pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Who do you think you’re influencing?

In a wild west town called Influence, self-made people with genuine followers are everywhere, as well as a fair share of hucksters, charlatans, and big-talking wannabes. Some deliver what they say they can. Many don’t. Oftentimes, the truth is somewhere in between, and companies need to be shrewd in sizing up the good, the less than good, and the genuinely influential aspects of people contacting them and interested in forming ‘partnerships’… Meanwhile in the Philippines, one resort was so fed up with dodgier influencers looking for freebies that it decided it was high time to take a stand.

 

Even in paradise, please try to ‘actually work’

 

The Banana Beach Club resort in the surfers’ paradise of Siargao won many admirers (and a few critics), when it fired out a sharply barbed missive worded like this: “Help out there. We are receiving many messages regarding collaborations with influencers, Instagram influencers. We kindly would like to announce that White Banana is not interested to ‘collaborate’ with self-proclaimed ‘influencers’”. Kindly, but firmly, the resort zinged, “And we would like to suggest to try another way to eat, drink, or sleep for free. Or try to actually work.”

 

The Siargao way

 

Noble-minded but less followed influencers may not be welcome at the Banana Beach Club, while brash-sounding pros who actually provide results will find doors open, at least a crack. A word of advice to those asking to collaborate but less than capable of bringing home the KPIs: companies are genuinely interested in those delivering real digital influence. But if your PR experience is more big ideas, and less of a track record, be ready for rejection. That being said, it never hurts to ask.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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Singapore considers a war on fake news

Singapore’s new draft legislation targeting fake news, while sounding promising on the surface, opens up a range of significant issues and grey areas. “False statements of fact” would be illegal under the proposed law. Anti-censorship critics and supporters of freedom of speech worry that nobler conspiracy theories and strong opinions might be censured along with more blatant mistruths and hate speech, and that at any rate it shouldn’t government being the one with ultimate authority on deciding what gets a pass and what’s deemed unfit to be shared. The differences between misinformation, libel and things best not shared at all are open to question.

 

Who should judge?

 

Whether the likes of Google or national governments are better institutions for making tough judgment calls on what constitutes fake news or false advertising is a legitimate question. Whether news articles, social media posts and advertisements should come under the scrutiny of best practices, more stringent rules and regulations or actual laws is the question at hand. Current regulations in Singapore, as elsewhere, are already used to target certain forms of expression. Under the proposed legislation, additional stiff penalties a fine up to S$100,000 or, up to 10 years behind bars, or both, could be applied.

 

Digital mistruths to be targeted

 

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill certainly gives pause for thought on exactly what might or might not be info which is considered to be “prejudicial”, against “public tranquility”, against the spirit of “friendly relations” with other countries, or “an inauthentic online account or controlled by a bot”. Free speech, with effects on digital marketers’ spicier statements on the products and services they promote, could be muffled out of concern of not wanting to come anywhere close to being on the wrong side of the law. If the proposed law becomes official, digital marketers will likely have to find out for themselves exactly what will be allowed under the law.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Gen Z streaming and spending up a storm

Next-gen digital natives dubbed “Generation Z” are getting more out of the online experience than anyone ever has, finding movies and series to stream, a growing array of products and services to buy on cashback-friendly sites, and wanting orders delivered ASAP. Beyond the communications revolution triggered by email and then chat-friendly social media, today’s online landscape is more like the conveniences-loaded world of tomorrow that’s been talked of for so long.

 

Focused and female

 

A few new major international studies out this year show how Generation Z is coming of age, even savvier in navigating the online world than Millennials, and driven by females. Nearly two out of three female Gen Z members in the US bought clothes from Amazon in recent months, and rank speed and convenience higher than brand and even price. Digital marketers out to cultivate relationships with them will have to showcase their best incentives to cultivate lasting relationships with these young women online, who are also more willing to experiment with less-known brands, and have less association with brand loyalty.

 

Getting informed by social media

 

Current events are learned of on social media by at least a quarter of the online population, studies show. Beyond the friendship groups that online communities bring together, the news aspect of social media is growing and becoming more standard, for learning of what’s on, performing the role of listings magazines with greater frequency and efficiency.

 

It’s “Generation Z”

 

Google Trends stats show that “Generation Z” is the name most associated for now with anyone born during the last 20 years or so. Marketers, take note.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Intellectual property violations, imitation as flattery, and the PR in between

“There’s only one Colonel in Chicken Town.” This is how a narrator wraps up a new, much-talked about ad for KFC UK, in which Colonel Sanders styled like the Godfather, accompanied by the film’s famous theme, drives through tough streets teeming with fake KFCs. Instead of taking on the copycats directly, he awes them simply by fearlessly cruising through their neighborhood on his way to the real KFC. There he gets down to work, making the fried chicken that the brand is renowned for. It’s a clear message that the original master still has the most street cred.

 

Pirates of the Information Age

 

Intellectual Property (IP) and other violations regarding logos, films, songs, secret recipes and other creations can cause significant financial loss. Pirates have gone mainstream on platforms like YouTube, aided by technology that is complicit in diminishing the original work of creators. Grey areas have sprouted up everywhere online and elsewhere in regards to whom should profit from what ideas and products and to what extent, in a culture in which IP sharing has been normalized.

 

Amplified with intention

 

The KFC commercial’s message is thematically integrated into posters featuring the logos of the imitators, with similar all-caps lettering reminiscent of KFC, but instead declaring DFC, RFC, LFC, etc. KFC signs off at the bottom of the posters with “Guys, we’re flattered”, taking stock of the situation and spinning a negative into a positive with a classic comeback. Taking on any issue with the style and poise of a grand master creates a lasting impression – especially if you’re iconic enough to back it up.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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PR Stories you can count on

Language alone won’t help content marketers win and retain customers. Telling the kind of story that will truly resonate with online buyers and potential ones is also a numbers game. Data is everywhere, and fascinating co-relations are emerging all the time. The way to make sense of these trends requires an eye for lifting prime examples of them from a sea of information, sharp summary skills, and a knack for telling tales not only with words but with numbers too.

 

Statistics – ideally coming from some original research and analysis as well – lends validity to opinions expressed, and gives a harder news edge to any text. 75% of business leaders say that when weighing decisions on whether to buy from particular providers of goods and services, reliable research is influential in helping them make up their minds.

 

I brake for numbers

 

Monetary figures related to cost invested or ROI, or just about anything, really, lends validity to text that otherwise may seem interestingly thematic, but ultimately abstract for lacking hard data. Numbers give readers and viewers information to add to the key messages that they form in their minds, and reinforce a story’s main message.

 

Visualize this

 

The brain processes graphic images around 60 times quicker than words. A few words employed as labels in colorful pie charts, infographics and tables can convey ideas more dramatically, clearly and memorably than words alone. Images can therefore lend credibility in an age where it’s needed: a survey of 1,000 PR professionals responded that getting customers and audiences to trust you was one of the most significant challenges they faced when making marketing campaigns. Seeing is believing.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Creating content that delights

Even as public relations companies attempt to find out and deliver the kind of content that consumers want, they are attempting to better their techniques that will help them do so. If this sounds like putting the cart before the horse, that’s because it is. But the alternative to not taking risks in creating content is falling behind in a highly fluid online marketing scene.

 

Disconnected, but forging on

 

While there is a significant disconnect between the perceived effectiveness of content between creators and audiences, and how effective content is having on delivering results, plans are underway to make improvements. More moving, meaningful brand experiences are desired, but the devil is in the digital details as to how this can be achieved – and tracked. A new study shows that marketers are focusing on creating content that demonstrably delivers ROI results, is efficiently managed, and makes use of more compelling visuals. Only that without better ROI results, content that can be seen as effectively managed and is visually exciting may not be either, actually, and would necessitate a return to the drawing board. A stunning 95% of content on brands is ignored by audiences, according to one estimate.

 

Tell me a story that I should like even more than you do

 

So what’s a good PR team to do? Tell a great story that inspires consumers to pay for the products and services being delivered, of course. But until the secrets of how to deliver exactly what keeps consumers entertained and paying up, by teasing useful information from big data, the disconnect between content providers and audiences will remain. It’s no wonder PR workers are seen as having jobs ranked more stressful than most, when the kinds of precise results asked for by clients are attempted to be met on channels and platforms through content that often is so hard to define.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Planet-friendly public relations

In a world awash in reports on plastic garbage patches, chemical-laced rivers and scary climate changes generated by human activity, consumers are becoming more willing to spend on products and services from firms that minimize their carbon footprints. Brands are scrambling to adjust course and show the leanness of their impact on Earth, some even pledging to become carbon-neutral in time. The race is on to boost corporate reputations and the worth of their social currency along with the health of the world.

 

Green planet, good PR

 

One study that was held in nine countries shows that consumers, if given a choice of products with similar quality and price details offered from different companies, would rank environmental policies higher than innovation and design or brand loyalty in deciding which company to buy from. Companies are beginning to think of going green as self-CSR, and realize that not only is more breathable air and less waste ultimately good for themselves and the world around them, but makes economic sense. Cleaner technology and environmantal initiatives attract customers who seek out corporations aligned with their altruistic values. Growing percentages of voters are in synch with these opinions of consumers too: in Thailand’s recent general election, a poll show that nearly nine in 10 voters expressed greater interest in parties with stronger environmental policies.

 

A planet functioning healthily

 

Making informed, planet-friendly decisions is an increasingly recognized part of ethical practices in business, politics and and across the spectrum of human activities. Ecological decisions can led to tax deductions and generate free PR that can help attract new customers, especially among the more environmentally conscious younger generations who are the buyers and businesspeople of tomorrow.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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In search of SEO

The calculus of optimizing a company’s online potential seems simple enough: get more people coming to your website and engaging in activity there that will boost profits. Only that there are many hurdles to overcome, due to lack of prepaedness for optimizing the great potential of SEO. And the fact that the rules of the game are subject to change.

 

Staying atop the digital dogpile

 

Getting and remaining listed highly on Google’s first page of search results is getting more difficult, as companies are becoming increasingly competitive in making sure their online presence is as good as it gets, led by attractive, relevant content in synch with what big search engines are asking for. Similar challenges, competitiveness and expense limits the effectiveness of click-baiting people into visiting your website. Good SEO comes down to an effective deployment of winning content, and good use of meta tags and keyword targets. A new study of small businesses indicates that the number one SEO metric used by small businesses is traffic from the likes of Google and other major search engines, while also significant are conversions and leads, as well as use of backlinks.

 

SEO, s’il vous plait

 

The study shows that only a third of small businesses have a fully developed plan for boosting SEO, but that by the end of this year, roughly half of all companies will have such a strategy. Over six out of 10 of the small businesses surveyed say that social media marketing is the most common SEO booster. Also important to the small firms was having a website that was easy to interface with smartphones, and investing more heavily in digital marketing.

 

Putting the O in SEO

 

As if all that wasn’t challenging enough, some observers say that by the end of next year, half of all online searches may be voice-activated. This is one more area in which many small businesses need to play catch up in, if Internet searches related to their products and services are to be anything close to optimal.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Brilliant content! But is it effective?

Communications professionals are losing confidence in their own messaging. Less than 10 percent of digital marketers view their own content as effective, according to a new study. In order for clients’ aspirations to be realized, a more efficient delivery on key goals is desperately needed. But given the disruptive uncertainties in terms of what actual audiences are and what they want, confidence in the tracking and effectiveness of the messages reaching them is likely to remain low.

 

How influential are today’s influencers?

 

Although PR industry professionals, companies and customers all see the value of content marketing, and all the more in the age of digital information, the problem is making and tracking effective messaging.

 

Even in an era where big data is beginning to yield a stunning array of numbers, much remains a mystery. How successful was that clever campaign in driving a company’s impressive profits? What’s the correlation between lower ROI and another campaign from another company that looked cool but is still ultimately hard to track? Would profits have been even lower without that campaign’s messaging, or did it in fact drive profits? Marketers simply cannot clearly differentiate successful campaigns from less effective digital messaging, and rely too much on circumstantial evidence like customer perceptions. The percentage of marketers lacking confidence in the effectiveness of their content has nearly doubled from around one third just two years ago to nearly two thirds today.

 

From e-disruption to a world of innovation

 

As always though, opportunity knocks. To the integrated online marketing teams that can track and broadcast the effectiveness of their messages in reaching the right audiences and delivering desired results, great long-term rewards await.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

 

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The AI in PR

Public relations professionals are at a loss when it comes to detailing their long-term plans for Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will be a game changer across the industry. Although much of the talk on AI is just that, regarding the impending gutting of people-loaded departments so machines can get down to work, or how AI stands to solve just about every problem and almost automate profits, there are some companies actually diving headfirst into this brave new world.

 

It’s already here

 

AI is happening. It’s not just hype. Several companies are taking advantage of AI’s rich potential for doing, well, exactly what it’s meant for, actually. So far, the fear that it will start getting out of control to the detriment of human employees so far seems largely just hype. One major social media site has been using AI to enhance user experiences for more than 10 years. Its users have grown accustomed to the spot-on suggestions for connections and preferences, and largely without knowing about the AI-aided forces behind their positive experiences. Thanks to AI, the website also boasts enhanced privacy features.

 

AI service to the max

 

Another company successfully making use of AI is ServiceMax, which, appropriately enough, provides software for (human) technicians tasked with maintaining and upgrading computers and coding for a wide variety of clients with vastly differing IT needs. A single website that could be accessed to bring together all these variants, which the company now uses, was created from a model using the same AI methodologies that bested a human in the mind-testing game of Go.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

 

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