• Why Youth Collaborations Are Better For Brands

    By Eugene Chuang on May 24 , 2017

    This year, Huntington and IKEA are once again collaborating on the IKEA Young Designer Award, a nationwide, tertiary-level product design competition that seeks to improve the way we live at home.

    The search for Singapore’s best young designer continues as the competition opens its doors to foreigners, and aligns with the theme of What Design Can Do, a global design sustainability challenge jointly organized by the IKEA Foundation and the Autodesk Foundation.

    As a branding agency, we have and continue to see a growing importance in championing youth collaborations.

    Positive outcomes from youth engagement

    Research has shown that youth involvement is beneficial to both brands and youth themselves. Programmes that are jointly developed with youth are more likely to be effective at engaging the public and consequently, enjoy a greater impact.

    It is also observed that youth who are involved in the decision-making process increases the likelihood that their decisions and recommendations will be accepted and adopted by the public.

    Perhaps most important of all, studies also show that empowering youth to identify and respond to societal needs shapes them to be more empathetic and insightful individuals, while positively impacting their future careers.

    A case study

    Take the winner of last year’s IKEA Young Designer Award as an example. Mr Loren Lim, an industrial design graduate from the National University of Singapore (NUS) won the votes of the judges with his range of kitchen and dining tools for one-handed individuals.

    Titled ‘Oneware’, the range includes a mat with bumps to hold plates and other utensils in place while they are being scrubbed, and a table pad with a curved surface that makes picking up kitchen utensils easier.

    Loren Lim and his inclusive-oriented solution (1)

    Loren engaged with organizations such as the Disabled People’s Association of Singapore and SG Enablers as part of his research. His spark of genius came when he observed a woman with a congenital arm defect having difficulties handling everyday household chores.

    While it isn’t clear if Loren’s design will go into mass production, his concept has certainly caught the attention of both local and international organizations alike, proving that youth such as himself can positively influence the way we approach the toughest community challenges, while inspiring future generations to adopt a more creative design approach.

    Lim Tian Hwee Loren presenting his inclsuive oriented solution to the judges and audience (1)

    Point for Reflection

    As we move past 2017 and beyond, we believe that youth collaborations are here to stay. It is only a matter of how organizations and agencies can harness the such a partnership for a greater impact for both the brand and the community.

  • What Keeps You Up at Night?

    By Helin Goh on May 22 , 2017

    Check off these points and get yourself a good night’s rest.

    As brand guardians and communicators, the one thing that keeps us all up at night is when brand reputation is at stake. If you are nodding to that, read on to find out what we covered at Huntington’s inaugural ‘Leadership Series’ which was co-organized with our PROI partner from the Pacific region, Neil Green, Chairman and Chief Executive from Senate IHG, to share on how digital has disrupted the way we manage our brand’s reputation.

    Disruption may sound like rocket science, but hey, the good thing about science is there is always a formula. So here are our top three takeaways from the session to help you grasp the new wave of brand reputation, crisis or not.

    Bottoms-up to Trust
    Global trust in government, media and businesses has fallen to its lowest levels, and these sentiments are similarly mirrored in a corporate setting where the credibility of CEOs are at an all-time low. More than 60% have rated a person like themselves to be the most credible spokesperson in the latest Trust Barometer survey done by Edelman. What this means for communicators trying to build brand stories is that we need to start looking at employees, peers and the man on the street as effective messengers. In this digital age where information is readily accessible, ‘control’ is being given away to build trust instead. Start building relationships in times of low threat and you will have yourself a peer army to ride you through the next crisis.

    Impressions can become Reality
    We all learned a new term in communication recently, fake news, no thanks to Brexit and the recent US election. And guess what, this new order of the day is here to stay, as long as we remain glued to our digital communities. Public opinions are now shaped by an impactful imagery, an emotional appeal or a powerful hashtag. Think about the image of the passenger on United Airlines being dragged across the aisle, or the #DeleteUber campaign. Well, we are not saying that what had happened weren’t real. We are saying that what we had perceived as reality may only form a part of the full picture. We are becoming a rising number that exist inside a filtered bubble, being served information that confirm what we already think. Now, here’s another term for you to sit on ‘post-truth’ where objective facts are less influential than appeals to personal beliefs.

    Digital is All About Being Human
    As much as we would like to think of digital as a platform which allows us the convenience to remotely interact with our audience, many fail to realize that digital is about people. The whole premise of digital is to engage, not broadcast. Start speaking the language of your audience: fast, actionable and informal. Allow your spokespersons to communicate like they are connecting to a peer, not a robot reading off a well-prepared script. Provide a platform for your audience to connect to their peers (in this case, try the Bottoms-up approach in point 1) because they trust the information they get from individuals than from a brand speak. Don’t worry about the interaction getting out of control, because like they always say, ‘let the brand speak for itself’.



  • PROI completes ASEAN network in view of the strategic importance of this region

    By Huntington Communications on May 17 , 2017

    In the last 12 months, the consortium has added six new agencies to its roster, bringing the group’s network to 17 agencies in Asia and Australia-New Zealand.


    PROI Worldwide just concluded its 47th Annual Global Summit in Sydney Australia, with more than 60 of the world’s leading PR agency owners committing to build new pathways to more effective communications.

    Change in industry landscape

    The conclusion of the Annual Global Summit has seen the world’s leading PR agency owners come to the consensus that there is now a new normal in the way messages are sent and received, dramatically changing the way our views of the world are formed.

    For brands, the question of how to communicate is not as simple as it once was. According to Mr. Tsang, “Ten years ago, we questioned; PR or advertising? Nowadays, we ask a bewildering array of questions: owned, earned, or paid media? Content marketing, native advertising or influencer relations? What do we do about social media trolls and fake news?”

    In a world where people are inundated with thousands of messages on a daily basis, finding a path in the forest underbrush is essential for success. And brands, more often than not, suffer through topics as puzzling as millenials and social media, and as daunting as big data and analytics.

    Opportunities in Asia Pacific

    This explosion of options has gotten businessmen and politicians in a bind, making the consultants that provide clear advice on the way forward, all the more necessary. PROI Worldwide, for one, is wasting no time in capitalizing on this sea change.

    With over $800 million in revenue spread across 75 partners in 50 countries, the industry consortium is among the three largest public relations organizations in the world. From less than a dozen agencies four decades back, PROI now serves over 5,000 corporations with more than 5,000 employees globally, says Allard van Veen, PROI Worldwide Managing Director

    The opportunities are all the more apparent in Asia and Australia. With more than 4.4 billion people, and an aggregate GDP of over $24 trillion, Asia Pacific is the world’s largest economic powerhouse. The region is also expected to achieve the fastest economic growth rates in a world that has vacillated between expansion and contraction in the last five years.

    “Consultants thrive in this environment of confusion, where there is a clear need for people who can point the way forward”, says Lena Soh-Ng, Senior Partner at Huntington Communications and Co-Chair of PROI Asia-Pacific Crisis Group. “We provide options that minimize risks, and corporations, personalities, and the government place a lot of value in these options when there are great opportunities ahead,” Ms. Soh-Ng adds.

    Mirroring the strategic importance of the region, PROI has expanded its partnership in Asia Pacific by more than 30 percent in the last year alone. “Just in the last 12 months, we have added six new agencies to our roster, bringing our network to 17 organizations, from 11 last year,” said Mr. van Veen.

    PROI Worldwide is the longest-running partnership of public relations agencies, founded in 1970. Since then, PROI has grown to encompass 75+ partner agencies with 5,000+ PR professionals across five continents, 50 countries and 100+ cities.

    Banner image: Wikimedia Common