Branding = Storytelling

 

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With today’s advancements in technology, the world is moving at a very fast pace. People are constantly on the lookout for the fastest way to get things done in order to minimize time and maximize productivity. As a result, people have become impatient and developed short attention span. When companies provide too many facts in their branding, for example, by emphasizing too much on the functions of their product, consumers tend to lose focus and might completely disregard the message being communicated to them.

Today, branding is no longer shouting about the functions or characteristics of a product. Instead, it is telling a story. The best form of marketing nowadays is storytelling. Storytelling is highlighting the authenticity behind a product – real people, real stories. This marketing strategy gives companies the opportunity to capture and share their stories, and in return, take their potential customers on a journey that they will remember.

 

3 Key Elements in Storytelling

The three key elements that make up good storytelling are authenticity, creativity and inspiration. These elements are able to help form a personal connection between a company’s brand and its target audience.

Authenticity depends on how real your story is. Companies that replicate exactly the stories told by other companies lack credibility. In return, they will fail to communicate or possess their own brand identity and will be considered a “copycat” in the industry.

There is no doubt that companies need to include a dash of creativity in their storytelling. Companies need to “wow” their customers within the first three seconds of their intended message due to people’s short attention span. Companies need to ensure that their story is relevant, current and attention-grabbing so that customers would want to research further and know more about the brand. This is when companies will know that their storytelling actually worked in light of the fact that it caused people to yearn for more information.

People tend to indulge in inspirational stories because these stories affect our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Acting on an inspirational story also offers a sense of satisfaction by making people feel good about themselves, especially when they know that by acting on it, they could make a positive impact in the society. People find it attractive, for instance, that they can help reduce pollution by promoting recycling, provide a better life to the less fortunate by giving donations, and so on.

 

Successful Storytelling by Successful Companies

  1. Toms
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Blake Mycoskie providing shoes to children in South America / Africa

Over the years, many companies have practiced good storytelling in their content marketing efforts. For example, the CEO of Toms Shoes, Blake Mycoskie, was the brilliant mind who came up with “One for One”, a business model that is simple yet revolutionary in that it helps people in need with each item acquired.

“My goal with Toms is not only to sell you a classic shoe, but also to help make the idea of giving a part of your style,” quotes Blake. Since 2006, Toms Shoes has donated 60 million pairs of shoes to less fortunate children. This goes to show that a simple idea can grow into a global movement if companies adopt the right strategy in approaching their goals. The concept of selling customers the opportunity to give back to society is what contributes to the success of Toms Shoes, even today.

 

2.  Tetra Pak

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Tetra Pak

Tetra Pak is another prominent brand that has won its way to its customers through its effective storytelling. Tetra Pak’s mission is to make food safe and accessible everywhere. Since 1951, Tetra Pak has prided itself in providing the best possible processing and packaging solutions for food, even in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Syria, where people can’t refrigerate most of their food and beverages. Tetra Pak allows that to happen, and that is how they stand out from their competitors.

3.  Adidas and Nike

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Adidas’ Take The Stage Campaign

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Nike’s Find Your Greatness Campaign

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom, which was officially sponsored by Adidas, brought great exposure to Adidas. For every Gold medal won, Adidas wrote a post on Twitter with the hashtag, TakeTheStage; for example, “Congratulations to Serena Williams #TaketheStage.” This hashtag was used to support all the winners during the Olympics. However, little did Adidas know that Nike was about to steal their spotlight. Nike took a different route by using the FindYourGreatness hashtag.

The Chinese believe that one will not be commended unless he or she wins Gold. Nike decided to challenge this thinking. Every time a Chinese Olympian lost, especially when he or she was expected to win, Nike took to Twitter with the hashtag “Find Your Greatness” to reiterate the fact that even if an athlete won just a Silver or Bronze, they should be celebrated as though a Gold medal was achieved. Because of this tactic, Nike attracted more attention than Adidas did, even though they were not the official sponsor at the Olympics.

In a nutshell, companies need to tell good stories as a means to engage their customers with their brands. A good story will help customers retain a brand for the long-term. Therefore, companies should bear in mind, Branding = Storytelling.

 

Christine Pereira is the Audience Development Executive in Malaysia for PR Newswire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA NEWS: Asia Media Moves for November 2016

PR Newswire’s Media Research Department makes thousands of updates to the database of journalists and bloggers that underpins our media targeting and distribution platform.

 

 

 

 

 

To see all the recent media moves and news across Asia-Pacific click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compiled by Charmaine Chow on behalf of the Audience Development Team (ex-China) ,  Charmaine is the Media Research Manager at PR Newswire.  For more media related news, follow us at @PRNA4media

Here’s What Asia-Pacific Journalists Don’t Tell You About Their News Gathering Activities

Our recent journalist survey report explains about the working status of Asia-Pacific journalists and how they gather news stories. The push for news gathering efforts has gathered momentum, as journalists seek ways to maximize press releases and round out their skill sets.

The vast majority of respondents wants to tell stories in more compelling and engaging ways. Newsworthy content is more essential for journalists than ever. They want to cut through all the noise for their news audience.

Full report of the survey findings can be downloaded from here.

Here are some of the survey’s key findings:
1. The Value of News
How journalists in Asia-Pacific use press release effectively? It turns out, they stick to the traditional news values. They look for interesting story angles to break the news.

2. Multi-platform Media Landscape
They want to master new methods of gathering and delivering news. Multimedia storytelling skills are among new skill sets that journalists want to acquire, i.e. video filming/editing, graphic design, and web design.

3. Best Time to Pitch News Stories
The vast majority (40%) of Asia-Pacific journalists who responded to the survey preferred to be pitched between 9 and 11 am. Many find emails as their most-favored mode of communication.

4. Job Satisfaction
About 55% of respondents–in the age range of 21-40 and 31-40—are satisfied with their current journalistic career. While a whopping 84% intend to continue working in the editorial team for the next five years.

Infographic of the survey report.
PR Newswire Journalist Survey Infographic

Patrick Hutapea is the Senior Audience Development Executive in Indonesia for PR Newswire.

4 things PR and IR professionals should know about Shenzhen-Hong Kong Connect

The approval by China’s State Council for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Connect three months ago on August 16 is the latest step implemented by the Chinese government to further liberalize mainland markets.  The long awaited stock trading link which started a three-week system test in October is likely to go live as early as November 21.  Another test of global investors’ appetite for Chinese shares, the new tie-up and its predecessor – the Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Connect which was launched in late 2014, are currently the only direct accesses for international investment in China’s stock markets.

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Once the link goes live, it will allow international investors to trade 880 Shenzhen listed stocks while mainland investors will be allowed to trade 417 Hong Kong stocks.  For Hong Kong, this approval may bring bullish momentum for the mid- and small-cap stocks as the Chinese investors will be attracted by their low valuation.  Presently, there are more than half of the stocks listed in Hong Kong backed by Chinese capital and it is expected that more from the Southern mainland will flow into Hong Kong.  In comparison with Shanghai which has majority of the listed companies being state-owned and banks, Shenzhen is the listing venue of choice for technology and start-ups firms that are serving China’ exploding consumer market. The new trade link will unlock access to a new territory of Chinese tech stocks that global investors previously weren’t able to get into easily. For Hong Kong-listed companies that are seeking more Chinese investment, this opens up another avenue for attracting more investment capital.

For marketers, PR practitioners and communicators, in particularly the investor relations (IR) professionals in Hong Kong, this has a key implication –  they should create and distribute more relevant content and news releases regularly to attract eyeballs and garner Chinese investors’ interests.  They should actively reach out to journalists and media in mainland China with interesting and newsworthy story ideas with one main objective, i.e. to have the media re-tell their stories to the Chinese audiences.  With a well-planned communication strategy, investors will be knocking on their doors in no time.  So, here are four things they should take note:

1. Start reaching out to Chinese financial and investment media.

For IR professionals, they may not thoroughly in tune with the investment climate in mainland China and have little clue on who are actively shopping for investment projects. They can, however, make the investors become more familiar with their companies by feeding newsworthy stories to key and influential financial media outlets in mainland China.

By using a newswire provider like PR Newswire, corporate news stories will be distributed simultaneously to hundreds or even thousands of media outlets if releases are distributed to multiple geographical locations. A credible newswire partner will expand your media coverage in mainland China and amplify your messages via their local distribution networks that cover print (newspaper, magazine), news agencies, online media (web portals, regional news sites) and financial terminals such as Bloomberg, Dow Jones and Chinese financial information service providers – Wind (万得信息) and XueQiu (雪球). This allows more time to be spent on targeted media pitching, and at the same time maintaining vast online visibility.

China Media Outlets

2. Be a go-to expert for the Chinese journalists.

Journalists are knowledgeable in their respective areas of expertise, but they do not know everything under the sun. When they are crafting a new story idea especially, they would need to do comprehensive research and look for authoritative sources to verify their findings.  Joining a third party services that connect journalists with the expert sources is an effective way to put a company on the journalist’s radar.

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There are several online platforms and communities that help connect experts to journalists, such as PR Newswire’s Profnet and Cision’s Help a Reporter Out. Most established sites could easily connect over 10,000 journalists with expert sources.  PR and IR professional should view this as a valuable direct access to journalists who are genuinely waiting to be connected. However, they should realize that journalists seeking sources are not looking to give free publicity for the experts’ companies. They cannot rely on query lists from journalists for a full-blown PR strategy, but instead view the channel as a good supplement for their PR and media plan.  Once they become credible and trusted sources for the journalists and established a long-term and more personal relationships, it’s just a matter of time when they start responding to your news pitch.

3. Press Release is a trusted source for investors as well as journalists

According to 2015 Brunswick’s “Investor Use of Digital and Social Media Survey”, the surveyed investors ranked information directly from companies as the most credible and influential information source, and press release is one of the top communication channels which such information is being delivered to investors.  In addition to that, the recent findings of PR Newswire’s APAC journalist survey report also reveals press release is the most trusted source of information among journalists.

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However, majority of the busy journalists get swarmed by hundreds of story ideas each week, therefore, the challenge is simply how to grab their attentions while they are mouse-clicking and scrolling through their inbox emails.  Check out our latest webinar:  How to Maximize Press Release Potential to learn useful tips and best practices when writing a press release.

And to enhance outreach to institutional investors, today’s IR professionals should also explore beyond simply meeting disclosure requirements to connect more deeply with new and existing institutional shareholders to increase their capital markets visibility.

4. Incorporate multimedia in the press release.

In 2000, the average human attention span was 12 seconds. Now, we only have 8 seconds to grab the attention from our audiences, two seconds shorter than a goldfish.  According to a surveyed journalist for the APAC journalist report, we should never underestimate the value of an image as audience is visually stimulated when a good image is included in the article.  In fact, the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.  That also explains why views on press releases that contain images and videos are much higher than those that are in plain text.multimedia increase views

Therefore, instead of sending a plain text press release, PR practitioners and communicators should consider including a high resolution image or even a video link to help tell a more engaging story to the media.  Whilst the channels of communication have evolved tremendously over the past decades, so has the press release which was first created in 1906.  It has evolved from a mere black and white article with text and images to an interactive webpage with multimedia to cater to the increasing needs for journalists to gather all the information in one single piece of new.  Here are examples of companies that harness the power of multimedia to drive engagement with their target audiences.

Last but not least, PR, IR and communications professionals should embrace technologies and keep an open mind to explore different communications channels and means to reach out to a broader investor and media audiences.  You never know if your next big investor is reading your corporate news from a newspaper, online news portal or simply watching the company’s earnings announcement presentation via live webcast streaming at the comfort of their posh offices.

PR Newswire is offering an all-in-one promotion for our mainland China press release distribution which include Capital Markets Visibility Lists for a limited time only. Contact our client service team at hkcs@prnasia.com or call +852 2572 8228 for more information.

Going with Boeing: Will the aviation giant ever ask China to move in?

 

So for this edition of the Content We Love blog we need to fly back through the PR Newswire clouds a little bit to a release we received from Boeing back on July 11; “Boeing Forecasts Demand for 39,620 New Airplanes Valued at $5.9 Trillion”.

Will Boeing ever allow its planes to be fully manufactured in China?

Will Boeing ever allow its planes to be fully manufactured in China? (Photo: YouTube)

Just by the by, this headline is a good example of why using figures in headlines can be so effective. The numbers being talked about here are remarkable, and definitely worth a closer look.

To put them into perspective, $5.9 trillion is roughly ten times the annual GDP of Argentina. Remember this is a company, not a country. And, going by Boeing’s official figures, 39,620 planes will take them just over 54 years to manufacture.

According to this news release however, they plan to deliver in just 20.

So how are they going to do it?

Of those near 40,000 aircraft some 15,130 – or nearly 40% – are earmarked for delivery in Asia, which in itself probably isn’t all that surprising considering “Asia” accounts for 60% of the world’s population.

How Boeing is going to reach this target however remains to be seen, as the company has so far resisted – or at least gone quiet about – moving any of its manufacturing or assembly outside of the United States. Boeing delivers some 750 aircraft each year (such a shame it’s not 747) but either way, 750 x 20 does not equal 39,260.

We only need to look at the Boeing media room on prnewswire.com for one possible solution, at headlines like:

– Boeing, China Southern Airlines Finalize Order for 12 787-9 Dreamliners
– Boeing Announces Commitment for 30 737 Airplanes from Unidentified Chinese Customer
– Boeing, Kunming Airlines Announce Memorandum of Understanding for 10 737 MAX 7 Airplanes
– Boeing, Donghai Airlines Announce Airline’s Intent to Purchase 25 737 MAX 8s, Five 787-9s

and especially:

– Boeing Forecasts Demand in China for 6,810 Airplanes, Valued at $1 Trillion

This is over the course of just three months. The second and third ones came in on the same day.

It stands to reason that if one market is going to order nearly 7,000 planes at a value of US$1 trillion, Boeing is going to have to do something. Probably something it hasn’t done before.

Due to open in 2019, Beijing Daxing airport has the potential to be the world's busiest

Due to open in 2019, Beijing Daxing airport has the potential to be the world’s busiest

The company’s biggest rival Airbus has had a manufacturing facility in Tianjin since 2009 and, at the time of writing, is busy working on a second location not far from the first. This willingness to back the Chinese aviation market over the past seven years has seen Airbus snap up a near 50% market share in China.

Beijing and the Seven Runways

Indeed the passenger aviation sector in the world’s most populous nation is absolutely booming. Relative newcomers to the sector, like Xiamen Airlines and Hainan Airlines, now offer direct flights from second and even third tier Mainland Chinese cities to a number of top global destinations. Who’d have thought even just a few years ago that in 2016 you’d be able to fly direct from Changsha to Melbourne or Amsterdam to Xiamen?

China’s thirst for travel comes with inevitable downsides though; Chinese airports and airlines are regularly ranked among the worst performers in the industry. But one thing the modern China is certainly never short of is ambitious solutions, such as the plan to build the newest, biggest, bestest, most expensivest airport ever, in Beijing.

Due to open in 2019, it will apparently have the capacity for 72 million passengers annually – making it potentially the biggest and busiest in the world – in addition to a high speed train station and an extremely ambitious sounding seven runways.

These kinds of developments are enough to make any company sit up and pay attention, even one as steeped in tradition as Boeing. The company’s will-they-won’t-they courtship with China seems to have been rumbling on for years, but the numbers suggest something’s gotta give.

There’s no question the label carries a lot less of the stigma that it used to. Nevertheless the awkward question still remains; is the world ready for planes ‘Made in China’?