Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Create an Acceptable Use Policy on Facebook

Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

As follow-up to my earlier posting on the Management of Offensive Posts on Facebook, I have been asked how and where to post the AUP on Facebook.  Use your Notes App and the AUP will appear as shown in the screenshot on your organization's wall.

For your convenience, I have extracted the following from Facebook's Help Center:

To access the Notes application

Click Notes in the applications menu on the left side of the Home Page. You may have to click More to expand the applications menu if you do not immediately see the notes application listed. You can also search for notes in the search bar at the top of the page.

To write a note, please take the following steps
  1. Go to the Home Page.
  2. Click "Notes" in the applications menu on the left side of the page. You may have to click "More" to expand the applications menu if you do not immediately see "Notes" listed. Alternatively, type "Notes" into the search box at the top of the page and follow the link that appears.
  3. Click the "Write a New Note" button located at the top right side of the page.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to write your note. To control who can see your note, use the drop-down privacy menu near the bottom of the page.
  5. When you're done writing, click "Publish" to generate a story about your note and save the note in your My Notes section.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Social Media Tip: Management of Offensive Facebook Posting

In a recent discussion with a client on establishing a social media presence on Facebook, they expressed concern over how to deal with Trolls and their fear of reprisal if they deleted offensive comments.

I shared with the management team that deleting offensive comments is not only correct but acceptable if the rules of engagement were established upfront.

This is where the organization needed to establish an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) governing the management of postings on the organization's wall. Once the AUP has been established, any breaches of these rules will then give the organization the prerogative to delete the post. The only suggestion I have for the organization is not to complete delete the offending post, but to replace it with a statement saying that "a post by <user> was deleted as it had breached the rules established in the AUP." This statement is important as it will then limit accusations of censorship.

For a sample of a generic AUP which you can use for your organization, please refer to the following ...

CW Fong & Associates welcomes all comments on our wall. We want to hear from our fans about what they think about our work and achievements.

As a fan of CW Fong & Associates, you are welcome to express your views, comments, ideas, insights, and criticisms about us. At the same time, fans should show courtesy and respect to others and must not use the wall to abuse others, expose others to offensive or inappropriate content, or for any illegal purpose.

When using our wall, please ensure that you:

protect your personal privacy and that of others by not including personal information of either yourself or of others in your posts to the wall (for example, names, email addresses, private addresses or phone numbers)
• represent your own views and not impersonate or falsely represent any other person
• do not be abusive, harass or threaten others
• do not make defamatory or libellous comments
• do not use insulting, provocative or hateful language
• do not use obscene or offensive language
• do not post material to the wall that infringes the intellectual property rights of others
• do not post multiple versions of the same view to the wall or make excessive postings on a particular issue
• do not promote commercial interests in your posts to the wall
• do not include internet addresses or links to websites, or any email addresses in your post to the wall.
CW Fong & Associates reserves the right to enforce this Acceptable Use Policy at its discretion, and may remove any posted messages that it considers to be in breach of the Policy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Online Poll: Journalist Use of Social Media

Dear Journalist,

CW Fong & Associates is a boutique communications firm specialising in crisis communications in the era of social media. As part of our on-going efforts to provide useful information to the PR community at large, we conduct regular surveys/ straw-polls to better understand the online community.

One assertion we have is that social media is shifting the balance of power between social media and main stream media. We therefore seek your help to complete this short survey ( so that we can drive some form of empirical data to either support or disprove our assertion.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Principal Consultant

Friday, June 22, 2012

Survey on Use of Social Media: Primary Source of News

As part of my CW Fong & Associates' on-going research of social media, I recently conducted a straw-poll to determine how the average Singaporean receives news.

Not surprisingly, the poll confirmed my assertion that 63.2% primary source of news is the Internet.  What is also interesting is that 57.9% check for news "a few times a day" and, of those polled, none relied on radio for the news.

The main lesson derived from this straw-poll is that Social Media is an important component of any crisis communications plan. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Social Media Marketing Singapore

On the internet, obtaining top Search Engine Ranking for your company's website is equivalent to having your store on prime real estate.  This is because high traffic translates into a higher probability of making a sale.

CW Fong & Associates' Social Media Marketing Services helps small and medium enterprises (SME) to effectively achieve high search engine ranking in the shortest time possible.  Based on our proprietary Social Media Trinity Framework, each social media platform works in synergy to maximise its reach and effect.

Appended is proof of the effectiveness of our Social Media Trinity Framework ...

The primary keyword phrase selected for optimizing was "crisis communications singapore" and CW Fong & Associates has achieved significantly high rankings across the major search engines.  With that as the base, CW Fong & Associates is now entering Phase II and expanding our keywords to optimise for "social media marketing singapore" and "social media consultant singapore".

If you are serious about establishing your company's social media presence, do contact our Principal Consultant at for a no obligation discussion.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Launch: Social Media Survival Guide for Organizations in Singapore

With Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Teo Ser Luck at the InfoCommUnity Convention 2012 held on 21 May 2012. The photo represents the day's panelists as well as those who had co-authored the book "Social Media Survival Guide for Organizations in Singapore."

CW Fong & Associates' Principal Consultant is on the extreme left of the photo
Cover of the Social Media Survival Guide for Organizations in Singapore

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: DQO - Digital Quotient for Organizations ................................. 11
CASE STUDY: Project One More Thing ................................................... 24
Chapter 2: Social Media and the Law in Singapore .................................... 29
Chapter 3: Social Media and Crisis Management ....................................... 35
SCAER Tool ................................................................................... 40
Chapter 4: SEO - Search Engine Optimization .......................................... 44

For purchase enquiry, please contact or

A Case for Social Media Monitoring in Singapore

In a recent training discussion with the PR Manager of a local Voluntary Welfare Organization (VWO), the PR Manager questioned my "over-emphasis" on the need to monitor social media. She justified her position by citing the influence of Main Stream Media over Social Media.

I replied that while I agreed with her that Main Stream Media was still seen as the more credible, Social Media's influence was growing and was likely at the Tipping Point.  To support my view, I cited reports by (a) the UK's The Guardian that showed that most journalists use social media such as Twitter and Facebook as sources; and (b) the Social Media Examiner that showed how social media was being used by journalists to break newsIn fact, what usually starts out on social media posted by citizen journalists, often ends-up in the Main Stream Media.

Thus, given the "leading" nature of social media to drive news, active social media monitoring can provide organizations with an early warning of potential crisis.  Social Media monitoring, in the context of crisis management and communications, thus cannot be over-emphasised and is an integral part of the crisis management plan.


CW Fong & Associates has put together a comprehensive system for SMEs to do their own social media monitoring via the use of freemiums.  To find out more, contact our Principal Consultant at 

Public Relations Course Singapore: Crisis Communications in the Era of Social Media (29 June 2012)

Many businesses have started acknowledging the impact Social Media has on its bottom line - especially in a crisis. Information has become as valuable as prime real estate where top search engine rankings and positive (or negative) reviews on influential blogs can have tremendous impact on a business' fortune.

In the era of social media, anybody can create and disseminate “news” contents. These “Citizen Journalists” can now rally stakeholder support as widely and as effectively as big budget news organisations. Couple this with the internet's ability to provide instantaneous news on a 24/7 basis, consolidated and indexed, social media has fundamentally altered the way individuals receive news and gather information. In this new information environment, information is now near instantaneous, ’perfect’ and communicated via multiple platforms.

In this new information environment, the nature of crisis communication has fundamentally changed. Traditional approaches are at best ineffective and, at worse, damaging. To effectively manage a crisis, businesses must understand the new information environment and use the appropriate approaches.

Join us for this 1-Day Workshop and learn the following:

  • understand social media's impact on crisis communications
  • understand the nature of a crisis
  • identifying Stakeholder issues/ concerns
  • learn how to develop Themes and Messages
  • use frameworks to manage a crisis – Attribution Theory
  • use framework to manage negative blog postings or online Mentions – SCAER
  • understand the Singapore media environment and the Media’s ’agendas’
  • learn how to deliver your message in a media interview
  • learn how to handle “sensitive” questions during a media interview

  • For more information, contact us via anna [a] cwfongandassociates .com

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

    The Singapore Police Force Responds to Online Comments: The New Normal?

    In response to online photos showing Ms Esther Goh (one of the one of the women named in the sex-for-deal corruption case involving former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) commissioner Peter Lim Sin Pan) posing with police commissioner Ng Joo Hee, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has issued a statement on their Facebook page clarifing that Mr Ng is "not acquainted" with Ms Goh.
    The SPF's response is significant as this is a deviation from previous government policies not to respond to online comments.  I am glad to see that the SPF has recognised that social media can drive public opinion and that they have taken the neccessary steps. In the era of social media, communications must be open, timely, 100% truthful, broadly communicated and internet present.

    Thumbs up for the PR Team at the SPF.

    Friday, June 15, 2012

    A PR Professional's Dilemma

    In the early stages of a crisis, the main focus of the PR Professional is to determine if the incident will become a crisis. This assessment is crucial as it will then guide management's decision on the appropriate response to initiate.

    The importance of the appropriate response cannot be understated as both over and under-reactions can negatively impact the company. In the former, if the company goes into full crisis management and communication mode to be ahead of the incident, the company may inadvertently create a crisis where one was not in the making. In the case of the latter, if the company under-reacts and is slow in responding to an incident that eventually becomes a crisis, the company risks being put on the defensive. This is a disadvantaged position as the company's ability to protect its image and reputation will be then greatly diminished (See Diagram 1).

    Diagram 1: Crisis Response Matrix

    So what can a company do when it is faced with an ambiguous incident?

    My advise to clients is to issue a scaled response acknowledging and providing factual information about the incident. This is because a scaled response will allow the company to hedge itself against the negative outcomes of Quadrant B and C. Let me explain (See Diagram 2):

    Diagram 2: Effectiveness of a Scaled Response

    Quadrant A. In this scenario, the PR Professional had correctly identified the incident as an incident and the company responded appropriately. Here, a mere statement of fact will not change the nature of the incident and turn it into a crisis. On the contrary, in the perfect information environment (where nothing will remain hidden forever), issuing a scaled response will ensure that the company's side of the story is told.

    Quadrant D. In this scenario, the PR Professional once again correctly identified the crisis as a crisis and the company responded appropriately. The scaled response issued by the company will then form the “holding line” and the statement will also give the company the information initiative while concurrently establishing itself as primary source of information on the developing crisis. This response will once again position the company to deal effectively with the crisis.

    Quadrant B. In this scenario, the PR Professional wrongly assessed the crisis as an incident and the company failed to act. In this scenario, issuing a scaled response will effectively pre-empt opposing stakeholders from fanning the crisis by accusing the company of having something to hide. Once again, a scaled response will perform the role of a "holding line" allowing the company time to react and deal with the crisis.

    Quadrant C. In this final scenario, the PR Professional once again wrongly assesses an incident as a crisis. Similar to Scenario A, a mere statement of fact will not change the nature of the incident and turn it into a crisis and a scaled response will ensure that the company's side of the story is told.

    Hence, as the above matrix demonstrates, the best approach for any company to adopt in an ambiguous situation is to issue a scaled response as it hedges them whichever way it turns out.

    Friday, June 8, 2012


    During a recent business trip a developing country, I had the good fortune to meet with one of the leading crisis consultant of the country.  During our discussion, the topic of crisis communications strategy and techniques came up and he shared that in his country, crisis communications did not depend on fancy strategy or techniques, but was about often about greasing the palms of key personnel in the media and government.

    While I agreed with him that in countries where the government had strict control of the media this was currently possible, I highlighted to him that the proliferation of social media was changing this.  This is because social media creates citizen journalism which in turns minimizes the influence of a single editor or government official s over the news.

    To illustrate, one only needs to understand the role the internet played in Syrian crisis.  Developed in the 1969, the Internet began as ARPAnet and was structured to be the computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter.  ARPAnet (the grandfather of the Internet) was intended to protect the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).  This geographical separation eliminated any single point of failure and ensured that information continued to flow uninterrupted. With this as a design structure, it is therefore impossible for anyone to effectively control the Internet.

    I thus concluded by sharing that while it is possible for crisis consultants to manage a crisis in his country via traditional means, I think it will be impossible once the level of social media use in his country reaches the proverbial tipping point.

    Monday, June 4, 2012


    In line with CW Fong & Associates' mission to build and protect the reputations of oganizations, we are pleased to extend an open offer to conduct a 1-hour complimentary talk on Crisis Communications in the Era of Social Media for your organization.

    The talk will cover (a) the new information environment; (b) its impact on how organizations should deal with their publics; and (c) what are the essential elements of a communications plan.

    If you are keen to take us up on this offer, do drop our Principal Consultant an email at

    Saturday, June 2, 2012

    Tone in Communication

    In David J. Lieberman's book "You Can Read Anyone", the author explained that a person wrongly accused will instinctively go on the offensive, while someone who is guilty will become defensive. This working understanding of human behaviour is an important skill set for the PR Professional as it will be an essential consideration when advising their client on the appropriate "tone" to adopt in a crisis communication situation.

    The importance of adopting the "correct tone" was clearly illustrated in the Brad Lau saga when Brad responded to allegations against him in a "calm and objective manner" ( This response is uncharacteristic of an innocent person (as supported by David Lieberman's research), and thus worked immensely against Brad in his efforts to contain the crisis.

    In addition, a communication study by Albert Mehrabian has shown that a lot of communication comes through non-verbal communication and when we are unsure about words and when we trust the other person less, we pay more attention to what we hear and see.

    PR Professionals must therefor be cognizant that in a crisis situation, stakeholders are actively trying to determine the truth. Stakeholders will then scrutinise every news release and media moment in search of clues to assess the truthfulness of the company's statements and the credibility of the company spokesperson. Incongruency in body language and actions taken will discredit the spokesperson and any message that the crisis communicator is trying to deliver.

    In short, in a crisis communication situation, PR Professionals must not only ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of the words used but also the "tone". This is because the unspoken word is as important, if not more, than the spoken ones.

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