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Social media for your business

Mass emails tend to be ignored. It simply lacks the “cool” factor in this social media driven age. But does that mean you should turn to social networking to get your business out there for everybody to see?

 

The answer is no and YES. Facebook is not the best place to share business related content most of the time, Twitter could be a powerful tool if you play your cards right, but LinkedIn is a potential treasure trove for business. This platform exists to connect people and businesses and a well laid-out strategy will generate some high-quality leads, simply because of the professional nature of the platform.

 

LinkedIn as a tool to boost brand image

 

You can use LinkedIn to highlight your thought leadership, keep your followers up-to-speed about the good work you’ve been doing, talk about your company culture and what your employees have been upto and if you have a blog you can feed them directly to your feed. Relevant content should translate to footfall on your website or blog.

 

Your story could be about trends, stats, people, success. LinkedIn’s native video sharing is an effective way to communicate – if you follow a few ground rules on what intrigues people to click and watch a video. A mix of interesting talking points, invigorating visuals and bold, assertive text should do the trick.

 

Some tips to make LinkedIn more productive

 

Share some behind-the-scenes on how you came up with a concept or a product. People are always fascinated by how things are done within an organization. If you have a well-known designer or industry leader, that’s your golden ticket.

 

Talk about your employees and the values they bring to your company. Show-off the hard-work your team puts in during events. You can also showcase new-hires and the hurdles they’ve been through to be a part of your organization. LinkedIn is a great platform to attract the best talent to work in your company.

 

Tease a new product. Product teasers are fascinating, the aura of mystery behind them intrigues people to want to know more about your product and your business.

Native videos on LinkedIn are quite easy to post. But most videos on social media are viewed with the sound turned off. Placing bold, assertive text close to the subject or highlight of the frame is a way to tell your story event with the sound turned off.

 

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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4 ways to boost CSR this year

In 2020, consumers are looking to align with brands or companies that prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR). It is completely essential for public relations for a company to show care for society – according to various studies, around 90% of the general consumer pool will buy a product because it advocates for an issue they care about whereas 75% will not buy from a brand that supports the contrary to their beliefs.

 

Promote social and environmental activities

 

Donate to organisations to support good causes. You can also organize or sponsor events in honor of a cause. Brands with a huge audience can help educate them on current social issues and ways they can help make a difference.

 

Volunteering

 

Offering volunteering days to employees can serve a two-fold purpose – spreading your brand name among the supporters of a cause and also helps build camaraderie between members of a team.

 

Treat your employees well

 

The current job market is extremely flexible. Employees are constantly on the lookout for a cool working environment. To ensure that your company attracts the best talent and keep them happy, offer attractive perks and make your workspace the place to be.

 

Show care for your environment

 

People are looking to reduce their impact on the environment and some of them expect the brands they support to do the same. Cut down on plastics, try to reduce usage of energy from non-renewable sources or support a good cause. It’s the little things that can make a world of difference to how your consumers perceive your brand.

 

Whether it is about supporting a good cause, caring for the environment, making your employees feel at home or volunteering, it is important to take that step further and make a change that will impact society.

 

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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Email is king – but what accounts for its reign?

Despite the rise of social media platforms and their multitude of messaging applications, email remains the go-to communications tool for exchanging messages in the business world. This simple, efficient, inexpensive way of sending and receiving text and visuals was credited as the single-most important way to communicate with clients and customers, according to a new study. All the apps of today fail to compare. Yet much remains unknown about how and why email is used and how effective it still is.

 

Somewhat off-message

 

While communication teams crave knowledge about how useful email and other communications channels are, there is a lack of agreement and ideas on what, exactly, we need to know about the sending and receiving of messages. Deciding what metrics should be used and how to even start measuring communications brings up big challenges. Internal measurement of communications in companies remains mysterious. Finding clarity will be of incalculable worth to digital marketers, since persuasive messages need to be received in optimal right way at the right time if they are to be most effective.

 

Don’t forget to write

 

While ROI and SEO rank highly in the minds of businesspeople and the PR firms that help promote them, the lack of attention paid to how information is exchanged in the information age is of growing concern. Marketers who are able to paint a picture of and take advantage of precisely what effective communication is stand to greatly boost potential in years to come. As IT continues speeding up communication and giving us more options on how to communicate, the metrics of effective messaging will be of increasingly great interest to anyone with something to say.

 

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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At home on the road, now more than ever

It’s never been easier to take a trip and still feel the comforts of home. According to a recent study, the market for accommodation worldwide is worth over $630 billion, and is estimated to take a flying leap to nearly $900 before 2026. Supporting conditions for the growth are surges among several demographics among leisure and business travellers, as well as the development of varied online platforms for booking places to stay. The online option in particular is a game changer for the industry, and has transformed many individual residences into hotel rooms, dramatically multiplying the number of places available to travellers.

 

Opening up

 

Easing up on formerly tedious visa requirements in countries throughout Africa as well China and India is also significantly contributing to the global trend for more widespread travel accommodation bookings in hotels, B&Bs, paying guest accommodation and other places to stay. Accommodation seekers on the road are most interested in mid-range options for their mix of services and reasonable prices.

 

On the move, all the time

 

The growth of tourism and travel overall, particularly the ease of booking tickets online for travel by air, rail and by road, goes hand in hand with the trend. The over-tourism phenomenon, though, shows that some prudence and guidelines may be needed for sustainable long-term growth in the accommodation sector. Both travellers and locals should not be overwhelmed. Otherwise more major cities and venues will have to corrective measures taken by the city of Amsterdam, which recently asked tourists to consider going elsewhere, and has implemented steps designed to gently slow the flow of people coming to enjoy the popular Dutch city.

 

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 Russians are buying online

While Russia’s economic growth only sputtered along in the first half of this year, registering less than 1%, e-commerce in the country shows no signs of stopping. During the same six-month period, online shopping surged by a rate of 26 per cent. Despite sanctions from many Western nations and reluctance by some demographics to give up traditional shopping patterns, market analysts see the growth in e-business as a sign of good things to come.

 

Just in time for winter

 

The stunning growth accounts for over $US11 billion in sales of products and services spent on credit via smartphones and laptops. The longer distances to and simpler selections in brick-and-mortar stores, not to mention epically harsh weather conditions during the long Russian winter, goes far in showing why business trackers and digital marketers are confident that the trend will continue to grow in popularity. News of the convenience is spreading rapidly in small towns and villages across the world’s largest country. The changes to lifestyles are nothing less than revolutionary.

 

Just the beginning

 

The percentage of online sales in Russia is 6 per cent now, indicating just how much room for expansion and opportunity there is for companies who can tap into the market of netizens with rubbles to spend on wonders of all kinds from the wider world. Chinese manufacturers in particular are in prime position to cash in on the trend, for various factors related to long-term convenience, primarily logistics and price. And to think, just a generation ago a significant amount of trading across Russia took place in frenzied, five-minute stops along the Trans-Siberian railroad, with products being hastily lowered from the train to buyers and money handed up to sellers. All across mother Russia, the future is very much now.

 

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 art and craft of email -Part II

As the first half of this two-part blog described, the vast majority of emails go unread. The importance of making your email relevant and readable is thus not to be underestimated. One key tip is – as this should be well understood by now in the era of texting – is to keep to the point. Subjects should ideally be between six and 10 words long. In addition to reduced attention spans, and an IT incursion into all facets of life, most emails are now read on smartphones. The reader of your email may very well be in transit somewhere, navigating the physical world around them, so won’t have a lot of time to commit to reading your message – but also may very well have curiosity as to why you’re contacting them. So email well and be respectful of their mobility and the other worldly pressures.

 

Make your key message key again

 

Necessitating the recipient of your email to scan through several sentences before getting to the main point of your message is unadvisable. Don’t bury your key message. The first sentence your reader sees should almost always express your most important points. That being said, some cultural norms seep into email culture. For example, emails in Latin America often start with a bit of small talk rather before the main idea is expressed. But for the most part, it pays to be precise.

 

To be clear

 

Keep your main ideas clear and keep your words to the point. Brevity matters. In fact, in the era of texting, the subjects of emails can serve as the entire idea, and simply be followed by a message body that’s blank. Just sign off your short subject with “EOM” (End of message) or “NNTR” (No need to reply).

 

Keep positive

 

Another advantage of clear, short sentences and messages is that they prevent misinterpretation. A significant issue these days is that many emails are interpreted more negatively then the sender had in mind, and ambiguous words are taken to reflect ideas or a darker tone that the sender hadn’t intended to convey.

 

So what about emojis?

 

It depends. It helps if you know the receiver. While a smile in real life can work wonders, studies show that smileys are not their e-equivalents, but less effective conveyers of feelings. Worse emojis, may come off as overly informal or even unprofessional. More broadly, email ethics vary across cultures. Moreover, a lot of communication is sent through body language. So when you’re relying on messages sent mostly in just a few words, and mostly on smartphones, keep in mind that clarity is king.

 

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 art and craft of email –Part I

An average of 280 billion emails are sent every day. That’s quite a lot. And, on balance, quite wasteful: nearly 80 per cent of them are never opened or dispatched to the junk box on sight with the help of algorithms. While social media and other communications innovations continue to change the nature of sharing ideas, email remains a key tool of modern business. Marketers who want their emails to be read need to be aware of how to maximize chances that their messages are getting across and have the potential to be acted on.

 

Lying in wait

 

There’s a lot of email entering your inbox that is not overtly a waste of time, and still needs to be sorted through. In fact, of course, it’s often rather relevant to business. One recent estimate is that the typical office employee is bequeathed a nice, round sum of 100 emails every day, and that they have approximately 200 unread emails lurking at any given time in their inbox. That’s a lot of email. So how to get noticed and be seen as merely one more contributor to one more addition to someone’s inbox intake?

 

10am on Tuesday

 

That’s the optimal time for sending an email and having it read and acted upon, according to an extensive analysis of this modern-day, yet somewhat dated communication tool. By midmorning on the second day of the workweek, the last weekend has started to fade from memory and the approaching weekend seems a bit too far off to fully envision. This enhances productivity, the peak of which is 10am on Tuesday, a study shows.

 

Make it personal

 

A short but heartfelt ‘Good seeing you yesterday’ or ‘Thanks for the coffee’ to start things off gives your email a boost of about 17 per cent that it will be read. In an increasingly impersonal world, genuine signs of humanity are welcomed and encouraged. Emails with a polite but meaningful yet non-robotic reference to a shared occasion or common acquaintance will help keep your message from being ignored.

 

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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Female and Muslim, travelling and spending

Muslim women – around 63 million, to be precise – spent more than $80 billion while travelling in 2018, according to a study recently released by MasterCard and CrescentRating. The news on this demographic should be a brightly shining indicator to digital marketers of a key sector that many big players in the hospitality industry have largely overlooked so far.

 

Ready for more

 

Seventy per cent of Muslim women travelled with their families. Nearly three out of 10 of the trips taken by Muslim women were solo voyages, reflecting a particularly rapidly growing part of this growing demographic. Two out of every three respondents were under 40 years of age. The primary concern for them is leisure, which 9 of 10 respondents listed as a significant motivation for travel. A sense of exploration, getting re-energised and a focus on family were also key parts of the findings. Over 20 per cent of respondents named religious reasons as a key factor for travel while 11 per cent ranked business as another important reason for travelling.

 

Looking for deals, digitally

 

More than fifty per cent of the women covered in the survey use the Internet and social media sites platforms in particular to find places to stay and eat and ways of getting around. Religious factors that factored into the preferences of the traveler surveyed included access to prayer rooms reserved exclusively for women, as well as single-sex beauty parlors and spas. Halal dining options as well as security are also of a significant concern to female Muslim travellers, who are characterised overall in the report as being willing to pay for the services and preferences they desire, and find them online.

 

Thailand in prime position to profit

 

The report ranks Thailand second for women travellers adhering to Islam among nations that are not members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The segment remains little understood, which stakeholders looking to capitalise on this emerging demographic would to well to pay closer attention to.

 

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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Expecting the unexpected in PR

Reputation repairs are among the most relevant and risky jobs for any PR firm. But while the potential for damage is significant, so too are the chances for turning lemons into lemonade. By focusing on what public relations boils down to – engagingly relating to the public and providing them with key messages reflective of a client’s core principles – the worst can not only be averted, but transcended.

 

Old dogs, new tricks

 

Much of the problem these days relates to the proliferation of things digital. Ideas, especially those of an embarrassing or sensational nature, which tend to spread quickly through social media. Everyone’s a videographer. And a potential part of the paparazzi. Moreover, the newness of digital marketing continues to create opportunities for smallish problems to blow up into artificially big crises. Once the bad news hits, the key to it not allowing it to trigger a more significant, long-term financial problem is often simply making sure a strike force is ready to jump into action. In the information age, disrupting preexisting expectations of perceived job responsibilities and the reluctances to change old ways is essential. The bottom line is worth it.

 

In Twitter we trust

 

If crisis strikes, stay calm and head for cycberspace. Response teams need to be savvy in their pushback on multiple social media platforms to help mitigate unwanted news that actually often ends up being more profitable than formal campaigns. Part of the solution, though, is timeless: know your clients. If you don’t, PR companies are at the mercy of parties who do or claim to. But being knowledgeable about your client’s strong points is only one key part of being prepared. Another, not to be underestimated in the digital age, is knowing how to effectively spread the message and counteract less attractive messages. The old adage about there being no such thing as bad PR is put to the test in ways that would have been imaginable when the expression was coined. In today’s world, the nature of public relations and reputations are very much on the line if your team doesn’t make the most of spreading the good word about your firm online.

 

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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A look into how social media has reshaped the PR industry

It’s hard to ignore social media, especially when its global usership is in billions. Its presence is felt in every industry you can think of, big or small. It has arguably made a huge impact on the communication industry and public relations in particular. The emergence of citizen journalism and more people turning to social media for their daily dose of the news, social media has indeed forced PR to adapt or perish. Here are three ways social media has impacted the public relations industry dearly.

 

Make a big bang

 

Social media is instant and loud. Users generate about four million likes every minute on Facebook, that’s how loud it can get, and that’s just one of the many social media platforms at our service. The only negative to being able to make news viral with a click of the share button is that news gets old just as quickly as it goes viral. Journalists are always looking for the next breaking news and PR professionals have to keep up.

 

On the bright side, with instant connections PR professionals can follow journalists on social media and stay in the loop about their writing style, area of expertise and recent work. This works in favor of PR pros as it not only helps build connections but also make an informed pitch to journalists based on what they see on their social media handles.

 

A crisis could be around the corner

 

Social media provides brands the easiest way to make a blunder in front of their audiences. It just takes itchy fingers and a click of a button, and your brand could be staring down the barrel of social media backlash. Yet another reason keeping PR pros up at night. 

 

Today’s modern PR is responsible for much more than just scheduling interviews and sending out press releases. They are also responsible for managing a brand’s voice and protecting their its online reputation by promoting additional content, creating engagement and monitoring and measuring media. A failure to monitor social media and have a plan in place to respond to consumer feedback – both negative and positive could be a missed opportunity or a large scale crisis.    

 

Influencers – A media phenomenon

 

Social media is not just a platform for professionally trained journalists or your everyday citizen journalist, it gave rise to a whole new breed of journalists called, the new influencer. Being represented by a vlogger with millions of followers on YouTube or a travel blogger with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram is considered to be the best way to attract more customers.

 

The ever-increasing number of social media influencers with tons of followers means more opportunity for PR professionals and the brands they represent. 

 

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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