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The science of retail therapy

What mood we’re in affects a lot of things, from the quality of our work to physiological aspects of all kinds, to numerous factors related to what we buy and how much money we’re willing to part with when caught up in the passion of the moment. Throwing caution to the wind financially when we’re in touch with our feelings has been thoroughly analyzed in a new report, the first of its kind.

 

Biometrics for public relations

 

The study of 900 people confirm how our purchasing decisions are affected by times when we get caught up in of elation, sadness, or the need to escape. Outlets are needed. When people reach out with their heart, they have an increased likelihood of finding their wallet. Sales of all the products tracked in the study experienced a surge of some kind. Everything from household cleaning products to snacks like potato crisps and even motor vehicles showed significant connections between emotions, brand value and content. While feelings of sadness were found to boost food and beverage sales over 15 per cent of the time, emotions involving some aversion or disgust boosted sales of detergents and related cleaning products by over 10 per cent, while cars benefited from feelings associated with adventure.

 

A boon for marketers

 

Neuroanalytical lab research tested and found strong associations between a chase scene in one TV show and signage for an all-terrain vehicle, and another fictional scene involving a tender moment between a mother and child. The adage “you are what you read” checks out in terms of the content we take in related to purchasing decisions. Advertisers would do well to take note and, with new confidence, place their products in places where they’ll always thought to have maximum effect.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Travel with your face

Commuters in China are gliding through the air – four metres off the ground, to be exact – with the greatest of ease, thanks to new facial-recognition technology that has been synched up with in the subway system in the north-central city of Yinchuan, bringing a degree of greater automation to the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Trial runs have run smoothly and are being heralded as one more example of Chinese industry and electronic potential. Engineers and government officials say more systems are expected to be introduced throughout the country. Guangzhou in southern China recently also rolled out smile-activated technology in a couple of metro stations in a pilot system that also shows promise of being able to be widely adapted.

 

Huawei rides high

 

Created by hi-tech transportations firm BYD in cooperation with China’s global telecom firm Huawei, Yinchuan’s metro system represents an exciting future of possibilities for the smartphone manufacturer, which stands at the forefront of a global revolution, in which Chinese IT technology continues to provide global leadership in innovative systems for digital marketing and sales automation.

 

A boon for advertisers

 

With needing to pay for tickets less of a chore and topping up all the easier, commuters will have more time to consider how to spend their income in a country rapidly becoming cashless. Coupled with e-business giant Alibaba opening mega-shops using similar facial-recognition technology to make financial transactions smoother in stores as well as online, the future is very much now when it comes to convenience for buyers and those who want to advertise products and services to travellers in a growing area of public places. Alibaba also recently opened its first store in Europe, as the firm continues making inroads into new markets in developed nations.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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A call for clarity in digital marketing

Newspapers, media corporations with online presences and newer digital platforms often voice concerns that the unclear, unregulated nature of the ways in which ads are placed these days makes it difficult to rely on ad revenues. Inefficiency and high costs are other commonly heard complaints. A handful of big players wants to make the rules of the game fairer.

 

Lot$ at $take

 

Sixteen big firms in advertising, IT and media recently made a collective call for more clarity in their industry, so that money could be more reliably spent and tracked and ROI becomes more of a reliable quantity and less of an e-mystery. The big-name companies, more usually accustomed to being rivals, are working together to help add some transparency and fairness to tracking in regards to how money is dropped in the advertising supply chain, which has more missing links today than ever before. A call for a renewed commitment to fair trade practices and verification of claims and content is growing louder.

 

Less bang per buck

 

Before the digital revolution, publishers could bank on making around 85 cents out of every dollar spent on advertising. That percentage per ad for the publishers has been reduced by more than half according to some estimates. This big drop in advertising income for media corporations takes on even greater significance when combined with how there is a burgeoning multitude of platforms for getting messages out, not to mention the ever-present pressure to reboot their relevance for the long-term.

 

More persuasive PR, please

 

The countermove comes as part of the multi-pronged action that will be needed to short up trust in consumers, who have grown even more circumspect in regards to claims made by companies and celebrity endorsers. Brand loyalty has diminished. Peer reviews and C2C support is at an all-time high. Buyers are turning to bloggers, the best of whom are somehow managing to carve out a reputation for integrity and valid information in an Information Age becoming increasingly mired in fake news.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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A digital marketing prescription for Big Pharma

Everyone’s on social media – or just about. As more and more companies find ways to tap new markets and maximise ROI for existing ones, healthcare is one major industry that is slow in coming around to making full use of its digital marketing potential. Many of the biggest medical-supply corporations, medicine makers and other firms profiting from the multi-billion healthcare industry, have been slow to truly make their mark online, despite being sharply IT-focused in so many other ways, according to a new report.

 

Upping the e-dosage

 

The report detailing the Internet-based activities of 25 multinational pharmaceutical companies reveals that their use of social media leaves much to be desired, considering how normalised the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become the new generation and in global society. Although many big companies may take some steps that have become common now like offering a regularly updated blog, oftentimes they neglect to take simple steps like providing local online presences in key markets. The study recommends that mega-firms take a look at their competitors and see what they’re up to online, and especially social media websites.

 

Getting a second opinion

 

To an industry that specialises in providing relief and peace of mind and body to people who may suddenly want to become instant experts in a particular disease or condition, many healthcare-related corporations have a surprisingly limited range of options when it comes to learning about what they offer. There’s no doubt that with a bit more attention applied to a fuller range of digital platforms, providers of services and those seeking them can find many more points of connection.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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When closed pubs get good reviews

Give me your tired, your hungry, your countless netizens in search of the best options in hotels and restaurants… Web-based providers of information all but promise instant bliss these days, for those who know what they’re looking for. Generally reliable information on places to eat and sleep is plentiful, conveniently categorised and sorted by numerical scores. But the very size of the system creates room for misinformation to hide in wait, lurking at times amusingly, suspiciously, until truth seekers stumble upon brick-and-mortar updates that AI still finds hard to detect, for now.

 

Sunday roasts and ghosts

 

Four years ago, Charles Goodall purchased a pub once known as the Bridge Inn in Middleton-in-Teesdale, England, with the plan of knocking it down and building homes on the premises. For a period of about three years and ending in 2016, the pub received TripAdvisor reviews, with comments on such savories as the Sunday roast, and how the service of the wait staff sometime left something to be desired. The only problem is that the establishment closed its doors in 2011. Goodall dutifully contacted TripAdvisor and the pub was in time updated to let the world know that its true status. TripAdvisor acknowledged in the 2018 Transparency Report that it had caught around one million reviews it deemed to be fake before they got a chance to be uploaded onto the site. All of the more than 60 million posts reviewing venues on TripAdvisor in 2018 underwent a fraud detector. Over 2.5 million of these reviews went through additional screening by a team that specialises in checking content concerns.

 

Bon appétit but beware

 

The nature of the way we find such basic services such as hotels, meals, and a growing array of products and services, has forever changed. Convenience is king and options abound. The online world makes it infinitely easier to get around and order a stunning variety of things, with minimum hassle and delay. But there’s still room for improvement to the system, and misleading reviews are a part of the overall phenomenon of fake news, so a little double-checking and prudence is never a bad idea, especially when the kinks are being worked out.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Lie detectors wanted

The proliferation of fake news has led to renewed calls for fair-minded institutions and individuals with the integrity to keep us informed about what really happened. In the multi-platform information age, while the amount of raw data – and big data – continues growing exponentially, the value of all of these facts, factoids and downright mistruths are coming into question. Our trust in the veracity of what we see and hear has significantly eroded. New methods are needed if mistrust is to be kept in check.

 

Faking it well

 

Younger people are getting news from social media. Traditional media has gone online too. Digital marketers have a stunningly rich array of ways in which they can spread messages. But a lack of standardisation and fact-checking all around has led to more skepticism. The way in which messages can spread has increased, while the likelihood of our believing the information thrust at us has declined. Photoshopped images were just the beginning. With deepfakes and AI getting more sophisticated by the day, and sites where stories and videos shared lack oversight and regulatory bodies filtering posts, it is becoming more of a challenge to determine what’s real.

 

Reality check

 

Propaganda has always been with us. Hollywood magic has long dazzled us with stories that we like to pretend are real, at least for a couple of hours of suspended disbelief. But now the art of make-believe has become easier and cheaper to pull off, and available to the masses. The potential societal impact is significant. Media organisations, PR agencies and other outlets with a reputation for telling it like it is now have new roles not only as representatives of particular viewpoints, but as truth tellers, in a day and age in which the truth itself has become the most precious of commodities. They may thus increasingly take on roles as agenda setters, to counteract technoractic tendencies have allowed for information to be shared with the greatest of ease, but without the fact checking that many now crave.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Putting the R in ROI

Not all pitches lead to contracts, not all “sure things” guarantee results and not all leads lead to sales. When investments in time, energy and hard, cold cash don’t add up to what you had hoped for – or even the chance to break even, in some cases – it may be time to recheck some of the fundamentals and shore up the positives before venturing back into the wilderness.

 

Seal the deal

 

There are many non-invasive treatments for coaxing leads into verifiable results. Key among them is to know everything you can about a potential client, and present a package in such a way that appeals to them and their core and potential customers and core values. Once the hook has been dangled, make sure to follow up and sweeten the bait with additional incentives such as a sign-up discount, while finding a way to differentiate yourself from the competition with a unique selling point, and confidence (even if it may be lacking now and then).

 

Just for starters

 

Let customers know that the deal they sign with is just the beginning and that things gets better the deeper the relationship with your company gets. ROI should increase in time as companies get to know each other and promote the kinds of connectivity between teams that boosts productivity. Initial conversations about the initial deal can also be complemented by inquires about the road ahead and potential future extension plans.

 

Impress online

 

How does your company’s website look these days? Does it use wording and formatting contribute to good SEO rankings? Is your firm represented well on social media sites? Make sure to have an online presence that is constantly up-to-date, easily logged on to, and smooth to interface with. Only when windows of opportunity are big and open for business can the future look more certain, and help compensate for when you need the occasional reboot.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Death-defying influence

How far will you go for that unforgettable photo that puts you far above – like, really far above – your garden-variety influencer? Kelly Castille and Kody Workman, a traveling couple passionate about exploring and dramatically documenting breathtakingly beautiful locales around the world and blogging as Positravelty, have done it again, coming up with an audacious photograph that defies belief. In a real cliffhanger, the mesmerising shot shows Kody firmly seated on terra firma, with his significant other appearing to have somehow just reached him after floating through on air to greet him. Beneath Kelly lies a great chasm.

 

Crazy or epic?

 

The gorgeously otherworldly setting for the duo’s latest jaw-dropping shot is the Laguna Humantay in the Peruvian Andes, a timeless land of rolling mists, deep and colourful gorges and nature at its wildest. Earlier this year, Kody briefly dangled Kelly above another abyss just beyond an infinity pool that also looked like the edge of the universe in an equally beautiful if rather more discovered holiday location: Bali. The couple says the drop was not as far as some say it looks, though. While the perfect selfie and opportunity to have it admired on social media has tempted a significant number of fame seekers to put themselves in provocative and at-time dangerous positions, that have sometimes resulted in death, Positraveltry says they always careful check environmental conditions to ensure that they are not endangering their lives.

 

On the edge of marketing

 

Positravelty’s philosophy behind the photo is classic marketing that creates conditions and a story that is hard not to talk about, no matter what your opinion on the safety factors may be. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, as the expression goes. The couple strikes an image of fearlessness, loudly applauding the notion of taking risks when warranted, tempting followers to channel their inner Indiana Jones, or at least engage in armchair escapism at home and, of course, remember to check their blog for the latest exciting adventure. “There is a difference between risking your life and taking a risk at having one,” they unapologetically ask. “We know which side we would rather be on, do you?”

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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NEVER FORGET THE HUMAN SIDE OF DIGITAL MARKETING

When it comes to communicating with your target audience it is of course obvious that you will need to use digital media and social media platforms to connect with them. But how you connect is the most important part. Behind all the data, research, and insights is one important fact – you’re talking to humans. They are the ones looking at the communications your brand puts out into the marketplace, so it’s important to always communicate with them in an authentic manner, you need to earn their attention and that won’t happen if you don’t understand what they want to see, hear, or read.

 

EVERYONE LOVES A STORY

 

Since the dawn of time people have told stories and when they hear a good one they not only remember it they share it and tell others. This same basic principle applies to the stories that brands tell to their audiences. When developing a story you need to take a step back and ask yourself a few simple questions.

 

  1. Will it resonate?
  2. Is it worth sharing?
  3. Is it memorable?
  4. Will it create a moment?

 

A well told story should resonate with the audience it is aimed at, and if it does that it will be memorable and worth sharing. Moreover, it should create a moment in someone’s day and that moment will have your brand attached to it.

 

TELL IT LIKE IT IS

 

Ensure your story is well written and crafted, this may seem like an obvious point but all too often you see pieces of communications from brands that don’t seem to understand this one simple truth – a well told story is a memorable story.

 

GIVE YOUR STORY A PULSE

 

Make sure it has some life in it, you don’t want your story to have a short life span, it needs to be able to live and breathe long enough to still be relevant for the duration of your campaign. Your goal is to ensure that when it is shared by others that it is still pertinent and thus will still be effective.

 

GREAT STORIES GROW

 

All the best stories have chapters, some never stop. Once your story is launched you’ll need to support it with more ‘chapters’. Once people have heard about the initial story you’ll want to follow up with more to support it and keep it top of mind. There’s no point in having a launch that gets everyone’s attention and then suddenly going silent. Once you have piqued an audience’s interest you need to keep giving them more. If your story resonated with them at launch they’ll be happy to hear more about it…curiosity is yet another human trait.

 

There’s a reason we call ourselves here at Vivaldi the Human & Digital Public Relations Agency, that’s because we know one cannot succeed without the other.

 

Joseph Henry is the founder and CEO of Vivaldi Public Relation Agency.

He is an expert communicator and influencer who has been helping leading companies achieve their strategic objectives in Asia for the last 20 years.

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Share this

This just in: platforms come and go but it’s what you say that matters most. In a new report summarising the opinions of journalists, content quality topped the list of key KPIs, receiving one of every four votes. IT matters were also of concern to media-industry professionals, specifically meeting in-house goals of regularly publishing a particular number of original articles online, and the need to have and maintain a robust social media presence.

 

Please pass the press release

 

Most journalists agree that the most reliable sources for extracting information for the articles they write are press releases. PR agencies should take note and remember how their key products are being used if they are ever accused of being spin doctors. In an age with sources of veracity less clear and questions on authenticity on the rise, earning and maintaining a good reputation is a rarer commodity. Social media platforms are by comparison trusted as the best source of news by 10 per cent of the media.

 

Business as usual

 

In addition to the primary role of content, a lot of classic nuts and bolts of journalism remain in place, despite significant shifts in how information is presented and shared. Investigative research, in-depth interviews with and quotes from contacts already known and trusted by journalists remain highly valued. In terms of what’s being seen and consumed, also retaining high popularity are photos with a high resolution, videos and infographics. Journalists also value their own contacts with fellow members of the media. Even in an age of differentiated audiences and loss of advertising income, and beyond readership metrics, a classic, content-focused core remains most relevant to storytelling.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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