pr digital agency bangkok thailand

News designed to confuse and mislead

Misinformation has always been with us, but has never before had so many many real chances for liftoff.

 

Skeptical thinking and critical reasoning have taken a hit in an era when trust is just as important as ever, yet taken for granted when so much information is presented authoritatively. We’ve become lazy at fact checking – not that it was ever easy. Truth and lies mingle on digital platforms brimming with immediacy and confidence, working to state with authority that the information they help get across is accurate. Although we know this is not always the case, seeing is often believing. Over 60% of respondents in a recent survey expressed difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction in the news that they are consuming. Another report finds that seven out of 10 times, fake news ends up being retweeted than verifiable stories. Even when we try to distinguish what’s real, fiction ends up being more entertaining and worthy of sharing.

 

Freedom of expression and censoring where needed

 

YouTube is widely appreciated for its usefulness in providing free entertainment, though often raises concerns related to intellectual property and profit. The video-sharing site is also awash in conspiracy theories that can get users thinking at best, and believing in mistruths and engaging in dangerous activities at worst. Misinformation is everywhere, and it takes a lot of effort to get to the truth sometimes. Facebook’s iffy algorithms may end up isolating posts when they are found to be based on inaccuracy, but ignore posts more deserving to be taken down. Then, of course, there are grey areas.

 

Even though censorship was anathema to many of the founders of social media platforms, these modern venues for exchanging ideas need more guidance and regulation if their more dangerous roots are to be weeded out.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Great PR potential in an Internet minute

Big data number crunchers have come through with an impressive snapshot of Internet life, rendered almost comprehendible by slicing and serving the online world up in one-minute slices. And it’s still a lot to digest. Digital marketers, take pause and consider what’s happening on a world gone online, and the potential for messages placed with the right audiences.

 

Billions and billions – messages, photos, and more screen moments

 

Just a few transactions shy of $100,000 spent across online shopping platforms. More than a million Tinder swipes. Googling over 3.8 million times for searches of all kinds. That’s what’s happening on the Internet every 60 seconds, on average. And that’s just for starters. The numbers are difficult to make sense of in there enormousness. Trends are towards even more Internet activity compared to last year, although there are some slower patches.

 

The websites we’ve welcomed into our lives

 

Netflix is on a tear, growing from 266,000 Netflix hours watched last year on average in a minute if you added them all up, to 694,000 this year. The number of emails sent every minute, while huge, only nudged upwards, from last year’s 187 million emails a minute to 188 million this year. Long-time video provider YouTube is experiencing slow growth as well, trickling up from 4.3 million viewers every minute last year to 4.5 million served in 2019. Meanwhile, the Great Snap Letdown of 2018 led to a decline of one-three million uses on the formerly rising application, who were displeased with a redesign that lacked mass appeal. It’s an online numbers game of great proportion, and the stakes are growing by the minute.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Good PR and the art of stress management

PR executives are listed among those who stare down death daily. Topping CareerCast’s annual chart for the most stressful careers are: enlisted military personnel, firefighter, airline pilot and police officer.

 

Licensed to thrill

 

Spots from 6 to 10 were much less marked by opportunities for encounters with bodily, but instead relied more on well-honed communications skills: broadcaster, event coordinator, news reporter, PR executive, senior corporate executive, taxi driver. The survey’s criteria for what makes jobs stressful was broken down into 11 categories, including thrills and spills like Risk of Death or Grievous Injury, Immediate Risk of Another’s Life, Hazards Encountered, and subtler obstacles too, namely Travel, Career Growth Potential, Deadlines, Working in the Public Eye, Meeting the Public, and Competition, plus the it-depends categories of Physical Demands, Environmental Conditions.

 

Deadlines of greater concern than risk of death

 

Although some jobs involve great potential risk to one’s personal safety, the greater danger day by day is that of meeting deadlines, which was the greatest cause of stress for of 38% of respondents. Moreover, almost 80% of those surveyed gave the level of stress on their job 7 out of 10 of more on a scale of 1 to 10. This is a big surge from the nearly 70% mentioned on the 2017 stress survey.

 

Pitfalls of being a digital publicist

 

In a stressful profession rife with the disruptive and potentially lucrative intrusion of digital influencers, PR execs live in uncertain times. The threats posed by fake news and distrust of media can wreak havoc. But the potential for big payoffs is profound for those who find the right balance and use big data to their advantage…

 

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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Influencers rising

The fantastically unpredictable nature of influencer marketing has changed the nature of what PR is, and with breathtaking speed.

 

At the Holmes Report’s recent Innovation Summit in San Francisco that attracted key influencers and PR professionals, a salon series was held by Allison + Partners, one of the summit’s partners. At the Future of Influencer Marketing salon, much attention focused on Allison + Partners’ new major report “Unleashing Influence”, which says 2019 is a crucial year for influencer marketing. But if influencers and marketers are to reach their full potential, they will need to improve their communications abilities and establish more systematic ways and practices for demonstrating the value of their work, according to the study.

 

Big influence, big money

 

Businesses spent $6.3 billion last year and could splash out perhaps up to $10 billion in 2020 in the no-holds-barred industry of influencer campaigns. Only that clients are keen to see evidence that the big money they are willing to pony up on influencer marketing is actually being channeled in meaningful ways, preferably via influencers who can demonstratively rally the base and get followers buying products and services, and posting, sharing about brands on social media.

 

Until long-term trends and some normalcy emerges, influencer marketing is likely to remain marked by uncertainty. Who if anyone can or will play the gatekeeping, agenda-setting role once played by journalists remains to be seen. The influencers of today are even less regulated, and accountability guidelines have not been established. Influencers may never have the same clout the media once had in today’s world of scattered bandwidths, shorter attention spans, and multiple channels, where disruption is the norm.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Keeping it real in a digital age

 

Digital marketers, you have your work cut out for you.

 

Consumers find the content generated by companies, less interesting, less authentic and less impactful on their purchasing decisions than advice given by fellow buyers, according to a new report by Stackla, a marketing platform that focuses on and user-generated content. The report, which says that 86% of consumers place a premium on authenticity, indicates vast differences between consumers and marketers.

 

Information being shared on products should ideally focuses on personalized experiences with brands, say nearly 7 out of 10 customers surveyed for the major report. But while 92% of marketers think their brands are providing the personalized content that buyers prefer, less than half of the customers themselves agree with this. Not surprisingly, customers are also over twice as likely to find customer-to-customer shared content interesting, compared to brand-created content.

 

Tell me a story, and keep it personal

 

The Stakla report also says that customers are turning to first-hand accounts on social media platforms for advice from fellow experiencers, shoppers, travelers and other buyers of various services and products. Nearly 90% of respondents would post about a positive travel experience, while 85% and 65% would do the same about a similar encounter with a restaurant or health/beauty product, respectively.

 

The chasm-like consumer-company disconnect is compounded by how consumers are 2.4 times as likely to think customer-created content is most authentic, while companies are 2.1 times as likely to think that brands are better at generating the most authentic content. The study indicates that nearly 80% of buyers say user-generated content affects their decisions whether to buy something. Compare that to with a paltry 8% who said the same thing about influencer-created content. That doesn’t sound very influential, actually.

 

Digital marketers, you have your work cut out for you.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

PR you can prove

Public relations is slowly developing the capability to prove the value of its results. Yet too often, especially for this day and age, PR firms continue to focus on impressions created rather than the desired results delivered.

 

The hard to quantify value of “good PR” is part of the problem. Indeed, other kinds of businesses are finding more success in improving the nature of customer service relations by attending to a few vital concerns, according to a recent report by Infiniti Research. Customers love it when questions or complaints are addressed efficiently and promptly. It leads to return purchases and word-of-mouth value that has positively impacts ROI. Other key findings in the study are that short and to the point surveys more effectively gauge opinions of clients and customers, and that having a focused goal for surveys will result in more useful and insightful data.

 

Publicity vs profits

 

As PR becomes better at tracking impressions, their effect will have to become less impressionistic, more clear and focused. The relative worth of ads and stories in newspapers and magazines, and online articles vis a vis online advertisements, remains hard to quantify. But that doesn’t mean PR agencies should continue challenging themselves to find out what techniques works best.

 

Beyond traditional KPI tallies, PR needs to focus more on outcomes, not just activities, and learn some tricks from the hardnosed nature of management consultancy companies and their role in strengthening brands. Successful campaigns will then be shown to be those better synched to improving the bottom line.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Offline by nature in a world linked up

A significant chunk of big data is going unrecorded and marketing information untapped, while at the same time lifestyle preferences are pushed aside: China is less than a decade away from having a population in which a full quarter of the population will be over 60 years of age, according to demographic trends.

 

Sorry, there’s an app for that too

 

While the country continues its relentless pace of digitalization on all fronts, some seniors are balking at the perceived need to electronically attend to an increasing amount of tasks that just a few years ago were done almost exclusively in traditional ways. While day-to-day shopping and other needs have been simplified by electronic payment schemes in ways that developed countries have not implemented on so wide a scale, the catch-up is greater for elders caught on the old-school side of the digital divide. Banking, hailing taxis, booking tickets and accommodation when travelling, and ordering in restaurants are all examples of transactions now conducted easily and smoothly online for younger Chinese, and making functioning autonomously a significant challenge for seniors.

 

The Uninfluenced

 

Compounding the trend is the population’s skewing towards an ageing society, with many fewer couples opting for the economic investments required to raise a second child, even after the dramatic scaling back of the one-child policy.

 

And while information aplenty on all levels is being amassed on the habits and trends of younger buyers, elder Chinese stand having less known about what they are looking for, and providing information on the adaptations that might make meaningful differences in their lives, if known about.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Busted for insufficient social credit

China is forging ahead with several innovative trends in e-commerce and social media that are having significant effects on the lives of its netizens. The country is tracking of its citizens’ behavior via the Internet (and CCTV cameras). There are now increasingly significant additional costs for violators of small-time crimes and those involved in other activities deemed to be “unsociable”.

 

Some 23 million Chinese have been blacklisted from buying airplane or train tickets for engaging in what the government deems to be anti-social behavior, which can include anything from smoking on trains to letting pet dogs run free in areas where they should be leashed, to using outdated tickets on public transport or not paying taxes. Spreading fake news can also get you “discredited”, which in a society that relies heavily on censorship and propaganda can lead to a lot of grey areas.

 

Simply unsocial behavior

 

One particularly cringe-worthy example of dubious digital behavior was entertainer Cai Xukun’s over-the-top efforts to make his new song go, go, go viral. Although already a member of popular boy band Nine Percent, Cai vastly inflated the number of times his new song “Wait, Wait, Wait” had been shared on social media site Weibo. While the song may not have the cool factor of a banned book generating its own special-edition PR, if the stunt leads to more people listening to the song, well, there you go. But it’s not the kind of technique likely to be useful more than once.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Facing a whole new shopping experience

While online shopping has never been easier, and continues gaining in popularity, big-name stores are turning to convenience with a touch of retail theatre to keep buyers happy when they’re shopping outside home. Both at-home and in-store shopping experiences are going hi-tech. These digital trends are both data-rich and customer-friendly, offering exciting opportunities for buyers and online marketers alike.

 

In China, leading online shopping website Alibaba now operates over 60 Hema supermarkets that normalize facial recognition technology. In 2017 Alibaba partnered with KFC to allow customers to settle the bill simply by smiling. Now, facial scans in cashierless Hema supermarkets are allowing shoppers to make purchases in the same manner on a bigger scale. Items can be scanned for detailed information on nutrition, preparation instructions and place of origin.

 

Shopping for food, with options for cooking along the way

 

Customers in the Shanghai branch can also scan a menu with a QR code during their time shopping and have meals ready for them afterwards at the Robot.He restaurant, a set-up due to be widely replicated in other Hema stores. Certain foods that you see in the supermarket and that you’d like prepared for you live are zipped away via conveyer belts hanging from the ceiling and then transferred by a robotic arm to the kitchen. After showing your face at the checkout, the freshly prepared meals are ready to go back with you as well – or receive your food via robot waiters and enjoy onsite at the restaurant.

 

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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Buyers’ options grow as communication channels proliferate

The tipping point is coming for online shopping, from England to Thailand and beyond, led by the mass assemblage and channeling of big data like never before. It’s a windfall for tech-savvy firms and their marketers. Customers stand to benefit greatly as well, with many new products and services coming to be sold online.

 

Dominoes delivers KPIs

 

A clear example of the trend is online food ordering, from groceries to the updated version of the classic call-up-for-home-service success story: pizza delivery. Dominoes UK has gone online in a big way, from when it first started accepting orders by telephone in 2010 to taking the biggest slice of the pie by 2018. Last year the pizza lay claim to over half the market share tally. Today, over four-fifths of Dominoes’ pizza orders in the UK are digital; most of these purchases coming from smartphone apps.

 

Many roles, many communication methods

 

The rise of big data and increasingly sophisticated SEO specs and outcomes means more people have access to more info in shorter amounts of time. The lines between content and marketing have blurred. These messages are spread more of a matter of appropriate positioning, to ensure your message is being read, heard and shared on multiple platforms, in compelling ways and of appropriate length and tone, for maximum effect. Activate and amplify information so that it gets noticed. Everyone’s a publisher, buyer and potential influencer in a PR world where multiple hats and switching roles has been normalized.

 

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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