pr digital agency bangkok thailand

THE PR WORLD IS CHANGING BUT THE STORY REMAINS THE SAME

Everyone loves a good story, it’s human nature, and one of the core deliverables of any public relations agency is to deliver stories for their clients. But with the shifting sands of the media landscape and everchanging consumer behavior and the ways they engage with brands on digital devices via their social media accounts and online media platforms it is imperative that those stories capture the attention of the audience and drive conversion.

 

Everyone is a media outlet

 

Traditionally a public relation agency’s role was to pitch factual and detail laden stories to journalists and editors in an age where traditional media platforms such as print and television reigned supreme, but then along came the Internet of Things (IoT) and everything changed. Consumers now have much more control over what they read and how they react to those messages, in a sense every person is now a media outlet of one. Add to that the introduction of social media influencers and we have an entirely new media maze to navigate. So how can we connect with consumers who are confronted with mass messaging every day and ensure we capture their attention with our client’s stories? The answer is to get more creative.

 

All eyes on digital

 

Attention spans are short and people are confronted with more content on their screens than they can actually consume, so the stories we deliver for clients need to be condensed and eye capturing to ensure engagement. We’re living in a world where we need to slow down the scroll or swipe actions to get our stories seen and read. Developing owned media with visual tools such as video, GIFs, and easily digestible infographics to maximize that brief glimpse we get from those staring at their phones is one way we can engage more effectively.

 

The new ROI: Return On Intent

 

Every story needs to have a reason to be told, it needs to be delivering for the client’s brand and it has to have a reason to be of interest to the reader, it needs intent. To ensure the best results we must understand the behavior of the target audience. Analytics are imperative to achieve this goal, it gives us insights into the content people are reading or skipping and what is influencing their purchasing decisions. With a number of data tools available to us today it is now much easier to calculate the ROI on digital campaigns.

 

The future is still being told

 

So what is the next chapter for the public relations industry? It could be summed up with a phrase we all know well – ‘same same but different’. We need to continue to be the masters of crafting engaging stories but we must be more creative in the ways we tell them.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

The rise of video SEO

Image may not be everything, but videos are often more fun to take a moment to be distracted by than text. Marketing experts know that using video helps websites rank more highly in terms of SEO. The authority of the website matters as well, in addition to various factors that will increase the professionalism of your videos. High quality video videos have been easily shot on smartphones for years now, and companies are slowly getting better about capturing images in short films that help project the image they want.

 

How to optimize

 

Having a website that’s already impressive helps. So does a good choice and use of platforms your videos are seen and available on beyond your website. Social media accounts like YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook are of course useful for generating awareness. Screenshots can be extracted from footage and used to help generate interest with a choice caption. If you don’t have a transcript yet, make one – this will make it easier for those who still prefer reading or use it part of the time. And do you offer a choice of languages?

 

Thumbnails matter

 

The video will get better play when it is the focus of the page and not lingering in corners. This makes for easier navigation as well. Another tech spec to be aware of is page-loading time. Since videos aren’t digested all in one go, and don’t lend themselves as effectively to scanning and scrolling through like website and texts, having an enticing and clear thumbnail image with an appropriate title is a must. If your video is about dining in a particular restaurant, don’t use a thumbnail featuring someone driving to the restaurant or something else indirectly related. But being human matters too. One marketing site found that thumbnails with a person were clicked on 30% more. Many tend to judge a book by its cover and a video by its thumbnail, so make sure to have an irresistible one.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

No cash, no problem

The 2018 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes indicates strong signs Thais are happy to forgo banknotes for the ease and convenience of digital payments. Eighty percent of people in the country surveyed for said they had tried using digital transactions systems last year, representing a boost of 50% in the number of respondents who had been asked the question a year before.

 

Less baht in hand, but more options

 

The trend is led by industry allowing for easier access to and promotion of payment systems involving debit and credit cards, QR payments and smartphone apps. The study says that 40% of Thais carry less currency notes that they did just two years ago, a rise of 15% among those who answered yes to this question in the previous survey. Besides convenience, safety was also cited as a key reason for the popular rise of cashless transactions. The shift in attitudes is also reflected in how 45% of respondents report that they could forgo cash for at least three days due to their increased familiarity with and the normalization of digital transactions. Stakeholders in various businesses are encouraged by the findings, and all the more galvanized to continue plans towards transforming Thailand into a cashless society.

 

No cash… No problem?

 

Companies are scrambling to align with the surge in online shopping – or should be. Cashback sites bringing together opportunities to buy a variety of products and services are making it just as easy to buy groceries as to book air tickets to just about anywhere. Yet for those on the margins, getting in on the trend remains challenging, when taking into account findings in the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2018, which reports that the richest 1% of Thais control two-thirds of the country’s wealth, a higher percentage than in any of the 40 countries covered in the report, and surge of almost 10% since the previous report. While the study also lists Thailand among a few countries as “notable cases for emerging wealth”, income equality is an issue to consider if society as a whole is to take full advantage of the benefits of a cash-free lifestyle.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

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

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

CSR as good PR

Over 75% of respondents in a recent survey expected business leaders to a have committed views on difficult issues the world is facing today. Companies are increasingly expected to have a positive impact not just on their workers and their families – which was the original intent of Corporate Social Responsibility – but on society. In addition, CSR has gone digital as much as anything else, with its effects able to be tracked, analyzed, reflected on and adjusted just like other KPIs.

 

Sustainable societies, sustainable companies

 

Another study reported that two out of three consumers will spend money on a brand that tracks and proves their sustainability. In the coming age of big data, in which customers’ buying patterns are clearer by their online activity, companies and other entities will also have information about their behavior publically accessible too, including carbon footprints, CSR activities and anything deemed worthy enough to turn up on Google.

 

Where CSR meets ROI

 

According to the 2015 Global CSR Study, 90% of consumers would choose not to patronize a company proven to have taking part in inappropriate business practices, and also expect companies to take a stand on environmental and social issues. The Reputation Institute found that while 40% of our decisions whether to buy something is based on what we think of a company’s products and services, 60% of those decisions come from what we think of the company itself. Reputation influences long-term financial stability, and all the more in a digital age, when privacy is under threat, and data can be manipulated. The last word in reputation is integrity, and remains as valuable as ever.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

The continuing saga of good storytelling in PR

The more that innovation delivers buyer-friendly breakthroughs, the more that disruption can wreak havoc. The larger databases become and enhance our buying options, the more confusing shopping online can become. The more we say we value authentic information, the more technology and media channels proliferate and make it easier for fake news to creep in. As social media platforms grow in number and complexity, switching off and detoxing from Internet addiction goes more mainstream.

 

Companies are scrambling to give customers the richer digital experiences they crave. The vastly growing quantity of information is helping fuel demand for quality. Through their brands, digital influencers and PR firms are competing in new ways, on new platforms, to hold and keep the attention of audiences. The content and depth of stories allows – and further encourages – content providers to engage with audiences in more meaningful, memorable ways.

 

The more channels expand, audiences fragment and attention spans fall, the more a unique story with heart is useful as a means for expanding influence and innovation for those who have a great message and the knowhow to spread it. A recent study by ad firm Hill Holliday evidences that customers are more likely to buy products and spend more on them when they are marketed along with an interesting story. This supports what the great majority of marketers think, that an integrated experience for customers across key platforms leads to greater customer satisfaction. When the message is compelling enough, the rest will often fall into place.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Streaming ‘Roma’, Influencing Oscar

In the latest earth-quaking, IT-led disruption to business as usual for movie lovers and the marketers who influence them, the biggest movie streaming website, Netflix, scored big at the Academy Awards with 10 nominations, and picked up big wins for best director and best foreign language film best for its made-for-laptops film “Roma”.

 

While the black-and-white, Spanish-language film could also be seen in theatres, the fact it was made by Netflix has industry professionals paying attention. The campaign supporting “Roma” was backed by a US$25-million PR blitz. Although panned by one big theatre chain as a “made-for-TV” movie after winning four Bafta awards, including film of the year, the move is just one more sign of how more people love staying at home to watch films.

 

Competition is fierce for the future of Hollywood. Netflix’s “‘Roma’ Experience Day” multi-channel public relations campaign amplified the novelty factor for the film with a sophisticated strategy featuring choice details such as chocolates stamped with the name of the film and augmented-reality entertainment in which attendees at a gala were superimposed into a scene from “Roma” that they could share later. While some say that the Netflix is ruining the film-going experience, the company’s recent PR coup shows that viewers are in charge, and they don’t have to go to the cinema to get premium entertainment, and don’t even have to wait a few months anymore for the official debut on small screens.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

CGI influencers and a tale as old as time

People have always loved a good story, and getting wrapped up in plots. Lines famously blurred in 1938, when the fictitious radio broadcast “War of the Worlds” caused real-world panic that aliens were actually on the offensive.

 

A real trend today is the rise of a new-gen, less-than-human digital influencers, who are having valuable input on brands and society. When popular Instagram influencer Lil Miquela came out as a CGI product of the imagination, it created a stir, as she had been presented as human before the revelation. Some who had suspected her of having a face looking seriously Photoshopped felt vindicated. Others saw her as simply a product of the IT-enhanced times of today. While never approaching the disruption and chaos of “War of the Worlds”, a sense of having been had was still perceptible once the truth was out. Lil Miquela still has 1.5 million Instagram followers. So does another new-age influencer, Pumpkin The Raccoon. Although in the animal’s case at least we knew all along it’s a gag.

 

When asked to tick the “I’m not a robot” box in a promo for #RobotProblems, Lil Miquela has a moment with her CGI self before a human friend ticks the box for her and then cocks her head and arches her eyebrow slightly. It’s irony. We’re all in on her act now. But with AI’s growth, possibilities for deception are on the rise, and digital influencers will need to have honest exchanges with the public if they are to retain their long-term influence and reputation.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Integrity, integrated

Two interesting trends in the public relations reinforce and strengthen each other, although on the surface they may seem, well, somewhat segregated. The first trend is customers and market forces combining to promote tech-savvy, multifaceted, fully integrated, digital PR campaigns that synch messages across platforms both online and old-school, to optimize KPI and ROI.

 

The other trend is for greater integrity. Following Nike’s “Believe in something” campaign featuring currently unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose well-known position against racism may have helped cost him a starting position in the NFL, sales for the iconic sports manufacturer shot up by six billion dollars. But when Gillette tried something similar, reimagining its “The Best a Man Can Get” tagline as “The Best Men Can Be” with an accompanying video in order to encourage men to be less sexist, the results were mixed. The video accompanying the new messaging turned off more many traditional customers and didn’t result of much of a sales bump. Although intentions may be noble, the bottom line in risky campaigns that come off as preachy might be to take Nike’s classic advice to “just do it”.

 

Worse still are off-message messages in Twitter storms from the likes of Tesla’s Elon Musk that go far and wide thanks to the well-integrated nature of communications today, but go down strangely in terms of integrity. Have something nice to say. And if you must be provocative, it pays to rebel with style, not with words that may come back to haunt you and your company’s reputation and value.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Delete, detox, drop out

The field of social studies covers a lot of warfare, so no one should be really be surprised when social media posts often stray into thoughts less reflective of higher instincts. To help users retain their online reputations and limit their real-world ramifications, Facebook recently unveiled the “remove for everyone” option, a feature that at one point only Mark Zuckerberg had. The handy upgrade allows users to delete Messenger chats that in retrospect they regret having posted.

 

In a world where thoughts lead to actions instantly transmitted to all your friends, family, Facebook friends or others who come across your less than fully thought out though most public posts, the timeless advice to keep in mind is to think before you say or write something rings true with renewed clarity.

 

While many will feel the need to reel in an errant post or Facebook Messenger text now and again, an increasing number are also making the final cut and deleting their Facebook accounts altogether. Still, this ultimate step remains a difficult one to take, despite calls for making it simpler in light of privacy concerns that have plagued the world’s biggest social media website by the Cambridge Analytica scandal regarding harvesting of the user profiles of millions of Facebook users and other concerns related to data privacy protection.

 

You are what you post. And at least until privacy concerns are more fully address, you’re online profiles may be revealing even more of yourself than you may feel comfortable about showing others.

 

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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