Thursday, September 29, 2016

[Workshop] Tradeshows - Beyond the 3x3

iAdvisory Workshop - Reaping the Most Out of Your Tradeshow (29 Sep 2016)

Bringing together the combined expertise and extensive experience in tradeshow participation, networking and digital strategy, CW Fong & Associates has successfully completed our 5th run for IE Singapore.
This full-day workshop is designed to help companies understand the major challenges in setting up tradeshows, leverage on the services and deliverables from their TACs to maximize their tradeshows participation, set their tradeshows' objectives, do pre-tradeshow planning, and learn how to achieve the necessary Return on Investment (ROI) on tradeshows by converting potential leads to real sales.

The workshop covered topics including:

- Trade Show Basics
- Trade Show Planning
- PR 101
- Communications 101
- Trade Show Execution
- Effective Business Networking at the Show
- Following-up with Leads generated at Trade Shows
- Media Training Practical
Participants were taught how to extend the effectiveness of their tradeshows by thinking beyond the physical space or the 3 ft x 3 ft booth.

ie singapore tradeshow workshop

Friday, September 23, 2016

Best PR Agency in Singapore - Unseen

As Singaporeans have become more sophisticated, they are now more savvy to being "managed" by PR professionals. Rightly or wrongly, PR agencies have gained a reputation for white-washing news and their involvement hints at lies being spoken. Even in day to day operations, while it is efficient for a corporation to engage the services of a PR Agency, the Agency's involvement is not without down-side. 

Today, consumers value authenticity. This is especially so when it comes to the social media platforms of an organization. Consumers can accept that advertisements exaggerate the truth, but not social media messaging. Not surprisingly, slick social media blurps, images and videos have less appeal than raw, spontaneous and genuine content.

The Best PR Agency today, is therefore not the flashy ones that seek to co-brand themselves with the client. The best PR agencies today, are the unseen ones. The PR Agency that help the client behind the scene without ever letting the public know that a PR Agency was ever involved.

At CW Fong & Associates, we have worked, and we continue to work, on the social media platforms of some of the biggest names in Singapore. But you will never know as we will never tell.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Crisis Communications Training (Singapore)

Crisis communications training is analogous to paying for insurance coverage - it is something you have, but hope you will never use.

In today's age of social media, it is no longer a question of whether an organization will face a crisis, but a matter of when.  This is because the proliferation of social media has changed the way individuals send and receive information. Low-cost internet and smart phones have created the phenomenon of citizen journalists where individuals can now as effectively shape public opinion as any large budget news organizations. Unfortunately, many businesses do not fully understand the impact of social media and its potential impact on their business in a crisis.
Research by Dr Rory Knight and Dr Deborah Pretty (Templeton College, University of Oxford) showed that failure to protect your brand can result in losses of up to 15% of enterprise value, while success can add up to 5%.
Who should be trained? Our recommendation is for anyone responsible for the brand and reputation of the organization. As training would also enable the crisis managers to speak a "common language", senior management should also undergo crisis communications training.
What should they be trained in? While crisis communication trainers will vary, we believe that the training must include: (a) understanding the impact of social media on communications and how to use social media as part of a crisis management plan; (b) a framework with which PR personnel can evaluate incidents and derive the communications plan; and (c) basic media training to enable selected personnel to front a media interview.
When should they be trained? While it will be ideal for your company's representative to undergo annual refresher training, this is a good to have and not a must have. At the very least, your company's representative should attend a crisis communications workshop. As a crisis can happen at anytime, the best time is now.
How much will it cost? Qualified and experienced trainers are naturally not cheap. They are however, not expensive too. A typical basic 1-Day in-house training would run in the region of SGD10,000. Given that research has shown that a poorly managed crisis can cause up to 15% drop in brand value, the SGD10,000 fee is a small sum to pay.
Are foreign trainers better? As every market is different, having a local trainer who is familiar with the stakeholders (including how Government agencies operate) will definitely be an advantage. A Singapore trainer who has dealt with local crisis, will be able to share valuable nuances in messaging that can make a big difference in effectiveness.
Government Grants? Today, the Singapore government currently provides for crisis communications training and workshops under the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme (PIC). Claimed under training, companies can get up to 40% cash back.
Crisis communications training is no longer a good to have. Every organization should prepare for the inevitable crisis.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Crisis Management: Zombies

When dealing with a crisis, effective management begins with a proper assessment of the nature of the crisis. Utilizing a simple 2 x 2 matrix of impact on reputation of organization versus probability of the crisis going viral, crisis managers can make an informed decision on whether to respond and, if so, how to respond!

crisis communications response matrix

While the above matrix has proven to be an effective assessment framework, there is a new category of crisis that impacts organizations. These are the Zombies. Much like their name sake, this category of crisis does not stay dead - either they did not gain traction when it first occurred, or it keeps coming back to haunt the organization. An example would be the anniversary of the incident where grieving family members post tributes to remember their loved ones.

zombie crisis singapore

What this means for crisis communication practitioners is that post-crisis actions are just as important as during-crisis communications. Continual monitoring of related keywords (especially near anniversaries), as well as inoculation against the incident must be done to ensure that the crisis stays dead. In short, we cannot assume that once a crisis is "managed", we can forget about it. Crisis, like Zombies, can always come back to life.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Social Media Academy Singapore: How Long Should My Facebook Post Be?

While using Facebook is intuitive, like any tool, knowing some tips and tricks will help you use it more effectively. One common mistake digital marketers make is to make their Facebook post too long. This is because, Facebook will "cut off" your post off after 460 characters and if your key message comes after this, your fans will need to click "more" to read it. Unfortunately, statistics show that only 50% of users click the more button. This means that less than half will get your message.

To get a sense of the ideal Facebook post length, take a look at the diagram below. A rough guide is approximately 80 words or 460 characters (including spaces)

what is the ideal facebook post length

Thus, if you have an important message to tell, tell it in the headline, or say it upfront. While it may seem like a good idea to build suspense before delivering your message, if your intended reader does not see if, it is pointless.


To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow us on our Facebook page Social Media Academy Singapore.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Social Media Academy Singapore: How to Use Hashtags

How to use Hashtags ....

Hashtags are great ways to increase the reach of your Instagram stories or Tweets. Users of social media search hashtags for stories that interest them. So if you use the "right" hashtags, the "right" people will find you.

how to use hashtags to build followers

While the idea is simple, using hashtags effectively is not. One common mistake that users make is creating their own hashtags. #CWFongRocks While it looks cool on your account, the reality is that if no one else is searching for that particular hashtag, no one will find you. #NotCoolToCreateYourOwn The best way to find popular or trending hashtags is to use sites like RiteTag. Sites like RiteTag will scan the internet and give you a list of trending hashtags. Use these and you will be assured that you are using the right hashatgs.

The other common mistake that users make is to constant use the same hashtags. What happens when you do this, is that you will continue to reach out to the same group of people. After awhile, if they don't already follow you, they never will. The best hashtag strategy to adopt, especially if you are trying to grow your follower base, is to keep a core set of hashtags and vary the rest. This way, you continue to reach out to the market segment you want, but also associates segments that can also bring business to you.

If you find what we have shared here useful, no follow our Social Media Academy Singapore.

Social Media Academy Singapore

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Social Media Crisis Communications

The proliferation of social media has created new headaches for organizations. In the past, when companies only had to deal with the main stream media, crisis communications was easier to handle in terms of speed and number of stakeholders.

Today, with citizen journalists on every street corner, the number of incidents that can turn into a crisis are significantly more and the magnitude of impact on a company's brand and reputation greater due to the amplification effects of social networks.

To help companies deal with crisis communications in the era of social media, CW Fong & Associates issued our White Paper on the subject on 17 August 2010. Today, more than 6 years later, the principles that we outlined in our report are still valid. Principally, for an organization to effectively deal with a social media crisis, communications needs to be (a) open; (b) timely; (c) 100% truthful; (d) broadly communicated; and (d) internet (or social media) present.

For our full report 2010 report, visit the resource section of this blog via the following link: Crisis Communications in the Era of Social Media. If you are a crisis communications practitioner, leave us a comment. we hope to hear your views.

social media crisis communications consultants singapore

Monday, September 12, 2016

Social Media Academy Singapore

CW Fong & Associates launches our Social Media Academy Singapore on Facebook. The Academy is launched as an online platform for small business owners to learn tips and tricks on how they can effectively use social media to brand and market their business.
social media academy singapore
Research has shown that over 90% of all buying decisions involve social media. Business owners who can position themselves to be found and trusted online will have an edge over their competitors. And unlike physical store fronts where big money wins, in the social media domain, knowledge and skill wins. In fact, when it comes to social media, small is good as it means that the business is sufficiently agile to meet the ever-changing needs of today's customers.
The Social Media Academy Singapore will be the go-to platform for the social media training needs of the Singapore small business owner.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Digital Marketing Tip - Target the Needs of your Clients

As social media consultants, whenever we work on the digital marketing strategy of clients, we are often asked by our clients how do you make people buy. You may be surprised, but our response is that you can't.
This is because you cannot make people do something they do not want. Nobody can! What we can do as part of a digital marketing strategy is to help find the people that need your product/ service; and then tell them how your product/ service would best solve their problems. Sometimes, our strategy would involve creating the need in potential clients.
At CW Fong & Associates, the most effective digital marketing campaign therefore starts with identifying the need of potential clients. Once you have successfully done that, the next step is creating powerful or impactful advertisements that: (a) reminds the buyer of the need; (b) tells the buyer how using your product/service would solve their needs.
One of the best example we have seen in the recent times is this ad done by Grab. The ad targets the need of Singapore parents to give their child the best education possible. Any parent who sees this ad is: (a) reminded of the need; and (b) given the solution to their "problem". This ad is extremely effective as it focuses on the needs of parents. Whenever an ad fails in effectiveness, it is very likely because the ad failed to address the needs of potential clients. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, the key to effective digital strategy is understanding your target market.
Focus on the needs of your potential clients and you cannot go wrong.
digital marketing agency singapore

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Media Interview Tip: The Reporter is Not your Friend

During the media training portion of our crisis communications workshops, we always drill into participants that the reporter is not your friend. This is because the reporter's job is to report the news and they are professionally bound to report the whole truth as they know it. The reporter also knows that a company will only show what it wants to show, hence the cat and mouse game. Interviewees and media liaison officers should therefore be very careful during casual chats with reporters as this is when they will probe for information.
During a recent consult with a client, the client had successfully completed an on-camera interview with the local media. As the topic was trending, the interview gained extensive coverage both in the main stream and online media. Out of the blue, we received a call from the Editor of an online media platform. The Editor wanted to seek "clarification" on a word our client had used during the interview. The Editor claimed that it was not clear what our client had meant.
We were stumped as the word used was carefully selected so as not to insinuate the competitor as this would be in poor taste and likely to result in unnecessary retaliatory comments. After thinking the issue through and doing some quick message testing on whether the word used was clear, we realized that the Editor was attempting to create a controversy so as to increase viewership on his media platform. We discussed this with the client and told the Editor that the client declined his request for clarification.
While not all reporters (in this case an Editor) are as devious as the one we encountered, this only goes to reinforce the adage that the reporter is not your friend.

(Note: We apologize that we cannot be more specific with the example as this would betray client confidentiality)

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

Over the weekend, a sales manager became the latest victim of online vigilantism in Singapore. He was on his way to trading in his BMW 5 S...