asymmetrical information, or NOISE, as we call it.

Corporate marketers are jostling for Google Adwords space, PR folks are outwitting one another to run more interesting Twitter Campaigns, Facebook is increasingly crowded with 800 million followers and with advertisers hounding them with more messages. Talk about INDIGESTION.

It’s insanely crazy. I wonder what happened to direct f2f engagements? I wonder if the all too important aspect of direct communications has been marginalised? I hope not, because I know for sure that the time tested principles of Relationships and Stakeholder Experience are most influenced through bread and butter, personal communications.

For enterprises, it’s always important to take stock of where you’re heading in PR & Branding in today’s dynamic communication landscape. Don’t be too razzled when everyone says “social media is great”, because that’s when you know it’s time to reconsolidate and head the other direction when everyone is missing the point altogether.

So as the saying goes, “too much of a good thing never goes well”.

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A “Bottoms Up” PR Approach in 2012 – Converting Brand Ambassadors

In Uncategorized on January 11, 2012 at 11:03

Large enterprises always had an upper hand in resources to shell out big budget PR & Advertising Campaigns to drum up their brand identity and reputation. In the all too recent decade, we’ve seen the wake of huge corporate PR disasters (& sometimes even total financial collapse) – from Bear Sterns, BOA, Olympus, United Airlines, Citigroup…the list goes on. 

My point is this – No amount of PR & Advertising spending will fully insulate you from siesmic shifts in corporate branding and reputation in the increasingly democratic information highway. Stakeholders have asymetrical sources of information; people believe more in peer recommendations rather than advertising…PR & advertising ain’t what it used to be, where they were the de-facto go-to folks.

In came the online netizen communities; born and bred in the social media renaissance, with digital voices and at times influential conversations have more impact on a corporate’s brand equity rather than it’s CEO. (Recall the Dave Caroll jingle on “United Breaks Guitar? Well it reportedly caused a $180m stock nosedive in 4 days)

Now imagine “converting” these digital voices and netizens into your brand ambassadors. Yes, that’s the core approach organisations ought to look at in 2012. It’s time they recalibrated efforts and shift resources and commitment towards looking at how to garner online communities, build brand equity, and shape the overall experience of its stakeholders – THE RIGHT WAY….FROM THE BOTTOMS UP.

Because like it or not, conversations will take place irrespective of whether you’ve adopted social media communication channels. Every day an organisation fails to listen to these conversations, and genuinely act or “buy-in” these conversations, is an opportunity forgone to claim a favourable presence in effectively shaping their brand equities.

So in 2012, it’s essential that organisations start to employ deep listening (social media monitoring / analysis), and strategise conversions and build a robust network of influential, engaging and credible brand ambassador base….from the BOTTOMS UP.

In the next article, we’ll discuss how organisations can strategise and convert brand ambassadors.

Turning a PR Crisis to Your Advantage

In Crisis Communications, Public Relations on September 14, 2011 at 22:15

David Conner, CEO, OCBC. Photo: Bloomberg

It’s a war, everytime a PR crisis strikes, we’re scrambling on a loss minimization mode on the enterprise’s reputation. But one company seemed to successfully turned a catastrophic incident to strengthen positive portrayals.

That company refers to OCBC, Singapore’s 2nd largest lender which deployed a full scale media outreach campaign to inform stakeholders on a 4 hour glitch on its systems, causing massive service disruptions.

I particularly like the fact that mass SMSes were sent out with messages from David Conner, CEO of OCBC, stating “Many customers were inconvenienced, for which I sincerely apologise. At the same time, many of our customers were patient and understanding, for which I am deeply grateful”. This is where good leadership and responsive communications plays a role to arrest reputation downside risks in such a crisis. Something which I mentioned enterprises ought to have, such as in the SMRT Crisis in previous posts, and hot on the heels of similar glitches by the DBS.

This incident exudes control, sincerity and professionalism on OCBC. It’s heartening to know that they even enlisted the media  to broadcast messages on the glitches. So instead of the media lynching them, they leveraged on them as partners instead of adversaries.

All in all, a positive case study, turning adversity into good opportunity. Kudos to OCBC.

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