pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Splurging on me, electronically

What do you get when you combine the energies of the world’s largest e-commerce company and the world’s most popular pop star? An additional boost to what is the world’s biggest single-day spending phenomenon, organisers of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day hope. This year the day will be lent the considerable star power of Taylor Swift, who will highlight a spectacular show in Shanghai promoting the event. While November 11 is set aside as a holiday in various Western countries as Veterans Day, Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, in China the day is a 24-hour online shopping phenomenon that now outranks Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving once known as the biggest day in shopping.

 

Look East

 

For more than 10 years the Singles’ Day has surged, and now has assumed a primary position in the history of capitalism and marketing. Last year Alibaba earned a whopping US$30 billion in sales on November 11. This represented over an increase of over 25 per cent on the previous year, which in turn was nearly 40 more than in 2017. The message signaled this year with the inclusion of the ultimate marquee act that Swift – the world’s highest paid celebrity, who has a net worth of US$360 million – is that the online shopping king very much intends to extend its reign and defend its position as the go-to platform for buying all imaginable products and services.

 

Eleventh-hour bargains

 

The growingly popular one-day event for spending online takes inspiration from the greatest number of “1”s in the day’s date – 11/11 – as well as the demographic realities of fewer marriages, marriages taking place later in life, growing affluence and IT growth reflected in much of East Asia. The last-minute opportunities available for just an hour more after the clock ticks 11pm on the eleventh day of the eleventh month well represents the enthusiastic nature of the day, and the mushrooming opportunities for digital marketing in a world increasingly getting accustomed to going on shopping sprees while relaxing at home.

 

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You’re the one to go to

While companies inevitably have on hand official officials specifically tasked with saying just the right things to the right people on the choicest occasions about the firm’s mission, accomplishments and the rosy road ahead, the greater potential for spreading the good word may be through the authentic praise of non-designated spokespeople. It’s the off-the-cuff opinions of employees in varying positions that lend unvarnished, fresh legitimacy to key messages delivered though pre-approved information networks.

 

Keep it real

 

In the Internet era, authentic information has become a valuable commodity. Trusted influencers with a proven track record for providing reliable reviews of products and services are valued for their genuineness, not brand loyalty. Content is king, and anyone providing no-nonsense information are the new sovereigns, whether they are influencers, C2C reviewers or, indeed, employees of companies whose stated job duties may not formally extend into PR duties. But just as passport holders are de facto cultural ambassadors for their countries, it matters who you work for; you’re still part of the team. Indeed, when you’re not be overtly profiting from what you say, your words take on a new currency.

 

Water coolers and social media

 

Just about everyone’s on social media. People posting photos and text on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter generally share details related to one of two things: family and the workplace. Plus trips, which are one of two things: family or the workplace. Companies that wish to profit from the free word of mouth generated by positive online reviews would do well to remind themselves of the basics, that the most successful companies naturally generate satisfied workers, and create positive energy not from PR campaigns, but from the good vibes that such firms intrinsically radiate from being a cool place to work. It is the fundamentals like having an enjoyable work environment, and producing something sellable, that will create conditions not only for a great PR message, but the conditions at home that make it easy to create one. The best brands aren’t built, they simply grow.

 

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Looking good online

Nearly nine out of every 10 small businesses check out their online reputation at least once every three months. But a newly published report details how beyond mere quarterly monitoring, more regular and comprehensive check-ups of digital health is essential for firms that want to stay strong where money really counts these days, in the realm of the digital.

 

Get your customers to work for you

 

The study encourages firms to make the most out of people paying for products and services, to increase their worth to firms all the more by writing glowing reviews on websites that feature reviews. Happy customers create more happy customers, as well as free coverage and positive vibes that are easy to share and re-share as positive posts. By the same token, be on the lookout for less pleasant reviews, and make sure to diplomatically respond to them with a solution-focused tone. Make sure to track these cases well and make corrections, so that similar issues are less likely to occur.

 

Expand social media coverage

 

This gem of advice for the Information Age simply can’t be repeated enough. If you’re not proactively promoting your deals and offers and brand value on the likes of Facebook, Instagram and friends, your messages won’t be heard as widely as they could be, and, in fact, to many people these days, will remain entirely unheard. The good news is it’s not that hard to stay on top of the new wave of sharing stories, by tasking an in-house team, PR firm or both with getting your messages out. Regularly and interestingly, what your company has going on should be digitally described in short effective bursts that keep customers intrigued. Currently, fewer than half of all small businesses are interacting with customers and persuading them to write reviews on what they like.

 

Diversify your channels

 

The days of classical dominance for radio, TV and newspapers are long gone. Yet advertising strategy still often seems linked to yesteryear, and fails to capitalise on the unbelievable opportunities presented by digital marketing. While the ways in which companies get the word out to customers is changing, small upgrades in diversification may yield huge gains. While almost two-third of small businesses use at least two platforms such as email, direct mail and social media, a more refined and varied distribution of messages using even more of these options will make it easier for your voice to be heard.

 

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 social media factor in political propaganda

The need for social media is the only thing growing faster than the number of users on it, but all that you see on there is not necessarily true. It’s no surprise that social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become the go-to marketplace for politicians trying to boost their campaigns ever since the rise of digital marketing over the past decade, simply because the political propaganda that’s on there doesn’t have to go through a vigorous fact-check.

 

No more political advertising on Twitter 

 

Growing criticism over deceptive information from politicians on social media has encouraged Twitter to make the first move and bar political advertising globally on its platform. This policy reform will mean that both candidate ads and ads related to political issues will no longer be accommodated on this platform. This change is all set to take effect worldwide from 22 November.

 

Facebook under pressure

 

Facebook recently justified their decision to let political ads run without their interference, terming it as “freedom of expression”. However, the onset of the new Twitter policy means Facebook will be under pressure to fact-check political posts on their platform. Will Twitter’s bold move be a game changer or will Facebook persist with their decision to allow “freedom of expression”?

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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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

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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.

 

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Teens finding news online

Young people are getting informed about the world at large, the latest trends and much else from the likes of social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, more than anywhere else. Another major source of news is movie- and music-sharer YouTube. Rumored for decades, the slow-motion death moment of iconic news sources from the 20th century seems more and more imminent.

 

Seeking out new sources

 

Sixty percent of young people surveyed in a recent poll said that they are more likely to seek for tips, trends, and yes, news, from influencers and celebs than traditional media outlets, even when they have an online presence. The opportunity for digital marketers to have a direct hand in the sharing and producing of information has never been greater. Neither is the resultant responsibility to get the facts right and present things in the right light. Surveys also show that young people are just as put off by fake news and unfair manipulation of facts as older generations.

 

Political influence

 

More than 8 of 10 young people say they plan on voting in next year’ US presidential election, while just over 6 out of 10 of them say they are very likely to do so. While analysts and academics are raising concerns over the lack of checkpoints and verifiable standards in cyberspace, whether its politicians selling their ideas or companies providing products and services, it seems clear that the influence of the Internet as a marketplace for so many things will only to continue to grow.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Who do you think you’re influencing?

In a wild west town called Influence, self-made people with genuine followers are everywhere, as well as a fair share of hucksters, charlatans, and big-talking wannabes. Some deliver what they say they can. Many don’t. Oftentimes, the truth is somewhere in between, and companies need to be shrewd in sizing up the good, the less than good, and the genuinely influential aspects of people contacting them and interested in forming ‘partnerships’… Meanwhile in the Philippines, one resort was so fed up with dodgier influencers looking for freebies that it decided it was high time to take a stand.

 

Even in paradise, please try to ‘actually work’

 

The Banana Beach Club resort in the surfers’ paradise of Siargao won many admirers (and a few critics), when it fired out a sharply barbed missive worded like this: “Help out there. We are receiving many messages regarding collaborations with influencers, Instagram influencers. We kindly would like to announce that White Banana is not interested to ‘collaborate’ with self-proclaimed ‘influencers’”. Kindly, but firmly, the resort zinged, “And we would like to suggest to try another way to eat, drink, or sleep for free. Or try to actually work.”

 

The Siargao way

 

Noble-minded but less followed influencers may not be welcome at the Banana Beach Club, while brash-sounding pros who actually provide results will find doors open, at least a crack. A word of advice to those asking to collaborate but less than capable of bringing home the KPIs: companies are genuinely interested in those delivering real digital influence. But if your PR experience is more big ideas, and less of a track record, be ready for rejection. That being said, it never hurts to ask.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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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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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

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