28th Aug2011

See you there: Social Media World Forum – New York 2011!

by Dorothy

SNWF New York will be held on the 1-2 November at the Javits Centre, New York, including paid to attend workshop sessions as well a free-to-attend exhibition and Social Media Hub workshop. I’ll be attending thanks to the invitation from the awesome team at Six Degrees and am thoroughly looking forward to checking out the scene here in NYC, having attending several ;great sessions back in Asia.

 

What: SNWF New York + Discount codes to the workshop sessions (in this post)

Who: Some of the world’s leading social media thinkers, including representatives from leading brands like Tumblr, Hershey’s, Twitter, Nasa and many more.

Covering a number of key issues around the social media space, discussions will feature insight on measuring ROI on B2B and B2C social media activities, integrating relevant channels into your marketing strategy, social CRM, building and managing communities, social shopping, geo-location, measuring and managing reputation, how social media is changing customer behaviour and much, much more.

Check out these links for the agenda for the conference, to book your place at this year’s event. You get to save 15% on conference passes by entering the discount code DP15 when registering.

If you’re attending, would love to connect on Linkedin or Twitter.  Drop me a DM if you are! More updates soon after the conference!

P.S: Full registration for SMWF also grants delegates entry to another highly relevant, co-locating event, Apps World N. America, which will explore the rapidly expanding apps market, attracting developers, operators, brands and businesses from around the region.

Here’s the list of the other media partners!

04th Nov2010

iLike ; iLight Marina Bay

by Dorothy

It’s been quite some time since any exhibit in Singapore caught my eye, but I’ll have to say that the iLight Marina Bay installations definitely piqued my interest. I made it to each and every one of the 25 pieces of creativity and loved it!

I had the pleasure of running into Mary-Anne, who’s the festival director, all the way from Bondi and she shared some behind the scenes snippets of everything. It’s pretty interesting how she highlighted the need for entrance fees to a lot of the exhibits and events in Singapore – maybe this differs quite a bit from other places? Never quite noticed it, tbh.

She also spoke about soul, and passion (or perhaps the lack thereof in some situations), something that I had to agree with her. Sometimes things can get a little too clinical, too restrained around here. Until the generation learns, we’ve just got to live with it I guess. I constantly miss the ease that one can strike up a random conversation overseas, small talk, and all that jazz.

Sustainability was another thing – Fullterton had been supposed to turn of the lights to offset the energy usage from all of the installations, but somehow this wasn’t happening <?>. Pity, because the initiative definitely had a good intent. Even the paper fans that were distributed, on “paper from sustainable forest sources”.

I loved how there seemed to be a mixture of planned and unplanned interactions going on. There were some workshops at One Fullterton, where people were apparently turning plastic bottles into art. Photography buffs with their tripod and camera gear all around, snapping away. Curious gazers who just happened to wander in – the families, the couples, the accidental tourists on their own home turf, those experimenting with the technology capturing and projecting their images in a mosiac pattern on the screen….

Love the iphone App loading image too! I love the sketchy style and the mood of it, and the little plays of light. This proved really useful when trying to navigate through and planning the exploratory route. 🙂

You can check out more info here. I believe there are guided tours for those who want some directions, else its really much more fun if you take your own time to explore the area and just enjoy the scenery, literally.

Apart from mistaking another light installation at the Marina Barrage as the actual artwork itself, which was kind of hilarious..the only other thing was the haze which obscured some of the view on Day 1, but Day 2 was much better. It’s a bit of a stretch to try and cover everything in a day, but definitely worth it.

It’s on till the 7th of November, so if you haven’t caught it, you really should. I recommend the stretch from the Customs House all the way to Marina Bay Sands, where most of my favourites were concentrated. Awesome stuff!

13th Jul2010

National Parks: Love Green Messaging

by Dorothy

I was walking along East Coast Park for the SITF Beach Clean Up Day, when I spotted these posters by N Parks.

Love Green by you.

  by you.

At first glance, very cute, nicely done graphics, right down to the psuedo 3D shadows. I only have one issue with all this. The dustbin seems to play a major role in all this, rather than the people who actually contribute to litter. In the second picture, we even see a jogger hurling a piece of trash flippantly onto the pristine beach.

While the message is to “Help keep our parks clean for all to enjoy”, why is the responsibility of doing so left to an inanimate object? All this only points more to a culture that expects, probably even assumes someone will clean up after them.

20th Apr2010

Mobile Marketing Association Forum 2010: Singapore – An alternative Blog Post…

by Dorothy
Spent a couple of days last week at the #MMAF2010 and decided to do a different version of a blog post on the event! So here are my exceedingly Twitter centric slides below… Enjoy! 🙂
Just also wanted to give a very huge shoutout to the great team at Ricecomms for the invite & a wonderfully organized event, you can view their press releases here and here.
Really appreciated the making sure that we had power, internet ( all the essentials for Tweeting/Blogging/list of Tweeps/Speakers & what not….), standardized and clearly communicated #hashtag, and even Tweets that shared relevant links throughout the session.  Great stuff!
25th Oct2009

Edelman partnered with Brandtology Digital Brand Index (APAC) finally launched!

by Dorothy

Apologies for the radio silence here the past period, it has been absolutely insane the last few weeks but I have a good excuse. 🙂

So one of the projects I’ve been working on….the APAC Digital Brand Index!
Edelman, together with Brandtology (where I work) have just released a APAC Digital Brand Index spanning across the major markets in the region. To quote John, “8 markets, 800,000 posts, 233 tech brands…” and then some <!>

Please show the team some love if you can because while this may come under the umbrella project of the DBI, multi-market projects really could be mini projects on their own (as is often the case). A full story can be found on the Edelman & Brandtology main sites. (This is where you get the media goodies like fact sheets & media releases, so I suggest you check it out!) and more on John’s site here.

There’s been some nice coverage so far, from online sites in Malaysia, India, China (post in chinese), more India, Australia, to publications like Marketing-interactive.com. I’ve heard the team from China had some great respones from the media session too!
And of course, there are scribd documents, youtube videos all over ( you don’t have to look too hard.)

It is pretty interesting to watch how the news grows. The Google bots are clearly doing their job. Early Friday morning, a Google search returned some 3-4 relevant hits top of page, but that has changed significantly now for any of the major search terms one might use to hunt this down. Search also turns up hits from Facebook pages pretty well too.

Across other spaces, the word is alive on Twitter…. it’s nice to see the multi lingual comments coming in.



I think some of the main findings are already nicely summarized in the various fact sheets on the Edelman site, but of course there are a whole lot more that the data set could provide. Off the top of my head:

  • Online behavioural patterns of APAC netizens… ( 8 countries so far, 2 more coming out). This is for the psychology buff inside me somewhere. I’d really like to see if there are patterns of posting. Weekends are generally less buzzy (people apparently don’t post when they’re not at work?), with conversations happening mostly during weekdays. I can see all those questions about productivity popping up already!
  • Behavioural patterns in different channels – Twitter, unsurprisingly ranks pretty highly in terms of activity and mentions of Brands in the DBI. Part of me thinks that this is largely due to the ease and low effort needed to do an update (aka people are lazy. Easier to post on Twitter than write a full blog post).
    If you’re holding a smartphone, armed with the great Twitter applications and a mobile data plan, it’s easy to make a habit out of Twitter. Instead of calling up our best friend to rant about the lousy brand experience you’d just had, the whole world is now your audience. Clearly, we are seeing signs of that happening, given the number of rants that seem to originate from Twitter.
  • Virality of a Brand – is a certain brand name confined within a select few channels? and why? What’s the difference between a brand that enjoys a lot of buzz within a limited number of channels, as compared to one that is widely disscussed across multiple platforms, but in less depth.
    As a brand, which would you rather be and why? Is this what people call “reach”?
    Does mere reach ( my brand is discussed by 100000 people but each of them only talks about me once ) mean more than longevity in conversation ( my brand is discussed continually by 100 people, across a period of months )?
  • Between a brand and an iconic product – The Singapore data shows Singtel topping the list of mentions. This is probably correlated somewhat with the fact that they still (at this moment in time anyway) have a monopoly on the iphone market. It’s interesting that probably Apple is not mentioned as a brand itself much, but it’s hugely successful line of products – the iPhone, iMac, Macbook, MBPs, MacOS etc would probably generate a huge amount of conversations. Maybe Apple is an aspirational brand, but i personally hate the iPhone because I can’t type on it (yes, seriously). How does brand loyalty feature then, and does it even matter anymore? Would you place product function over the brand, or do you like to convince yourself that this is so?
  • Influencers – What is the difference between an online influencer who owns a blog, and say, someone who’s really active on Twitter? In a forum? In which forum? And how would you qualify this? Microblogging and forums clearly win hands down in terms of activity, as compared to blogs (Again, back to the fact that blogging is hard work!).

Endless questions of why, how, etc and I could really go on and on…

But really, if you’re a slice and dice data wizard, it would be cool to find out what else I could have missed! Any major angles?

If you’re a practioner in Communications/PR/Marketing, it would be great to hear what matters in your daily projects, what are the kinds of metrics and measurements that are important to you and why? How would any of these feature in your social media/digital strategies?
PM me or drop a comment here! I’m decidedly curious. 🙂

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09th Aug2009

Banking and Social Media #2 : Silence is not (quite) a strategy

by Dorothy


As a continuation of my last post, I’m looking into how financial institutions are communicating with their Web 2.0 stakeholders and managing the responding procedure, if any.

The previous mentioned Financial Times article mentions how research with the London School of Economics had uncovered two banks now using blogs to communicate in a much “softer” way than traditional marketing.

In fact, there are not just two, but a whole lot more.

Just to name a few from the Fortune 500 list, we have on Twitter

  • UBank (linked to the National Australian Bank,
  • Westpac Banking Group (not quite a big fan of the “Westpac help” username though)
  • ANZ Bankings CEO used to be on Twitter, but apparently he isn’t anymore (Why?)

And on blogs, we have Wells Fargo’s Join the Conversation. AOL Finance has a pretty nifty blog aggregator that pulls in blog posts around the web on the various institutions, like Bank of America, for example.

Over at this article,”Know Your Customers Means Knowing Your Social Media” some overseas examples of how consumer banking can approach the issue of delving in to the brave new world of social media are mentioned. As quoted,

Peter Aceto, CEO of ING Direct Canada who is personally active on Twitter, puts it, “Banking is our business, and we think our business needs to be wherever people are talking about banking.”

Silence as a Strategy

The questions: when do you respond, how do you respond, and should you even respond at all?

It’s true. Not every single thread, blog post, tweet or discussion online needs responding to. It would also be a near impossible task to respond to everyone. But that is no excuse for not trying. Silence is Not a Strategy, Even If You’re a Pirate.

By remaining silent while netizens raise their voices online, a few of the following situations could occur.

  • You appear unresponsive, worse, unware that anything is amiss.
  • You give competitors a chance to jump in and pacifiy upset customers, and lose the opportunity to engage.
  • You allow the situation to possibly spiral out of control.


Demanding Transparency and Truth, now.

We live in an age where the public demands transparency. The web allows for by-the-minute updates of day to day happenings, from the mundane (what you ate this morning) to the serious (breaking news of attacks in a certain city). If I can receive updates that a friend just had an amazing bacon and eggs breakfast, why can’t I receive a genuine response to a query or complaint online, on platforms like Twitter? Again, if your competitors are already doing so, won’t your customers be expecting that you follow suit? Jumping on the bandwagon isn’t the best way to do it, but shows some proactivness, at the very least.

With regards to banking, two areas immediately jump out- that of risk management/brand reputation and customer service. These are of course, generalizable to any other service orientated organization out there. With openess, comes trust. No industry needs to focus more on rebuilding trust right now. We need to trust our banks, as this article postulates.


Inertia, eradicated

And yet, the uptake of social media hasn’t quite taken this industry by storm, despite the powerful competitive advantages that could be derived from using the tools wisely. Inertia is a curious phenomenon that I can’t quite understand, in an industry that basically is commercially driven, and fueled by competition.

“Currently many traditional bankers tend to reject the concept of
social banking as a fad while others refuse to recognize or accept any
degree of threat posed by such new phenomena,” said Alistair Newton,
research vice president at Gartner. “Although bankers may see current
low usage by consumers as a permanent source of safety, this disregard
for changing consumer behavior with social networking generally may
mean that they miss the possibility of fast, viral uptake of social
banking.
” – Gartner Says Banks Need to Be Ready to Take Advantage of the New Age of Social Banking



I’ll end off by sharing some links, one which touches on a bit of Social Banking goodness and another nice link about managing your online reputation- enjoy!

Community Banker’s Guide to Social Network Marketing

In the Community Banker’s Guide to Social Network Marketing addresses social networks, user demographics and the role of social networks within the greater sphere of social media. Also addressed at length is the development of viral marketing programs, consumer advocacy, conversational marketing, metrics and common pitfalls.

NYT – Managing an Online Reputation

Your customers are talking about you — and the whole world is listening. How do you manage your reputation when everybody is a critic? Monitor – Manage – Promote.

“Social media for business now is life or death,” said Dan Simons, a restaurateur in the Washington area who closely monitors these forums. “You could open a business and do everything right, but if you’re unaware of these social media you will perish. Social media can take a business and put a bullet in it.”


As always, thanks for reading & would love to hear your comments or feedback if any!

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02nd Feb2009

World Wide Rave: Singapore!

by Dorothy

World Wide Rave: Esplanade Singapore

Here is my interpretation and addition to the World Wide Rave for David Meerman Scott‘s book!

It is like a Where the hell is Matt?, just involving a whole lot more different people (and less potentially embarrassing for those with two left feet). Very sticky idea, very cool.

Welcome to Singapore, folks worldwide!

From the left, the Singapore Flyer, the red mass that is the River Hong Bao 2009, the construction is the imminent Integrated Resort (Marina Bay) , the Central Business District (CBD) of Singapore, and all ravers are standing on the pavement of the Esplanade.

Wee bit of a cloudy day, but the hazy background probably brings out the vibrancy of the poster better, so it’s all good! By sheer coincidence almost everyone holding the poster is wearing colours that match the poster. The idea was to get a whole different bunch of folks from different cultural backgrounds and have them in a single shot..we are a multicultural city, after all!

Thanks to ZW for helping out with the photos! A shout out also to our prof, Micheal Netzley, who heads the Digital Media Across Asia class at the Singapore Management University and finding this cool project for us to work on.

P.S. This is the LAST time in a long time I will attempt to manually stitch a panorama together. I went there without a clue as to how it would happen, armed only with an idea. Okay, actually I had many ideas, but this was the one that won out! 🙂

…Rave on!

Other places where conversations on this are happening:

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30th Jun2008

Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About!

by Dorothy

The Hostess with the Most-est

My previous post waxed lyrical about brands that bother to deliver an experience that sets them apart from the rest. On the flip side, let me highlight what happens when you don’t differentiate yourself from others.

I recently blogged about how happy I was with the live chat function of BlueHost, them having helped me out with a problematic installation of a new CMS system. I loved the immediate, ‘live’ assistance that I was able to receive, and that was all good. Until I encountered another problem on a project I was working on.

I had to visit the Hostmonster site…only to get rather confused.

Let me try and show you my point. Two hosts, offering similar (if not identical) services, both with the same Live Chat function that I liked. In the end, I did get my problem solved, although I felt a little cheated because both live chats were using the same names for their staff. So much for that personal touch! After I got Chris and Issac one time too many on both chats, I lost that feeling of talking to a ‘real’ person altogether.

At any rate, I was confused about both brands now because nothing about their splash page helps me differentiate between the two. You may argue that there are so many choices of webhosts out there, who gives a damn about branding, right? People will just find one and stick with it. Yes, but… imagine if you were the host with a difference and people could actually remember you. You would OWN the web hosting brand space.

I guess what we all need is differentiation. I do not know if everyone is trying to allude cleverly to Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, but of course, purple lights at Virgin, huge a$$ purple pencils from Yahoo! at AdTech that everyone wants to get their hands on… purple seems rampant on a lot of cool ideas here.

I thought these giant lead weapons were Totally Useless but then word got around that there were these “cool”, humongous pencils that Yahoo! were giving out. Suddenly, Totally Useless was obscured by the fact that it was also Totally Desirable. At least for the moment.

And so I reiterate- Give people something to talk about! (In a positive light, of course.)

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29th Jun2008

Branding should be an enveloping experience

by Dorothy


Virgin America


The Experience:

What I remember was walking into a pimped up, purple lit plane. It certainly didn’t do anything ‘practical’ like shorten the flight time, or make the seats more comfortable. It did one thing very important though, it delivered over and beyond what I’ve come to expect from airlines- long, boring flights during which I would have to force myself to sleep to while the time away. Virgin America (VA) made sure the basic necessities weremet – comfy seats, cordial stewardesses and cups of fizzy drinks. What I think they did right was that VA gave me something to talk about to and with my friends.

It was love at first sight.

After I got through the initial excitement about the blinged up plane interior (and it was really just simple change of light hue), VA proceeded to retain my interest by showing me this in flight safety video:

A really awesome alternative to stuffy air stewardesses doing live demonstrations that nobody watches, or boring videos that look like they were filmed in the 1980s (in most cases, they probably WERE). Swanky stuff!

The fun stuff doesn’t stop there. (more…)

22nd Feb2008

In the end; we are all the same.

by Dorothy

Homogenization.

As the world grows increasingly capitalist in nature, I fear for our cultural diversity, or any diversity for that matter. I never ever looked from this perspective until recently. But it is true, isn’t it – Nothing succeeds like success. Replicas of TV shows, replicas of story lines, replicas of popular songs. Why do we not have any more variations in our media products – because The Suits are ultimately dictating that anything too risky and too unpalatable is going to be bad for ratings/popularity, and inadvertently, they act as gatekeepers and filter all the creative content out.

The most horrifying of course is the dawning realization of the role that advertising plays into this. The more people try to inject cultural elements into the advertisements (inter-cultural communication?) into ads, the more all of us are eventually socialized into the same culture of consumerism. It doesn’t matter your race, age, gender, personal preferences. All are schooled into the same way of thinking. Every point of contact with the media tells you that you are imperfect, that you need what they can offer you to conceal those imperfections.

We are taught that buying (-insert product plug here-) will solve all our problems. Purchasing a product equates to happiness eventually because you are that one step closer to a perfect lifestyle- just like on TV!

The production process is eventually relegated to the background. Products are created in toy factories full of glitter and puffballs ( the Coke factory anyone?). Like the elves in Santa’s workshop. Like the oompa loompas in Willy Wonka’s factory. No one really wants to see images of Third World children slaving away in sweatshops in dilapidated conditions, come on!

In Brands We Trust
As the corner store grocer and mom and pop stores all around the world lose the battle against the large chains, all of us eventually turn to brands. There is nothing else that is familiar to us, nothing else we can bank on. So why is it that you only only swear by (insert favourite brand here), when just another product from another brand is just as functional? Is it really delivering that much of a different experience to you?

Is it you that is really controlling what you consume? Or is it something else that has shaped your tastes and preferences? And how would you ever know, or would you even know?

I, personally, have yet to figure that out. Just like how I don’t understand why people go loco over the very ugly Coach bags. But that is another story altogether.

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