A marketing guru crossing from analogue and digital helped enlighten our class.

Mr. Chee Yue, the director of XYZ Wave Private Limited, shared in-depth industry insights with COMM 346.
Mr. Chee Yue is the trusted partner of agencies, brands and MNCs in Asia, charting and navigating the digital transformation of their business, marketing and customer engagement since 2000 with the last five years focusing on technological innovation and the adoption of emerging technologies.
He shared how marketing and PR has transformed messages and formats in the digital era, with the focus on interactivity and value propositions of the brand, based on his more than 20 years of experience as a marketing expert.
Thank you, Mr. Chee Yue!

Are influencers a dying medium?

I came across this interesting opinion piece on influencers, which was inspired by the controversial wedding of influencer Melissa Koh. I found it to be quite thought provoking and relevant to what we recently discussed in class, and it’s definitely worth a read.

It’s quite a long piece, so for those of you who are time poor, here’s the TL;DR:

  • Many brands believe that the use of influencers are equivalent to word-of-mouth, and that consumers will blindly believe what is said
  • Authenticity and transparency are two factors which should be highly prized by brands and consumers alike, however, sometimes brands fail to see this
  • There are guidelines by the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore, in aims to increase transparency, and in turn, authenticity; However, these are not being adhered to
  • Engagement in the long-run is built on trust and transparency
  • Brands should evaluate which influencers they work with carefully

All that being said, in the end it’s up for consumers to ultimately decide – after all we have the power.

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What do you think? Is it time to say goodbye to influencers?

Synthesio workshop at COMM346

Steven Zheng, the Regional Account Manager of Synthesio, APAC, along with his colleagues, Henry Chow and Kimly Anaissa, spoke about social listening (13, 14 September).  The workshop session was very informative and enlightening for the students as the presenters walked through all the demos and helped students get practical strategies for effective social media listening for their group project.

 

Everyone had fun and gained a better understanding of this global-scale social media tool.

Synthesio kindly offers two weeks of access to the account for each and every group in COMM 346.

If students want an extension of the access, they can ask Prof. Kyu for extra account for their own research.

Thank you so much Synthesio! And we hope this collaboration will continue for the mutual benefit of both academics and industries through sharing insights and knowledge in this digital world.

PS. Please share your feedback or queries regarding building dashboard etc., if any, via the comment thread attached to this posting. Thanks!

#DeleteUber, Why?

A former Uber employee’s disturbing claims of workplace sexism reignite calls to #deleteUber

https://www.recode.net/2017/2/20/14666572/uber-sexism-susan-fowler-delete-uber

One of our group projects looks at UBER as their choice of organization. So this news regarding their gender discrimination issue grabs my attention.

This issue came as moral issues regarding UBER, and its impact is getting increasingly bigger. And the criticism  seems to spread like a wildfire.
Uber is IT technology that looks smart and innovative. This kind of image and human values are are heavily related to “silicon valley liberal mainstream,” yet this sexism issue appears to clearly hurt their image and ignite a massive boycott,  which has disrupted their business.

Uber is not the only IT tech company who has faced this kind of criticism and boycotting. In its early days, Google also faced a similar sexism issue with the revelation of an internal document by an anonymous staff member .

A Google employee inflames a debate about sexism and free speech

https://www.economist.com/news/business/21726078-sacked-james-damore-has-become-hero-alt-right-google-employee-inflames-debate-about

How do you think this ethical consumerism, especially regarding gender sensitivity, could be managed on social media and through effective engagement with the public?

What kind of follow-up messages should be heard by the consumers?

What makes this kind of issue one of moral inequity and social injustice beyond mere gender politics?

Hope to see your thoughts and comments! Any thoughts would be welcomed.

Kyu

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Please introduce yourself to your classmates! Show the real you!

Hi Guys,

I am impressed by the effort you put into our opening essay overall.

I could read your hearts and minds, and your passion about this course.

I just want to share some thoughts for your better engagement with readers, for instance, you might have to write this kind of essay to demonstrate your interests to concerned parties in a real-life business or academic project.

I have seen a lot of overlap in your essays—that is some boilerplate quotes and conventional stances regarding social media.

These are some examples below,

  • Social media can empower us in many ways…
  • I will like to be able to gain more in-depth knowledge on social media to help individuals and organizations to achieve their goals….
  • We need to embrace social media revolution….

Other than just stating about the change in the WORLD, please say something more on yourself and go straight to the points as your reader/audience would be able to pay only limited time to read your content as they’re bound to have been bombarded with content.

 

 

Another issue I saw in a lot of essays across the board is that your personal connection to or investment in the issue was not explained.

For example, many students seemed to pick F&B as their choice of organization as this business category appears to be most affected by the social media engagement and digital marketing.

But F&B is a hard sell, and you need to invest more time and effort as to questions—why F&B? and in what ways do you think you are relevant to this issue and capable of the problem solving, if any? Other than just stating a dry fact that F&B need social media, please expand on why YOU are interested in and why it is important to YOU.

 

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Be personal and unique! Just be yourself and be real. In that way you will be the most creative and interesting person you can be.

 

One way to show more of your personal investment and unique critical thinking is to raise questions about things you find confusing or troubling regarding the issue.

Or you can state your personal history and experiences where you’ve realized the importance or value of your social media.

Or you could simply confess that you don’t fully understand or agree with a general consensus, such as “social media is increasingly important in our lives!”

If you want to confront conventional beliefs, you’ll have to think through your reasoning to convince yourself and others, right? That can be a great way to show personal engagement with the issue and find concerns worth exploring.

This courses might provide you some insights and rationale why or why NOT social media is important or might NOT be that effective way to your business and personal goals thus things should be turned around.

To me, social media is an effective communication tool to understand the “change” in society, “changes” in the way people think and behave. I have seen social media empower us as it provides a personal broadcasting channel, so people now tend to think in a more “self-centric” way than ever.

Also as we are more connected. We are responding to social issues more timely manner. However, issues can be volatile, and thus it is very hard to create sustainable relationship with one another.

So I continue to update this course with more diverse real-life cases, and more in-class activities and assignments will be given to create engagement and connect your personal interests with the class content. The readings are more of a classic framework or baseline, as fundamental and critical questions remained unsolved, but my in-class lecture materials are updated with more diverse and current real-life issues and cases.

Also, I updated my lecture slides with more text than previous ones to help your easy understanding about the content. Yet, visual aids also will be provided to draw quick attentions and intuitions to the content. And this approach is aligned with how infographics serve these days.

 

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Infographics make complex information eye catching, shareable and easily digestible.

 

My aim for this class is to help students to be more STRATEGIC on social media, to be both “fascinating content makers” as well as “strategic relationship managers” simultaneously.

I believe we could be and should be both attractive and wise with our social media strategies… and we can learn through examining a diverse range of previous cases and principles and frameworks.

What were the initial questions that opened social media era, what were the issues and concerns society had to face with the advent of social media, and what are still ongoing and unsolved issues?

Please introduce yourself with regards to your “interest” and personal “history” regarding this class’ main topics encompassing MNC’s global marketing, political comm, crisis comm. and small and medium-sized enterprises and so forth.

There is no right or wrong way to express yourself on social media, but we all know there always attractive things and boring things in the eyes of social media audience. Similarly, keep your audience in mind as you introduce yourself.

Don’t waste your space and words just to portray really obvious and general things about social media. Don’t be too unnecessarily lengthy. Keep it simple and to the points in accordance to your audiences’ attention span.

Do be genuine and sincere, which will help your audience connect with you.

Kyu

 

The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy

In the past semester, we learnt how to devise and craft social media strategies for firms by looking at both internal factors such as the firm’s manpower, networks and advertising competency, and external factors such as consumer purchase behaviours and crisis management, with a focus on the firm’s employees and their actions.

However, a commentary titled “The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy” offered a different perspective on social media strategy by focusing on the CEO and how their social media presence affects their firms. Neal (2017) stated that CEOs who were active on social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter are better at cultivating networks, make better decisions and are in general, more influential and “in the future, social media savvy may no longer be something that’s “nice-to-have” for prospective CEOs. Instead, it could be a powerful selection criterion that helps companies to identify CEOs who are well-prepared to lead” (Neal, 2017). That being said, we must also consider social media in the Asian content in determining whether such a move is viable for CEOs in Asia as users in Korea and China are more inclined to the role of producers and sharers while users in Japan and Singapore value anonymity and tend to be commenters and watchers.

In addition, Neal (2017) raised an example on how Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky crowdsourced for suggestions on Twitter on Christmas Day in 2016 and this is in line with a few of the concepts we discussed in class. The first being the Magnet strategy where the firm establishes a two-way communication by involving the customers and making them a part of the business and the second being the IMC strategy where this is similar to the Blendtec case study in the sense that the audience is also able to talk back and the CEO is used as a mechanism to build relationships.

All in all, it was not only interesting to see the importance of social media in a firm’s performance and how the impact starts from within, but also nice to be able to apply the frameworks learnt in class to analyse such issues.

References:
Neal, S. (2017, April 13). Op-Ed: The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/13/the-surprising-reason-why-ceos-should-be-social-media-savvy.html

Australia Stakeholder Management Specialist, Penny Townley visit to COMM346

“Social media is a valuable tool not only to identify issues and key stakeholders on a project but also to enhance public participation thereby create positive and solid relationship with them”, said Penny Townley of Penny Townley’s Environment Services.

Ms Townley, COMM346’s honored Guest Speaker (29-30 Sept 2016), flew from Brisbane, Australia to lecture on “Australian infrastructure and social media.”

Throughout her extremely valuable lecture, Ms. Townley shared her more than three decades of experience in the field as an executive leader in communication.  Amongst other aspects she outlined major frameworks for stakeholder engagement models applicable to various projects including the International Association for Public Participation Spectrum. She explained and discussed how social media development has facilitated two-way engagement with key stakeholders. And – along with key guiding principles and frameworks – she elaborated on the role of social media in not only engaging the public, but also reflecting their voice, in the many infrastructure projects occurring such as Australia’s Sydney Metro, Northwest Rail Link and Barangaroo.

Ms Townley focuses on the key value of social media, especially in building understanding about the value of the project, as a listening post and educative communication tool, and in tackling the severity of crisis via social media trending during the disaster.

Of high interest during her extended lecture, Ms. Townley enlightened COMM346 about how digital media tools have contributed to online public or civic engagement needs. An example was the online consultation solution EngagementHQ, dedicated to helping government and private sector organizations to provide meaningful voice to their citizens. In 2015 alone, Bang the Table’s software EngagementHQ was used in 2000+ online citizen participation projects in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PPaq3e7m2U)

Ms Townley also introduced AtHoc, a secure enterprise platform for crisis communication within and across organizations for personnel safety and business resilience. (http://www.athoc.com/)

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Ms. Townley’s work spans infrastructure, environment, planning, education, health, social and professional services, etc. She contributes to the industry’s professional standards and is one of six authors of Valuing Better Engagement, the Consult Australia guide to tendering for engagement services (published December 2013). COMM346 appreciates Penny Townley’s wonderful and generous guest lecture, and with it her sparkling enthusiasm for, and warmth towards young future professionals in academics!

PETA Opened a High-end Leather Store but…

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I came across an article through social media and felt the need to share it for a good cause. It’s pretty impressive for PETA to come up with such genuine and viral content that is definitely relatable to their crucial stakeholders. The video produced had about 1.4 million views in the last 2 weeks. Do take a look if you have not done so.

 

Majestic Social media

Hello Class!

How amazing is social media that even the Queen, at 90 years of age recognises the vast impact it has been able to achieve! To give more detail, she recently approved a relaunch of the royal website and has set up a YouTube and Twitter account to better engage the community and allow them to get a deeper understanding of her role and the British monarchy as a whole. The main purpose of the Royal Family’s Twitter account is to allow members of the general public to personally communicate with the family. Interestingly, the announcement of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was first done through their Twitter account: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton – Clarence House, November 2010”. Truly how times have changed. This shows how social media usage should not be limited to individuals, corporations and companies, but it also relevant for governments and ruling families. In fact, this example shows us the pervasiveness of social media and that many companies are still failing to engage their customers and the general public when they dismiss the importance of having a presence online or when they fail to use these platforms effectively. What a shame. Time to up their game.

Darshini