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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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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pr digital agency bangkok thailand

HOW CAN BRANDS TELL A STORY TO 49 MILLION PEOPLE IN THAILAND?

GET SOCIAL

 

Thailand has a population of 69 million people and 49 million of them are active social media users. That is a lot of people on the digital landscape and they are all looking at content in the palms of their hands. You have a captive audience hungry for stories and content as they scroll and swipe.

 

KNOW WHERE THEY ARE

 

With so many active social media users in Thailand you need to ensure your stories get in front of them as part of their day. So where can you find the majority of them? Facebook and Instagram lead the way with 50 million on Facebook and 13 million on Instagram.

 

STORIES WORTH STOPPING FOR

 

As people scroll through their feeds they won’t stop for content that doesn’t get their attention, they just keep on scrolling. So you need to ensure your stories either engage, inform, entertain, or educate them in some way. When you do that you can stop the scroll and capture their attention. These can be static stories or ones with video or both. Video on social media is growing exponentially and should always be considered.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LOVES STORIES

 

And stories love social media. It’s the perfect place to connect with a large audience and get immediate results because stories that resonate with someone have a much better chance of being shared, liked, and remembered.

 

LOCALS KNOW WHAT LOCALS WANT

 

To connect with a local audience your storytellers need to be locals as well, or at least have a deep understanding of the local market. Understanding the Thailand market is important if you want to ensure your stories are being told in the right way.

 

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

Influence, unregulated

The easy pull of influencer marketing via social media is undeniable. This simple, easy and free way to get to-the-point advice on a dizzying array of things you can buy online and in the real world is undeniable. But a lack of oversight and ways of verifying claims made makes the advice of these pundits questionable. Customers are ready to take away their support at a moment’s notice, creating an air of unpredictability in a system already marked by a lack of accountability.

 

Unignorably persuasive

 

Over three-fourths of Internet users have made a purchase of some kind based on the advice of influencers. Just under 60 per cent of these online shoppers claim to make it a habit of regularly following these influencers though, preferring to shop around in terms of where they get their advice from. The lack of loyalty additionally creates erratic conditions in the realm of online shopping, as key influencers battle it out to see who can gain a long-term reputation for consistently offering the best advice.

 

The authenticity thing

 

Too many influencers are seen as being insincere and less than fully knowledgeable about the products and services they promote and pan. Great majorities of online shoppers crave authenticity. Yet few influencers are seen as possessing it. Although the freedom of the Internet and free-wheeling atmosphere of influence peddling is attractive in many respects to both generators and receivers of influential news and reviews, without a more organised system for vouching for information, the nature of ideas shared online about things we want to buy is likely to remain awash with disruptions.

 

It’s who you know

 

Seven out of 10 people report trusting the opinions of influencers more than friends in real life. A veneer of trust and authority is afforded to those bold enough to tell us what they think about products and services we want. But it’s an easily broken bond, and one consumers are eager to replace with more reliable sources of information. If only we could determine and decide on what they are…

 

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

INSTAGRAM IS STILL LIKEABLE

With Instagram’s recent decision to remove ‘likes’ many brands and their agencies are looking at how to best leverage effectiveness on the platform. But how can brands make sure they are getting value out of being on Instagram?

 

Ideas are a work of art

 

Respected marketing expert and author Seth Godin recently had a great insight about how brands can get the most out of social media.

 

“When your ideas are spreading, when your work is remarkable, when your organization has built a social ratchet that works, one of the side effects will be a significant social media presence. People will talk about you in ways that they like to talk… online. And worth noting: The Mona Lisa has a huge social media presence. Her picture is everywhere. But she doesn’t tweet. She’s big on social media because she’s an icon, but she’s not an icon because she’s big on social media.” Seth Godin

 

Get creative

 

So what can brands do to make the most of Instagram in the post-’like’ era? The answer is simple – be more creative. As Mr. Godin said – have remarkable ideas that are worth people talking about and sharing.

 

Pause the scroll

 

We live in a scrolling culture today, consumers are looking to be entertained, enlightened, and educated on their social media accounts, but to do that you need to be posting content that will not only get their attention but also stop them long enough to engage them with your message.

 

Don’t blend in

 

So when you’re planning a new campaign make sure it will get the attention it deserves. Think outside the box, have fresh ideas that will attract eyeballs and stop your audience long enough for you to tell your story.

 

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

WHEN IT COMES TO AGENCIES, SMALL IS THE NEW BIG.

There are times when size certainly doesn’t matter, and one of those times is when it comes to agencies. Many clients simply don’t need a major holding company owned agency to deliver results for them.

 

The bigger the agency the more overheads they need to cover and the more processes they have embedded. Running a large operation is of course costly and those costs get passed along to clients.

 

Smaller agencies are nimble, proactive, and can scale when needed for each particular project. The advent of the gig economy, where many talented people opted to go freelance or consult, created a global pool of talent who relish the opportunity to jump in on a project for a brand and then move on to something else. An agency can have a small core team of focussed and skilled professionals in-house who can manage the client relationship and some of the more immediate work, and when needed they can tap into an endless resource of talent locally and worldwide.

 

Local knowledge

 

A smaller independent agency also brings with it true local knowledge and loyalty to the market they are based in. They understand the intricacies of navigating local Government, they have close relationships with suppliers, and of course they are committed as they have established themselves in their home city. All of this knowledge brings invaluable insights so as they can provide their clients with solutions that will not only resonate with a local market but also deliver results.

 

Can scale when needed

 

Another benefit of the smaller, local independent agency is that they are free to forge relationships with other independent agencies in other regions and markets, thus being able to offer their clients the ability to tap into other countries and regions for specific campaigns at a more affordable price than what would be possible if working with a major holding company owned agency.

 

Diversifying

 

Being smaller also allows for more flexibility and also to evolve their offering by adding different services made possible by the independent talent pool they have available to them. There are no barriers stopping an PR agency adding more digital marketing and creative services, video production, and traditional advertising resources.

 

So the next time you’re looking for an agency remember their size is no longer a measure of their capabilities or reach. Thanks to the evolution of the job market, and of course technology, the playing field is now wide open and it could be time to think small.

 

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

Edited, unedited and kinder versions of things you find online

Gen Z and Millennial netizens are coming to terms with some of the less satisfying aspects of their online lives, and working out ways to better find genuine connections and a new sense of community – things that, indeed, the Internet is supposed to be all about. A new study reveals a range of conflicting thoughts about time spent in cyberspace, and how it can perhaps become a happier place.

 

Can’t live with it, can’t live without it

 

Over half of respondents feel that overall online experiences make them feel less happy, yet almost just as many people said that they can’t imagine a life in which they don’t maintain at least one social media account. One big issue is how the technology helps spread images of perfect bodies adorned with perfect outfits and accessories, which can lead to thoughts of not quite measuring up among those exposed to them.

 

Perfectly imperfect

 

Four of 10 respondents said that they wished apps for editing photos and videos didn’t exist. Brands are reacting to the overabundance of picture-perfect influencers and amazingly adorned if somewhat intimidating models by keeping images realer in an attempt to not turn off potential customers.

 

Warning: ‘likes’ up ahead

 

Editing is still valued when it comes to the opinions of friends and others, though – tact remains a genuine enhancement. One of the survey’s most significant responses was how more than four in five people reported how they said their mood was affected by the numbers and percentages of likes that their social media posts received, and the types of comments they generated. In a world where more clothing is being bought and ideas exchanged online, it pays to make sure the words and images out there are making people happy.

 

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

2019 trends for PR and marketing professionals

Increase your micro-video content

 

With video expecting to make up to 80 percent of all internet traffic by the end of 2019, PR and marketing communications professionals should be prioritizing image over text. Not only do videos make websites 53 times more visible, but studies show that the human brain can process a full image in 13 seconds; less time than it takes to blink. Our minds are highly receptive to images; just notice the popularity of micro-video apps TikTok, Dubsmash and Vigo Video. With teenage influencers increasingly turning to micro-video, time and investment should be placed connecting with this media – and this powerful audience.

 

Merge your PR and marketing

 

The worlds of PR and marketing are merging, with more PR companies adding digital and social capabilities to round their offering. With SEO optimization, blogging, online content strategy and PESO brought into the mix, PR companies are able to better address client needs. Meanwhile marketing agencies are leaning towards influencer and KOL strategy, with many brand launches now incorporating celebrity brand ambassador endorsement. Whether you work in PR or marketing, do consider widening your skillset to offer a one-stop solution for clients.

 

Look to Southeast Asia

 

With internet penetration and the hunger for social media and mobile technology increasing in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, PR and marketing communications professionals are urged to shift focus to Southeast Asia. Although China and India were previously seen as boom markets, the popularity of low-cost smartphone tech and improved access to mobile data plans brings Southeast Asia into the spotlight.

 

Integrate augmented reality

 

Virtual reality continues to develop, with augmented (mixed) reality already seen trending in the likes of fitness apps, online fashion tutorials and corporate training. There’s also a real potential for virtual travel, which could revolutionize the leisure sector. Although VR and AR have not yet by any means matured, if you can begin to integrate this technology now it will really demonstrate your customer insight.

 

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

Childhoods on film

Gen Z is developing maturing perspectives on lives in which the highlights of birthdays, holidays and random events aplenty have been relentlessly captured, captioned and shared on social media. Images of the innocent things kids do which seem innocent enough at the time, to the doer can become sources of embarrassment best destroyed once adolescence kicks in. Yesteryear’s photo album, pulled out and shared sparingly with visiting friends and extended families has been replaced by fully labeled and ‘liked’ mini-encyclopedias of youth, day in and day out, available for the world to see 24/7, compiled by those who didn’t grow up that way but often featuring subjects that have little say in their having ‘gone public’.

 

Epic fails, memorialized

 

From literal run-ins with walls or dogs as toddlers to off-key versions of evergreen songs bravely performed in school concerts to sport days that may not have gone well or, worse, ended in goofy victory dances, the normal growing pains of the earliest years are there for the gawking. Generational Kinetics, a Gen Z-focused company, has through polls deduced that the world’s latest generation shows a heightened awareness of privacy rights, because fighting for them – often with their parents and friends – is the new normal.

 

Image control

 

Millions of people barely on the threshold of adulthood are being forced to enter negotiations to control elements of their public persona. Actors once came to such agreements with their agents, and companies still do with their PR representatives. But today it is the norm for everyone to be, at least potentially, known far and wide. Lives are lived in the public domain, or something close to it, monitored by CCTV. Young people today have grown up instant experts in cultivating their image – and coping with posts that spun out of their control long ago, and if even if taken down, leave behind archival memories and the stuff of myths.

 

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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