5 Key Takeaways from Cision & PRWeek’s 2020 Comms Report

The role of PR has risen up to the challenge of establishing itself as a trusted advisor to top management in 2020. In a challenging year, more PR professionals are working more closely with their CEOs, who have sought their counsel and perspectives before making business decisions.  That was one of the key findings from the 2020 Comms Report by Cision and PR Week. The fourth annual report surveyed more than 300 senior-level PR professionals, from both agencies and in-house, in the United States. The report also reveals how PR is up to the task of facing old and new obstacles and opportunities, such as tech adoption and proving ROI, and the most effective channels and influencers that impact consumer behaviour. These trends will pave the outlook for the PR industry to tackle a bumpy road to 2021. We highlight some key takeaways from the report before you dive into the full report. 1. Comms is establishing its seat at the C-suite table, especially after COVID-19 PR has risen up to the challenges of providing increasingly sought-after counsel by top management in companies. According to the report, 85% of respondents said that C-suite executives wanted to hear from the comms perspective even more after COVID-19 hit. Dealing with multiple global uncertainties such as economic downturn and global supply chain disruption, CEOs understand that they need to consult their comms professionals to help clarify and communicate brand values before making major business decisions.  This is helped by the fact that more PR pros believe that the comms industry can effectively measure and prove the impact of their work on business performance - although they add that the industry still has a long way to go in this department. 2. More budget is allocated to PR monitoring and measurement Each year the report asked respondents to indicate how much of their annual budget went to measuring/monitoring/understanding the impact of their comms program. In 2017, 22% of U.S. respondents said 10% or more of their budget went to this. This year, 31.3% of U.S. respondents said 10% or more. That marks a pretty decent jump in just three years and it's meaningful to the measurement discipline.  3. Employees play a more critical role in influencing consumer purchasing behavior One notable change in this year’s results is how employees have catapulted up the list of most effective influencers, while celebrity endorsements continued to dip. More than half (56%) of respondents include employees among their top 4 influencers that impacted consumer behavior. One of the key reasons is that employees bring a high level of authenticity to their comments, while too many celebrities are putting out the same messages that are not so substantial.  4. COVID-19 has impacted the content production process Given the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, close to half of the respondents have had to adapt the tone of their content to better fit the current societal realities. Other notable changes in the content creation process spurred by the pandemic include increased engagement with their audiences, experimenting with new platforms and collaborating with other creative disciplines. Respondents also indicated a greater reliance on information from social media posts, blog posts and videos that are produced by brands since the start of COVID-19.   READ MORE: 5 Steps to Developing an Effective Communications Plan   5. LinkedIn overtakes Facebook as the most important social media platform for the content strategy of brands  Close to one-quarter of communicators indicated that LinkedIn is the most important social media platform as part of their broader content strategy plan - an increase from 19% in 2019. PR agencies placed more importance on using LinkedIn than Facebook, while it is evenly split between Facebook and LinkedIn for their in-house counterparts.    Cision and PRWeek's 2020 Comms Report reveals the old and new obstacles the PR industry is facing, and how once more PR is rising to the challenge while proving its worth to the C-suite and on the bottom line. Download the report to get the full findings.     This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.

2020-11-18 15:43

Media Pitching Tips in a COVID-19 World from Gaya Travel Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief

Travel demand is on route to increase in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming months. Domestic travel in markets, such as Malaysia and Vietnam, is seeing an uptick, while more international travel bubbles are being established in between cities in the region.   As the state of travel resumes, the media’s appetite for travel news and stories is growing as the focus is shifted to local tours and staycations.   PR Newswire chats with Juhan Kamaruddin, the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Gaya Travel Magazine, a Malaysia-based publication that reports on the travel and tourism sector, as part of PR Newswire’s COVID-19 Travel Industry Recovery Toolkit.   On gaining media coverage, Juhan emphasized on the importance of PR reps establishing a long-term relationship with the media.  One way is through media monitoring, which tracks recent articles by journalists, their key areas of reporting and their recent social media activity. With such valuable information, it is easier to engage journalists and provide information or potential interview sources that add value to their work.   The veteran travel journalist shares more tips and advice on pitching travel-related news to him in this interview.     How do you prefer to receive press materials?  I prefer to receive materials via email or file-sharing, for example, WeTransfer, for speedy editing and publishing.  What is your advice for PR professionals who are trying to pitch you?  Gaya Travel Magazine mainly targets Malaysia-, Singapore- and Brunei-based English-speaking urban professionals between 24 and 65 years old, with a slant towards Halal travel. Though the magazine mainly targets consumers, it also covers selected travel trade fairs such as World Travel Mart and ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) Travel Exchange. Therefore, PR professionals that cater to our audience are welcomed to approach us.  We ultimately seek win-win collaborations and long-term relationships with PR professionals. Ideally, we prefer to collaborate and maintain close relationships with those who understand that Gaya Travel is also a business entity that is driven by revenue, and looks at monetary and non-monetary value (for example familiarization trips and stays) as it strives to increase its audience and client base.  Do you have any pet peeves when working with PR professionals?  That PR practitioners assume that just because they email us their press releases, the media is obliged to publish them. Some PR practitioners neither take the initiative nor demonstrate the desire to establish a long-term relationship with the media whom they are counting on to get their stories published.  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Domestic tourism has gradually resumed in some markets in APAC. (Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia)[/caption]   What is the most challenging aspect of covering the travel industry?  The threats that surround the industry include natural disasters, climate change, geopolitical tensions, and unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic create more uncertainty and dent people’s desire to travel. As such, accurately predicting the up-and-coming destinations that are devoid of risks becomes tricky.  What upcoming launches/events/updates are you most excited about?  We will likely gravitate towards travel- and tourism-related launches that emphasize on sustainability and address climate change, cultural / heritage conservation, and social responsibility, particularly those in South-east Asia. Places such as Sukau Rainforest Lodge in Sabah and Warung Bumi by Bumi Langit Institute in Yogyakarta deserve our coverage.  What are some travel trends that you foresee for 2020?  People seeking more hidden gems closer to home, for example, residents of Klang Valley wanting to discover more places or attractions within Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Selangor, or the rest of Malaysia.  Value-for-money / budget-friendly local experiences that are memorable, enriching, educational and can contribute to the local economy, for example staying with rural communities or indigenous tribes.  Travelers nowadays approach their travelling with purpose. More of them are interested to join activities like cleaning up beaches, coasts and underwater environments. In light of COVID-19, many governments have advised postponing non-essential travel.   What advice do you have for PR professionals during this period?  It would be great if PR professionals can work more closely with their marketing and sales counterparts to target their communications to the domestic market, or markets not affected by COVID-19. In Malaysia's case, the travel industry has been quick to respond by pivoting to markets such as West, Central and South Asia, including ASEAN.    Download the COVID-19 Travel Recovery Toolkit to chart out your comms plan and get travel media pitching tips with this toolkit that is tailored for PR pros in the travel and tourism industry.

2020-11-10 14:55

5 Steps to Developing an Effective Communications Plan

As we enter the final quarter of the year, it is imperative that PR professionals start planning their communications plans for 2021. It has been a year of unprecedented challenges, movement restrictions and economic headwinds brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the road ahead is still fraught with many uncertainties.   After months of shelving your campaigns, it is time to make up for lost time by relooking your campaigns and chart out communications plans for next year. With 2021 around the corner, here’re 5 steps to start developing an effective communications plan.     1. Know what your brand stands for - Identify action words that form the basis of all content    [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="301"] (Photo: Nike Facebook Page)[/caption] At a fundamental level, every piece of content should tie in closely with your company's mission, vision and values in some way. Take sports apparel giant Nike for example. It has always revolved around the concept of innovation. Its mission statement is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world, and its core values include performance, authenticity, innovation and sustainability. Now, if you take any press release or content from Nike, you will notice that it fits nicely into these key themes.    Regardless of their size, brands should be clear on their values and purpose from the beginning. From there, keywords that are aligned with your brand will emerge. Out of those words choose 2 or 3 action words that capture the essence of the brand. (For example: nourish, create, deliver, provide, inspire, innovate.) These words would frame and anchor all future content. By weaving these action words into your peripheral content, it will help build up brand image as well as brand association.        2. Research your target audience and media    Contrary to popular belief, some brand content can be either tone-deaf or not written for a targeted audience. The worst is when a company is so fixated on writing for their investors that they forget who sustains their business - customers.    Some companies are so impressed by themselves that they simply talk about how amazing their products are. Instead of focusing on 'why should I care?', they go on about 'why I should buy a product?'.   To avoid falling into this trap, think: 'Out of everyone in the world, who am I targeting?' The better you understand your customer's persona - mindset, problems, and needs, the higher the chances of the content providing actual value to them.    But, never forget the media - journalists and influencers are your conduits to reaching your desired audience. Therefore, they should be included in your research, right at the outset.   First, find out which media outlets and platforms your target audiences turn to. Then, find out which journalists or influencers match your target audience? Think about what type of content would the media find useful for their audiences? (These answers can be derived from media monitoring.)   According to PR Newswire's 2019 APAC Media Survey, the top three multimedia elements that journalists prefer to use in their articles are high-resolution photos, videos and infographics.  Next, you can begin building up media lists to reach your target audience. And when you send pitches to journalists, treat them as if you are talking to customers - centre your pitch around how your news can solve their problems or make their lives easier.      READ MORE: 4 Trends to Consider in Your Communications Plans    3. Do a competitor analysis of your brands    Brands should not stay in their bubble. Instead, they should monitor what their competitors are saying through their press releases and media coverage. They should also keep abreast of relevant development of general and industry news, and what trending topics and issues the media are discussing. Through this analysis, brands can zero in on key content themes.        4. Have a long-term content plan and set out goals   Strategic communication is most effective when you have a long-term plan. Typical time frames for a content strategy plan can range from 3, 6 to 12 months.    Proactively plan and find upcoming opportunities to tell your story in the way you want to say to it. To do that, you should use your media lists and audience insights to deep dive into events, forward features, press events, holidays and see where your story may fit and where you can add value with your news.    Next, time your communications to coincide with the media's publishing schedule. A well-organized opportunity calendar should match a timeline of products launches and essential initiatives against the publishing schedules of the media.    Identify potential new angles from research done on top industry topics, what competitors have been communicating to the media (through press releases and media clippings) and what has the media written about.     5. Evaluate and adapt your plans consistently   Unfortunately, with all these steps in place, you can never guarantee that everything you do will be 100% perfect. Neither can you ensure that every decision was the right one when building and executing your communications strategy?     Therefore, it is essential to continuously monitor and be open to feedback so you can adapt and respond in real-time. Perhaps the words you choose don't accurately represent what you do or there is some confusion over what your business focus is?   Media monitoring can help you fix this. Strategic communication is most effective if messages are honest and repeated frequently. Companies need to send their messages via the most effective channels and have a long-term plan in place.      Find out how PR Newswire can support the implementation of your communications strategies through a full range of highly tailored services, from content writing, comms audit to media pitching.    This blog post is written by Thomas Skelton, Communications Strategy Manager at PR Newswire. 

2020-11-05 12:18

5 Crisis Recovery Tips for Brands

With the prolonged COVID-19, companies are bracing themselves for a long road to recovery. Switching to survival mode, many have streamlined their operations and pivoted to new business opportunities to stay afloat. Over the past months, Cision and PR Newswire have held a series of webinars on adapting communications strategy in the new normal. We round up 5 helpful crisis recovery tips on navigating the communications challenges ahead.  1. Prepare for a bumpy re-entry journey   [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="296"] Matthew Della Croce, Global President and Partner, Allison+Partners[/caption]   As companies begin to re-open, the route to recovery will not be straightforward. In an interview with Cision, Matthew Della Croce, Global President and Partner at communications agency Allison+Partners, said: “Re-entry is going to be a dynamic process that involves several stages of turbulence and changes before we finally get to something approaching an equilibrium.” He added that brands need to plan for a sequence of re-entries that vary in speed and intensity, which will test their organization and their stakeholders in different ways.     2. Start with short-term opportunities   Prioritizing short-term plans is the best way to stay nimble, according to Della Croce. He shared that Allison+Partners’ immediate plans emphasize on the next three months’ ‘sprint’. He explained: “As an agency, this means managing our business and our client work in sprints to enable rapid and agile adjustments to day-to-day operations for ourselves and the strategy and execution we provide for our clients.”     3. Agility is the new stability   Being agile is the main feature of the comms strategy plans of fast-food giant McDonald’s for entering the new normal. In a Cision interview, David Tovar, Vice President, U.S. Communications at McDonald’s shared the chain’s reopening sequence in 4 phases: crisis, recovery, revival and the next normal. Different messaging and communication outlets are required for each phase. He shared: “It’s important to be agile, be genuine, be authentic and most importantly be current with the information that is shared.”    Tovar also shared 3 key points to remember:   Maintain a predictable cadence and align your system’s needs with the right voices at the right time.   Prepare the right content be flexible and be able to modify quickly as the system mindset shift and/ or re-direction is needed.   Monitor operator sentiment and be able to connect the dots for the strategic leadership team based on real-time, dynamic measurement.    READ MORE: The Next Normal: A Conversation with McDonald’s VP of U.S. Communications 4. Regain trust among stakeholders   The COVID-19 crisis has abruptly disrupted normalcy and brands need to re-establish a sense of assurance with their stakeholders. According to Deloitte Insights, businesses need to think from their stakeholders’ perspectives and consider four dimensions of trust: physical, emotional, financial, and digital. Physical trust involves keeping spaces safe, emotional trust safeguards people’s emotional and societal needs, financial trust is about maintaining strong economic health, and digital trust involves securing the privacy and transfer of information.  5. Build up brand resilience   [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240"] John Kerr, CEO, Edelman Singapore[/caption]   It is a critical time for companies to strengthen their brand resilience, which increases its capacity to anticipate and respond to challenges. Brand resilience, which is achieved by building up reputation and earning trust, will be imperative in the new normal, according to John Kerr, CEO of Edelman Singapore, who spoke at a PR Newswire webinar on crisis recovery.   “The best path towards resilience is agility and planning for the reality of dealing with multiple issues that pop up every day,” he said. “As long as you have coherence and everything is defendable from what you say and what you do, then you should be okay.”  According to the Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, consumers are looking to brands not only to demonstrate leadership during challenging times but to also help, assist and serve. Hence, brands need to adapt to the new world, alongside with their consumers. An Edelman article states the five attributes of brand resilience: risk-tolerant, providing useful and needed service, values-led operations, connecting with stakeholders through meaningful relationships and adaptability.  READ MORE: COVID-19 Comms: Developing Communications Plans for Crisis Recovery and Beyond   Chart out your comms plan and get travel media pitching tips with this toolkit that is tailored for PR pros in the travel and hospitality industry.   This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.

2020-10-23 18:01

4 Ways to Improve the Pick-Up Rate of Press Releases

The media receives numerous press releases and pitches daily. Given the fast work turn-around time and lean resources, it takes more than informative content and interview opportunities to ensure that the news gets picked up.   In a recent PR Newswire webinar, we invited Victor Peng, a news anchor at TVBS, one of Taiwan’s top news channels, to share the news production process and how journalists, like him, select and get information from press releases for their news bulletins.   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="549"] Victor Peng, a news anchor at TVBS (left) speaking at a PR Newswire event in Taipei earlier this year.[/caption] 1. Select the most suitable time period to send press releases   Selecting an optimum time to issue news releases need to revolve around the work schedules of the media. It is favourable to time them to the ‘lull periods’ when time-pressed journalists are relatively free, so that the pick-up rate can be maximized   According to Peng, the deadline for submitting press materials for television stations in Taiwan can be 11am to noon or 6pm – depending on the programme timings. Newspapers typically stop accepting information from 5 to 7pm unless the news is major. As online media prioritizes the timeliness of the news, there isn’t a rigid time-based deadline rule.    In order to facilitate the media’s workflow, Peng advises companies to hold press conferences no later than 10am and end them before 3pm. This gives journalists sufficient time to conduct on-site interviews with spokespersons, ask and check on follow-up questions, write the manuscript and edit videos.     2. Understand the job scope and nature of journalists    A common PR stumbling block is identifying the relevant journalists for different types of news. Peng shares the structure at TVBS News - the broadcast reporters are structured based on their respective beats, which include politics, foreign news and lifestyle. The lifestyle beat, which covers topics such as medical, technology and traffic news, has the largest number of reporters.  Among journalists, there are also varying job titles - from roving reporters who cover day-to-day news to correspondents, who produce specialized long-form reports. The work turnover rate of the roving reporters is higher – they conduct two interviews and produce at least three news articles daily. Peng adds that sending press releases to journalists covering the relevant beats in suitable formats is vital in securing media coverage.   READ MORE: Writing Press Releases in Times of Crisis 3. Provide remote interview opportunities    The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the reporting process. The crisis has become a turning point for companies to review and optimize their ways of disseminating information. With movement restrictions, the media has turned to video conferencing tools to conduct interviews remotely. Peng adds that press releases should also feature human-interest personalities or relevant spokesperson who can be interviewed virtually.     4. Enhance press releases with multimedia elements   Broadcast journalists tend to look out for images, videos and audio materials when evaluating if they should pick up the press release. They are constantly looking for ways on how the news can capture the attention of their audiences.   According to PR Newswire’s 2019 Asia-Pacific Media Survey, high-resolution photos, videos and infographics emerge as the top three multimedia elements that journalists prefer to use in their articles. About one in three journalists look out for high-resolution images, while one in four wants to incorporate videos in their stories.   Besides, eye-catching multimedia elements, especially infographics and short-form videos, also tend to get re-posted on the media’s social media accounts.  As such, having a wealth of multimedia elements in a press release format such as the Multimedia News Release can increase the chances of getting media coverage.   Watch the on-demand webinar: A Media Dialogue with TVBS in Taiwan Watch the on-demand webinar: A Media Dialogue with TVBS in Taiwan here     This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.

2020-09-24 12:11

Finance News Websites That Are Worth Investing Your Time In

As we are in the thick of this year’s second quarterly earnings season, there has been a steady flow of business updates and news. Over the past weeks, PR Newswire has distributed numerous earnings press releases from publicly listed companies that have released their second-quarter financial results. The current earnings season is closely watched as investors are keen to understand how companies have been impacted by a full quarter of economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the flurry of investor relations updates and announcements, we look at some international and APAC financial news websites to help you get up to speed on the finance world.     For Finance and Business News: Bloomberg   Bloomberg offers business news coverage from more than 150 bureaus across over 70 countries. With an extensive global network, Bloomberg offers round-the-clock coverage of stocks, bonds, commodities, emerging markets and forex markets. Apart from its website and TV channels, market information and news are also delivered through its trademark Bloomberg terminals sitting on the desks of professional traders worldwide, delivering customized market charts and news feeds that are checked throughout the day. Bloomberg’s key audiences include professional investors, executives and government policymakers.   Partnership with PR Newswire: On Bloomberg’s dedicated listed company pages, readers will view stock charts, key statistics, board members and a “Press Releases” section. These press releases are also available to Bloomberg terminal subscribers.          For Investment News: TheStreet   TheStreet focuses on financial news and financial literacy. Founded by Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money and a former hedge fund manager, TheStreet has an entire section dedicated to stock analyses by him.   The website also covers areas such as investing, personal finance, retirement, technology and markets. For those who prefer to get information through videos, there is an extensive How-To section that covers numerous questions on personal finance. Paid subscriptions are available for investors looking to get access to even more resources such as market analyses and stock picks. Investors, financial advisors and academics are among the key visitors to this portal.   Partnership with PR Newswire: While PR Newswire content is still available on TheStreet’s author page, users need to subscribe to one of its paid specific products to search for public company news.     For Research, Ratings and Tools: Morningstar  Morningstar is a leading provider of global independent investment research of mutual funds and other investments. It is known for its rating system for funds on a one-to-five scale, which is based on a fund’s portfolio analysis, performance, historical risk and return, fees and expenses as well as other key indicators. Positive ratings on Morningstar can bring additional credibility to a fund's strategy. You can use this site to research and evaluate your current and potential investments. Morningstar counts asset managers and investors as part of its key viewership.   Partnership with PR Newswire:  On a listed company’s page on Morningstar, readers will see stock charts, key ratios, ‘Morningstar’s Analysis’ and the latest company news including press releases.     For Tracking Investments: Seeking Alpha   Seeking Alpha is an investment community and news aggregation site compiling the top stories from financial news sites. The homepage includes top news stories and trending stocks. A free membership option gives readers access to stock analysis and investment newsletters and lets them create alerts for specific authors. Paid memberships are available if you’re looking for more exclusive features like earnings and conference call slides and recordings, investment tracking, and more. Seeking Alpha is read by investors, key decision-makers and academics.   Partnership with PR Newswire:  On a listed company’s dedicated page on Seeking Alpha, readers will see stock charts, revenue trend charts, analysis, company profile and a “Press Releases” section.    For Tracking News and Investments: Yahoo! Finance  Yahoo! Finance, which is part of American media giant Yahoo!, provides finance news on stocks, currencies, commodities that are aggregated from newswire agencies such as Reuters and Associated Press and other finance and investment websites like Motley Fool. Besides news, Yahoo! Finance provides free stock quotations, mortgage rates and financial reports and international market data. Other nifty website functions include watchlists for users to monitor the performance of their stocks and screeners to search for relevant equities, mutual funds and ETFs. Yahoo!, which is a subsidiary of Verizon Media, receives over 600 million monthly unique visitors.   Partnership with PR Newswire: On Yahoo! Finance’s dedicated listed company pages, readers can view stock charts, key statistics, board members and a “Press Releases” section. The site also hosts corporate press releases that are distributed by PR Newswire.      KEEP READING: Investor Relations Pros Share Communications Tips Amid The COVID-19 Uncertainty   If you’re looking for financial news and updates that cover the APAC region, here are some websites to bookmark:   1. ET Net (Hong Kong)   A member of the Hong Kong Economic Times Group, financial website ET Net, which was launched in 2000, provides a comprehensive range of financial information to retail investors for free. Besides stock-related channels like Futures, Warrants, ETFs, ET Net also provides news and updates from other major channels like Forex and Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF).   Partnership with PR Newswire: Finance-related press releases, which are in Traditional Chinese and distributed by PR Newswire are hosted on ET Net here. Some of the press releases can also be found on its News page.          2. Money FM89.3 (Singapore)  MONEY FM 89.3 is Singapore’s first and only business and personal finance radio station. Operated by Singapore Press Holdings, the radio station features a 24-hour English talk format. It covers local and international business and financial news on markets and currency updates and gathers insights from analysts, economists, policymakers, industry experts and business owners on trending issues in the finance world. Its website’s newsfeed compiles business news from finance broadsheet The Business Times.   Partnership with PR Newswire: On Money FM’s homepage, the latest finance news and press releases distributed by PR Newswire can be found in the ‘News Feed’ section.     3. Money Compass (Malaysia)   Money Compass is a publication/portal that aims to raise awareness of financial planning in the fields of wealth management. Key topics that it covers include wealth protection, wealth creation, wealth preservation and wealth distribution. Money Compass also closely tracks the development of business environments and economics with dedicated sections for SMEs. With a team of professional advisors, columnists and article contributors, Money Compass reports on the latest developments, market intelligence and provide up-to-date analysis to help readers make adjustments to their financial plans.   Partnership with PR Newswire: Corporate press releases, which are distributed by PR Newswire, are also hosted on Money Compass’ English & Chinese websites. Recently, Money Compass launched a Malay version.     Click here to view more earnings press releases   

2020-08-21 16:58

5 Pitching Tips from the Travel Media in a COVID-19 World

As the travel and tourism industry gradually recovers from COVID-19, communications need to be relevant and forward-looking. Over the past few months, PR Newswire has distributed numerous press releases on the recovery efforts of the travel industry, from campaigns to boost hygiene standards in hotels and tourist destinations, brand partnerships to virtual travel experiences. As travel restrictions ease at varying degrees across the APAC region, travel businesses have to adapt their key messages along different stages of recovery. Securing media coverage plays a key role for businesses to amplify their key messages to target audiences throughout the various stages. To help businesses connect with the media and position their stories, we’ve launched our 2020 Travel Media Pitching Kit, which compiles pitching tips and industry insights from 28 travel journalists and influencers in APAC.  They come from 9 markets:  Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. The media also shares advice for PR pros on the types of press releases and stories that would interest them in light of the pandemic, this year’s travel trends and more. We highlight 5 tips from the travel media on how PR pros can pitch their stories effectively in a COVID-19 world.   1. Pitch stories with a positive outlook “In addition to the usual marketing messaging, it is worth pitching positive stories about how their organization are taking care of their internal community - staff, vendors and business partners – whose life and sense of job security have no doubt been impacted by the business fallout, as well as external communities, such as medical professionals.”  -   Karen Yue, Group Editor, TTG Asia Media   2. Continue building close relationships with the media and keep them updated on industry developments and business activities “With the recent limitations of business mobility, the media demands more business updates from PR professionals. This is the time you can focus on building relationships with the media, so when this pandemic is over, they can still remember your brand and message.” -  Bayu Hari, Editor-in-Chief, Venue Magazine   3. Be realistic and provide information that is timely and relevant to the developing travel situation  "I do not want to be receiving press releases for overseas companies and countries encouraging people to visit and “keep the dream alive”. For those countries saying they are opening for travel, it is giving false hopes to countries that are being realistic about the situation and causing massive confusion in the consumer market. For my publications, I am not looking at anything to do with travelling to destinations outside of Australia currently. My content plans have changed to 4 phases: Australia travel inspiration content on deals, news, tips, etc When the Trans-Tasman bubble is closer to launch, I will add New Zealand to it When the Pacific bubble is introduced, I will add Pacific content When international travel resumes, I will look at international destinations.” -  Kate Webster, Managing Director, Captured Travel Media    4. Focus on activities and promotions that are related to domestic tourism as international travel restrictions loom ahead “I believe that the demand for overseas vacations will be transferred to the domestic market - people would prefer visiting places much closer to home, such as going on road trips and camping. When tourism to neighboring provinces gradually recovers, destinations with beautiful scenery and fewer tourists will be more popular.” -  Xu Yue, Editor-in-Chief, Travel.ifeng.com 5. Address health and hygiene concerns and the rise of technology as COVID-19 brings about a new normal for traveling “During this period, cleanliness and safety are the top priorities of travelers. Special safety measures and arrangements need to be clearly listed and emphasized in order to gain their confidence.” -  Amy Chan, CEO and Chief Editor, U Magazine   “Travel platforms are the most important thing that people should pay attention to in Korea’s travel industry this year. Platforms such as Agoda, Booking.com, Expedia, KLOOK and Bemyguest are growing so fast. In Korea, the growth rate of platforms such as Yanolja and My Real Trip is outstanding. I’m excited about new platforms catering to Free Independent Travelers that will be launched this year.” -  Koeun Son, Deputy Chief Editor, Editorial Department, Travel Times    Planning an upcoming campaign? Get our eBook of Post-COVID-19 Communications Strategy that has been specially tailored for the travel and tourism industry. 

2020-08-21 15:42

A Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Media Monitoring for Better Media Ties

Cultivating meaningful relationships with the media is not an overnight task. Communicators need to invest time and effort through pitching and striking up conversations, such as providing timely industry updates, exploring story possibilities and commenting on journalists’ social media accounts, . At the core of these PR efforts is the age-old adage of knowing the journalists' and their media outlet’s audience well. According to Cision’s 2020 State of the Media report, 37% of journalists stated that the number one thing that PR pros can help is to understand the media’s target audience, and what they find relevant. One way of ensuring that pitches are relevant is through media monitoring. It helps to hone PR strategies by allowing brands to manage how they are perceived by the public, and be part of trends and conversations. By providing useful information to journalists that can add value to their stories, communicators can meaningfully engage them and increase the chances of pitching stories that resonate with the media’s audiences. In this step-by-step article, we explore how media monitoring can provide nifty insights beyond tracking media coverage – from determining the influence of key journalists to understanding the media’s audience profile.   What happens after receiving media coverage? Take popular video-sharing social networking service TikTok, for example. During the past few months, the popularity of the app skyrocketed especially among teenagers, due to stay-home restrictions. The influx of catchy short-form music-based videos on TikTok has spawned trending hashtags, including #ObsessedWithIt, #AlwaysLearning and the #WipeItDown challenge. Some of these quirky videos have captured global media attention, which highlights the diverse and universal appeal of the app. What happens after brands receive glowing media coverage? We utilize media monitoring tool, Cision Communications Cloud® to find out how brands, such as TikTok, can ride on this momentum and glean insights from the coverage to establish stronger media relations in 6 steps.   Step 1: Listen to media channels for trending topics  According to Cision Communications Cloud®, TikTok’s media mentions by international media increased by almost four times from mid-January to mid-July.   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1181"] Media mentions of TikTok have been growing steadily from mid-January to mid-July. (Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   Step 2: Check if media coverage is aligned to key communications messages  TikTok’s Newsroom page is a content hub for corporate news, community initiatives and data security measures. From these recent company initiatives and news, we pick out recent corporate messaging targeted at B2C and B2B audiences, and see if they are reflected in the media coverage. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1605"] Media coverage of the top 4 consumer topics mentioned in TikTok's Newsroom from mid-January to mid-July. (Photo: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   In June, TikTok-related coverage on ‘Inclusivity & Diversity’ saw a sharp spike to 1,238 mentions by international media. This period coincided with the Black Lives Matter protests and Pride Week. In response, TikTok issued a progress report on how the company is supporting black communities and promoting diversity and inclusion on programs on its platform, and started a #MyPride campaign to celebrate content from the LGBTQ+ community. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1590"] Media coverage of the top 4 B2B topics mentioned in TikTok's Newsroom page from mid-January to mid-July. (Photo: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   On the B2B front, TikTok-related media coverage on ‘data security and privacy’ surged to 2,949 mentions in July. Recently, the company rolled out a series of roadmap updates and reviews on its security infrastructure to protect users’ data privacy and ensure a safe online experience. A noteworthy increase in media coverage is on ‘TikTok For Business’. In late June, TikTok launched TikTok For Business, which provides marketing solutions for brands who want to engage with the app’s community.   Step 3: Target key media outlets After distilling key topics that emerge from the media coverage, it is time to zero in on the key media that have been covering TikTok's developments? We analyze this from two angles - keyword mentions in articles and the number of shares on social media. Media pitching and relations efforts can then be prioritized on these media outlets. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="707"] The top 5 media with the highest number of TikTok-related mentions on ‘data security and privacy’ in their articles from mid-January to mid-July. (Photo: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="800"] The top 5 media with the highest number of social media shares of TikTok-related articles that are linked to ‘data security and privacy’ from mid-January to mid-July. (Photo: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   By analyzing the media monitoring report, trends, such as key media to engage with and industry topics, can be identified. From the narrowed-down media list, a contact list of journalists can be built up and efforts can be focused on cultivating relationships with them.   Step 4: Understand the media's audience Understanding the types of stories and angles that each media prioritize is crucial in cultivating good working relationships. According to Cision Communications Cloud®, The Verge is one of the top media outlets that covers news related to TikTok. Its audience demographics is male-centric, with males making up 79% of its viewership, and 71% of its audiences are 25 to 44 years old. The Verge also has an active social media presence, with a following of more than 3.5 million people on its Facebook account. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="899"] The Verge’s audience overview and the social interaction breakdown of one of its better-performing posts. (Photo: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   Equipped with such insights, PR pros can customize more targeted pitches for The Verge that are aligned to the interests of their primary target audience - young and technology-savvy male adults. A targeted pitch is written with an audience in mind and helps journalists understand the significance of reporting the news to their audiences.   Step 5: Determine the influence of key journalists  It is important to understand the organizational structure of the media that you are pitching to. Anthony Ha, Senior Writer, TechCrunch said in an interview with Cision: “Try and find out more about the organization you are pitching to. This is not necessarily transparent but at TechCrunch, we are a very writer-driven organization, so it makes sense to pitch to a writer rather than an editor.” Using Cision Communications Cloud®, the amount of influence and weight that journalists have can be determined, based on metrics such as the number of articles produced and average shares of articles. Their contact details and preferred modes of contact are also available in the database. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="917"] The media database in Cision Communications Cloud®.(Photo: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption] TikTok’s developments are closely watched by media outlets that cover technology news. Using the Cision Communications Cloud®, journalists who are highly regarded in the technology arena based on their content and social media following can be identified. Examples include Rebecca F.*, a technology contributor for Forbes and CNBC, and Cat Z.*, a technology policy reporter at The Washington Post. Besides reporting day-to-day news, Cat Z. also helms The Technology 202 weekly column that is also distributed as a dedicated newsletter for subscribers, which increases the influence that she carries. (*The journalists’ names have been amended to protect their identities.) On the other hand, Rebecca F. focuses on technological advancements and global innovation in her articles for Forbes and CNBC. Both journalists share similar traits: the need to receive timely materials to report on and achieving a prominent influence among their audiences. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="957"] Articles by Rebeca F., a Forbes and CNBC contributor. (Photo: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   Step 6: Build relationships with journalists by adding value to their work According to TechCrunch's Anthony Ha, “Reporters aren’t just a tool for promotion.” With Cision Communications Cloud®, PR pros can understand reporting preferences and go one step further. They can think about how to add value to the work of journalists. Do not always expect coverage - even though you might not have news this time, you can also provide them with industry updates and resources or share relevant contacts for their articles from time to time. According to Cision’s 2020 State of the Media Report, 51% of journalists plan for their future stories daily or even within shorter time frames. This makes it more challenging for corporate news to capture the attention of the media all the time. However, they can keep information and contacts in mind that can be readily used for their upcoming line-up of articles. Hence, getting your messages to journalists need to be strategic and purposeful, in order to clinch coverage and build solid ties with the media. Here are some media relations tips to get started: Clearly understand which topics and media have driven your media monitoring trends, and ensure that media angles are aligned with your company’s key messages. Establish a more comprehensive media contact list and network based on media mentions and interactions. Get a more in-depth understanding of your audience profile and create tailored pitches to journalists that explain why reporting your news is beneficial to their readers. Follow the articles and developments of influential journalists, especially those who specialize in certain industries. Based on the journalist’s reporting preferences, consider how you can add value to their work. It is not about just requesting for media coverage all the time.   Click here to find out more how Cision Communications Cloud® can strengthen your media relations through listening to media channels for trending topics, and targeting and building relationships with key journalists and influencers.   This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.

2020-08-13 11:26

Client Spotlight: With Daryl Choy, Chief Marketing Officer (Hong Kong) of Tricor Global

In the second edition of PR Newswire’s Client Spotlight series with communications leaders, we speak to Daryl Choy, Chief Marketing Officer (Hong Kong) of Tricor Global, a business expansion company.  Daryl shares with us his communications agenda to navigate this year’s challenging climate and how the 4Es marketing framework (Experience, Evangelism, Exchange Value, Everywhere) has catalysed growth for the company.     1. What are your top communications priorities for 2020?   Promote positivity: With the ongoing pandemic, we are trying our best to promote positivity in the community. We’ve partnered Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council (鄰舍輔導會) to distribute face masks and hand sanitizers to the elderly. We also support the Gingko House銀杏館, a socially-conscious restaurant that helps the elderly to return to the workforce. For every dollar our employees spend, Tricor will donate twice the amount to the charity. We intend to continue these corporate social responsibility efforts throughout this year by supporting different causes in each quarter.  Staying committed to sustainability: When it comes to business strategy or the environment, we are committed to sustainable development. We ensure that the business models of our Initial Public Offering (IPO) partners remain sustainable in the long term. On the environment front, Tricor has partnered with Hong Kong-based carton recycling company Mil Mil to adapt to the circular economy.   Likewise, we have also adopted the circular economy approach, which is aimed at reducing waste and recovering resources, in order to reduce pressure on the environment.   Following the same concept, we make every business decision based on how it will impact and be sustainable to the community. In response to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s proposed paperless trading plan last year, Tricor has rolled out some “green finance” initiatives. They include the launch of Tricor IPO app, which enables our clients and public investors to apply for IPO shares and keep track of IPO allotment results, and partnering HSBC to provide paperless transactions.      2. What are the top three communications challenges that you’re facing this year?   Accelerate digital transformation: Due to the pandemic, technology is now being utilized to its maximum. Now, more than ever, we see the Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer in many companies working together to tackle challenges and chart out business growth.    One of Tricor’s key digital transformation projects is the company-wide adoption of Robotic Processing Automation (RPA).  The automated processes have improved the efficiency of our operations and spurred business growth.  The successful implementation of digital transformation and RPA enabled us to activate remote working arrangements during the early stages of the pandemic.   Another project is the recent launch of our virtual meeting solutions, SPOT, which is tailored for Annual General Meetings held during the pandemic. Next up, we plan to conduct board meeting on cloud platforms.  Strengthen business continuity plans: Besides helping businesses launch their IPOs, we aim to foster long-term business growth.    Inject positivity into business goals: We help businesses to resume operations as soon as the COVID-19 situation eases. Internally, we have boosted staff morale and team spirit, which has led to more proactive work attitude and happy and loyal customers.  This is a testament to our continued business growth in Q1, despite the difficult climate.     3. How have you witnessed the marketing industry evolve over the past few years?     From 4Ps to 4Cs to 4Es, the evolution of the marketing mix has shifted from being product-centric to company-centric to customer experience-centric. The 4Es framework (Exchange value, Experience, Evangelism, Everywhere), which is centred around providing the best customer experience, has been integral to the company’s expansion and catalysing continued growth for our clients after they go public.  a. Experience: By promoting positivity among employees, they are more proactive and happier, which leads to a better customer experience. b. Evangelism: Most of our business comes from referrals. The adoption rate of the Tricor IPO app has been high among our loyal customers. Through our efforts, we’ve seen a great number of customers turn into advocates. They are willing to share our events’ information with their peers and are happy to receive our newsletters. c. Exchange value: We believe that the competition is not solely based on pricing but the value that is provided to clients. Although our products and services are not priced competitively, we have many loyal customers, who are willing to share positive testimonials on their experiences with the company. Besides helping our clients grow, we believe in empowering them to contribute back to society. For example, we helped Hong Kong Science & Technology Park grow from a start-up to a publicly listed company. Now, we are partnering with the company to provide 30 hours of free consultation for start-ups. d. Everywhere: Taking reference from Intel Inside, the technology company’s marketing campaign, Tricor created Tricor Inside, our approach to business expansion. It is split into four pillars of business drivers – finance, customer, people and internal process. The approach is adapted from a Harvard Business Review article, The Balanced Scorecard—Measures that Drive Performance. We believe that when these business drivers have been tackled, the business will take off.  I like Tricor Hong Kong’s CEO Joe Wan’s Linkedin tagline: “I lead a 700+ company with a start-up mentality”. In the same spirit, Tricor’s management team works hard to ensure that information is delivered to clients in a timely and accurate manner.      4.     What’s your advice for someone who is entering the marketing industry?    Be authentic: Don’t act differently for the sake of impressing others. Enjoy your work, find your passion, and develop your career based on it.   Enjoy your work: Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, reflect on them and make improvements.    Hone your project management skills: Think logically, work on your project management skills, which can help your career tremendously. You’ve got to constantly think about the value you can bring to the customer.   Allocate time for personal growth: Spend 60 to 80% of your time on work and the remaining time on developing your personal growth. Learn new skills, get a more diverse education and read books that can help you grow.      About: Daryl Choy is the Chief Marketing Officer of Tricor Global’s Hong Kong outpost.  Daryl has 25 years of marketing and management experiences in industries such as Food & Beverage and Financial Services in Hong Kong and Greater China, and he also ran an experience design agency.    Click here to view more Client Spotlight articles, where we chat with leaders in the communications and marketing industry on their plans and outlook for 2020    

2020-07-30 16:12

COVID-19 Comms: Communications amid an Infodemic - What can Businesses Learn from Governments?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that a clear communications plan is integral to responding to a public health crisis. What makes the current pandemic more dangerous is the spread of rumors and false information that would fuel an information epidemic or infodemic. Without authoritative news sources, this creates opportunities for the spreading of fake news and falsehoods, especially on the internet. Providing the public with information that comes straight from the source in a timely manner can become an important “vaccine” as the world is reeling from the effects of COVID-19. News consumption & trust In a PR Newswire webinar in May, Alyssa McDonald, Managing Editor of Bloomberg Asia Digital shared that news consumption by Asian audiences have exploded since COVID-19 entered the news cycle. Bloomberg Asia has seen a fourfold increase in the number of its online subscribers as compared to the same period last year. According to an Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on COVID-19, which was conducted across 10 countries, mainstream media organizations (64%) continue to be the most trusted source of information since the start of COVID-19 and are more trusted relative to social media (38%). "City leaders are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response and need to identify and prioritize resources for their vulnerable communities," said Lauren Sorkin, Acting Executive Director of Global Resilient Cities Network, "Communication is key. As we've seen in certain cities, an example of which is Singapore, clear and frequent messaging about the risks can go a long way in significantly helping to limit transmission." [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="833"] The Singapore government provides daily COVID-19 updates and articles such as “Keep safe when you shop” on the Gov.sg Telegram channel.[/caption]   As countries emerge from mandatory social distancing measures, it is vital to keep the public up to date with trustworthy information in a timely manner and curb the spread of rumors online. Singapore emerged from its “circuit-breaker” measures in early June, with its government constantly communicating the latest infection figures, policy changes and tips for staying healthy on its official website. It also adopted a multi-channel approach to amplification on social media platforms such as Telegram and WhatsApp to keep their citizens updated.   Government communications in a post-COVID-19 landscape  What messages are governments around the world communicating as they transit to the recovery phase? What lessons on crisis recovery and effective communications can businesses learn from these measures? Here are some examples from government press releases that were distributed via PR Newswire. The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is implementing the CHS Program in Destinations, with Bali becoming its pilot project. (Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy)[/caption]   The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is implementing CHS (Cleanliness, Health, and Safety) program in Indonesian locations related to tourism and creative economy as a strategy to accelerate the recovery of tourism and creative economy sector after COVID-19, with Bali becoming the pilot project. This release demonstrates Indonesia’s commitment to addressing tourists’ concerns that emerged with COVID-19. As the world-famous tourism destination, Bali is associated with this scheme, prominent news media such as The Daily Mail and travel media such as TTG Asia have published related reports. READ MORE: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Will Implement CHS Program in Destinations, Bali Becomes the Pilot Project Over the past month, the ministry has also rolled out other initiatives to get the travel and tourism sector back on its feet. It co-launched “Indonesia Care” a national campaign to implement health protocols and verification in order to present clean, healthy, safe, and environmentally sustainable destinations, and issued a release on urging Indonesia’s social investment community to develop the country’s tourism and creative economy sector through crowdfunding, partnerships and philanthropic investment.   Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau 40 business events in Thailand will move online or achieve enhanced online presence this year with the support of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau. This release indicated that these events span a diversity of industries such as toys, sports, design, digital content industries, tourism, and medicine. The release also highlighted the Thailand Toy Expo 2020, which was held virtually and drew an audience of over 72,000. READ MORE: Digitalise and thrive: Thailand's event organisers go digital with TCEB's new Virtual Meeting Space project    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the “High-Level Videoconference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity” (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore)[/caption]   As COVID-19 hits countries across the world, Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan participated in a high-level video conference was chaired by PRC State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi. The conference was also attended by 24 other countries, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Development Programme. This release showed Singapore’s willingness to collaborate while highlighting its strategic position as a small and open economy to keep global trade flowing and supply chains connected. READ MORE: Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan's Participation in the "High-Level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity"   The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Since mid-February 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent Daily Roundups of its Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates as well as related articles on a regular basis. By sending news releases based on a schedule, the FDA has communicated this critical information to thousands of media websites and expanded its audiences, while creating a long-tail search engine optimization (SEO) effect. READ MORE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA prepares for resumption of domestic inspections with new risk assessment system     Post-COVID-19 communications from brands [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Airbnb has launched an online cooking experiences programme in Singapore, which features top chefs, in a bid to support the local F&B industry's recovery. (Photo: Airbnb)[/caption]   With many countries worldwide seeking to recover from COVID-19, crisis recovery is still on the minds of media organizations. They are likely to focus on how businesses are recovering during this critical period while adhering to the COVID-19 containment measures by the governments. According to Cision’s 2020 State of the Media report, journalists indicated that finding the local news angle is especially important at the moment. Many of the respondents place emphasis on proximity as they are only interested in local news pitches as containment measures vary across different locations. Journalists are realistic about COVID-19 fatigue setting in on audiences, but as this is a fluid situation most audiences still want regular updates, especially on a local level. As such, businesses need to consider the expectations of their audiences and keep in mind government initiatives to craft more relevant messages. Here are some examples of what brands are communicating during the recovery phase. Industry: Serve as a bridge between your industry and government. WeChat collaborated with the World Health Organization and Facebook to launch a hackathon to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic with technology; IBM launches Watson Assistant for Citizens, leveraging AI to help governments worldwide make relevant data available to their citizens. Company: Highlight how companies are recovering and helping other communities or businesses. Cisco has launched a new financing programme to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia purchase its products at 0% interest, with no upfront costs, and at a fixed 3-year monthly payment term; Airbnb unveils a new curated collection of online cooking experiences in Singapore to support the local F&B industry's recovery. Product: Leverage the power of technology. MetroResidences, a leading tech-driven accommodation company, has introduced four initiatives designed to restore consumer confidence for its customers in the wake of COVID-19; Intel initiates a plan to battle the epidemic through technologies and committed US$50 million for the fight against COVID-19. As the world emerges from COVID-19, action-oriented content is king, relevance is key, while news distribution is the final touch to deliver information to readers, journalists, investors and search engines. News releases will continue to play an important role for businesses whose approach and strategy are in line with COVID-19 containment initiatives of the relevant governments.     Stay on top of COVID-19 news from PR Newswire    This article is written by Cathy Zhao, Supervisor of Operations at PR Newswire. 

2020-07-23 10:58

2020 Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report: Key Takeaways

  Managing corporate communications in APAC can be complex. After all, the region is home to diverse languages, cultures and media consumption behavior. This has resulted in varying industry practices and preferences on communications channels, media budgets, content production, and more.  With that in mind, PR Newswire recently launched its inaugural Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report to better understand the strategies, priorities and challenges that public relations and communications professionals face when planning regional campaigns.   The report surveyed close to 948 industry professionals across 10 major markets - Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. The survey was conducted from September to November 2019.   Despite the diversity of the region, the report revealed that some markets face similar pertinent challenges. The most prevalent one is measuring the impact of communications, which is rated as the top challenge in Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. On the other hand, maintaining trust and audience engagement shows the greatest variance across the markets, with 69% of respondents in Vietnam citing it as a challenge, while close to one-quarter of respondents in South Korea found it difficult.   We have summarized these cross-market insights into five key takeaways from the full report, which can be downloaded here.    1. Enhancing brand influence is the top priority for APAC businesses     [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="582"] (Source: PR Newswire 2020 Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report)[/caption]   Nearly six out of 10 businesses in APAC prioritize boosting brand awareness and visibility in their communications campaigns over generating sales and conversion. Industries that prefer to focus on brand influence most include automobile, finance, manufacturing, health/medical care.   On striking a balance between the two communications outcomes, Angela Chan, Director of China Business of food manufacturing company Lee Kum Kee, believes that the impact of communications efforts is dependent on the measurement period. “In the FMCG industry, the most intuitive way is to measure additional sales volume,” she says. “Shorter-term communications metrics include the number of views, shares, etc., while the longer-term and more important metrics are share of voice and brand building within the industry.”   2. Businesses place the highest importance on sharing their corporate stories on news websites  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="465"] (Source: PR Newswire 2020 Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report)[/caption]   The top channels prioritized by companies across the region are news websites (70%), followed by social media (60%), corporate websites (58%) and print media (56%). Businesses from Thailand (80%) and Australia (75%) place the most emphasis on getting their stories on news websites.  The choice of distribution channels also varies by the type of companies. B2B businesses tend to place more importance on their corporate websites, offline activities/events and email/EDM, while B2C companies prefer to push out multimedia content through TV radio, mobile news app and videos.      3. The top 3 communications challenge faced by businesses are content creation, measuring campaign impact and budget constraints   [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="547"] (Source: PR Newswire 2020 Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report)[/caption]   More than half of respondents cited that producing diversified content for various channels as the top communications challenge, especially for businesses in mainland China, Thailand and South Korea.  Equally challenging is measuring the impact of communications (54%) through outcomes such as sales conversion and brand recognition, which is a more pronounced challenge in markets such as Vietnam, Australia and Singapore. Rounding up the top three challenges is securing communications budget, Indonesia, mainland China and Singapore flagged it up as the main challenge.  Martin Roll, a business and brand strategist, and the author of Asia Brand Strategy, points out that measuring the impact of communications efforts and keeping relevant audiences engaged will be two key challenges this year. “Global companies must strive for authenticity, relevance and transparency across their messages to drive engagement,” he says. “This will enhance communications outcomes as global audiences will respond to companies and brands seeking to contribute to a better world.”     4. Press releases is the most preferred channel to promote new products, services or business developments  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="608"] (Source: PR Newswire 2020 Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report)[/caption]   Sending press releases to the media is preferred by 85% of businesses when it comes to announcing significant business developments or promoting new products and services. This is followed by using other platforms such as social media (79%), corporate websites (72%).  Press releases are also regarded as the most useful source of information by journalists in APAC, according to Cision’s 2020 State of the Media Report. 36% of those surveyed prefer receiving information from press releases - more than other sources like spokesperson and e-mail pitches.    5. Close to one-third of businesses are planning to increase their earned media budget this year  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="568"] (Source: PR Newswire 2020 Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report)[/caption]   Earned media is becoming increasingly more valuable in the eyes of management, as it sees significant growth in its slice of media budget pie around the world.  In APAC, close to one-third of businesses plan to increase their earned media budgets this year - more than paid media budgets. Larger businesses with over 1,000 staff show a greater willingness to focus on earned media. 43% of such businesses intend to up their earned media budgets, compared to 35% of smaller businesses (less than 100 staff).     Get the full 2020 Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report to find out more strategies, priorities and challenges across 10 major markets and get an invaluable reference point to plan your regional campaigns.      This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.

2020-07-15 10:34

Writing Press Releases in Times of Crisis

  Five months on, COVID-19 remains a much talked about topic in the news cycle. PR Newswire has received hundreds of pandemic-related press releases from brands across APAC. during this period. Like the developing situation, the key topics in press releases are evolving as the crisis move from the prevention, damage control to the recovery phases.  These topics have shifted from corporate social responsibility initiatives, the influx of e-commerce and remote working products to recovery plans, and safe and hygienic re-opening measures. Recently, PR Newswire’s Senior Editor Nathan Brown conducted an online workshop on Writing Press Releases in Times of Crisis. Equipped with a wealth of experience on editing and writing COVID-19-related press releases, Nathan shared his tips for crafting press releases that resonate with audiences during difficult periods. They include communicating with empathy and clarity, having a coherent content structure, and distributing press releases to relevant audiences.  Here are the key takeaways from the on-demand online workshop. 1. Choose the tone of writing carefully Businesses need to choose their words carefully when promoting one’s products or services during this period. Instead of proclaiming themselves as “number one”, they should highlight the qualities that set them apart from the competition. Nathan said: “Besides not exaggerating the truth, one must also avoid bombastic language as well as badmouthing other parties such as competitors or politicians.”    2. Avoid newsjacking and profiteering Nathan highlighted two absolute no-nos when it comes to writing press releases. The first mistake is newsjacking, which connects trending topics to a company’s news in a misleading and inaccurate way. He adds: “Such headlines are a form of clickbait, which has nothing to do with the rest of the content.” Another way to get into journalists' bad books is to profiteer from press releases. This involves taking advantage of the situation to earn money by promoting's one's products distastefully.  Download our tip sheet on crafting COVID-19 related press releases (it includes real examples of newsjacking and profiteering in press releases that PR Newswire has received).    3. Plan content according to its destination The effectiveness of a press release is determined by the extent of its target audience reach. Nathan listed four areas to consider. Firstly, make sure the content is relevant to the market that the press release is sent to. Secondly, research on the distribution regions and take note of religious and political sensitivities there. Avoid touchy subjects, controversial words and over-generalizations of a community. Thirdly, localize press releases to make them more accessible and relevant to local audiences. Lastly, do not get involved in ongoing conflicts and controversies, such as taking sides in political issues or corporate disputes. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="669"] Having a coherent structure in press releases is crucial so that readers can follow through easily.[/caption] 4. Have a coherent content structure  a. Introduction: Get straight to the point Hook the readers with a captivating opening sentence and include ‘why this news matters to them’ in the first paragraph. The introductory paragraphs should also concisely cover the 5Ws - When, Where, What, Who, and Why. Ideally, readers should be able to take home a condensed version of the press release from reading the first paragraph. In addition, they should see how this news is important to them, and not just to the company. b.  Main body: Add in the details For the subsequent paragraphs, expand on the ideas that have been mentioned in the introduction. Include additional details such as quotes from the most relevant newsmaker (It doesn’t have to be the CEO all the time). Make sure that the quote is substantial and relevant to the news. It should provide a voice for the company, as well as, a new perspective or opinion on the matter. Also, include complete information such as the name and job title of the spokesperson. The main body should be composed in a clear and organized manner so that readers can follow the points easily and understand the significance of the news.  c. Conclusion Besides conveying a clear message, a well-written press release brings about positive action. Always include a clear call to action that tells the reader how to follow-up for more information. The ending of a press release includes a boilerplate on the company's profile and contact information.  5. Add multimedia elements Adding suitable and appealing multimedia elements increase the likelihood of news getting picked up by media outlets. It also enhances the information in the press release and improves readability. Different markets have varying standards on the quality of multimedia used in press releases. A good gauge on the multimedia requirements in each market is to check out the types of multimedia that some media outlets are using.  Use Cision’s online press release analysis tool to check if your press release meets key requirements such as word count, contact information, quotes and the number of commonly used keywords.    Watch the Writing Press Releases in Times of Crisis workshop here

2020-06-24 17:52

4 Trends to Consider in Your Communications Plans

  The first half of 2020 has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has triggered a health, economy and social crisis. Many companies have been forced to revamp their business models, operations and supply chains in order to survive. Amidst the uncertainties, getting up to speed on recent shifts and advancements in the communications landscape has never been more important now. To help you keep abreast of recent communications trends, we've gleaned highlights from the 2019 Global Comms Report by Cision and PRWeek that still remain relevant today. In its third edition, the report surveyed more than 500 senior-level PR and marketing professionals in seven countries to uncover trends and challenges that PR pros face. These countries are U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, and China (including Hong Kong SAR). Here are four key takeaways from the full report, which can be downloaded here. 1. More budget from PR pros is allocated to earned media Earned media has significantly grown its slice of the media budget pie. Of the more than 500 respondents, an average of 34% of their overall budget is allocated to earned media – up from 26% in 2018. However, paid media still takes up the largest share (35%) globally, while the remaining 31% is allocated to owned media. Respondents in the US, however, bucked this trend and spent more on earned media (39%, on average) than paid media (31%). One potential reason why earned media has enjoyed increased spending is that PR professionals are able to better measure the ROI of their work and report tangible and actionable results to management. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="561"] (Source: Cision/PRWeek 2019 Global Comms Report)[/caption]   However, respondents in Asia highlighted that having to compete with paid media for the budget was among their top three comms challenges. 56% of respondents from the region cited that they found it challenging to justify reducing their budget for paid media.   2. There is a greater emphasis on measuring the effectiveness of comms programs in Asia [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="380"] Source: Cision/PRWeek 2019 Global Comms Report[/caption] As measuring success becomes increasingly important for growing budgets, comms professionals are dedicating more of their annual budget to do so. Globally, more than half (51%) of respondents devoted at least 10% of their annual budget to measure their comms program, up from 49% last year. In China, 78% of respondents spent 10% or more to measure the effectiveness of their comms program, more than companies in other countries for the second year running.     3.  Mainstream journalists are the most powerful influencers of consumer behavior [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="585"] Source: Cision/PRWeek 2019 Global Comms Report[/caption]   Respondents listed the most powerful influencers, in terms of impacting consumer behavior. Globally, 'mainstream journalists' was the top answer, with more than one in four (27%) respondents putting it at the top of their list, and more than half (60%) include it in the top three. This finding, coupled with 67% of respondents who deemed the press release a major tool for media communications, shows that traditional media and tactics are alive and well. In an interview with PRWeek, Ernie Knewitz, VP of global media relations at Johnson & Johnson said: “Mainstream reporters have increasingly become opinion leaders and they still set the agenda for a lot of public and social discourse.” However, respondents in China took a different view. Two in three (or 68%) respondents put ‘celebrities’ as part of their top three types of influencers. Celebrities include actors, artists, athletes and social media stars. ‘Everyday consumers’ and ‘mainstream journalists’ come in second at 54% each. Paid influencers, too, are important to PR professionals in China. Nearly 9 in 10 respondents (88%) said that they are ‘very much’ or a ‘somewhat important’ part of their comms strategy. 4. Pay attention to the rise of Instagram  [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="239"] Source: Cision/PRWeek 2019 Global Comms Report[/caption] Finally, respondents told us which social channels are the most vital to their broader content strategy. Facebook remained on top, with 72% including it in their top three social media channels, and more than one in three (35%) indicated that it is the most important channel. Nearly two in five (38%) respondents from China also included Facebook in their top three selection, but local platforms such as WeChat (34%) and Weibo (26%) were not far behind. While it is not as popular as Facebook, Instagram was the biggest mover. More than half (57%) of respondents included it in their top three selection, up from 45% in 2018. Nearly one in four (22%) chose it as the most vital channel, up from 9% in 2018. With such momentum, Instagram is likely to continue to be a contender for marketing and comms attention and, who knows, it might even overtake Facebook as the most popular PR platform in future.       Download Cision/PRWeek 2019 Global Comms Report: The Path to Progress to uncover the biggest industry challenges, and shifts and advancements in the communications industry.   This blog post is written by Jeff Rajeck, a researcher, trainer, and consultant at Econsultancy, an international business and digital transformation agency, in APAC.

2020-06-16 17:47

COVID-19 Comms: Media Angles in the Post-Pandemic World

After two months of lockdowns and restrictions, the COVID-19 situation in APAC is lightening up. Markets such as Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam are soldiering on with their economic activities and recovery plans to catch up with revenue gaps. With the latest developments, media angles have also evolved. Earlier this month, media outlets told PR Newswire that their focus was on corporate social responsibility efforts and human interest stories on goodwill contributions. With markets transiting to the recovery stage, how will editorial directions shift in tandem? We speak to two Hong Kong-based journalists Cynthia Chak, Senior Reporter of Sky Post and Rick Boost, Regional Editor at Marketing Magazine to get their views on the post COVID-19 media coverage. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1719"] News articles on hard news topics such as rentals/leases, quarantine policies and employment support have been on the rise since early May. (Source: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   According to data from the  Cision Communications Cloud®, some hard news topics are gaining traction in the Hong Kong media landscape since early May when social distancing measures were eased. They include pertinent issues such as rental and leasing concessions in the embattled retail sector, the introduction of quarantines and monitoring of inbound travelers, and the employment support scheme and subsidies to provide support to the workforce. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1151"] News articles, which include keywords such as rent, leasing, market, rent relief, rent reduction, Individual Visit Scheme, Concessionary rent and concession, have been trending in the Hong Kong after the peak of the COVID-19 situation. (Source: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1649"] News articles on product launches, promotions and corporate announcements have seen a resurgence from late April in Hong Kong. (Source: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   During the peak of the pandemic in March, most companies avoid issuing corporate news releases, especially those on award announcements, product launches and talent appointments. However, the number of news on product launches and corporate announcements rebounded from mid-April, with more companies resuming business. The Media’s Perspective   Rick Boost Regional Editor (Hong Kong), Marketing Magazine Editorial outlets are exposing any bright sides to the situation and their benefits in these stressful times. Some of the issues that have emerged are how people from all walks of life are working from home and how those, who are not as tech-savvy, are picking up digital skills. However, I think these story angles are evolving as we reflect on working in a post-pandemic world. Some aspects will resemble post-apocalyptic hyperboles on rebuilding societies, while some changes will be short-lived until normality resumes. Covering B2B industry news Hearing about industry awards these days immediately gives people a mild shock. Awards are from the “before time” when people could still meet in physical groups. The first thing to consider about writing such news is the safety precautions of organising these events and if there are interesting methods that have allowed events to retain some element of glamour or fun. PR professionals often forget that journalists are more likely to cover smaller events that provide concrete and well-organized information than potentially huge events with no real information on hand. Providing figures, quotes, and a clear description of the details give us what we need far more than a hundred adjectives about how wonderful the news is. If a product can help people during this awful time, don’t just say it’s great, explain to us what it does.   Cynthia Chak Senior Reporter(Local news), Sky Post During the outbreak phase, I mostly reported on the depressing situation in the travel and F&B industry and how industry players are coping with the decline in market revenue. The media focused on stories on corporate social responsibility and contributions from good Samaritans. Now, we follow up on the state of the economy such as government employment protection policies, subsidies from various parties, and the disbursement of funds to people. On the consumer market: Theme parks and major shopping malls are key areas in my current news focus. During the lockdown, malls experienced such a significant reduction in footfall that they became ghost towns and shops are no longer renewing their leases. Although the infection rates have subsided, the Individual Visit Scheme, which allows travelers from Mainland China to visit Hong Kong and Macau, remains halted. How are retailers dealing with this roadblock? How brands can retain their customers through lucky draws and gift vouchers? How landlords are subsidizing rental rates to tenants? On the education sector: Besides addressing the emotional toll that the COVID-19 situation has imposed on students, the resumption of classes in secondary schools raises concerns on the adequacy of hygiene measures in campuses. For graduating students in universities, how will their job prospects be affected, and which industries are providing internships that can lead to full-time job opportunities? On public health concerns: Sports facilities, such as swimming pools, have re-opened. Will sports activities spark a second wave of the outbreak? I will also look into stories that provide updates on how the impact of public health conditions by easing local social-distancing measures. On the business world: Some key questions on my mind: Which industries have stopped hiring new talent? What are the latest developments on resuming government services, such us conducting driver’s license tests?   RELATED:  COVID-19 Comms: Turning a Crisis into Media Opportunities   This article is written by Kate Wong, Audience Development Manager at PR Newswire and Yannis Leung, an Audience Development Intern, who is an English Studies undergraduate at the City University of Hong Kong.  

2020-05-28 14:29

COVID-19 Comms: Developing Communications Plans for Crisis Recovery and Beyond

The road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming imminent, as infection rates in some APAC markets such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam, are declining. As governments prepare to implement measures to kickstart their economies, public concerns have shifted from crisis response to navigating economic and social recovery. Thus, it is crucial for communications professionals to adapt their strategies to reconnect with their audiences. In the latest episode of PR Newswire’s webinar series on COVID Comms, we get crisis recovery insights from John Kerr, CEO of Edelman Singapore, and Riley Heng, Country Manager, Australia and Head of Marketing at MetroResidences.  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="239"] John Kerr, CEO, Edelman Singapore[/caption]   Kerr highlighted four areas of opportunity that communicators should keep in mind when they shape their crisis recovery plans. 1. Have business coherence In the post-COVID-19 age, organizations need to show that they can remain relevant. Hence, it is important to build brand resilience, which is the result of establishing a brand reputation and trust. This gives brands the capacity to anticipate unforeseen events. “The best path towards resilience is agility and planning for the reality of dealing with multiple issues that pop up every day,” he said. “As long as you have coherence and everything is defendable from what you say and what you do, then you should be okay.” In order to achieve business coherence, brands can conduct an audit of their actions and experiences provided by their touchpoints and operational systems.  2. Know your audience  These days, understanding your customers can be done in innovative ways through data analytics. Everything, from their whereabouts to the types of messages they engage with, can be analyzed. Kerr added that Edelman’s predictive intelligence center spearheads new ways of piecing a complete picture of consumers which is more relevant and effective than the traditional ways of building customer segments and personas.  To that end, he shared how Edelman developed an emotion tracking device for Shell Malaysia, which analyses the feelings of people driving on certain roads. The results were used to determine the type of F&B offerings at petrol stations, which saw sales increase by 15%.  3. Transmedia storytelling  Brands need to take a leaf from the books of news companies, which are adapting to the transmedia world by having a presence where their audiences are. He said: “Brands need to think of themselves as publishers, and which platforms to amplify and distribute news and information to their audiences.” He revealed that producing client content such as thought leadership articles on Linkedin is one of Edelman Singapore’s fastest-growing businesses at the moment.  He added: “PR Newswire is also beneficiary of this greater desire to go directly to audiences, but still with an earned media-centric mindset.”  4. Measurement and Attribution  [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="687"] The A3 (A cubed) measurement model is a behavioral matrix that measures impact through Attention, Attitude and Action of audiences. (Credit: Edelman)[/caption]   With the current budget constraints, Kerr believes that companies will focus more on efficiency and performance, which means that public relations activities need to have a direct impact on business.  He added that these 4 key objectives that should be built into any communications plan: how to increase sales, how to protect and enhance your licence to operate, how do you remain an employer of choice and how do you build advocacy across broader communities. On performance metrics, he shared the A3 (A cubed) measurement model, a behavioral matrix that measures impact through the Attention, Attitude, and Action of audiences that can be applied across marketing and communications disciplines.  Preparing for recovery in the hospitality industry [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="262"] Riley Heng, Country Manager, Australia and Head of Marketing at MetroResidences. [/caption]   For Heng, she shared her crisis response and recovery experiences from the perspective of being in the hospitality industry, which is one of the hardest-hit sectors by the COVID-19 crisis.  Here are the communications goals set by serviced apartments platform MetroResidences in March, when the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. The news sparked cancellations and refunds across its properties in light of travel restrictions.  Provide assurance: Increase response rates to customers. Move away from communications templates and fully understand the situation before engaging with customers on a personal level.  Build trust:  Show that you are fully aligned with new developments and address concerns quickly. It is important to walk the talk on being there for customers.   Instill faith: Address customers' concerns when they are ready to travel again and have relevant measures in place.  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] MetroResidences launched the Safe Home Programme to provide accommodation for essential frontline workers earlier this month. (Photo: MetroResidences)[/caption]   Some of the measures by MetroResidences included flexible reservation arrangements and virtual viewing of its apartments on its website. In mid-May, it started a Safe Home Programme, which provides free or discounted accommodation to healthcare and frontline workers in Singapore and Japan.  She also suggested that these following points should be considered when planning for crisis recovery in the hospitality sector:  Prepare for pent-up demand during the recovery period: “We are organizing our operations to prepare what should be done the day when travel restrictions are lifted. There will be new guidelines and rules, so we need to think about what we can do to help travelers ease into this new normal," she said.  Introduce more flexible reservation options: Some travelers have encountered traumatic experiences of canceling their reservations that were bought at non-refundable rates and will prefer more flexible booking options in this uncertain climate.    Missed the webinars? You can watch them on-demand here, as part of our COVID-19 communications resources page.   This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.

2020-05-22 09:32

Cision’s 2020 State of the Media Report: Provide Resources, not Releases and Other Top Tips from Journalists

The first half of 2020 has been riddled with unprecedented challenges for journalists as the media industry is reeling from the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides dealing with an influx of news and filing their stories at home, some of them are now grappling with the uncertain financial situation of media organisations. To make sense of this conundrum, PR Newswire’s parent company Cision has recently released its 2020 State of the Media Report, an annual survey that delves into the priorities, challenges and trends in the global media landscape. Cision invited three journalists, who are based in the United States and Canada, to discuss the report’s findings in a webinar. They are Sarah Paynter, Reporter, Yahoo! Finance, Anthony Ha, Senior Writer, TechCrunch and Julie Carl, Senior Editor, Toronto Star to share how communications professionals can be helpful and add value to their work during this challenging period.   1. Make press releases straightforward and effective According to the 2020 State of the Media report, press releases are ranked the most useful source of brand information by journalists.  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="817"] (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)[/caption]   Julie Carl, Senior Editor, Toronto Star said: “ A press releases can close the gap between ‘I know who you are’ and ‘you’re someone new’.” She adds that the e-mail subject line should not just say ‘press release’ and the content should be tightly written, on top having a spokesperson that is readily accessible.  One of her pet peeves is receiving press releases that are loaded with buzzwords. “We don’t know what these words mean,” she says. “Put them in simple and everyday terms; pretend that you’re telling something to your grandmother.”  For technology-related press releases, Anthony Ha, Senior Writer, TechCrunch points out that that there is “a tendency to slide into nebulous language”. He said: “The press release ends up being a bunch of buzzwords that I don't understand. When you are talking about new products, include a specific description of what the product does.” Besides press releases, some journalists regularly receive reports and studies that they use to substantiate key points in their articles. Sarah Paynter, a Yahoo Finance reporter, prefers to use reports and studies by large and well-known organizations, as the information tends to be more credible. That said, she is still open to using data and findings from start-ups. She says: “I will want to know about their research methodology and reach out to some experts to see if the source is trustworthy. If you are a start-up, you just have to be a quality organization and that will speak for itself.    2. Send targeted and relevant email pitches [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="708"] (Source: Cision's 2020 State of the Media Report)[/caption]   Carl thinks that building a personal connection with journalists goes a long way in ensuring that pitches get picked up down the road. She recalled: “When I used to go out to speak to community groups about how they could get media coverage, I urged them to look out for for a reporter who covers topics that you’d want a story on. You either call them up or email them and say 'I think you are doing a wonderful job, I have been reading your work'. That will make the pitch stand out as we only hear about what we did wrong!” She added that it is vital to understand upcoming topics that a reporter is likely to cover in light of recent news, and present relevant spokespersons that can contribute their perspectives to the article. She said: "Tell the reporter ‘If ever the day comes when you need someone to comment on a topic, I have some ideal people' and get ready to hand over their contact details.” This will leave a positive impression on journalists as the PR professional will be viewed as a reliable source who can be tapped on for future stories.  Understanding the media organization’s structure and work dynamics is also crucial. Ha said: “Try and find out more about the organization you are pitching to. This is not necessarily transparent but at TechCrunch, we are a very writer-driven organization, so it makes sense to pitch to a writer rather than an editor.”  Paynter added: “I may not remember a good pitch but I do remember people who have reached out to me as a person.” She recounted an e-mail pitch with the title ‘Resources, not Releases’. “The PR professional talked me through on what their company does and established a relationship first before going into the pitch, so developing a relationship with a reporter is very important,” she concluded.   3. The impact of COVID-19 on journalists [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted news-gathering practices in newsrooms around the world.[/caption]   The pandemic has forced some newsrooms to implement remote work arrangements, with many journalists working from home or on staggered shifts for the foreseeable future.  What Carl misses most is the interactions with her colleagues. She lamented: “What is lost in that is the casual conversations with your colleagues, like ‘I heard you are going to do this but now you are not going to do it. Does it fit here?’ Stories evolve better in a newsroom - like building a mosaic.”  For Ha, working remotely has set clearer boundaries of office hours for him, despite the porous work situation. He said: “I have no interest in answering any work emails at 9pm unless Google has acquired Facebook. Just because I am home and can write a story doesn’t mean that I want to.”  This period can also be overwhelming for journalists, who have to cover COVID-19 related stories, which are mostly negative in nature, on a daily basis. This has left some of them feeling stressed and burnt-out.  On managing her mental health, Paynter said: “ I am narrowing the scope of the things I am going to cover and am not responding to as many emails as before. That is the strategy at my organization that I should focus more on important things and not get caught up on the smaller things.    Download Cision’s 2020 State of the Media Report to get more journalist insights on pitching preferences, and trends and challenges in today’s complex media landscape so that you can create better relationships with the media and gain more coverage.   This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.

2020-05-19 09:30

COVID-19 Comms: How Brands are Helping Through Healthcare Initiatives?

With the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across the world, the healthcare industry has been working tirelessly to fight the ongoing battle. Behind the frontlines, companies from all walks of life are chipping in by donating medical supplies, developing mobile apps to make healthcare services more accessible, building software to monitor one’s health and ensure social distancing, and increasing the production of medical supplies. Healthcare professionals are also hosting webinars to share to empower the public with healthcare and hygiene tips. Here are some initiatives from companies in APAC that aim to keep audiences in the pink of health. Digital Health Platforms  Fullerton Health Launches a Free COVID-19 Symptom Checker and Chat Function for Singapore, with Plans to Roll Out Across Asia Pacific [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="368"] The LiveFuller COVID-19 Symptom Checker App provides useful and timely medical advice. (Photo: Fullerton Health)[/caption]   Healthcare platform Fullerton Health launched a COVID-19 symptom checker and chat function on its LiveFuller mobile application platform. The free-for-use app features the debut of an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled symptom checker, which is offered in the four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. The checker provides recommendations on next steps for users and directs them to where they can seek care or additional information, such as subsidised care at public health clinics or mental health helplines.  Fullerton Health intends to make the symptom checker available for free across Asia-Pacific. Another function is the in-app chat function, which is operated in both English and Mandarin, and users can interact with a Fullerton Health team member through leaving a message or voice note.   Prudential launches digital health app, Pulse by Prudential, to make healthcare more accessible and affordable to everyone amid COVID-19 spread [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="220"] With Pulse by Prudential, users can check their symptoms; conduct a digital health assessment to better understand future disease risks; and seek timely health advice, at any time and from anywhere. (Photo: Prudential)[/caption]   Insurance company Prudential has launched an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered mobile app, Pulse by Prudential. The app provides Singapore residents with 24/7 access to healthcare services and real-time health information. With Pulse, users can check their symptoms; conduct a digital health assessment to understand future disease risks, and seek timely health advice without having to leave their homes. Prudential is also providing a daily allowance to Pulse users in the event that they are hospitalized for COVID-19. The digital health app empowers people to take charge of their health, well-being, while more value-added services will be rolled out in the second half of this year.     AI Hub Singapore creates the first AI computer vision application that allows businesses to monitor social distancing with a mobile phone [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The SafeDistancer app turns a mobile phone into a social distance monitoring instrument. (Photo: AI Hub)[/caption]   AI solutions company AI Hub Singapore has created a mobile application, SafeDistancer that turns mobile devices into social distance monitoring instruments. The app makes use of AI and computer vision to detect human movement in the phone’s camera frame and monitors the distance between people in real-time. When people are too close together, the app will emit alarms to highlight breaches. The application respects personal privacy as it does not send images across a network. It is designed to not recognize faces, nor does it store any images on the device. To make it easier for businesses to come on board, the app can be integrated with existing enterprise infrastructure.   DoctorOnCall Partners Shopee Malaysia to Offer More COVID-19 Test Options to Shoppers [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="165"] The DoctorOnCall Official Shop on Shopee Malaysia. (Photo: DoctorOnCall)[/caption]   Malaysia-based digital health platform DoctorOnCall has partnered with e-commerce platform Shopee Malaysia. On the DoctorOnCall official store on Shopee Mall, customers can purchase COVID-19 real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test kits. They can also buy vouchers on Shopee to purchase medication and have them delivered to their homes via the DoctorOnCall platform. The two companies are co-hosting a series of online health education and awareness programmes on Shopee Live, which covers topics such as immunization and healthy ways to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa, which falls on 24 May.   Medical Supplies DoctorxDentist Collaborates with Brand Partners to Donate Essential Medical Supplies to Community Isolation Facility at Singapore Expo [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="649"] A doctor participating on the DoctorXDentist platform. (Photo: DoctorXDentist)[/caption]   In response to the sharp spike in infection cases in foreign worker dormitories in Singapore, medical healthcare start-up DoctorxDentist has partnered with air purifier company Blueair and healthcare firm Shulke to donate 100 units of air purifiers and 500 bottles of hand sanitizers to the Community Isolation Facility at Singapore Expo, where some of the workers are housed. With the rise in fake medical news, especially around COVID-19, DoctorxDentist, which is a free online platform offering professional and trusted medical advice, has allowed only certified medical specialists who are registered with the Singapore Medical Council to contribute on the platform.   SEASUN BIOMATERIALS to launch COVID-19 Rapid Molecular Assay [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="483"] The AQ-TOP COVID-19 rapid detection Kit. (Photo: SEASUN BIOMATERIALS)[/caption]   Korean Biotech company SEASUN BIOMATERIALS launched its second COVID-19 assay, AQ-TOP COVID-19 Rapid Detection Kit on 1 May. The kit, which tests for COVID-19, can be used on its own without having to purchase additional equipment. As soon as the permit for the Rapid Detection Kit has been completed, it will be made available globally to facilitate rapid COVID-19 diagnosis.   Yiling Pharmaceutical to Increase Productivity of Lianhua Qingwen [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="628"] Yiling Pharmaceutical Announces Increased Production of Lianhua Qingwen. (Photo: Yiling Pharmaceutical)[/caption]   Pharmaceutical company Yiling is increasing the production of Lianhua Qingwen, a traditional Chinese medicine that is used mainly for the treatment of colds and viral influenza. The company is set to increase its production of the medicine to meet the rising demand for the treatment as it is used to alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19. The State Drug Administration of China recently approved the supplemental drug application for “mild/common types of fever, cough and fatigue in the conventional treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia”. Additionally, the medication has been approved to enter Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of influenza in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration.   Medical Advice  Fosun Pharma Invites Chinese and Foreign Experts to Jointly Discuss Prevention and Control Measures of COVID-19 Epidemic in Africa International pharmaceutical company Fosun Pharma invited Chinese and foreign experts to share and discuss their experiences in fighting COVID-19 and provide updates on clinical research, in order to step up the fight against the virus in Africa. Professor Lu Hongzhou, CPC Committee Secretary of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre and an infectious disease expert, together with three other renowned national and international experts, interacted online with health officials and healthcare professionals from over 10 African countries. They held a webinar that focused on the management of COVID-19 in African medical facilities with limited resources. Nearly 400 healthcare professionals from Africa joined the meeting.   RELATED: COVID-19 Comms: How Entertainment and Lifestyle Brands are Spreading Positivity?   Stay on top of Coronavirus news from PR Newswire    This blog post is contributed by Stephanie Lau, Senior Audience Development Executive at PR Newswire. Stephanie leads PR Newswire’s audience development team in Singapore. She oversees media partnerships, media database and organizes media events and interviews. Prior to joining PR Newswire, she had three years of experience working in PR agencies.

2020-05-13 14:21

COVID-19 Comms: Turning a Crisis into Media Opportunities

The past few months have been challenging for PR and media professionals as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted an intrinsic element of the industry: face-to-face interaction. Events have been cancelled or postponed, business priorities have shifted, and livelihoods are now threatened as companies are reeling from the economic impact. Earlier this month, some markets in APAC have resumed some form of economic activity and normalcy, as infection rates begin to subside. One such market is Hong Kong, which has recently eased social distancing measures. As the situation develops, we take a look at trending news topics in Hong Kong that have emerged from the crisis and get journalists from two Hong Kong-based media outlets, Bloomberg Businessweek and Tatler Asia to weigh in on how brands can present distinctive and relevant story angles that can fit into the media’s COVID-19 agenda. According to media monitoring data from Cision Communications Cloud®, the media coverage of COVID-19 in Hong Kong has been fluctuating, depending on the severity of the infection spread in the territory. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="998"] (Source: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   From late January to early March, the increase in the number of COVID-19 news was much steeper than that of non COVID-19 news as infection rates soared. In mid-March, both figures began to stagnate and decrease sharply by the end of the month. As the number of infections fell, the media switched its focus to non COVID-19 news from April, while the number of COVID-19 news continued to shrink as the situation gradually became better by the end of April. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="802"] (Source: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   As of late April, the Share of Voice Comparison chart shows that the media agenda in Hong Kong is almost split down to the middle when it comes to COVID-19 news. The volume of COVID-19 News to non COVID-19 news is 46% to 54%. This is an indication that the media has the appetite and bandwidth to cover other types of articles such as human interest and brand stories. Thus, it is imperative that communications professionals position their brand stories in relevant and impactful ways that can stand out from numerous email pitches that the media receives. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1116"] (Source: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   We zero in on some of the trending keywords that have a prominent presence in Hong Kong's media landscape over the past four months. They include frontlines (i.e. domestic helper and front line medical staff), press releases, World Health Organization (WHO), working from home and flexible working hours. Although the COVID-19 situation has eased, news on front-liners combating the virus retains a stronger presence against other keywords. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="967"] (Source: Cision Communications Cloud)[/caption]   Charity work and the economic impact are two closely-watched topics that have emerged from this crisis. Here’s a look at the volume of news articles on Support during the COVID-19 period (based on keywords such as offer and donation) and economic impact (based on keywords such as marketing, sales, business, economic and downturn. Here are six trending news topics that communications professionals should take note when looking for story angles  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Volunteers from the Hang Lung Properties helped to pack 2,000 health and food kits for the needy. (Photo: Hang Lung Properties)[/caption]   Support During COVID-19 From monetary and in-kind donations to human-interest stories, articles on how companies are contributing to those in need have become one of the most prominent news angles. Business/Economic Impact The spread of the virus has caused businesses around the world to suffer revenue losses, and some have even ceased operations. This has piqued the public’s curiosity on understanding the economic shock brought about by the virus, and how they can better prepare for the impending challenges. Frontliners Although remote working has become the norm, front-line medical staff do not have this luxury. On top of their usual job routines, they also face extreme pressure from handling an influx of new cases every day. With infections on the rise, the number of media reports on the work of frontline medical staff looks set to increase. Press Releases Besides press releases on health precautions, those on business contingency plans of companies are popular among audiences. These press releases have helped to restore public confidence that business operations will resume as soon as this crisis is over. WHO-related News As the virus continues to throw the world in a state of confusion, a considerable number of political and business leaders are heeding the public health advice from this global health institution. Working from Home With the pandemic in full swing, companies are embracing remote work arrangements. Given that most industries are new to this concept, audiences are seeking technology help on utilizing video conferencing tools like Zoom and work collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. The Media’s Perspective Don Cheng Senior Reporter, Bloomberg Businessweek (Chinese Edition)    What I am looking out for? Many businesses have been affected by the pandemic. Instead of focusing on the negative aspect, I'd pay more attention on how companies are turning new possibilities that have emerged from this crisis into opportunities. Meanwhile, the Internet has become a more important platform, so I also keep an eye on how companies are branching out to e-commerce. My editorial angle For business-related “good Samaritans” stories, I would develop it with a broader perspective by talking about how this issue benefits the society and the economy. Typically, companies issue business-driven press releases. However, I don’t consider such hard-sell promotional content as news. If the content has broader implications, it would be more appealing to me to report on. Brand example A biotech company, which mainly develops industrial-grade sanitation products, has shifted its production to focus on the domestic market. Like in some parts of the world, Hong Kong experienced a shortage of masks. As a result, companies and individuals from different industries started manufacturing masks locally, which makes a news-worthy story.    Zabrina Lo Associate Features Editor, Tatler Asia (Hong Kong) What I am looking out for? From individuals or companies: Charity work: The outbreak is a global challenge, so stories on people who place emphasis on doing charity work instead of business are worth covering. Stories of resilience: It’s always fascinating to see how companies remain positive and competitive by coming up with creative campaigns to cope with difficult times. From media and PR companies:  Flexibility: The nature of work schedules has changed as companies and governments enforce safe distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus. Hence, it is vital for PR and media companies to go the extra mile to get stories out and keep the news scene active. My editorial angle Different media companies have varying readerships, coverage and writing styles. With the high volume of emails that I receive daily, a stand-out story would be one that is aligned with my company’s editorial direction and values. Stories need not come from just high-profile individuals. What attracts my attention are heart-felt stories of humble individuals on why and how they are doing good deeds and why they deserve recognition. Brand example During the early stages of the outbreak, a number of art galleries and theatres made their shows and artworks available online. These days, the virtual viewing space has become both a trend and the norm. Art has become more accessible to a wider range of people than in the pre COVID-19 period, despite the postponement or cancellation of many exhibitions and performances. An example is Art Power HK, a communal campaign that gathers over 80 museums, galleries and media organizations to bring art online for free after Art Basel was cancelled. It is impressive and encouraging to see that many art organizations are giving free access to their platforms. RELATED: Click here to read more stories on how journalists in APAC are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.    This article is written by Kate Wong, Audience Development Manager at PR Newswire and Yannis Leung, an Audience Development Intern, who is an English Studies undergraduate at the City University of Hong Kong.  

2020-05-11 12:02

Cision’s 2020 State of the Media Report: Top 5 Takeaways for APAC PR Pros

PR Newswire’s parent company Cision has released its annual State of the Media Report, which covers the latest trends and challenges in today’s global media landscape, so that you can work more effectively with journalists and gain more media coverage. In its 11th edition, this year’s report is Cision’s biggest one yet as it surveys more than 3,200 journalists in 15 countries. For the first time, more than 230 journalists in APAC also participated in the survey, which was conducted in January and February this year. The APAC participants are from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. After COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March, it became crucial to find out how this global health crisis has affected the workflow of journalists. In light of these developments, Cision reached out to the media to find out more about how their editorial angles, pitching preferences and relationships with PR professionals have changed during this challenging period. These findings are highlighted in a special section of the report. Here are 5 takeaways from the full 2020 State of the Media Report for PR pros who are based in APAC.   1. COVID-19 changed everything, but it also highlighted everything that hasn’t changed for the media [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="646"] A journalist talking about the types of stories that are prioritized in the COVID-19 media coverage. (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)[/caption]   Like the spread of the virus, the impact of COVID-19 on a journalist’s work is felt universally. As media coverage has shifted to focus on the pandemic, journalists still prefer to be pitched via email. With the increasing volume of pitches, coupled with tight budgets and lean resources, email pitches are the way to go. Researching on a journalist’s work before pitching is still important as some of them might have been deployed from their regular beats to cover the pandemic.   2. Distrust in the media continues to decrease in the eyes of journalists, but there is still work to be done [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Fewer journalists believe that the public has lost trust in the media in recent years. (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)[/caption]   For the fourth consecutive year, journalists see a dip in the public's distrust of the media. 59% of global respondents feel the public lost trust in the media this year, which is down from 63% last year. Echoing this view is the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on Trust and the Coronavirus, which shows that mainstream media is one of the first places that the public turn to for COVID-19 news. However, journalists in APAC believe that more needs to be done to win over the public’s trust in the media. 53% of journalists in the region indicate that trust in the media has not substantially changed over the past year, which is higher than the global average of 36%.   3. Social media continues to play a complicated role in the work of journalists [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="632"] (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)[/caption]   In APAC, about 4 in 10 journalists think that the intricate social media algorithm updates are the most important technology that will impact their work this year. This is about the same as the global average. More journalists are juggling conflicting interests: reporting accurately, competing against time to publish their stories on social media and finding ways to increase readership and engagement of their work online. Other notable uses of technology in the APAC media scene include AI/Machine Learning, which was the top choice among journalists in Singapore and Vietnam, while their counterparts in Malaysia are prioritizing better video production technology.   4. PR outreach needs to be more targeted and relevant than ever before to stand out [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="708"] An overwhelming majority of journalists do not find PR pitches relevant, which drives the importance of sending out more tailored and targeted pitches. (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)[/caption]   Email pitches to journalists need to provide more than cookie-cutter information. Pitches that are well-researched and tailored to the editorial direction of each media outlet stand a higher chance of getting follow-ups from journalists. In APAC, 42% of journalists indicate that their biggest need from PR professionals is to provide data and expert sources for their articles. This is higher than the global average of 32%.  Pitches should include press releases, which are regarded as the most useful source of information from brands by 33% of journalists in APAC. This is almost on par with the global average of 36%. Email pitches should also showcase how the story opportunity is relevant to the media’s audiences and carry a clear news angle.  The report also shows that PR professionals in APAC are doing a better job of ensuring that media pitches are relevant to the media. 37% of journalists in the region think that up to half of the media pitches they receive are relevant - surpassing the global average of 23%.   5. Ensuring accuracy remains the top priority for media organizations [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="657"] (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)[/caption]   Putting out accurate content continues to be paramount for the media. For the second year in a row, 51% of journalists say that ensuring content is completely accurate is more important than earning revenue or being the first to publish. In APAC, 45% of journalists think that maintaining accuracy is the most important trait of their organizations. Most countries in APAC are on the same page. Journalists in Vietnam, however, place more importance on generating revenue and traffic than ensuring the accuracy of the content.     Download Cision's 2020 State of the Media Report to get more journalist insights on pitching preferences, and trends and challenges in today’s complex media landscape so that you can create better relationships with the media and gain more coverage.   This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.

2020-05-06 14:43

COVID-19 Comms: How Entertainment and Lifestyle Brands are Spreading Positivity?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to numerous lockdowns and movement restrictions in countries across APAC over the past few months. Cabin fever is on the rise as people are spending most of their time in front of their mobile or computer screens at home. Naturally, brands are capitalizing on this pool of captive audience and injecting some fun through entertainment options such as mobile phone filters, online games and shows and even virtual clubbing sessions. Tired of getting bombarded by COVID-19 news, some audiences are also turning to uplifting and inspiring online content. Here’re some colourful ways that brands in APAC are keeping audiences smiling despite the uncertainties. Music 'One World: Together At Home' Global Special to Air on JOOX Music on April 19 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] One World: Together At Home’ Global Special aired on JOOX Music on April 19. (Photo: JOOX Music)[/caption]   Music streaming platform JOOX Music aired One World: Together At Home, a global broadcast event to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, on its app on 19 April. Viewers from Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau SAR, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and South Africa live-streamed the show, which was organized by international advocacy organization Global Citizen, and the World Health Organization. One World: Together At Home, which includes performances and appearances curated by pop star Lady Gaga, is a show of unity towards those who are affected by COVID-19 and celebrates brave healthcare workers doing life-saving work on the front lines. Singapore Unicorns Bigo Live and Razer to Bring The First Cloud Clubbing Experience Down Under [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] Bigo Live's first Cloud Clubbing session in Australia and New Zealand featured Australian DJ M4Sonic. (Photo: Bigo Live)[/caption]   Livestreaming platform Bigo Live and Razer, a lifestyle brand for gamers, has found a solution for electronic music fans who are on lockdown mode but are craving a slice of the clubbing experience. The two Singapore-based companies hosted a live cloud clubbing session to bring some relief and entertainment to those in Australia and New Zealand. Through the Bigo Live app, viewers connected instantly with thousands of “party-goers” in real-time and enjoyed music together. Both DJ M4Sonic and Razer’s guest DJ EKO did an hour mesh-up through the “line” feature on Bigo Live. The partnership leveraged on Razer Gold, an independent virtual credit for games and entertainment. During the live-stream, partygoers could purchase Razer Gold to send virtual gifts and stickers to one another. Business forced closed during COVID-19, this Vietnamese entrepreneur turned around to release the national hit song to fight back the pandemic Can a quirky and optimistic rap song lift the spirit of a nation? Yes, according to Vietnamese entrepreneur and artist, Minh Beta. During Vietnam’s full lockdown period, Min, who runs Beta Cineplex, released a song titled “Viet Nam oi! Danh Bay COVID” (Let’s Fight COVID!). The song was endorsed by Vietnam's Ministry of Health to uplift the nation's spirit during the fight against the pandemic. Co-produced by Minh Beta and business consultancy YellowBlocks, the music video quickly went viral reaching millions of views across various platforms. With positive yet touching lyrics, the video features Minh Beta and guest stars in an interesting superheroes twist. The song inspired thousands of fan-made content that attracted more than 20 million views.   Digital Entertainment BOLT Global launches "We Are In This Together" video series to foster community spirit Singapore-based interactive media company BOLT Global has launched a new video series, "We Are In This Together" featuring community groups affected by COVID-19, in a bid to provide relatable, uplifting and informative content to inspire viewers during the pandemic. In the first two episodes, BOLT chronicles the experiences of medical staff around the world who are battling COVID-19 on the front lines, and interviewed couples in long-distance relationships on how they are keeping the flame alive during this period of social distancing, Meitu teams up with Pinkfong to launch a Baby Shark-themed AR filter that encourages handwashing Technology company Meitu has tied up with entertainment brand Pinkfong to launch a hand-washing mobile app filter that is themed after Baby Shark, a popular children’s song that features a family of sharks. The filter promotes good hygiene habits in the fight against COVID-19. Pinkfong introduced a hygiene-themed song to help families teach their children the proper steps for handwashing, which amassed eight million YouTube views. Pinkfong has also launched a #BabySharkHandWashChallenge to encourage users to submit their handwashing videos. KLab Unites with the Game Industry and WHO #PlayApartTogether Campaign to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400"] KLab joins the #PlayApartTogether campaign. (Photo: KLab)[/caption]   Online mobile gaming company KLab has teamed up with major game publishers around the world and the World Health Organization for the #PlayApartTogether campaign. The initiative encourages people to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by following health and safety guidelines to stay at home. And while they are at home, they can chill out and play online and mobile games. KLab is organising in-game campaigns so that players can enjoy their time at home. Maoyan CEO: China Entertainment Demand is Only Delayed by COVID-19, and Will Rebound Zheng Zhihao, CEO of Maoyan Entertainment, a platform that provides digital entertainment services in China, said COVID-19's impact on the entertainment industry is only temporary, and that China's domestic entertainment industry will recover earlier than other industries that are more reliant on the global market. According to a Maoyan survey in March, more than 70% of movie lovers in China were eager to return to cinemas after they reopen, up from 54% in February. Zheng added that some movies cancelled their theatrical releases and were shown instead through online streaming platforms. This move helped to ease the short-term impact while also creating long-term opportunities. Lifestyle Brands Vietnamese Sneaker Brand Biti's Hunter Made Themselves a Canvas to Feature the Nation's Prideful Initiatives in the Face of COVID-19 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] The artworks of sneakers are inspired by stories of Vietnamese people coping with the COVID-19 situation. (Photo: Biti’s Hunter)[/caption]   Vietnamese footwear brand Biti's Hunter is putting its best foot forward with the launch of CANVAS OF PRIDE, a collection of sneakers that features designs inspired by #ProudlyMadeInVietnam stories. These stories celebrate how Vietnamese from walks of life rise up against the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Biti’s Hunter is encouraging Vietnamese artists and creative communities to create and sell their designs. 10% of the revenue from the sale of these apparel will go towards the fight against COVID-19.   RELATED: How Travel Companies Are Providing Relief to the COVID-19 Situation?   Stay on top of Coronavirus news from PR Newswire    This blog post is contributed by Stephanie Lau, Senior Audience Development Executive at PR Newswire. Stephanie leads PR Newswire’s audience development team in Singapore. She oversees media partnerships, media database and organizes media events and interviews. Prior to joining PR Newswire, she had three years of experience working in PR agencies.

2020-04-30 17:41
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