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- Huntington Communications – Part of PROI Worldwide Closing in on US$1 Billion in Revenue
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- When your reputation takes a hit
- Evolve or go Extinct: Four Trends Bringing PR into the Future
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For retailer clients, events are great opportunities to showcase the latest from the brands to media and key influencers. Given the multitudes of product launches and press days organized by other brands, branding practitioners are now facing the challenge of conceptualizing events that stand out and make a lasting impression.
Recently, our consumer retail team organized a first-of-its-kind experiential event for one of our clients, Watsons Singapore. We launched some of Watsons’ newest offerings by getting our guests to experience an escape-room game where they had to solve clues pertaining to the products to unlock the room. The event garnered a lot of positive feedback, and generated notable coverage across social media platforms.
Through our experience, here are some top tips on how to deliver a successful experiential event:
1. Focus on your objectives
When brainstorming for event ideas, it is important to hone in on the target audience of the event, and what objectives the event is supposed to achieve. Question what the guests of the event are supposed to walk away with, and use that as a central theme to base the event around.
2. Plan in advance
While this may not sound like much of a revelation, the importance of this cannot be stressed more especially when planning for larger, logistically heavier events. Generally, planning an event can be broadly categorized into three aspects: content, logistics and marketing. The most important and challenging tasks should be tackled first, and this includes booking of venues, food and other big equipment required.
Timelines are very useful when it comes to making sure that the team is on track. Focus on the big-ticket items when they are in place, the smaller details can be better managed.
3. Don’t be afraid to try something new
Push the boundaries of what has been done and bring in fresh ideas. What has not been done before, and will still achieve the event’s objectives? Ideas are everywhere, look for inspirations beyond the client’s industry, or hold brainstorming sessions with members of different teams to get a new perspective. It is only by moving to uncharted territory can we differentiate ourselves from the clutter and create unique events that creates a long-lasting impression.
Banner image: defiantmediagroup.com
Lessons from different ways of handling crises
By Lena Soh-Ng, Eugene Chuang on January 18 , 2017
While much has been written about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco last year, there were many other crises worth learning from. We’ve put down some interesting insights into brands who chose different ways to deal with their crises.
1. Disney fends off alligator crisis proactively
In June 2016, Disney suffered from a barrage of negative coverage when an alligator killed a two-year-old boy as he played on the beach. The brand faced a high likelihood of public outrage. However, Disney’s well-strategized and proactive handling of the crises, coupled with its robust branding as a provider of family-friendly fun helped it weather the storm.
Here are some of the things it did:
– Temporarily closed all its resort beaches.
– Broke from previous traditions to ‘clam up and clean up’: The organization swiftly issued heartfelt expressions from its executives, including personalized messages from Disney CEO Bob Iger and President George A. Kalogridis empathising with the public as a father and grandfather.
– Thoroughly reviewed signage policy and immediately posted relevant signing to warn visitors of alligators.
– Compensated guests with free rooms worth about USD$560 a night. This cost the company nearly half a million US dollars.
– Exterminated five alligators in the waters near the resort.
Disney’s ability to fend off the crises could also be attributed to the goodwill that it has built up over the years as a family friendly resort. This allowed the public to move on.
2. Tolberone has not prepared customers on shape change
I love Tolberone chocs! The triangle-shaped bar have always fascinated me. Late last year however, the brand made a controversial decision that its fans did not expect – changing the shape of the chocolate bars by widening the gaps between triangles.
Understandably, a furore of public anger ensued when consumers found out they were getting less for the same price.
– Tolberone’s social media pages were flooded by outbursts of passionate fans with many criticising the change as “stupid” and “ridiculous”.
– Reddit had a dedicated page inviting visitors who poured out their unhappiness.
– The story was ranked as the most read news piece of the day on BBC Online, gaining more attention than the day of the US 2016 elections.
– The change was also hilariously adapted into several memes which was shared like wildfire online.
Citing higher costs for numerous ingredients, Tolberone’s statement defending the decision added fuel to the fire. Many felt that Tolberone should have communicated the change months before introducing the new bars, rather than issuing a statement after the controversy had erupted.
Arguably, the Tolberone change left a sour aftertaste.
3. Marina Bay Sands Singapore puts rights above reputation
In November 2016, Marina Bay Sands Singapore (MBS) sparked a controversial debate about whether a company should honour mispricing incidents.
To recap: a glitch in the MBS’s website allowed visitors to book five star rooms at SGD$70 per night, a rate too good to be true. Realizing the error and instead of keeping to agreed contracts, the hotel emailed guests to offer the same rooms at $450 per night with a $100 credit on their final bill as a gesture of goodwill. This move prompted several one-star reviews on the hotel’s Facebook page.
During the crisis, MBS emphasized its’ right to correct the rate or cancel a reservation in the event of an incorrect posting, pointing out that the its booking terms included a protective clause regarding incorrectly posted rates. The controversy also involved the consumer watchdog Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), indicating that while MBS had every right to not honour the mispricing, consumers could negotiate for an amicable resolution since the booking confirmation was received by the customer.
This is a stark contrast to how Singapore Airlines (SIA) handled its mispricing incident in December 2014, which allowed 400 Australia-based passengers to book business class seats at economy-class prices. The mistake cost the airline a whopping A$2,500 loss per ticket, but SIA honoured the affected bookings. Like MBS’s situation, it was well within SIA’s rights to demand full payment for the seats. However, this decision gets my thumbs up as SIA maintains its reputation as “A Great Way to Fly”.
Banner image: stocksnap.io
Huntington's Managing Partner, Lena Soh, named Chairman of PROI Asia-Pacific Crisis Group
By Huntington Communications on January 12 , 2017
PROI Worldwide Strengthens Global Crisis Team; Appoints Regional Crisis Group
Chairmen and Vice Chairmen Caroline Duffy to Chair the Americas; Marcel Trachsel to Chair EMEA; Lena Soh to Chair Asia-Pacific
PROI Worldwide today announced the appointment of six new executives to extend global crisis communications best practices for clients around the globe. With more than 70 agencies across five continents, PROI Worldwide is the world’s largest partnership of independent agencies with more than 5,000 staff servicing 6,300+ clients worldwide and 2015 net fee income of US$ 702+ million.
“The PROI Worldwide global crisis leadership team gives clients and potential clients a level of experience in crisis communications that is second to none around the world”, said Richard Tsang, Global Chairman, PROI Worldwide. “Together our teams have handled challenging issues for clients across regions and around the world such as accident and disaster response, workplace injuries and deaths, reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, in addition to criminal investigations, investor relations and labor issues. Time is the key to responding to a crisis and our global team responds 24 hours a day, no matter where a crisis may happen around the world.”
Caroline Duffy, a founding partner of Jackson Spalding, PROI-Atlanta, was named Chairman of the Americas Crisis Group, which includes agencies across North America, Central America and South America. Andy Likes, senior vice president for The Vandiver Group, PROI-St. Louis, was named the Vice-Chairman of the Americas Crisis Group.
Marcel Trachsel, managing partner of int/ext Communications, PROI-Switzerland, was named Chairman of the EMEA Crisis Group, which includes agencies across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Tobias Muller, managing partner for Klenk and Hoursch, PROI-Germany, was named ViceChairman of the EMEA Crisis Group.
Lena Soh, managing partner for Huntington Communications, PROI-Singapore, was named Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Crisis Group, which encompasses agencies throughout China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, The Philippines and the entire Far East. Neil Green, Chief Executive Officer for SenateSHJ, PROI-Australia & New Zealand was named Vice-Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Crisis Group
PROI Worldwide, the world’s largest partnership of integrated independent communications agencies founded in Europe in 1970, has offices in more than 110 cities in 50+ countries, with 75 leading independent integrated communications partner companies and more than 5,000 staff servicing 6,300+ clients worldwide. PROI Worldwide’s combined fee turnover of its partner agencies exceeds US $702,000,000, positioning it as the 6th- largest communications company in the world by net fee income.
Banner image: stocksnap.io
Happy new year from all of us at Huntington! With every brand new year, we look to do a bit of spring cleaning at home, throw out old stuff, rediscover gems we almost forgot about and make space for the new.
Applying the same introspective mind-set towards our agency’s skill sets, here’s three digital resolutions for 2017!
Be more relevant
More than 92% of marketers collect data at ever-increasing touchpoints, but 40% barely know what to do with it and are not able to draw insights. In 2017, we look to deepen consumer analysis to drive direct application in our work.
With that, brand measurement is evolving too. To better support ROI, new measurement standards has to be redefined to allow reach and engagement to be meaningfully compared across various social media platforms.
Quality over Quantity
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures, or some might argue precisely 1.8 million words. More businesses will move to adopt video as the new normal in branding and customer relations.
Let’s also face it – Hundreds of posts of thin content don’t make you look good. Period. Instead, focus on creating better quality, original content that boosts a positive user experience.
In a world where everyone is wary of ad fraud, 2017 will see a rise of micro-influencers to build brand authenticity. These influencers have high engagement in niche verticals that will be able to able to generate more organic and engagement content when utilized in mass quantities.
In upcoming collaborations, how do we best leverage on influencers to co-create content instead of just posting another pretty photo with the brand hashtag?
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