Friday, February 22, 2019

Ask Our Consultants: Is all publicity good publicity?

Let’s be honest. If you are a social media consultant, you will know that nothing spreads further and faster than controversy. The question then is it worth doing controversial content to build reach and awareness.

Our advice to clients is this. It depends. It depends very much on your brand and the type of controversy. A good example to illustrate our point would be Nike’s Colin Kaepernick’s campaign. Studies have shown that in the immediate aftermath of the ad, Nike’s stock prices soared to an all-time high. The explanation is simple, the controversy did not subtract from Nike’s brand, but added to it. This is because the nature of the controversy was perfectly aligned with, and hence resonated with, Nike’s core brand values. The campaign’s tagline, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”, was well chosen to accurately capture the spirit of Nike's products. Thus, the controversial ad created conversations that allowed Nike to push their brand further.

So the short answer to the question of whether all publicity is good publicity is that you should court controversy only if it is strongly aligned with your brand. If it is not aligned, than the controversy will end up hurting the brand.

social media scandals 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

Social Media Scandals 2019

It is impossible not to offend someone in 2019!

First, it was Dolce & Gabbana, then it was Gucci and today it is HSBC. Tomorrow, it could be you.

With the world increasingly linked, integrated and with social media giving everyone a voice, communications professionals will find it impossible not to offend someone as they do their jobs.

The easy solution would be not to communicate at all, but this is impossible. My advice then is to base your communications on clear consistent values and ignore the naysayers. The haters will after all hate, and there is nothing you can do to change or appease them. Instead, let time demonstrate to the silent majority that you are your brand's values.

So while you do your best not to deliberately offend stakeholders, do not let them hold you hostage.

social media scandals 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Branding Explained .... Simply.

Every business has a brand. Even social media companies. Whether you consciously build one, or whether you don't, your business has built a brand.

To be honest, building a brand is not difficult. Unfortunately, if you were to Google the subject of branding, you will be overwhelmed with literally hundreds of terms and you will be forgiven if you think that it is more difficult than brain surgery.

Branding professionals have developed terms like brand identity, brand value, brand story, brand positioning, brand purpose, brand promise, and the list goes on. While these terms all have meanings, they are essentially nuances of the three basic elements of branding - how you look, how you feel and how you behave.

Summarised below, is everything you need to know about branding to build your business' brand.
  • How you look - Often called your corporate identity, this typically consists of your logo, and the colors, type of fonts and style of images associated with your brand.
  • What you feel - This is what your organization stands for and is what guides your actions ie. your brand’s values. This sometimes includes your brand’s purpose and can also be what is your brand’s story or promise.
  • How you behave - This is your brand personality. It is how your organization interacts with its stakeholders. Some of this is linked to your corporate identity as, in non-verbal communications, fonts and colors become the means of communications.
  • Together - Taken as a whole, this is your organization's brand positioning.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Crisis Management - Next of Kin

The tragic death of actor Aloysius Pang, highlighted the importance of Next of Kin (NOK) as part of the crisis management process. The SAF did well and managed to contain family anger towards the organization.

Often neglected, NOK management is critical for two reasons: 

- NOK's Need for Information and Support. In the event that the organization is not forthcoming with information, the NOK may seek information from alternative sources. If they feel that they are being denied information, the NOK may even approach the media or use social media to pressure the organization to reveal information. Sure actions, while understandable given the situation, may hinder and impact the crisis management plan.

- Reputation Management. Effective NOK management is also necessary for reputation management. As it will take time for an organization to fully investigate the incident to understand what happened, a NOK's decision to speak to the press without the full facts could damage the reputation of the organization. More so if the NOK feels that they have an axe to grind.

As such, the key to effective NOK management is the deployment of Family Liaison Officers (FLO) to inform, support and care for the affected families during the grieving process. With trained FLOs pro-actively engaging the family, anger towards the organization can be managed such that it does not fester into unnecessary behaviors like lawsuits. As a concept, NOK Management requires the FLOs to be pro-active in engaging the NOKs, sensitive towards their needs while demonstrating compassion and respect.

Crisis NOK Management Training Singapore

CW Fong & Associates is pleased to offer NOK Management Training Workshops for FLOs to Singapore-based organizations. If your company operates in a high-risk environment, our 1-Day Family Liaison Officer Training Workshop will equip your staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to do their jobs effectively.

For more information, email anna[a]

Thursday, January 10, 2019

CyberSecurity Training in Singapore - Social Engineering Workshop

The recent SingHealth COI Report noted that employees remain the weakest link in any security system. Hackers used social engineering techniques to trick employees into breaching security protocols to gain access to the organization's data and system.

Social Engineering Awareness Training

This is a 1-day targeted workshop to help organizations protect against this emerging threat.

Social engineering has become the most common means by which fraudsters gain access to an organization’s data and systems. Employees are tricked into breaching security protocols - exploiting people as the weakest link in the security chain.

The hackers’ techniques typically involve physical access into buildings, email phishing and telephone calls. But a new breed of attackers are using more sophisticated psychological strategies involving building relationships and before launching an attack. These 2-stage attacks are hard to detect and have been effective in compromising organizations. As criminals continually evolve and use increasingly sophisticated methods of attack, organizations need to ensure that their employees are fully aware of how they can be targeted.

Conducted by ex-Singapore Armed Forces personnel responsible for counter-intelligence, this workshop will instill a culture of awareness among your staff, and minimise the risk to your organisation.

Who Should Attend this Workshop

All employees but specifically those who have access to, or are in possession of, sensitive information in the defence, security, chemical, aviation and pharmaceutical industries. 

Training Outcome

At the end of the Workshop, participants will understand (a) how social engineering is conducted and have an overview of the various techniques used; and (b) learn how to identify a social engineering attack.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Eric Cheung Cyclist – Online Vigilantism

Singapore’s online vigilantes have struck again. While some will disagree with their methods and even their goals, online vigilantism has become a necessary evil in society.

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With so much injustice in the world, perceived or real, people need a way to vent their anger, right a social wrong and in the process make society a better place by letting others know what is acceptable social behavior.

In this instance, Eric Cheung’s actions and the reaction of the lorry driver, have surfaced an issue that has been simmering for years – the inconsiderate behavior of cyclists on Singapore roads. Incidences between cyclists and motorists have been occurring for years. Unfortunately, the police have been unwilling to take a stand. One only has to visit popular cycling roads and the inconsiderate behavior of cyclists is clear for all to see.

It is this inaction by the police that resulted in the lorry driver doing what many drivers wished they had to courage to do – push back. The online vitriol and baying for blood reflect the level of anger drivers feels. Some argue that the lorry driver’s reaction was disproportionate to Eric’s actions, but when injustice goes repeatedly “unpunished”, something will snap. In fact, we would be very surprised to learn that this is the first time that the lorry driver has encountered inconsiderate behavior by cyclists on his drive, and we would also not be surprised if there are more instances of Eric’s loutish behavior comes to light.

In the end, we believe that if this online vigilantism did not occur, cyclists like Eric would continue to be inconsiderate in the way they use the roads. We believe that good will come out of this online vigilantism – the police will (hopefully) start doing their jobs; and cyclists will better understand the anger drivers feel when they are inconsiderate. Social media, has in our opinion, done what it is supposed to do – give a voice to the people.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Social Media Trends 2019

According to a Hays report, digital skills and social media activeness are amongst the top talent trends for 2019.

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Job seekers fluent in digital and social media will be in hot demand as Singapore powers ahead as a smart nation across Southeast Asia with its tech-savvy and mobile-first population. In line with the Singapore government’s efforts, businesses need to keep pace with the latest digital technologies and, as a result, digital competencies are now one of the top prerequisites for employers when hiring.

“Candidates with digital know-how and who display a willingness to learn emerging technologies in this ever-changing landscape will continue to be highly coveted by businesses in 2019 and beyond,” Hays said in a report.

Likewise, candidates who understand how to use and maximize social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook will be in demand as firms enhance their branding and presence on such sites. 

So if you want to be employable, it is time to learn digital and social media skills. Follow us on Social Media Academy Singapore for the latest developments in social media.

Ask Our Consultants: Is all publicity good publicity?

Let’s be honest. If you are a social media consultant, you will know that nothing spreads further and faster than controversy. The questio...