Friday, June 21, 2013

Crisis Communications: Why are so many Singaporeans angry with the government over the haze?

In a crisis, research has shown that stakeholders attribute blame based on the three factors of (a) locus of control; (b) predictability; and (c) controllability.  Locus of control refers to the perception of whether the crisis was caused by the organization or the situation; stability whether the factors contributing to the crisis was predictable; and controllability whether the organization could have acted to prevent it. Thus, if the crisis was caused by the organization, was something which the organization could reasonably have predicted to occur, and was within the ability of the organization to prevent, then attribution of responsibility would be high.

In the case of the haze, while some believe that the locus of control is beyond that of the Singapore government (the burning is happening within the sovereignty of Indonesia), many do however feel that the crisis was predictable (after all it has been happening for more than a decade) and that the government could have done something to prevent it or at least have in place the necessary measures to tackle the haze should it occur.  An analysis of the crisis communications efforts thus far, shows that the government (via Mr K Shunmugan Facebook posting) had tried to reduce stakeholder anger by emphasizing that the locus of control was external.  This effort however failed as it did not address the other two factors of predictability and the government’s apparent unpreparedness to manage the crisis (controllability).

In our opinion, a more effective response would have been to holistically “manage” the attribution by (a) stating that the locus of control was external; (b) acknowledging that the severity of the haze was unpredictable by highlighting past data; and (c) detailing the numerous measures that the government has activated to manage the impact on Singaporeans (formation of inter-ministry committee, aid for affected Singaporeans, distribution of N95 masks, etc.)

While crisis communications is often more art than science, having a framework to understand how stakeholders attribute blame is extremely helpful in managing a crisis.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Social Media Marketing Singapore: How to Build a Targeted Twitter Follower Base ...

If you own a corner coffee shop in Singapore, having Twitter Followers who are in the United States or England is useless to your business.  Building a predominately Singapore Follower base is thus crucial for your social media marketing campaign.

In my Social Media Marketing Workshop for Small Business Owners, I teach participants to use Twiends.  While Twiends has a function that allows you to limit followers to only Singapore users, unfortunately there is insufficient critical mass to build a large Singapore only Follower base.

One additional technique which CW Fong & Associates (CWFA) has developed and used effectively is what we call the one-ten methodology.  Leveraging on the “social contract” of reciprocity where people follow-back, the one-ten methodology works as follows:

a.            Step 1: Start by Following 10 Singapore Tweeter Users.  The trick here is to avoid celebrities as they will unlikely follow back.  Simply find people in your target market segment who has at least 300 followers and a follower-following ratio of roughly 1:1.

b.            Step 2: Add new followers.  Once someone follows back, simply see who follows them and add another 10 from their follower list.  When you do this step, do be careful to select only those who are in your market segment and those who have follower-following ratios that are close to 1:1.  In other words, if you are seeking to build a Follower base of Singapore teens, then you will only want to Follow users who fit that profile.

c.             Step 3: Repeat Step 2.  Once the proverbial snow ball starts rolling, all it takes is for you to repeat step 2 with every follow-back and pretty soon you will have built a targeted Twitter Follower base.

If keeping a low follower-to-following ratio is important to you, you can unfollow those that do not follow back after every 2 days.  This number will however be low if you had selected those with follower-following ratio of roughly 1:1.


For more great tips on social media marketing, do follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter (@sg_insider).

Victim of Online Vigilantism in Singapore - What should you do?

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