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.