PR Newswire Vietnam Marks First Anniversary – An Inside Look at Vietnam’s Economy, Media Landscape and PR Tips

In conjunction with PR Newswire Vietnam’s first anniversary of its establishment on June 14, 2019, our local team offers an inside look at Vietnam’s dynamic economy, its media landscape, and PR tips. To mark PR Newswire Vietnam’s first anniversary, two of its team members, Mai Anh Le, Country Manager, and Vũ Thái Dũng (Vincent), Media Relations Manager, joins me to share their views on Vietnam’s dynamic economy and its media landscape. For background information, PR Newswire Vietnam was established on June 14, 2018, and grown to a close-knit five-member team based in Ho Chi Minh City focusing on business development and developing our local news release distribution network. Vietnam’s Economy According to a DBS Bank research report published in May 2019, Vietnam occupies an important place in the regional supply chain and enjoys an extensive network of free trade agreements. With strong foreign direct investment (FDI) from China and Hong Kong in the first four months of 2019, it is estimated that Vietnam has the potential to grow by about 6-6.5% in the medium term. Vietnam recorded remarkable GDP growth of 7.1% in 2018. This makes it the second fastest amongst Asian economies. This economic growth is fueled by FDI especially in electronics manufacturing where Vietnam has captured market share from its regional rivals as seen below. With an estimated population of about 97 million in 2019, Vietnam is the 15th most populous country in the world. The 15-to-64 age bracket accounts for 70% of the population and is a key demographic for B2C brands. As many young people are moving to big cities where more jobs are available, Vietnam’s urban population is expected to grow by 2.6% annually from 2015 to 2020, the highest rate among its regional peers. “Vietnam is a vibrant country with a bright economic future. We have witnessed a remarkable improvement in consumer consciousness with greater awareness of innovation and quality. This provides an opening for new innovative products as well as high-quality services”, Mai Anh Le said. Vietnam’s Media Landscape Vincent Vu pointed to the Kantar Worldpanel chart published in 2018 as a start for international brands to understand Vietnamese audiences: As population density and economic development levels vary between regions, the optimal media channels mix will be different. Therefore, companies should always plan their media mix based on their audience segmentation. In urban areas, the time spent on TV is higher than online – the second largest channel. In rural areas, although smartphone penetration is increasing, the coverage of online channels is still less than half that of TV – 95% for TV vs 45% for the Internet in rural areas. In Vietnam’s four biggest cities (Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang and Can Tho), Newspaper (33 percent coverage) and Magazine (16 percent coverage) are still effective means of communication for brands to reach their objectives. In terms of PR tips for companies new to Vietnam, the PR Newswire Vietnam team shared a few points: (1) In Vietnam, 95 percent of internet users watch video on mobile. Video content is often consumed and shared socially on both private and public networks. It is vital for companies to communicate vivid multimedia messages that differentiate their brand while attracting attention and shares. (2) For company-related information, local journalists tend to be meticulous fact-checkers to avoid errors that may affect the reputation of their newsroom or companies. Therefore, it is a good strategy to update company websites and share company news through press releases to facilitate such fact-checking and win additional media exposure opportunities. There are over a thousand press outlets covering many industries in Vietnam and this number continues to grow. Business news is the most closely monitored type of news for the local press. The PR Newswire Vietnam team shared a list of some of the leading business media in Vietnam: The PR Newswire Advantage PR Newswire Vietnam has seen a significant increase in demand for news dissemination channels from global customers sending corporate news to the Vietnam market, as well as from Vietnamese companies sending news globally. In the past year, the team has also been very passionate about helping Vietnamese companies learn more about telling a global brand story. These activities include a Media Coffee session (offering attendees a chance to hear from invited journalists), a content planning workshop, training days to share global communications tips and agency sharing sessions. Mai Anh Le shared that, “Our PR Newswire product range is well-suited to the needs of a globalizing company, from multimedia news releases to media monitoring services and media database to help them tell a compelling story in target markets across the world. In Dec 2018, our team was thrilled to facilitate the first Vietnamese companies, comprising leading homegrown jewelry and hospitality brands, unveil their videos on the Times Square screen in New York. In addition, a wide range of local companies, from world-class food manufacturers to Vietnam’s largest telecom company to innovative tech start-ups, have chosen to tap on our product range to speed up their globalization journey.” “In terms of the number of Vietnamese journalists and media, our team has extended our distribution network across various industry verticals and media types. Well-known publications such as The Saigon Times, VN Express and VN Ngay Nay are our partners. In addition, the number of partnering media has increased by almost 100 percent on a year-to-year basis. This means that we can offer international companies better local language coverage to optimize their audience reach”, said Vincent Vu. To learn more about telling your company’s story to a Vietnamese or global audience, please get in touch with our team at

2019-06-18 19:00

June 2019 PR Calendar Cheat Sheet - Father's Day, World Environment Day, World Ocean Day and International Yoga Day

June is an important milestone in a year where many of us will take stock of our year so far. It is also a good time for PR professionals to review their communications campaigns and make the appropriate adjustments. Without further ado, let us take a look at June’s PR Calendar. To recap, this monthly calendar feature seeks to help businesses plan ahead to launch the right campaigns at the right time when the media is looking out for certain types of stories. June’s Key Festivals and Exhibitions 1:International Children’s Day 5:Hari Raya Aidilfitri, World Environment Day 6:World Ocean Day, Memorial Day (South Korea) 7:Dragon Boat Festival 14:World Blood Donor Day 16:Father’s Day 21:International Yoga Day 23:Olympic Day 26:International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 30:World Festival of Youth and Students Recommended (ranked in order of relevancy) Father’s Day(16th June)(⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) Father’s Day is a day to celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the role of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June. To mark this occasion, there is major spending that goes on. Therefore, it is worth the effort to market and position your brand or product as a unique Father’s Day gift. Our team looked at the insights our Cision Communications Cloud offered about “Father’s Day” global media coverage within the past 90 days (28th Feb - 29th May 2019). It turns out that since the middle of May, there was a sharp spike in media coverage for this keyword, particularly from online consumer and consumer blog sites. Such a seasonal spike was often seen in previous years as well. With strong online interest, there is no surprise that many media outlets offer content that involves lists of gifts to get for dad. But if we step back and think a little bit deeper, brands that take the extra step to promote their product that create a stronger emotional bond between consumers are more likely to be remembered. Here are a few of our favorite Father’s Day campaigns: (1) Organize a contest to curate memorable user-generated content (UGC): Haggar Clothing Company, a U.S-based apparel brand, tapped on a press release in March 2019 to kickstart its “Hall of Fame” dad contest, and promoted it on social media channels for over a month to call on wives and children to nominate the great dads and father figures in their lives by sharing their stories, videos and photos. UGC is a great choice for brands as when consumers see brand fans featured in the content, they’re 28% more likely to engage with that content. In addition, Haggar was able to curate the best UGC (see Facebook post below) and shared it with their brand fans after the contest ended at the end of April. The combination of authentic images and heart-warming stories, e.g. a father who spent 40 straight days in a hospital as his son fought multiple life-threatening lung complications, also won earned media coverage as these were great human-interest features. This is a fantastic example of how earned and social media can work in tandem for optimal effect over the course of a longer campaign. Source: Haggar Clothing Co Facebook (2) Limited-offer giveaways that promote time with dad: Jim Beam Black Bourbon launched The Bonding Over Bourbon Experience campaign through a press release to offer fans of legal drinking age to treat their fathers to a weekend away in the birthplace of bourbon, Kentucky. Though such offers are limited in number, Jim Beam successfully linked its product to bonding with fathers and subtly positioned its product as a gift idea. Source: Jim Beam press release World Environment Day and World Ocean Day(5th & 6th June respectively)(⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) World Environment Day aims to inspire people to act to prevent the growing strain on planet Earth’s natural ecosystems from reaching a breaking point. World Ocean Day seeks to educate more people about the oceans and realize the importance of ocean conservation. Both occasions are good opportunities for CSR. In our earlier article on Winning Partnerships: Positioning Your Company Behind the Right CSR Causes, we shared that brands that have succeeded in CSR, tend to invest long-term in focus areas based on their own product characteristics and community needs. If you have missed this article earlier, you may wish to read it to learn how companies such as Dilmah, Honeywell and GAC have successfully leveraged on the right CSR causes to burnish their brands. International Yoga Day(21th June)(⭐⭐⭐) The first International Day of Yoga was observed around the world on 21st June 2015, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, after Mr. Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India, made this proposal to the U.N during a 2014 speech. As International Yoga Day is relatively young, this occasion is now observed in many Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. For many hospitality businesses, it is an opportune time to unveil rejuvenating yoga packages. In South Korea, yoga fans prefer to participate at home with the help of various videos, and the sales of yoga mats have boomed. At PR Newswire, we have also observed that many hospitality destinations’ press releases are promoting yoga classes as part of their list of guest experiences as they seek to appeal to a health-conscious and discerning segment. There are more than 200 festivals and important exhibitions in 2019. If you want to find out additional details, please click on the picture to view our public relations calendar for 2019.

2019-06-06 14:32

China's Advertising Law isn't a Paper Tiger! How to Stay Creative and in Compliance

Since its introduction in 2015, China’s Advertising Law has been gaining greater “bite” with the most recent revision in 2018 expanding the coverage and potential penalties of the relevant statutes for false and misleading advertisements. Against this backdrop, companies need to pay greater attention to their advertising copy to avoid incurring sky-high penalties and the associated negative brand impact. On November 15, 2018, Beijing Bureau of Industry and Commerce (Haidian branch) penalized “Guazi”, a digital marketplace specializing in second-hand cars, for making a false advertising claim, "One year after establishment, our transaction volume is leading the market" and imposed a fine of 12.5 million yuan. In another update, the General Administration of Market Supervision and Administration issued a public announcement on January 17, 2019. In response to the public response to potential violations of the "CCTV National Brand Plan", this announcement states that it is a violation of Advertising Law for companies to use terms that invoke China’s national image to promote their products. According to the official statistics, the top five violations of Advertising Law involve false advertisements, absolute terms, investment assurances, medical efficacy assurances, and misleading consumers. When enterprises falsely promote their products or services, apart from violation of Advertising Law, they may also be in violation of the Fair Competition Protection Law, the Consumer Rights Protection Law, the Copyright Law, the Anti-monopoly Law and the General Principles of Civil Law. Advertising Law regulates advertisers, publishers, spokespersons, digital information service providers, demand-side platforms, media platforms, and advertising information exchange platforms. With so many stakeholders involved, it is clear that the complexity of staying in compliance with the relevant regulations is an urgent priority and companies need to enhance their procedures if they haven’t done so yet. Avoiding false advertisements Let’s discuss a few of the top violations of Advertising Law. So what’s a “false advertisement”? False advertisements are flagged by relevant authorities when they assess "whether there is an intention to mislead consumers or cause a substantial impact on rational consumers". In an actual example, a company states in its product range documentation that its washing powder products are not suitable for washing silk and down clothing, but in the promotion of a new washing powder product, the label indicates this product "meets all the daily needs of laundry". The relevant authorities indicated that this is a false claim in relation to the product performance and usage which is likely to mislead consumers and levied a fine of 150,000 yuan on this company. Absolute terms are legal minefields Advertising Law stipulates that advertisement copy shall not use terms such as "National level", "Highest level", "Best" when describing a company’s product. To stay in compliance, marketers should seek to avoid using such absolute language. If it is unavoidable, the description of the subject matter should be specific, and marketers must be prepared to defend such claims. For example, when a company says that it is the "largest" company in the industry, the relevant authorities may question whether "the largest" refers to "the largest volume of business" or "the largest number of customers". Questions may also be asked what data is used when making such a claim and whether this data is recognized as being authoritative and objective. If a company cannot defend such claims, it is deemed to have used absolute terms in violation of Advertising Law and will face a fine of over 200,000 yuan. Some companies handle the usage of absolute terms more skilfully by adding "possibly" before the use of "best" terms. When Carlsberg Beer initially launched its slogan "Probably the best beer in the world" and subsequently changed to "Spending 170 years to create better beer". The low-key and precise wording highlights the long heritage of Carlsberg’s brand while underlining its commitment to a superior product. In our opinion, this is a fine example of carefully thought-out and effective advertising copy. Absolute investment assurances are a big no-no Article 25 of the Advertising Law stipulates that advertisements for investment products with non-guaranteed returns must include reasonable warnings about possible risks, and must not contain guarantees on future returns, nor shall they make references or recommendations in relation to academic institutions, trade associations, and investment professionals. For example, the financial institutions that describe their product as providing a "yield of more than 10%", or real estate companies whose brochures indicate "good annualized return rate of more than 6%", have made specific promises on investment returns. This is a violation of Advertising Law and companies should describe their products objectively and carefully when doing such promotion to stay in compliance with the relevant regulations. Medical efficacy assurances invite unnecessary regulatory scrutiny In an actual example, a local medical organization carried the following text on its website: "The success rate of this treatment is 95%, requiring a one-time dosage of our natural and safe prescription. Our patients face no recurrence, no drug resistance, and few side effects". It was ordered to stop publishing such text and fined over 200,000 yuan for violating many provisions of the Advertising Law. Pharmaceutical and health products companies should not exaggerate their promotions. Marketers in these companies should review their own content - If there are any guarantees of efficacy and safety in articles, describing the success rate or efficiency, comparing the efficacy and safety of drugs, or using spokespersons, patients, research institutions, to make product recommendations, then you should be making immediate rectifications! Press releases are a common way for companies to publish and publicize news about themselves. The essence of a press release is "news", sticking to the classic 5W1H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How) to impart news elements and timeliness. In our opinion, it should not be written like an advertisement, with an obvious promotional intent or worse, incorporating absolute terms. If a press release incorporates absolute terms, it will be subject to the Advertising Law, which may lead to large fines and negatively impact brand reputation, and even implicate a company’s press release service providers. We suggest that companies make data or research-based product claims, review the appropriateness of their content, the accuracy of expression, and whether product claims can withstand the scrutiny of the relevant authorities to avoid unintentionally violating the Advertising Law. To ensure that your press release is in compliance with the Advertising Law, the Editorial Department of PR Newswire has compiled a checklist for easy reference: Does your release invoke the national image to promote your company, such as the national flag, national anthem, and international organizations? Does your release contain absolute terms, such as "national level", "highest level", "best"? Does your release contain too many superlatives to describe your products? Does your release contain content that may be detrimental to the public interest, social stability, and social norms? Does your release contain content that may violate personal property rights or privacy? Does your release contain content that may involve pornography, superstition, terror, and violence? Does your release describe situations that involve discrimination? Does your release describe situations that are harmful to the environment? Does your release describe situations that are prohibited by China’s laws and regulations? Taking a step back, China’s Advertising Law is not unique as other nations such as the U.S also seek to protect consumers from fraud and deception in the marketplace. Compliance with this law provides a legal framework for companies in China to promote themselves and facilitate fair competition. With a combination of creativity, careful verification, and objective wording, companies may tell their stories in a personalized, sincere and appealing manner.

2019-05-21 17:14

Seeking to Stand Out from the Crowd? Why a Tailored PR Calendar is a must-have for Content Marketing & SEO Success

As a marketer, are you frustrated by your team producing great blog content but not being able to drive views and engagement? You are not alone – a research study tracks a million articles and results show that 50 percent receive 8 social media shares or fewer and 75 percent achieved zero referring domain links. So how do marketers boost their blog traffic without paying for the “sugar rush” of paid traffic that is unsustainable over the longer-run? To boost organic traffic, your content must be more relevant and deliver value to your readers so that these blog posts show up in search engine results when they do a keyword search. This is critical as there are over 5 million blog posts written each day. Our own experience, shared by 52 percent of B2B marketers, is that using a calendar to plan content is an effective way to produce relevant, consistent and valuable material. Content calendars help allocate resources, keep content 'on brand' and generate new ideas while reducing the stress levels of the content marketing team. Content calendars also play a critical role in optimizing press coverage opportunities: A resounding 65 percent of journalists admitted that audience metrics, such as views and engagement, had changed the way they evaluate potential stories. This means that journalists are more likely to republish your carefully crafted content or use it as a source for their stories if it relates to an ongoing festival or big exhibition that attracts views and shares. This boosts your company’s SEO as media and publishing websites have the highest average domain authority, with a study showing that technology companies with more than five media placements per month earn a 29 percent higher share of traffic from search engines. Ranking higher on SERP According to Advanced Web Ranking, the top positions on Google's search engine result pages (SERP) account for more than 50 percent of clicks. So, in addition to following a calendar, marketers also need to deliver content which will appear higher on Google's SERP or they risk wasting their valuable time and effort writing material which few will read. However, ranking high on Google, which services over 90 percent of searches globally, isn't easy. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become quite complicated over the years and recent updates by Google mean that many techniques which used to work are no longer effective. To find the most up-to-date SEO techniques which work, marketers should always consult Google itself. The company's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide provides many tips for improving rank, but there is one which stands out for content marketers.  In the Best Practices section, Google tells marketers to avoid 'rehashing' existing content and instead 'create fresh, unique content' to earn a higher rank on Google's SERP. What is a PR calendar? For those who are new to this concept, a public relations (PR) calendar is a collection of important dates for a particular market such as public holidays, memorial days and even industry conferences. Marketers can build their own PR calendar by thoroughly researching a target market, or they can adapt an existing one. One example for marketers in the Asia region is PR Newswire's PR calendar. This calendar contains the dates for a wide range of holidays and events which have been curated for an Asian audience - and it can form the basis for a new, tailored 'PR-powered' content calendar to produce ‘fresh, unique content’ that is in line with Google’s SEO guidelines. Creating a tailored PR calendar Even a quick glance of a PR calendar reveals that there are events happening somewhere in Asia almost every day of the month. Marketers, therefore, shouldn't aim to link their content with every event on a PR calendar. Instead, they should 'tailor' the PR calendar and only use the events which are relevant to their brand and, more importantly, their audience. To start, marketers should first become familiar with the types of events recorded on PR calendars. These include: Public holidays International days, promoted by organizations to draw attention to their causes Memorial days Festivals - both commercial and public Conferences Then, marketers should gauge the potential impact of each event on their customers' searches. When evaluating company-specific content for these events, key reference points may include the volume of searches of targeted keywords and tracking competitor activity for targeted keywords. Public holidays are probably the most likely to be searched, but they will also have the most competition and be difficult to rank for. Festivals, conferences and international days may have lower search volumes but could be popular with a market segment. Finally, marketers should assess which events tie in well with their brand and focus their efforts on them. Many B2C brands are likely to do well with widely known, public holidays especially when people are searching for a seasonal gift. B2B brands, on the other hand, may wish to focus on conferences, festivals and, events which are relevant to their industry. In particular, B2B brands may monitor and shortlist trending topics after a flagship event in their industry. These topics may then be featured in content for upcoming events in these brands’ PR calendar. And international days could be used by any brand as the basis of content to link the brand with a cause its company supports. Combining PR and content at Microsoft Asia In 2014, Microsoft Asia launched the Microsoft Asia News Center and transformed its PR into a newsroom model, integrating its PR outreach, including earned media coverage, with content in its owned media. The regional headquarters now delivers content through several different micro-sites: Microsoft Asia News Center Microsoft Asia Blog Topic-specific sites such as Education Asia  Through these sites, Microsoft leverages a PR calendar and infuses its own content in a variety of tailored events: Type of event Description & Relevance Screenshots and Images Conferences Shares how developers may leverage technologies showcased at Microsoft Build 2019, its annual developer conference, to create intelligent solutions.   International days Highlight on Global Accessibility Awareness Day how Microsoft’s Seeing AI project is assisting people who are blind.   Regional holidays In the spirit of Ramadan, an important local festival, Microsoft Malaysia recently distributed Buka Puasa and Hari Raya goodies to the Kuala Lumpur Traffic Police.     Microsoft Asia adopted a PR/content model where its content production model combines PR with content marketing while amplifying reach with press releases for signature events such as Microsoft Build. This combination has allowed Microsoft to progressively reach and engage a much larger audience. In 2017, three years after launching the newsroom model, WARC reports that Microsoft Asia sites had doubled its 2016 results, with its sites receiving more than 580,000 page views and 440,000 unique visitors. Delivering value to readers A tailored PR calendar will ensure no surprises so that you won’t be scrabbling around at last minute to get content together for a certain festival. You will also be better prepared for big industry events. And you will have the lead-time to optimize your content and its engagement, making your PR and SEO efforts much more effective. Always ensure, though, that the PR calendar-infused content that you create is delivering value for your readers. There is little point in aiming to improve your SEO with fresh content, only to be penalized by Google for delivering poorly-written content. Do get in touch with us at if you have any questions or comments about how integrating a PR calendar into your content plan improves SEO and drives more traffic to your site! About the Writer Jeff Rajeck is a researcher, writer, trainer, and consultant for Econsultancy and Click Academy in Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore.  With a background in finance and analytics, Jeff is a regular contributor to the Econsultancy blog and frequently provides consulting services for Asia’s largest brands on marketing trends, best practices, and analytics.

2019-05-21 15:24

May 2019 PR Calendar Cheat Sheet - Mother's Day, Start of Ramadan and Computex

To optimize businesses’ earned media coverage from press releases, it is essential to plan ahead to launch the right campaigns at the right time when the media is looking out for certain types of stories. Let us take stock of May’s PR Calendar and share why May goes beyond Labour Day and Mother’s Day. When we think about the festivals for the month of May, Labour Day and Mother’s Day tend to crop up first in our mind. Let us take stock of May’s PR Calendar and share why May offers far more than these two festivals. To recap, this monthly calendar feature seeks to help businesses plan ahead to launch the right campaigns at the right time when the media is looking out for certain types of stories. May’s Key Festivals and Exhibitions 1:Labour Day 3:World Press Freedom Day 6:Start of Ramadan 7:World Asthma Day 8:World Red Cross Day 12:Mother’s Day, Buddha’s Birthday (Hong Kong) 15: International Day of Families 20:Vesak Day (Singapore and Malaysia) 28:Computex Taipei 2019 31:Non-Smoking Day, 2019 Asia Pacific Stevie Awards Recommended (ranked in order of relevancy) Mother’s Day(12th May)(⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) The second Sunday of May marks Mother’s Day in many countries around the world. Mother's Day is a time of commemoration and celebration for mothers, a time of breakfast in bed, family gatherings, and scribbled notes written by appreciative children and spouses. Our team took a peek at what insights Google Trends offered about “Mother’s Day” for global searches made within the past 30 days. It turns out that since the middle of April, there was a sharp spike in searches for this keyword. Such a seasonal spike was often seen in previous years as well. With strong online interest, many brands, especially flowers, cosmetics, chocolate, and jewelry brands, often offer special products and promotions during this period. But there’s quite a difference between telling a story that resonates versus a product promotion. Here’s a couple of our favorites from industries that may surprise you: Industry Vertical Activities and Topics Case Studies Mobile Applications Special features to encourage users to put their own spin on Mother’s Day and share on social media. Meitu, the photo enhancement app, has rolled out new AR effects, frames and magic pen features for Mother's Day. Property Development Organize fun activities for families while giving them a chance to interact with diverse groups of people. Over 100 Sino Club and Hong Kong Single Parents Association members gathered for a fun day of children opera performances, green workshops and eco-activities. Healthcare Host a unique charity event to raise awareness of breast cancer. The Kinnet, a wellness center dedicated to active aging, hosted an event for participants to pledge money to walk, jog or run for up to 3.5 km. All proceeds will benefit the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation. Source: Meitu Start of Ramadan(6th May)(⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) Ramadan takes place between May 06 and June 05, 2019. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is spent by Muslims fasting from dawn to sunset, and marked with additional prayers. Although energy during the day may be low, Ramadan is a festive time in Asia with night bazaars, family gatherings, games, and special treats. At the end of Ramadan, there is a celebration. This celebration is known as Hari Raya Idulfitri or “Day of Celebration” in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. In Indonesia, the month of Ramadan is the most popular time to shop online, with an increase in click-rate by 26 percent when compared to the previous month and increase of transaction value by as much as 16 percent. Therefore, it is an opportune time to launch Ramadan-related e-commerce and digital content campaigns if your company is targeting Asian countries with Muslim populations. Start of Computex Taipei 2019(28th May) Computex Taipei 2019 is a leading ICT trade show that takes place from May 28 – Jun 01, 2019. Main themes comprise AI & IoT, 5G, Blockchain, Innovations & Startups, and Gaming & XR. This show involves 1,685 exhibitors with 5,508 booths and has welcomed over 42,000 visitors in 2018. At trade shows, it is common to see exhibitors launch new products and position themselves as innovative brands. But how can exhibitors successfully position themselves as innovative brands? Let’s take a look at three communication strategies employed by Asian brands at exhibitions: Promotion of First-Mover Advantage, e.g. ASPEED launching the world’s first 360-degree spherical image processor. Promotion of New Technology Use Cases, e.g. how Datavan intelligent kiosk terminals enhance the customer experience in various businesses ranging from hospitality, retail, and healthcare. Announcement of Strategic Cooperation, e.g. TYAN showcasing products that feature Intel Xeon processor There are more than 200 festivals and important exhibitions in 2019. If you want to find out additional details, please click on the picture to view our public relations calendar for 2019.

2019-05-07 12:04

An interview with TODAY, a media platform experimenting with content formats to better focus on millennials

Media 101 with Yasmine Yahya, Supervising Editor from TODAY What are the specific stories that you usually look out for? Stories about ground-up initiatives that are seeking to make an impact on society, young people doing interesting things, stories that seek to explain issues that are relevant and important to our readers, whether that’s climate change, health, education, consumer trends, etc. What should PR professionals take note of when pitching to TODAY? We seek to write stories that are unique to us. Ideally, a pitch should present us with a story idea or opportunity that is relevant to our readers, resonant with the TODAY brand and not something that people would be able to find on any other news platform. What trends & developments are you currently keeping tabs on in the business industry? We’re largely concerned with business trends that ultimately have an impact on the consumer, such as manpower issues in the service industry, innovative uses of technology and interesting business ideas that also seek to benefit society in some way. Obviously, this is far from being an exhaustive list. What’s unique about TODAY and how does it differ from other media? We’re quite targeted in our scope of coverage. We want to make sure that we deliver news and features that are relevant and interesting to our main reader base, who are young Singaporeans, so we are very selective about the news we carry. We also put a lot of thought into the treatment of each story. Not every news article or feature is going to be told in the traditional news format of paragraphs of text. Depending on the topic and the content to be presented, we might deliver the story in the form of a listicle, an explainer, a Q&A, a graphic or, yes, a traditional news story. We’re still experimenting and trying out new ways of delivering the news in ways that are engaging and accessible to our time-starved readers who want to know the most important news of the day without having to wade through walls of text. As TODAY has been experimenting with this shift, could you please share a few tips for brands to create content that is insightful, meaningful while delivered in a more visual style? As in any other newsroom, we’ve found that close collaboration between our editorial and visual content producers is key to creating meaningful multimedia stories. We’re not a big team so to begin with we are very selective about which stories deserve that special visual treatment, such as a video or a graphic. And when we do decide to take that step, the reporter and the visual journalist/graphic artist work closely together to conceptualize the visuals, and they check in on each other throughout the process. In the age of social media and peak content, we’ve also learned not to confine ourselves to formulas and templates. Some stories need simple graphics, some may need a video, some others might best be accompanied by an animated graphic on Instagram. We’re also stretching ourselves to come up with creative ways to present our visuals. For example, nobody wants to watch talking heads for three minutes straight, so our videos try to break the mold with innovative camerawork and editing. Are there any exciting upcoming projects or campaigns from TODAY? We’re relaunching the site in May. We will be focused on executing the strategies I outlined above, but we hope to make clear with our relaunch that we are targeting the millennial audience – readers aged between 25 and 34. That doesn’t mean dumbing down content. In fact, quite the opposite. Our readers can expect us not to simply seize on the latest trending hashtags and fads. We will continue to deliver content that’s insightful, meaningful and gives them the context they need to make sense of the world they live in.

2019-05-07 10:37

Video Interview with Kumparan Founder: How the Indonesian media landscape is quickly evolving

Kumparan is a news platform founded in 2017, aimed at disrupting the online media industry by incorporating technology-based journalism and enabling interaction between users on one platform. Since their establishment, they have expanded to a team of 400 employees and 5,000 content creators, and generated an average of 2,500 content pieces per day, with 30 million monthly active readers. We sat down with Hugo Diba, the founder of Kumparan, to learn about how Kumparan came about, what contributed to its success and some of his tips for media pitches. Prior to setting up Kumparan, Hugo served as Country Sales Director at CtrlShift and Business Director at Detikcom & CNN Indonesia. [embed][/embed]  

2019-04-22 14:40

Five Steps to Foster New International Media Relationships and Generate Coverage

When companies craft a communications strategy, they are aware that as audiences consume articles, blog posts, and videos, not all sources are created equal. “Imagine the power of having your brand value proposition effectively and consistently described from a variety of sources. But conversely, imagine the lost opportunity or damage it causes if your messages are random or even conflicting,” says Cheryl Conner, author of Beyond PR: Communicate Like a Champ in the Digital Age.  In terms of the "variety of sources" that Conner refers to, audiences tend to trust people who are not in the employ of a brand. It is not surprising that 81 percent of senior marketers believe earned media has more of a positive impact than paid media. For many Asian companies seeking a global audience, they face a few issues in relation to fostering international media relationships and facilitating earned media coverage. From our observation, many Asian companies may not spend too much time to monitor what their potential media channels are writing about or to nurture media relationships over time. They tend to reach out to international media when they launch new products and attend international exhibitions. As such, there may not be a match in terms of the international media channels’ content preferences and editorial calendar. So how can Asian companies adopt a more targeted media outreach approach to stay a step ahead of their competition? After answering this question, you must also convince journalists that your company has a unique story or viewpoint to share – which may be equally challenging. It is vital to remember that media channels anywhere in the world are keen to curate the most valuable content for their readers and an effective outreach strategy must be aligned to their core mission. Let’s review the following five tried-and-tested steps when reaching out to the international media: Step 1: Establish Digital Credentials Just like a potential client, journalists will research online to determine whether companies are a legitimate expert in the field. Therefore, before approaching the international media, it is important for companies to create an English language web page that includes an “about” page that highlights background, areas of expertise, and previous media coverage. It is also a great idea to create a media kit that contains relevant information regarding services and products in one location. This way, busy journalists may access such information more quickly. Step 2: Access a Comprehensive Media Intelligence Tool Journalists receive lots of irrelevant emails so reaching out with relevant pitches is vital to avoid irritating them and generate coverage – as Jane Wells, Special Correspondent at CNBC, puts it, “Apparently some in the PR industry must get paid by the number of emails they send, because that’s the only explanation for the couple hundred irrelevant and ridiculous messages I receive every day.” To avoid inadvertently annoying journalists, and spend time nurturing media relationships instead, my team suggests setting up keywords of their vertical and competitors on a media intelligence tool such as Cision Communication Cloud, companies may analyze related trending topics on indicators of media and social media mentions. This will offer a data-based approach to identify the sweet spot between companies’ unique expertise and journalists’ interest. You may also tap on Cision Communication Cloud to zoom into specific profiles of journalists and bloggers to look at their recent articles as well as Twitter postings to maximize the chances of a win-win fit with your company's products. After shortlisting the most relevant journalists and bloggers, you may then refer to their contact details to speed up your media outreach process. A search for media contacts and bloggers using keywords. Source: Cision Communication Cloud Step 3: Craft a Winning Pitch “If you have a good story to pitch in two minutes or less, great. One minute is even better,” says Frank Washkuch, News Director at PRWeek. Therefore, a strong email pitch should be clear, concise, and customized. Why email? Over 90% of journalists reported that email is their preferred method of pitching. Our team recommends checking off a few boxes when making an email pitch:  Share your proposed headline, describe why the topic will be unique and interesting to the media channel’s readers.  Briefly introduce your company’s expertise and explain how you are best placed to tell this unique story.  Provide supporting links to back up your pitch, including relevant articles published by this media channel.  Use bullet points as appropriate to make your pitch easy to read.  Double-check to avoid spelling and grammar mistakes. At the risk of stating the obvious, a pitch should also be written without spelling and grammar mistakes. To appear professional and minimize the chances of such an “own goal”, you may wish to tap on a more advanced language-checking tool such as Grammarly. Step 4: Winning the News Cycle The news cycle rewards companies that connect the dots between earned, owned and paid media to optimize exposure to your target audiences. It is a good idea to ask journalists when they are planning to publish your company’s content and to plan either social media or paid amplification of earned media content. In terms of social media amplification, it is good manners (and PR) to thank a media channel and journalist for featuring yourself and your company. This way, your company’s existing social network will learn about the latest media coverage. An example of social media amplification of earned media Paid amplification on social media may also be considered as these platforms typically allow companies to target precisely, e.g. location, job title, to get content to your target audiences’ eye level. News cycle planning also refers to planning a regular flow of news about your company to build mindshare with journalists over time. Obviously, if a journalist is familiar with your company prior to a big, important event, e.g. an international exhibition, you are more likely to succeed with your pitch. Therefore, you should plan ahead and think beyond getting reported by media - Companies may also tap on press releases to share curated content such as new products, infographics, white papers, and any valuable and therefore newsworthy information.  By launching a regular stream of high-quality stories, your media contacts are more likely to approach you for fresh content especially when your company needs it most. Step 5: Be Persistent (but Polite) If you’ve done everything else right, you could stand to be a bit more persistent. Journalists get dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of emails daily, and sometimes they are going to lose track of their emails. If you don’t hear back within a week, follow up with a second email or reach out via social media private messages. If you don’t hear back then, you may then assume that there’s no interest and move on. Getting journalists’ and bloggers’ attention will always be challenging. In one way or another, we’re all storytellers and willing consumers of stories, so journalists will always appreciate creative, authentic content from companies that helps them craft more unique stories. Supporting the media’s mission of creating valuable content for their readers and demonstrating your professionalism with these five steps is going to be immensely helpful to companies seeking to foster new international media relationships.

2019-04-22 11:48

April 2019 PR Calendar Cheat Sheet – A Guide to the Right Stories at the Right Time

The fourth month of the year, April is a sign that spring has definitively arrived. It starts on a light note, with April Fool’s Day and includes occasions for celebration and reflection such as Easter Sunday and Earth Day respectively. To optimize brands’ earned media coverage from press releases, it is essential to plan ahead to launch the right campaigns at the right time when the media is looking out for certain types of stories. To help you get into the swing of April, PR Newswire takes stock of this month’s PR Calendar. April’s Key Festivals and Exhibitions 1:April Fool’s Day 2:World Autism Day 5:Chingming Festival 7:World Health Day 15:125th Canton Fair 19: Good Friday 21:Easter Sunday 22:Earth Day 25:Anzac Day, World Malaria Day 26: World Intellectual Property Day 28:World Day for Safety and Health at Work May 1:Labor Day Recommended (ranked in order of relevancy) Earth Day(22nd April) Earth Day seeks to educate and raise awareness to protect the world's environment. At the same time, this is also an occasion to mobilize and participate in environmental protection campaigns to improve the overall environment of our planet through a green and low-carbon lifestyle. With people being directly impacted by their environmental conditions, this is no longer a topic that can be ignored. Environmental protection is now seen as the common responsibility of society - individuals and businesses alike. As individuals adopt actions such as active recycling and saving more water, it is not surprising that they expect enterprises to share similar values. Through Earth Day, businesses can further demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility communication (CSR). For more information on CSR dissemination, click on our article here. For impactful CSR campaigns, we have observed that businesses tend to choose topics which are in line with their corporate values and product characteristics and follow through over the long-run. We have listed a selection of Earth Day press releases issued for your easy reference: Intel’s Earth Day press release in 2018 caught our attention by sharing that “every day is Earth Day”. This is backed by an impressive info-graphic showcasing various data from their various initiatives, covering water saving, reducing waste emissions, investing in energy-saving projects, and purchasing green energy. Easter Sunday(21st April) Similar to Christmas, Easter is celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike. When you think of the Easter, Easter egg hunts, filling baskets with candy and small gifts, and the Easter bunny comes to mind. Travel and Hospitality businesses may consider marking this occasion with Easter celebrations for children. World Intellectual Protection Day(26th April) World Intellectual Property Day is a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s innovation and commitment to intellectual property (IP). As a business, you may wish to use the #worldipday hashtag (recommended by the World Intellectual Property Organization or WIPO) in your social media posts. For example, Alibaba announced the establishment of a research institute on this day in 2018 to set rules in IP protection. In addition, Huawei has chosen to mark this occasion by highlighting its number of patents while pledging to respect IP rights in 2018: International Jazz Day(30th April) Any attempt to arrive at a precise definition of jazz is futile because of its improvisational nature and constant evolution. It isn’t limited to the U.S as well with St Petersburg, Russia, earning plaudits through its annual All-Star Global Concert involving performers from across the world. With thousands of jazz performances taking place worldwide during this period, hospitality businesses may wish to inject vibrancy at their premises by partnering jazz talents to stage a performance. There are more than 200 festivals and important exhibitions in 2019. If you want to find out additional details, please click on the picture to view our public relations calendar for 2019.

2019-04-05 11:16

Winning Partnerships: Positioning Your Company Behind the Right CSR Causes

Can a business cancel out its greenhouse gas emissions? Dilmah, a Sri Lankan tea company, with a global presence, announced its carbon neutral status for its products, early this year. Here’s why it matters to the rest of the world: Currently, businesses account for more than half of the world’s electricity consumption. The longer it takes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the climate impact becomes more dramatic: from rising sea levels threatening Pacific islands to extreme weather patterns sparking fierce forest fires. Source: Dilmah Tea Dilmah’s tea production involves a complex process which traditionally requires firewood and electricity to dry the tea leaves. With two new mini-hydropower stations at Dilmah's tea estate, this brand has achieved carbon neutral status for its products in early 2019 after embarking on this journey since 2011. This is Dilmah’s contribution to corporate social responsibility (CSR), and part of the core brand values that it seeks to convey to discerning tea consumers across the world. The temptation is for business executives to view CSR as just another passing fad. But as customers, employees, and suppliers—and, indeed, society—place increasing importance on CSR, this is an opportunity for Asian businesses to look at it as an opportunity to globalize their brand while contributing to society at the same time. Therefore, how can a business optimize communication of their CSR initiatives to their target audiences? Differentiate your communication strategy with precise positioning and targeting Businesses are placing an increased importance on CSR - Among the largest 250 companies in the world, 92% produced a CSR report in 2015, informing shareholders and the public about the firm’s activities. When my team asks ourselves, “Which brand’s CSR campaign can I remember?”, we struggle to recall any brand as undifferentiated CSR campaigns do not leave an impression on target audiences. When we look at the brands that have enjoyed CSR success, these brands tend to invest long-term in focus areas based on their own product characteristics and community needs. As an example, Honeywell seeks to address community needs into its CSR activities while stressing its industrial products enable a safer, more comfortable and more productive world. This company has been promoting a series of activities related to children's fire safety education in China and Malaysia while using compelling statistics to explain why this is an area of focus, “265,000 childhood deaths worldwide occur as a result of fire-related burns each year, with a majority of them occurring in low- and middle-income countries. More than half the deaths take place within the Southeast Asia region, including Malaysia, where it is reported that one child dies every two weeks due to fires or other burns.” Program in Malaysia to educate children about fire and burn safety. Source: Honeywell It is clear from the above example that good CSR campaigns can involve relatively less-known causes. But how can brands find the right fit for their CSR initiatives and when is the optimal timing to launch a PR campaign related to specific causes? By setting up keywords of their vertical and competitors on Cision Communication Cloud, brands may analyze trending CSR-related topics based on indicators of media and social media mentions. For your reference, our team has listed a couple of commonly seen topics and the associated timings when campaigns were launched: Multimedia press release about support for the World Wildlife Fund to conduct a biodiversity survey. Source: GAC Reaching out to the right media channels In our opinion, an untargeted CSR campaign is an unoptimized campaign. Our suggestion is for brands to ask themselves, “Which media is following my CSR stories?”, “Which CSR topics are attracting the most views?.” Reaching out to the right media channels is critical to amplify the relevant brand messages and increases brand credibility. Cision Communication Cloud also helps companies precisely targeting media contacts and social media influencers by filtering industries, locations, trending topics, extracting qualified media contact lists based on their preferences and previous publications. For instance, we have generated a list of global media who mentioned the Earth Day (April 22nd) in early March. Brands can now quickly reach out to specific journalists to seed and pitch stories. As Asian brands play an increasingly important role in the global economy, CSR is emerging as an important tool to globalize their brand. Through a more data-driven approach, Asian brands may tap a holistic communication platform such as Cision Communication Cloud to convey their core corporate values, address possibly lesser-known but worthy community needs, shortlist the right media channels and when to approach these channels in their CSR activities. If your brand is seeking to test drive our media monitoring services, you are welcome to email our team at  

2019-04-05 10:45

Media Q&A with "Branding in Asia": The latest thoughtful creative work beats celebrity content anytime

Content marketing is an emerging form of marketing in South Korea as it is incredibly hard to get and hold the consumers’ attention in this tech-savvy country. To succeed, content needs to be creative, offer value while being infused with your brand’s core value propositions. This interview features Bobby McGill, founder of ‘Branding in Asia’, an online publication that features creative work and insights on branding, advertising as well as marketing, across the Asia-Pacific. Could you please tell us a bit more about yourself? I’ve been writing professionally since 1997. After spending most of my 20’s writing and performing hip hop music, I got a lucky break during university that landed me a short-term staff writing position with the San Francisco Examiner covering the boom. With that sitting atop my nearly-blank writing resume, I was able to talk my way into gigs writing for all manner of publications until 2002 when I decided it was time for a change and headed to South Korea - where I’ve been ever since along with stints in Bangkok and China. Over the course of my time here I’ve founded two magazines, the most recent being Branding in Asia Magazine, earned a Masters in English Literature and then a Ph.D. in International Studies, and am currently lecturing on branding and marketing at a university. It’s been a busy and fun ride, but selling everything I had and moving to Asia with two suitcases and a guitar was one of the best decisions I ever made. Sorry, I’ve never been good at “brief.”   What specific stories is Branding in Asia usually on the lookout for? Branding in Asia is one of several advertising trade publishers in Asia, covering the work of advertising agencies and brand marketers, featuring news, creative work, profiles, and insights. We are a trusted source of information formarketers seeking to understand what’s happening in the advertising, marketing, and branding industries across the region. Our readership includes professionals from around the world looking for the latest campaign coverage, interviews, new hires, and other industry trends. We’ve also launched several popular original features that are solely penned by contributors such as “Two Ads I Like and One I Don’t,” and “One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight.”   From your media experiences, what are some of the best journalist practices you have come across? Anything PRs should avoid doing? There is a lot of good work being done out there in the media, so I’d be hard-pressed to narrow it down to one or a few. The coverage I’m most interested in is creative work, especially with insights from the people that are actually creating it. In terms of what PRs should avoid? Having done my share of marketing communications writing over the years on the side, I have a full appreciation for people in that industry - it’s not easy to create a buzz or stir excitement in a reporter with something that, at times, might not be that exciting. So, my advice is don’t oversell it. It’s a branding basic - be true, be proud, tell it like it is, and see if it resonates.   What should PR professionals take note of when pitching to Branding in Asia? To continue the point I made in the previous question: Go easy on the hyped-up language. Most reporters cut the salesy, self-promotional prose anyway, so just shoot straight. “Here’s what our brand has done or is doing, this is why it matters, this is how we did it, and where we look for it to go.” Done.   What trends & developments are you currently keeping tabs on in the Branding/Marketing scene? I think probably the most interesting for me is the evolution of creative ad and marketing work in the developing, as well as developed markets in Asia. You look at a lot of markets where the ad work has traditionally been celebrity-driven, with brands putting their products or services in the hands of a trending star and telling them to smile and say the brand name as many times as possible while hamming it up for the camera. That’s starting to dissipate. More and more you’re seeing thoughtful, resonant creative work that strikes a deeper, more enduring chord with consumers when it’s done right. I love that - especially stuff coming out of up-and-coming shops.   What’s unique about Branding in Asia and how does it differ from other media? As we hit four years since we started, we’re the rising new kid on the block in a field of well-staffed, well-financed competitors. We’re really proud of the niche we’ve carved out and will continue to expand upon that with the hope that we can make a worthwhile contribution to covering an exciting, ever-evolving region. This article is contributed by Hwajin Choi, the Audience Development Executive in Korea at PR Newswire. If you would like to be featured, please get in touch with her at

2019-04-04 13:54

A Vibrant Vietnam: Takeaways from the Vietnam Economic Conference

Conference Highlights A vibrant Vietnam is rapidly integrating into the global economy. As introduced by Professor Dao Nguyen Cat, Editor-in-chief of the Vietnam Economic Times, “Vietnam’s economy grew more than 7 percent in 2018, when it also attracted a record $19 billion worth of FDI, and it concluded talks on a free trade agreement with the EU and joined the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership). It is now fully on the “radar” of international investors.” I attended the Vietnam Economic Conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on March 12, 2019. The theme of this conference is “Breakthrough from growth drivers”, with speakers from both public and private sectors such as Dr. Tran Du Lich, a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Group, Dr. Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Mr. Nguyen The Hao, Deputy Editor-in-chief of VNEconomy and Ms. Le Thi Nam Phuong, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnamese Young Entrepreneurs Council. Mr. Nguyen The Hao – Deputy Editor-in-chief of VNEconomy  To help readers better understand the dynamic Vietnamese economy, I have summarized a few key numbers and takeaways from this conference: 10% is the rate of contribution by the private sector (excluding households and individuals) to Vietnam's GDP. It remains low while this sector creates many jobs. New jobs in the non-State sector accounted for only 26.1 percent of the total in 2000 but now account for 60 percent. FDI is currently an important additional capital, accounting for about 25 percent of the country's total investment, contributing about 20 percent of GDP. In 2017, FDI contributed nearly 8 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 14.4 percent of total budget revenue. Fulbright University Vietnam’s economic expert Mr. Huynh The Du pointed to two reasons behind the poor contribution by the private sector. Firstly, for a long period, the private sector was not considered a growth engine, but preferential treatments were given to state-owned enterprises and FDI sectors. Secondly, he felt that Vietnam’s economic policies remain flawed, forcing businesses to prioritize short-term business considerations over the longer-term. Mr. Huynh The Du During a panel discussion, it was shared that it would be hard for many sectors that grew quickly in 2018, such as agriculture-forestry-fishery production, tourism, and real estate, to sustain a similar pace this year. Unfortunately, some unresolved institutional bottlenecks relating to public investment and the project financing framework of build-transfer (BT) and build-operate-transfer (BOT) may affect the growth rate in 2019. In order for the private sector to thrive and drive economic growth, these panelists advocated that the government continues to enhance Vietnam’s business environment, to simplify the existing complicated policies. In addition, all enterprises, regardless of their size and whether they are from the public or private sector, should compete fairly with one other. 14% is the country’s credit growth target for 2019 (the same as 2018, but lower than previous years). As all banks have to apply the Basel II capital adequacy ratio (CAR) in 2020, they will not be able to provide additional credit when their CAR reaches this limit. However, raising their capital base is a challenge for big lenders. According to Mr. Nguyen Xuan Thanh from Fulbright University Vietnam, the key concern of the banking system is capital expansion, not bad debt. When a bank has sufficient funds and meets Basel II standards, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) should appropriately loosen the credit quota. Otherwise, its credit growth will be squeezed. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Thanh (left) and Mr. Pham Thanh Ha (next to Mr. Nguyen) on the panel Mr. Pham Thanh Ha - Director General of the Monetary Policy Department, SBV affirmed credit this year would still be focused on the Government’s five priority sectors of agriculture businesses, export-oriented businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises, enterprises operating in auxiliary industries, and hi-tech enterprises, to support economic growth while managing risk. Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Hieu said Vietnam has become a member of most global multilateral financial organizations, signed more than 60 agreements for the encouragement and protection of investment, and over 90 free trade agreements. He emphasized that, “Overall, free trade agreements, especially new generations of free trade agreements, would help Vietnam integrate deeper into the global economy and create conditions to boost its economic development and restructuring, promote trade, attract foreign investment, create more jobs, develop the manufacturing sector, improve labor productivity and the competitiveness of the economy.” Telling a compelling brand story in Vietnam Knowing the business environment in Vietnam is just the first step, but foreign companies also need to understand the culture and habits of media consumption to bring their products and services closer to the hearts of the local people. At this conference, I met several foreign enterprises who were very keen to pick up PR pointers on how to promote their brand in Vietnam. Our PR Newswire team in Vietnam comprises of former TV hosts and reporters with years of multimedia communications experience. Here are some of our team’s suggestions: Mix-and-match media channels based on audience segmentation As population density and economic development levels vary between regions, the optimal media channels mix will be different. Therefore, companies should always plan their media mix based on their audience segmentation. According to Kantar Worldpanel report, in urban areas, the time for TV (Coverage x Frequency) is 17 percent higher than online - the second largest channel. In rural areas, although smartphone penetration is increasing, the coverage of online channels is still less than half that of TV - 95% for TV vs 45% for the Internet in rural. This is probably the most discussed topic among brands today as advertisers here are always pondering about the optimal advertising mix between TV and online channels. In Vietnam’s four biggest cities (Ho Chi Minh, Ha Noi, Da Nang and Can Tho), Newspaper (33 percent coverage) and Magazine (16 percent coverage) are still effective means of communication for brands to reach their objectives. In the rural areas, especially the Northern regions, public speakers can reach 76 percent of people to reach a purchase decision mainly thanks to the activities of the Commune Cultural Centers - using loudspeakers to broadcast information, including product advertising. Build and maintain good relationships with the press In Vietnam, there is a saying that businesses should "Go to the press first before the press finds you". According to the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam, there are more than 1,000 press outlets covering many industries in Vietnam and this number continues to grow. Business news is the most closely monitored type of news for the local press. Without a link to the local press, it will be difficult for the information from your business to reach the market effectively or counter fake news related to your brand. There are many ways to build relationships with the local press. You may connect at events such as our media coffee sessions or directly introduce yourself to the relevant editorial teams. Connect via Facebook Vietnam has the 7th largest number of Facebook users in the world. Unlike other parts of the world, Facebook is a platform for business connections in Vietnam. Here, it is common for the Vietnamese people to search for potential business partners' information on Facebook, send messages, and then progress to arranging for email discussions or face-to-face meetings. Campaigns that straddle social media platforms such as Facebook - YouTube - Instagram are also popular in Vietnam thanks to rich, creative and easy-to-view content. Many verticals such as banking, FMCG, hospitality services, governmental organizations, and NGOs, are actively promoting themselves on Facebook to connect and engage target customers. For example, Phu Nhuan Jewelry (PNJ), Vietnam's largest consumer jewelry brand, launched a "True Love" campaign celebrating love across all ages, genders or body types, in Dec 2018. As part of its multimedia approach, this brand sent a press release to optimize its channel reach across Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and traditional media such as newspapers. This heartfelt, emotional campaign generated a lot of buzz, even outside Vietnam, with its energetic videos and authentic messaging. Source: PNJ Many events such as seminars, forums, and industry fairs are posted by their organizers on Facebook Events to promote and receive registrations. This is a good opportunity for businesses to access information and meet potential partners as well as members of the press. We propose that businesses join the relevant Facebook community groups. Members typically share helpful tips, learning materials, and exchange contacts. We also recommend these community groups to reach out to members of the press or keep up with Vietnamese PR updates: Brands Vietnam Hội những người thích quảng cáo (Ad Lovers) Launch Currently, LinkedIn and Twitter are not popular social media platforms in our country. This blog post is contributed by Trong Tran (Leo), Audience Development Executive at PR Newswire. Leo is in charge of partnerships, expanding our media network, co-organizing our annual Media Coffee event, sharing helpful information in Vietnam market with the media through his articles and interviews. You can contact him at or connect with him on Facebook.

2019-03-25 17:21

PR Newswire’s Lynn Liu: Only Quality Content can Break Through Chinese Media’s Information Silos

Lynn Liu is the Director of Audience Development and Distribution Services in PR Newswire, responsible for developing media relations and online distribution network in Mainland China, including social and mobile channels. Lynn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Public Relations, both from the Communication University of China.  He was in Singapore on March 15, 2019, and accepted an interview request to share his insights on an evolving Chinese media landscape and its impact on PR professionals. In your opinion, what were the key changes to the Chinese media landscape in the past two years and how do these changes impact PR professionals? The past 20 years saw the fastest ever evolution in Chinese media, as we moved from traditional media to internet media to mobile-first media. For example, it is impossible to buy a physical hardcopy magazine when walking along Beijing’s streets now. All Chinese media channels, including B2B trade media, are almost entirely digital. I will start with Baidu changes as this is the largest search engine in China, with a market share of more than 70 percent, with Google being severely limited in China. In the past two or three years, the biggest change is Baidu’s constant adjustment of their search algorithm. Baidu seeks to enhance its users’ search experience by raising quality content to their eye level. Baidu continues to mark down low-quality content based on its lack of timeliness and news value. Let's move on to WeChat. I was actually a pioneer WeChat user, one of the first 5,000 users who signed up on the first day of its launch.  Wechat is now the biggest social media platform in China and overtook Weibo – China’s answer to Twitter. WeChat isn't just an instant messaging tool in China, it has led to a rich content ecosystem. Brands, even overseas brands, may choose to operate a WeChat official account to share content. According to the latest Tencent data, WeChat has over a billion monthly active users, with around 20 million WeChat official accounts, run by brands and individuals, that regularly publish content. Let me briefly share my observations on other Chinese Social Media and New Media. Now, Weibo has become a platform that focuses on entertainment. Even though news articles are spread via Weibo, their focus is on news with a high entertainment value such as celebrity gossip. Toutiao is the best-known new media that has emerged in the past two years. This AI-powered news app is installed on over 240 million unique devices, tapping on users’ digital behavior to promote relevant news articles. For brands, it is important to be aware that with the rise of WeChat and New Media, it is no longer just about users looking for news articles. News articles are also seeking specific users as well due to recommender algorithms that are pushing relevant content! If we factor in Baidu search algorithm changes as well, this means that a PR approach involving average content is unlikely to gain traction. What other things do B2B brands need to watch out for in the Chinese media landscape? When it comes to B2B marketing in China, building trust in your brand is critical. To gain this trust and confidence, your potential clients need to find positive mentions of your brand in the media as well as social media. To achieve this, B2B brands should have a long-term content publishing strategy, to maintain a voice within their target vertical. Another difference relative to B2C is that a B2B field is typically more niche, with a specific target audience requiring more professional content. The next steps are to figure out the channels where our audience gets their information and what’s the right content to influence them. There is a misconception that B2B content is boring. However, I believe brands can always make their content more interesting to close the distance between themselves and their readers. I often use a GE China example to make this point as it is a very typical B2B conglomerate with a focus on aircraft engines and medical equipment among others. For example, to launch a new type of aircraft engine, GE’s approach is to come up with a press release declaring the world's fastest luxury yacht uses this aircraft engine to compose an eye-catching title. I also remember there was an earthquake in Nepal, and GE would talk about sending disaster relief equipment to this country. All these efforts create interesting news angles for journalists. Planes powered by GE engines delivering disaster relief equipment in Nepal. Source: GE PR professionals always seek to make data-driven decisions. What is the value of monitoring trending conversations in China and reaching out to relevant journalists? I think that media monitoring cannot exist in isolation after brands have pushed out their content. For illustration, let’s just talk about media monitoring for the purpose of producing more targeted content that will appeal to target audiences. As part of communications planning, we typically need to answer a few questions: Who is our target audience? Through what channels can we reach our target audience? What type of content can most influence our target audience towards conversion? When should I release my content? PR Newswire’s China Media Monitoring Tool helps brands understand what are the hot topics that the Chinese media are focusing on, the trending keywords during various festivals or exhibitions, and what sort of articles have generated the greatest number of social media engagements. By analyzing this data, brands can effectively plan their content production and outreach strategy. This tool can also help to quantify the reach and resonance (Chinese social media engagements) of your various content pieces. If my brand is manning a trade show booth in China, could you please share a few PR tips to optimize trade show ROI? Let’s assume that your brand is actively monitoring Chinese media and has answers to the “who”, “what” and “when” questions as expressed earlier.  Therefore, you may reach out to the target Chinese media verticals prior to an exhibition with press releases. In terms of common themes for exhibition press releases, brands often tap on new product releases, new partnerships, and prize-winning announcements while inviting the press to visit their booths. For example in Nov 2018, Honeywell leveraged the inaugural China International Import Expo to demonstrate their contributions to China’s digital economy. Lydia Lu, Honeywell Asia HGR Communications VP, shared at our media coffee session that by matching their communications plan to the specific interests of Chinese media, they earned over 100 in-depth media reports with 17 contracts and Letters of Intent signed during this event. Honeywell staff engaging media and visitors at the China International Import Expo 2018. Source: Honeywell Chinese tourists are a very important market for international destinations and hospitality businesses such as hotels. Could you please share some examples of a good press release targeted at this segment? Chinese tourists are indeed a valuable segment for international hospitality businesses. According to a 2017 Nielsen survey, Chinese tourists spend more per capita than many other international tourists — $762 per person, as compared to the global average of $486. Chinese language campaigns are a must since search engines and New Media recommender algorithms rank such content more highly. Beyond this, I will like to highlight the importance of communicating a unique experience since experiential travel is a growing trend. In terms of eye-catching press releases, I can think of the Sydney Festival, a cultural spectacle involving theatre and other performing arts. The organizers chose a multimedia Chinese press release for distribution to target industry verticals. It featured videos and pictures of various programmes to make it easier for journalists to report about this event. In my opinion, a Chinese language press release, where PR Newswire handles the translation with cultural context, provides news distribution and a media distribution report is a great first step for international hospitality businesses to consider. Multimedia press release, Source: Sydney Festival It is interesting that you mentioned a multimedia example earlier. Why is multimedia content so important within China? Could you please share an example of such content that is planned and executed by your team? One interesting phenomenon with the various social media and new media channels is that these channels are all information silos. For example, Toutiao content is not searchable on WeChat and Baidu. Let’s assume a brand has owned media channels on WeChat and Weibo. The audiences that a brand can reach, even with paid promotion, is extremely limited. No media platform can cover all the audiences, but a common characteristic is that audiences are receptive to multimedia content, especially short videos. For marketers, the challenge is to break through these silos with quality content as GE China had done. A big component of quality content is short and newsworthy videos that will win media coverage (earned media) and shared on social media by your target audience. In my opinion, a press release that incorporates multimedia elements is a platform-neutral way of disseminating information to Chinese media as they typically have a presence in channels such as WeChat and Toutiao. It is a critical step to build a sustainable PR cycle involving paid, owned and earned media. For reference, you may see a press release featuring a video interview with Dr. Jens Puttfarcken, Porsche China CEO, that was produced by our team. Dr. Puttfarcken shared highlights of this brand’s strategy and how their product was being customized to match the characteristics and tastes of Chinese customers. [embed][/embed] Source: Porsche China

2019-03-25 11:37

MWC–Three Positioning Strategies for Innovative Brands

Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC19), the mobile industry’s premier event has concluded in Barcelona with the launch of 5G-enabled smartphones, unveiling of new products and services, and demonstration of exciting new applications enabled by 5G technology. As Asian brands are relatively new to the international stage, many international consumers continue to associate these brands with perceptions of lower price and quality. To address these negative perceptions and enhance brand awareness in the target verticals, many Asian brands have been actively positioning themselves as innovative brands. But an "innovative brand” is an abstract concept. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider how to communicate the core value proposition of an innovative brand. Let's review a couple of innovative Asian brands at MWC19 and learn from their communications strategies: Promotion of First-Mover Advantage Promotion of New Technology Use Cases Announcement of Strategic Cooperation Promotion of First-Mover Advantage:Nubia Source:Nubia The Alpha, Nubia’s wearable smartwatch with a flexible display, was unveiled in Barcelona. The Alpha claims to be the world's first commercially available wearable smartwatch/phone with a flexible display and comes equipped with a 4.0-inch screen and 5-megapixel camera. A similar product was also introduced by Nubia at the Berlin IFA in September 2018. As a first-mover in this vertical, Nubia assumes greater risk because there are no relevant use cases to refer to. First-movers often invest in products over an extended period to get user feedback and continuously optimize. This long-term commitment serves to underline this brand's innovative image and makes it easier to attract media attention. Nubia has tapped on multimedia content extensively to communicate the unique value of the Alpha watch. Nubia’s press release emphasized Alpha's pioneering position and provided product information such as photo galleries to facilitate media coverage from Mashable, and Gizmodo for example. In addition, journalists were invited to try out Alpha at Nubia’s MWC booth while taking photos and making short videos of their own. Such third-party content seems more objective and authoritative, with short videos from Engadget and The Verge are particularly eye-catching, each gathering over 100,000 YouTube hits within a week. Promotion of New Technology Use Cases: ZTESource:ZTE At MWC19, ZTE demonstrated use cases of its 5G network services based on an end-to-end sub-6GHz commercial system, in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  Xu Ziyang, CEO of ZTE, said: "The collaboration between ZTE and Qualcomm Technologies at MWC 2019, on the demonstration of 5G services based on ZTE's 5G mobile devices and systems, is a testament to our efforts for 5G commercialization." Such use case demonstration is especially suitable for 5G as potential customers are not familiar with new technology or may have some doubts. ZTE has invested resources to sync up the various technologies for demonstration to highlight the unique value brought by 5G while building up their innovative brand image. ZTE chose to issue a press release on the first day of MWC19, emphasizing the technological highlights of their 5G solution and Qualcomm collaboration, attracting journalists to visit their exhibition booth and experience the new 5G-enabled services firsthand. Through a combination of digital and offline exchanges, ZTE has won greater coverage from trade media. Announcement of Strategic Cooperation: Gosuncn Source:Gosuncn Gosuncn is a supplier of products and services related to the Internet of Things (IoT) applications and networked vehicles. Together with Geely Holdings Group, Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, Gosuncn signed a cooperation agreement at MWC19. It plans to launch Geely's first domestically mass-produced vehicles supporting 5G and C-V2X technologies in 2021. Liu Shuangguang, chairman of Gosuncn, stated that "5G is an inevitable trend of the development of the communications industry. 5G and C-V2X, as a special non-line-of-sight sensor, will become one of the core technologies of autonomous driving." Qualcomm and Geely are excellent brands to partner and reflects well upon this company's commitment to upgrade their core technology base and expand to new markets. Gosuncn's investment in advanced technology built on the basis of long-term cooperation is beneficial to its innovative brand image. Gosuncn issued additional press releases during MWC19, announcing cooperation agreements with a North American connected car platform provider and their European IoT partners. Gosuncn first released a press release on their cooperation with Geely and Qualcomm and released a 5G-related news release on connected cars. This way, while this brand is within the news cycle, the next story will gain more traction and more likely to get noticed by journalists for publication. Stories that Attract International Journalists In addition to focusing on activities on the MWC19 exhibition floor, these innovative companies have also planned a series of communications activities during their time in Barcelona. This is no surprise as 90% of B2B companies have indicated that earned media activities help to achieve their business goals. PR Newswire’s own research on international communications indicates that international journalists are more likely to be interested in content related to product innovations and applications that can potentially enhance our lifestyles. This blog post is written by Jx Tan is PR Newswire’s Head of Content – APAC. He is a MSc (Marketing & Consumer Insight) graduate from the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

2019-03-11 15:31

Brand Leadership – The Role of Public Relations

No brand is built overnight. A brand leader tends to pop up in the minds of consumers when they meet a certain situation or think about a specific product. There are multiple facets to brand leadership, so I am featuring a couple of relatively young but innovative brands to illustrate the role of branding and public relations (PR) when positioning an outstanding product or service for market leadership. Positioning and Branding Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. These often involve asking difficult questions within your company, but these answers will help to sharpen your branding and become more memorable to potential partners as well as customers. Take the example of Go-Jek, Indonesia’s leading ride-hailing app, which has recently closed a funding round in Feb 2019 valuing the company between US$8 - 10 billion. The initial inspiration for Go-Jek arose from the traffic-clogged streets of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. In Jakarta, rush hour commutes lasting two to three hours are common. Often, the best bet to avoid the gridlock is to hail an ojek (motorcycle taxi). Go-Jek began in 2010 to enable customers to order an ojek by phone. In 2014, inspired by the success of Uber and other ride-sharing platforms, Go-Jek upgraded its brand positioning by launching a smartphone app. The very next year, to keep drivers busy all day outside rush hours, Go-Jek launched Go-Send (a courier service) and Go-Food (food delivery). According to Bahari Chandra, Creative Director at Go-Jek, their team tapped on creative branding campaigns when launching its product. For example, by putting up a wordy billboard at the road with the most traffic in Jakarta, it allowed motorists to read the whole copy while they are stuck in traffic! This advertisement ran for a month, reaching an estimated 45 million Indonesians while communicating Go-Jek’s brand proposition towards the end of the message. From our summary above, you may have noticed that Go-Jek chose a name that is intimately associated with its service, and its branding strategy is clear about how, what, where, when and to whom to deliver a brand message. All these are key building blocks in Go-Jek’s branding strategy and your brand should strive to adopt similar branding best practices. Content Creation The importance of relevance in content cannot be understated. Brands must be connected to something that your target audience is interested in or looking for. One strategy is to keep up with current trends and seek authentic, relevant ways to connect your brand with those trends. Take the example of Realme, an innovative smartphone brand from China, that is making headway in Indonesia. Its Indonesian Instagram following has rapidly grown to around 90,000 within a couple of months. As you can see from this screenshot, Realme has associated itself using bold visuals with PUBG (one of the hottest video games worldwide) and flash sales promotions with e-commerce platforms (Shopee, LazMall). Source: Realme Indonesia Instagram Account At the same time, Realme tapped on a series of press releases to publicize its brand through news such as selfie contests, featuring social media hashtags such as #SelfieContest & #25MPSelfiePro, across South East Asia’s consumer electronics media. Through the delivery of content through both earned and social media channels, Realme emphasizes its brand positioning. “The Realme U1 is for those who bravely express themselves. With them, we hope to deliver breakthroughs in technology, enjoy the beauty of style, stay true to ourselves and be proud to be young," says Josef Wang, Marketing Director Realme Southeast Asia. Channels After your brand has created fantastic content, the next question is how to get this in front of your target audience? Channels are important to amplify the impact of content through shares on social media or press coverage of your brand. Right from the start, it is advisable for your brand to plan a sustainable channel strategy where paid, owned and earned media feed upon one another. Just leveraging on your owned media channels (Facebook, Twitter, blog etc) may not raise your brand to the eye level of your target audience. Credible, third-party articles (earned media) is consistently viewed as one of the most influential types of media, ranking first in the U.K., America, and China. “Many people just consider industry luminaries when thinking about influencers, but many of our clients have received additional sales and leads after sharing media articles about their brand on social media”, Royce Shih, Vice President APAC Sales & Marketing at PR Newswire Asia, told me. “Think of media channels as super-influencers that brands must cultivate as social media advertising gets more expensive with increased bidding competition. A regular flow of news about your brand can help to build mindshare with journalists over time. Brands may tap on press releases to share curated content such as new products, infographics, white papers, and any valuable and therefore newsworthy information.” Source: Cision Monitoring, Measurement, and Evaluation Most PR professionals prefer to steer clear of vanity metrics without a clear link to revenue. This is fairly easy to do in owned and paid media, where you can define actionable metrics, such as the clickthrough rate on your paid social posts (instead of the number of views) to help your brand make better decisions about future strategy. But what about earned media metrics? Many brands find it a challenge to monitor and measure such campaigns and rely on vanity metrics, such as the number of “likes” or LinkedIn “shares” generated by content pieces. The good news is depending on what press release provider you choose, you can now map content to actual revenue impact. You can now tell what type of reader is viewing a piece of earned media if they click on an article, goes to your website, where they go on your site and whether they buy a product or request more information. “Measurement can frequently be an afterthought in earned media though it is critical to PR success,” says Richard Moylan, Regional Sales Director, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia & Australia at PR Newswire Asia, “so knowing the reach and revenue impact of your brand’s earned media is absolutely critical to enhance future campaigns.” Winning the News Cycle Brands should never settle for a piecemeal PR approach. Instead, your brand should plan for a succession of stories to launch. As an initial story is gaining traction and attention, begin to seed the next story to media channels (through press releases or a targeted media outreach) and fans. This way, while your brand is within the news cycle, the next story will gain more traction and more likely to get noticed for publication. By launching a regular stream of high-quality stories, your media contacts are more likely to approach you for fresh content. In addition, brands should also leverage earned media articles by sharing on their social media channels to amplify to their target audience. “When it comes to determining what type of content to promote, it is not an either/or proposition,” says Royce Shih. “But by beginning with a solid foundation of content published on trusted, third-party media channels, all other content will have a greater impact.” To learn more about how Earned Media Management works, visit the link below on the Cision website. This blog post is written by Jx Tan is PR Newswire’s Head of Content – APAC. He is a MSc (Marketing & Consumer Insight) graduate from the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

2019-02-27 14:51

Three Pillars of Press Releases that Attract Journalists

I work at PR Newswire where I read news releases daily and see how brands curate their newsworthy content for delivery to thousands of journalists. At breakfast earlier this week, a friend asked for examples where brand-related social media postings were noticed and covered by journalists. My reply was that there were a few isolated examples I could recall where a social media posting went viral and covered by well-known publications. Of course, his next question was, “Why?”. Surveys have shown that getting journalists are typically sceptical of social media newsfeeds, with just 10% of APAC respondents listing social media as the most trusted sources when writing a news report. As an example, this Singapore video was covered by the local press due to a happy combination of having access to a professionally trained band, a large production budget, and thousands of staff sharing this video with their friends. What if you do not enjoy such resources while seeking to create buzz around your brand or products through public relations (PR) or social media? A press release is an option to get your brand’s curated content to the eye level of the relevant journalists and subsequently to a target audience. However, your brand can also tap on these three key pillars of storytelling used by the most popular brand-related social media content to put together a press release that is more likely to attract the attention of journalists: Personify your brand and product Leverage multimedia to engage your audience Catch your audience at the right time Personify your brand and product Communications has been described as telling your customers what they can expect from your brand’s products and services. So how do you communicate this message in a concise and memorable manner in a press release to differentiate your brand from others? Henry's Grill & Bar (Bali, Indonesia) personified its brand and products by highlighting in a press release that it teamed up with Danny Chaney, a leading steak chef, to introduce a combination of imported and local Bali produce. This release also features a picture of a signature menu item.   Source: Henry's Grill & Bar Subsequently, this press release was republished by more than 100 publications including The Concierge Asia (featuring travel and the finer things in life) and Singapore-based AsiaOne (there are 7,200 weekly flights between Indonesia and Singapore). Leverage Multimedia to engage your audience In the age of “best content wins”, your audience is inundated with similar content to choose from. HubSpot reported in 2016 that two out of five readers skim online content and may not read your press release in full. Rather than assume journalists read your entire press release, it is a good strategy to include multimedia content to reinforce your news announcement. Multimedia can come in a wide range of formats: Pictures provide a visual representation of your brand. Infographics demonstrate your brand’s expertise in your industry. Videos provide an engaging visual and sound clip to tell your audience what they need to know about your news. Naturally, such content is also more social-media friendly and allows your brand to reach out to a wider pool of journalists.  Archipelago International (Indonesia's largest operator of hotels, condotels, resorts, serviced suites and branded residences) coordinated with its press release with Instagram postings to broadcast a milestone deal (long-term Master Franchise Agreement) with a Saudi Arabian partner that is one of the largest listed companies on the Saudi Stock Exchange. Source: Archipelago International Plain and simply, while words can paint pictures, just one picture paints a thousand words. Multimedia content allows us to tell our story better. And when captivating visual content is combined with a well-written press release, we can expect to pique journalists' interest and connect them with our brand. -          Erika Anggreini, Director of Marketing, Archipelago International Catch your audience at the right time Themed content combined with a sense of timing will help a news release enjoy attention from journalists and an extended news lifecycle. Festivals such as Christmas are one driver but there are additional occasions that will attract journalists, such as an annual industry exhibition. Take online travel agent Agoda as an example, who regularly schedules press releases about the top destinations of its customers in the lead-up to festivals such as New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year. Such news tends to be covered by travel media that are keen to provide data-driven recommendations to its readers who are looking to travel on short notice and more receptive to an online travel agent that offers quick comparison of destinations and airfares. By tailoring your news angle, you are winning journalists’ attention to reach your target audience. Therefore, I recommend creating an editorial calendar on your industry to help you to find news angles for content planning purposes. To get a head-start, you may refer to this 2019 editorial calendar targeted at PR and communications professionals. As you can see from the above examples, successful press releases may tap on more than one of these three pillars (personification of your brand and product, strategically placed multimedia, and well-timed themed content). Be creative, stay hungry and your press release will be poised to attract journalists and target audience! To learn more about Sharing Your Press Release with the World, visit the link below on the Cision website. This blog post is written by Jx Tan is PR Newswire’s Head of Content – APAC. He is a MSc (Marketing & Consumer Insight) graduate from the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

2019-02-27 14:36

Sharings on the Gaming Industry by Sean Lim, Founder of GamerBraves, Gamer Santai & Wanuxi

You own 3 Gaming sites that cover content in 3 different languages (English, Bahasa Malaysia & Chinese). Can you tell us more about your sites & what each one aims to cover? The 3 gaming content sites that I run are: - Wanuxi , pronounced as Wan-You-See (玩游戏 = Play Games) is a gaming news portal started since 2013. We cover games from PC to Console to Mobile platforms. As of 2019, Wanuxi is probably the most prominent gaming news portal in Malaysia. We write exclusively in Mandarin Chinese. Gamerbraves is an English gaming content site that puts a laser focus on mobile gaming. The site was established in August 2016 and is currently one of the most recognizable mobile gaming content sites globally. From 2018 onwards, we ventured into other platforms like PC and Console among other platforms. Gamer Santai started in early 2018. The reason behind the establishment of this Bahasa Malaysia gaming platform is because we felt that the Malay-speaking community was being underserved with gaming news in their local language. Plus, there is a lot of content that we can exchange and leverage on with Wanuxi and GamerBraves, which we think would be interesting for our Malay audiences. Generally, all our sites have different directions and are independent of each other, but at the same time, we share resources between the sites with the ultimate goal of creating better content for our readers. What future plans do you have for your portals? We are working on adding new features to the sites and improving the reader experience. We have a couple of big plans on enhancing our video content, so you’ll get to see some big surprises coming your way this year. How has social media impacted the success of your portals? It really depends on which site and what is the source of traffic. English sites generally rely more on SEO rather than social media (it is still important, but less impactful). However, for Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia portals, social media plays a very important role because these readers are more engaging on social media. When did you develop your passion in Gaming & what prompted you to start up your Gaming sites? I started gaming when I was in primary school. In fact, I played too much up to a point that my mum hid the console away from me (Too bad she can’t do that now). 6 years ago, I was working at a company that provides social media marketing solutions where we had multiple game publishers as our clients. In order to figure out what was the best way to write captions on social media platforms, we started Wanuxi. The response from the fans was so positive that we decided to take it up a notch by making a wholesome portal out of it. Fast forward 3 years later, I took over Wanuxi, formed a company on my own, and established GamerBraves and Gamer Santai. Many millennials perceive that being a Gaming journalist is all fun & games (literally). What is your opinion on this? Being a gaming journalist is a lot of fun, to name a few perks, we get to – Play games during working hours Engage and work with game publishers directly Interview and speak with game producers personally Sometimes get to play the game ahead of others To be a gaming journalist, hard work and passion are essential. At times, we’re required to work at odd hours, making sure to be on standby for game announcements that are made in Japan, EU or US time. Being creative and well versed with the workings of the gaming industry, as well as being updated with the latest trends are also crucial for us to be able to produce good quality content. Over the years, Gaming has become a lucrative industry. How do you see the industry evolving in the next few years? From Newzoo’s 2018 report, we can see that mobile gaming revenue is on the rise. In order to play games in a console, first, you need to buy the console and a TV/monitor (which means a higher level of entry barrier). For PC, better PC specs will grant you access to games that demand more from the hardware (which means if you want to play better games, you’ll need to be able to afford the hardware). As for smartphones, it is available as cheap as a couple hundred bucks. More importantly, most mobile games are made to be less hardware demanding (so that more users can install it). I believe in the next few years, we’ll definitely see more companies venture into mobile games, you’ll see a lot more AAA game IPs moving to mobile platforms. You have attended the largest Gameshows across the region. What is the best part about being a part of these extensive events? The fact that we get to see amazing booths and surprises during live announcements feels insanely good. The moment they announce a new game or show us a new trailer of a new unexpected game, the cheering from the crowds is exhilarating. Being able to interview and talk to game producers directly are also equally amazing, sometimes we don’t understand why certain features are incorporated into the game. Hence, to be able to get first-hand answers from the game producers themselves lets us understand more on the thought process of the game. Lately, there have been intriguing discussions about eSports. What is your outlook on this? eSports is growing globally. However, I believe Malaysia still lacks the infrastructure of supporting eSports. Internet coverage is still inadequate. I have friends & colleagues who live in Kuala Lumpur and still don’t get access to the internet beyond 5 mbps at home. Better internet coverage increases the chances of having more interested gamers, which will eventually result in more audiences for eSports streaming. Considering the fact that we’re living in a technologically advanced world, how do you think companies should adopt Gamification in their businesses? I believe that the reason gaming is able to flourish is that it is fun. If Gamification is being adopted and it’s still not fun, then probably it’s not a good idea. If it is fun or more enjoyable after Gamification process, then it is probably a good idea. If a gaming studio is launching a mobile game in Malaysia, how will you suggest they promote this game to the media and gamers? What role do press releases play in this communication plan? To be honest, it really depends on the game genre & platform. On the basic level, having a pre-registration / pre-order before the game launch, sending out press releases to the media is a must. If there is more budget, then game studios/publishers will need to research more on their game's target audience. Not all gamers are the same, some like to play FPS (First Person Shooter), some like MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), some like Card games, and spend marketing dollars efficiently on reaching out to them. What’s your all-time favorite game & why? If I really have to pick, I would go with the Monster Hunter series. I am fascinated by how the game designers & producers created the Monster Hunter universe, especially the monsters - their behaviors and their habitats. The ecology in the game is amazing. This blog post is contributed by Christine Pereira, Senior Audience Development Executive at PR Newswire. Christine is in charge of partnerships, expanding our media network, organizing our bi-annual Media Coffee events, conducting media interviews, and other company-wide projects for the Malaysian market. You can contact her at or connect with her on LinkedIn.

2019-02-19 17:26

Diversify your brand's client base and attract additional Muslim travelers

An interview with HalalZilla, a media platform focusing on the multi-billion dollar Muslim travel market. We recently sat down with Farhan Isa, editorial writer at HalalZilla, to learn more about their website and the type of content that piques their interest. Can you share with us a bit more about HalalZilla? HalalZilla was brought to life in August 2018 and it is the Muslim-friendly arm of TripZilla. TripZilla is a leading online travel media in Southeast Asia that reaches more than 25 million travelers every month.  HalalZilla aims to be the hub for all Muslim-related travel and lifestyle news. Currently, HalalZilla is managed by the four of us: Farhan (Editorial Writer), Sadat (Senior Editor), Nur Sofia (Associate Editor) and Inshirah (Editor & Producer). Our core focus groups are young Muslim explorers, making their own story and finding their place in this world. We are also strong believers in integrating into society instead of segregating, whilst bringing the Muslim community from all around the world a little closer to one another. The decision to start HalalZilla grew stronger as we met businesses who were keen to provide Muslim-friendly services. It was also predicted that the Muslim market is set to be worth over US$200 billion by 2020. Hence, we developed a platform where businesses are able to show forth to the communities that they too are ready for the movement. What’s unique about HalalZilla and how does it differ from other travel media? On the surface, HalalZilla may seem to be like any other publication. But we also strive to use our platforms as a means for education, creating awareness of the Muslim lifestyle to those not of the same faith. As such, we prowl for personal stories which shows Muslims from different communities engaging and living their best without being segregated from societies. What type of news releases are you interested in receiving from companies? Focusing on Muslim travel and lifestyle, it would be beneficial for us to receive news regarding any companies that are looking to open their business to this market. Be it hotels, F&B businesses and even fashion, we gladly will spread the good word. Since we have readership from across the globe, local businesses need not be left out to share with us their plans on expanding to the Muslim market. If a B2B company has an event and would like to invite a reporter from HalalZilla to cover the story, what are some of the factors that would interest a reporter to attend the event? Aligning with our company’s goal, the outcome of the event has to be beneficial to our readership. It would also be a great opportunity for us to meet businesses who have ideas and plans to jump into this uncharted Muslim market. We believe in integrating with existing businesses to grow both our network groups. Can you provide some tips for PR professionals to take note of when pitching stories to HalalZilla? PR professionals should highlight the more Muslim-friendly factors of their stories, making it much more transparent for us to convey. Do note that non-muslim products and services would not be of any interest to us. Are there any exciting upcoming projects or campaigns? We are in the midst of video production for our How-To-Halal series, a video series which puts across a more educational yet engaging concept. Our goal for this upcoming series is to show the masses that Muslims are just like any other person that you know, they too want to experience what you experience. But within the faith's boundaries. We would love to work with any businesses who would like to expand their brand into this untapped market and be part of our upcoming campaigns. Top 5 countries that you want to visit, and why? My personal top five are Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, South America, and Mongolia. It is a well-known fact that these places are filled with beautiful landscapes and exciting cultures. As a traveler, I personally love to meet the locals in order to understand life as how they see it. Together with my trusty camera, I document my experiences and maybe even make a life-long friend - or two. What is the best way to reach out to HalalZilla’s editors and when? Please feel free to reach out to us via email at, Instagram (@halalzilla), Facebook (@halalzilla) or by phone at +65 6569 5033. We don’t have a specific time as to when we would prefer to receive press releases. However, if the matter at hand is rather urgent, we would prefer to be contacted on weekdays. About the author: Stephanie Lau is the Audience Development Executive focusing on the Singapore market at PR Newswire. If you would like to be featured, please get in touch (

2019-02-19 16:55

Guest Post: China’s Key Six Public Relations Trends in 2018

A worker takes down the sign at Dolce & Gabbana fashion show in Shanghai on Nov. 21. Photo: IC Trusted brands, corporate stock values and the reputations of chief executives were weighed down by serious challenges in 2018 that eventually landed squarely on the shoulders of Chinese public relations professionals and senior management. Here's a summary of six public relations trends and lessons from the past year that stand out as important references for future strategizing to guide your business decisions in 2019. Trend 1: Frequent political and social incidents among companies lacking cultural awareness. Early in the year, Marriott Hotels drew social media ire by suggesting that Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are separate "countries." The Chinese government then disciplined Marriott. In November, similar furor followed the release of advertisements with a chopsticks theme created for the Italian luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana. Many considered the ads insulting, leading to celebrity chastisements and the brand's goods vanishing from e-commerce platforms. The Italian company even canceled a fashion event. What we learned: These and similar incidents reflect increasingly strong patriotic feelings in China. This wave of nationalism reflects China's strengthening as a world power. Some called Dolce & Gabbana's insulting video advertisement a case of marketing suicide. China’s official People's Daily newspaper responded by quipping the Chinese nation "is our most cherished luxury." Marriott's blunder prompted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to announce "foreign companies in China should respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity." Such reactions highlight that foreign companies in China must be politically aware and respectful of Chinese culture. At the end of the day, it's best to adhere to mainstream values. Trend 2: The close ties between Chinese politics and the fates of Chinese corporations were affected by international politics. A U.S. ban on ZTE chips and the detention of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou underscore a new type of public relations challenge tied to geopolitics. Diplomatic games are at play but Chinese companies must choose their words carefully, as their responses can say a lot about China's leadership in the international business community. Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, is escorted by a member of her private security detail while arriving at a parole office in Vancouver on Dec. 12. Photo: IC   What we learned: For Chinese companies active in the global business arena, public relations are mainly about resolving communication problems with the West. They emphasize cooperation and "win-win" strategies within an open-minded ideological framework. In communicating with the West, public relations should be less about staking positions and more about mutual benefits. Trend 3: Public security incidents repeatedly touched a raw nerve. Two killings at the hands of ride-hailing company Didi drivers, the case of fake vaccines sold by Changchun Changsheng, and a fatal Country Garden construction site tragedy were among the incidents that sparked public anger in 2018. Each company paid a hefty price for a lack of public security. The Didi incident led to government inspections. Country Garden was the target of furious media critiques. Changchun Changcheng had to delist its stock. What we learned: Analyses of these incidents as well as the prioritization of public security by respective companies can be traced back to how each approaches corporate citizenship. Such cases also lay bare a company's value system. Every enterprise must closely consider functioning as a responsible corporate citizen to meet society's expectations. Every public security crisis reveals the strategic importance of corporate social responsibility: Companies must put society before profits. Corporate responsibility must be key to every business strategy. Trend 4: Superstar corporate executives not only attract attention but can also generate an avalanche of negative publicity Prominent chiefs such as Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Vanke’s Wang Shi and Gree’s Dong Mingzhu have helped their enterprises. But high-level executives can also bring risks. Private education service provider New Oriental Chairman Yu Minhong was caught discriminating against women while online retail giant’s Chairman Liu Qiangdong's was accused of rape in the United States. An online movement pressured Yu to apologize for his inappropriate comments. The negative effects have spread to the otherwise underperforming New Oriental, and the market capitalization of has took a roller-coaster ride with the exposure and development of its founder’s sexual assault case. What we learned: Yu and Liu are company founders. They are spiritual leaders and represent the company's brand. Their misdemeanors, scandals and even private issues are difficult to completely separate from the company. It is important to note that Liu Qiangdong’s scandal was particularly harmful to because he is the largest holder of its shares, with 79.5% of voting rights. Trend 5: Health care companies should use marketing tools and tactics more cautiously Several 2018 incidents revealed pitfalls. For example, Hongmao Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. was charged with misleading advertising after trumpeting a liqour’s "medicinal" qualities. And the world was shocked when a Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced a genetically engineered baby. The Hongmao incident became a textbook case for misleading publicity in the health care industry, while the He Jiankui incident has had a negative impact on the global reputation of China's biomedical community. He Jiankui. Photo: VCG What we learned: Marketing and publicity in the life science and health care sectors must adhere to medical ethics, follow regulations, and show respect for life. Marketing hype has no place. Under the new advertising law of 2015, publicity of "curative effect" for health care products and medical treatment must be treated with caution. Marketing methods that employ exaggeration reap negative consequences.   Trend 6: A rise in individualism and a sense of civic duty prompted social media activism in China China is embracing civil society, leading to what I consider the most important trend in the public relations arena. Thanks to social media prevailing in China, everyone is a journalist, everyone a watchdog. The Marriott Hotel incident, for example, started with netizens posting the company's misdeeds on social media, sparking global attention. What we learned: Chinese millennials grew up with the internet, and many are fluent in English. Also, they are inquisitive and have a strong desire to acquire information and make an impact on society. It would be unwise to ignore or underestimate the intelligence and information-gathering abilities of this generation. Times are changing. Chinese citizens are actively engaging themselves in civil society more than ever. In the wake of an emerging civil society, it is de facto a golden era for strategic public relations in China. About the author: Wang Zhen is the managing director at Zhifei Impact Communications. This blog was originally posted at

2019-01-07 15:40

Three Tips for CES Success

Kandao Obsidian Camera, CES Innovation Award Winner 2017 Introduction The Consumer Electronics Show or CES is the world’s largest annual gathering in the consumer electronics industry. There are two CES events in 2019 - CES, 8 to 11 Jan (Las Vegas) and CES Asia, 11 to 13 Jun (Shanghai). For the upcoming CES event in Jan 2019, an estimated 190,000 people will arrive in Las Vegas, USA, to seek, shop for and promote the hottest new consumer electronics products at CES. There are going to be around 4,500 exhibiting companies who seek to use this event as a launchpad for their latest products. As for CES Asia, attendance has grown 63 percent since its inception in 2015. There are certainly a lot of eyeballs - potential partners, distributors, press members, influencers, customers - at both CES events. But for brands new to this international stage, it is a battle to find a niche and build brand buzz when competing against global powerhouse brands who have enormous booths costing over a million dollars and provide fantastic giveaways. This article focuses on three tips for international brands to stand out at CES even with a relatively modest budget. In particular, I recommend targeting the CES Innovation Awards, organizing a successful crowdfunding campaign and preparing a targeted media outreach plan. Apart from CES exhibitors, these tips are also helpful for brands planning to exhibit at a large-scale international exhibition, such as the IFA (Berlin), and Mobile World Conference(Barcelona). CES Innovation Awards The Innovations Awards are a unique calling card to differentiate brands and demonstrate that your products are among the world's best. To provide a first-hand insight on how to give your brand a chance of winning these awards, I interviewed Christophe Branchu (France) and Julien Gueuning (Belgium), co-founders of JU&KE Design Studio based in Shenzhen as their client (Kandao) has won a total of four CES and CES Asia Innovation Awards in 2017. An important point to note is that CES and CES Asia have separate awards and brands need to make two separate applications to be considered. Though the award winners for CES 2019 has been announced, your brand may register for CES Asia 2019, and seek consideration at a later stage for awards. JU&KE Studio was co-founded in 2016 after Christophe and Julien met in Shenzhen, known as the global Silicon Valley of Hardware that is tightly integrated with an advanced manufacturing ecosystem. Christophe began this interview by sharing the selection criteria of the Innovation Awards for both CES and CES Asia: 1. Engineering qualities 2. Aesthetic and design qualities 3. The product's intended use/function and user value 4. Unique/novel features and features that consumers would find attractive 5. How the design and innovation of this product directly compare to other products in the marketplace Kandao Obsidian Camera, CES Innovation Award Winner 2017 According to Julien, JU&KE were privileged to partner Kandao, who was seeking to update an existing VR camera prototype to participate in both CES and CES Asia 2017. "The CES shows are a terrific platform for brands to launch themselves on the world stage", said Christophe, adding that, "It was a mutual match as we partnered Kandao end-to-end to design a fantastic high-performance product. Kandao’s VR camera comes with 6 fisheye lenses arranged in a hexagonal layout. We decided to name the product "Obsidian" to match the color and also designed a fresh brand logo and packaging." As JU&KE is one of the few international design studios located in Shenzhen, this facilitated a close partnership with Kandao where all communication was done within the same time zone and personal visits were made to the production line to better control design outcomes. This attention to detail paid off handsomely as Kandao became a CES Best of Innovation winner in the Digital Imaging product category. Kandao logo inspiration - A "Play" button and "K" for Kandao Julien commented that "Winning this award provides far greater exposure and access at CES. For example, a special showcase area is made available to showcase winning products. Your brand is also invited to CES Unveiled, where hundreds of members of the media mingle with Innovation Award winners and preview their products. This gives your brand a good chance to reach beyond CES attendees and gain valuable earned media publicity." However, this successful design required careful advance planning. Julien indicated that a three months lead-time is required for the end-to-end planning done for Kandao where a prototype was already available. If there's no prototype to start with, then the lead-time goes up to six months. Responding to a query about CES Asia, Christophe commented, "We have noticed a growing trend where more international brands are participating in CES Asia for the first time. Many of these brands are already familiar with China as their products are benefiting from the high-quality design and manufacturing in Shenzhen. Brands are now quickly recognizing that though these products are born in China, they are consumed by the world." Crowdfunding Campaigns Another way to differentiate brands from the CES pack is to indicate that your product has successfully attracted significant funding support on an international platform such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. There are two reasons why crowdfunding success helps to raise brands to the eye level of CES attendees and beyond: (1) It provides a relatively objective way of assessing a product that attracts potential customers, partners, and journalists who are seeking to discover fresh and innovative products at the CES exhibitions. This effect is definitely attractive to start-ups as well as companies who have just started internationalizing as they lack a strong brand name. In recent years, this crowdfunding effect is starting to attract established brands who do not need to raise funds. According to David Mandelbrot, Indiegogo CEO, "We’ve had campaigns from companies like Procter and Gamble, Honeywell, and Bose. They’re big, public companies. They don’t need to raise funds. But they’re using Indiegogo to validate the products coming out of their innovation divisions and launch those products to an audience they can engage with directly." In terms of an Asian brand example, Anker's sub-brand Nebula has also successfully raised $1.2 million for a mini-projector by Nov 2017, in time for January’s CES 2018. (2) Crowdfunding platforms have been rapidly evolving, with the largest platforms helping brands beyond the crowdfunding phase, and providing opportunities to scale, e.g. order fulfillment in target markets. CES offers an opportunity to meet these potential partners and spark off win-win collaborations. David revealed that 40 percent of Indiegogo's transactions are cross-border. He also pointed out that Indiegogo partners Ingram Micro on order fulfillment in the U.S and that some of its clients had secured brick-and-mortar distributors such as Target. Targeted Media Outreach Press outreach may sometimes be overlooked by first-time CES exhibitors as they are so focused on the event itself. This is a big mistake as the target audience for your brand goes beyond the exhibition attendees: CES 2018 received 107,120 media mentions, on top of generating 49 million Snapchat live views, and around 1 million #CES2018 and @CES Mentions. You can be sure that apart from hustling for customers, every company on the CES show floor will be seeking media attention to spread their brand story. So how can brands prepare ahead of this event? Let's start with what international journalists are looking for and the types of pressure they face. Mike Butcher, a TechCrunch editor, reports getting some 500 emails per day, and he only takes a few seconds to decide whether to read the entire email. Therefore, it’s critical that any communication to the press be about news, not self-promotion. Of course, the best-case scenario is to attract journalists to approach your brand and ask specific questions that are interesting to their readers. Therefore, it is important to time your outreach. Monthly print publications are doing their CES roundups long before the show, while some online news outlets patrol the show floor with cameras for same-day coverage. As a reference, Kandao had sent a press release two months ahead of the CES event when their Innovation Award win was announced. This helped gain the attention of the relevant journalists who needed to start work ahead of the actual event. Another best practice is to prepare a media kit that can be found on your brand's website. Media kit materials should include a one-page corporate overview, press release materials, product specifications, product images, team/executive bios, and the company logo. This helps busy reporters report on your company more quickly without doing additional research! Finally, it is advisable to seek help especially when your brand is new to the international arena. By approaching a well-known press release distribution network such as PR Newswire, your brand may evaluate the various options such as finding and pitching to the journalists that cover your technology niche as well as organizing a "live" press conference on the show floor. PR Newswire offers services such as press release distribution to your targeted destinations as well as content creation services to help you craft stronger messages to reach your target audience. Conclusion It isn't mutually exclusive to win a CES Innovation Award, organize a successful crowdfunding campaign AND woo the press to cover your brand. In fact, it is definitely easier to attract media coverage if journalists spot a unique differentiator such as an Innovation Award or a successful crowdfunding campaign! Originally published in Chinese at Cifnews, and in English by Jx Tan on Linkedin. Click here to view releases distributed with regards to the upcoming CES 2019 event.

2019-01-04 15:40
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