Who doesn't want publicity? The answer is simple. Everyone does! One ideal way is to make yourself 'Viral'.
Unfortunately, ‘going viral’ isn’t always positive. You don’t need me to tell you that. But is the damage of a negative viral post truly negative?
Is bad PR to a sceptical audience the worst thing in the world? Should you delete a post and pretend it never happened? Or should you address it in the comments, hoping you’re forgiven for misguidance?
Or should you leave the post up, revelling in your new found fame?
Many people take this approach. They exhume pride as if people knowing their brand is the number one intention.“There’s no such a thing as bad publicity” someone comments. They agree. And everyone carries on.
Yes, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
However, it is a dilemma of the digital age that people confuse publicity with popularity, So, what is publicity to be exact if it isn't about being popular?
Publicity is the type of promotion that depends upon the earned reach through media such as news channels, news articles or tv shows.
When you publicise a person or a business, you are not only trying to sell the services they offer or their products. You are simply creating a positive image for the business or person through independent methods.
While the publicist controls the content of the promotion, they could not fully control its distribution. In fact, a publicist has no idea how this publicity will be perceived by an audience. They may have intended to release it with good intentions but it may generate negative feelings from the public!
But as they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity is good publicity. Though I know, some of your might beg to differ. That's where good public relations (PR) come in.
PR gives proper direction to any type of publicity. PR has the power to turn any negative messages from the public into positive publicity!
Public relations can be understood as the discipline that creates and maintains a favourable relationship of the public with a person or business.
PR is performed by publicists and public relations agencies. They have the singular objective of promoting people and businesses.
Advertising agencies do a similar job. Only the channels they use are different. They are called paid channels.
In contrast, the channels that PR agencies use are known as earned or free media. The earned media includes coverage in newspapers, magazines, websites, TV programmes and most recently, social media platforms.
PR agencies play multiple roles for companies that hire them, all of these roles are based on their goal of promoting the organisation that has hired them.
There are four fundamental roles for PR:
1) Managing the Public Opinion
The most prominent role played by a PR agency involves managing the impact that public opinion have on the company and its reputation. It is the foremost job of a PR agency to expect, analyse and interpret public opinions about a particular company. The agency keeps an eye on whether the opinion affects the company's plans and operations positively or negatively. In case of a positive impact, they don't have much of a job except highlighting it so that the company can gain more benefits from it.
If a negative opinion emerges about the company, the PR agency springs into action. They actively work to change or manipulate that opinion into something that is positive for the company.
2) Providing PR counselling to the Management
A PR agency always stays available for the company. It guides the management at all levels. It directs the policy making of the company as well as its decision-making. It helps them in following a course of action that pulls them out of a particular tight spot. Sometimes, businesses are so focused on making profits that they overlook how their actions are being perceived in the public. They take one decision after another that affects their reputation badly.
A PR agency reminds them of the public ramifications of their dealings. It shows them how they need to be careful about being perceived wrongly by the common man.
3) Managing the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) image of Company
They are responsible for creating an image for the company where they are socially responsible and actively engage with the communities they operate in. It helps them in developing several programs that keeps them in the good books of the public.
Sometimes, company spokespersons make a bad situation worse by making a callous statement in the press or taking some irresponsible action in public. When you are running a multi-billion dollar company, there are bound to be legalities and bad press. However, if you tackle it right, you can get through anything.
A PR agency can turn the tables for any business. Even if a business is facing bad press, their PR agency can pull them from the brink of sustaining a huge loss by giving them something good to replace their bad reputation.
4) Communicating to the press on behalf of the company
Your PR agency communicates with the press continuously on your behalf. In this way, they can manage any and all kinds of news about the business in an efficient way. Managing the media is not an easy task. The media environment is constantly changing and there are hundred and one ways in dealing with the media. Media practitioners, be they journalists, editors, anchormen, deejays, are all trained to curate news and entertainment that serve the needs of their target audience.
Every media organisation has its own editorial prerogatives and business objectives. A PR person should try to align the client's needs with the media's editorial prerogatives out there. Since the job entails getting free publicity, a PR person should understand what makes news and find different ways of pitching themselves in.
So having an active PR strategy will ensure that you and your brand are perceived correctly in the eyes of your stakeholders. In today's fluid climate, it is even more important for brand communicators to be on top of their communications challenges and obstacles.
To learn more about public relations, feel free to WhatsApp me at +65 96566947.
You are a marketing manager working for a trusted brand. With a given budget, you are expected to develop a holistic marketing communications plan for your company and its range of products and services. You looked at your key initiatives and thrusts, and have decided on the anchor products and key brand messages to be promoted. You hired a marketing & Communications agency and implemented an innovative and creative campaign. There’s a lot of eyeballs and talk-about factor for your campaign. However, you find it difficult to justify the return of investment, and whether your efforts have contributed to the success of the bottom line.
Your boss asked about the likes coming from the influencers’ posts and questioned about the sales coming from this channel.
You are at a loss of words, unsure how to reply to your top management's queries.
A lot of business owners and management team failed to understand that consumers go through a AIDA flow when it comes to the consumer decision making process. Similar to the 5 Step consumer decision making process ( Need Recognition, Information Search, Evaluation of Criteria, Purchase, Post Purchase), AIDA is an acronym that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
The AIDA model is widely used in marketing and advertising to describe the steps or stages that occur from the time a consumer first becomes aware of a product or brand through to when the consumer trials a product or makes a purchase decision.
In essence, the AIDA model proposes that advertising messages need to accomplish a number of tasks in order to move the consumer through a series of sequential steps from brand awareness to purchase.
Attention – The consumer becomes aware of a category, product or brand ( usually through advertising)
Interest – The consumer becomes interested by learning about brand benefits and how the brand fits with their lifestyle.
Desire – The consumer develops a favourable disposition towards the brand.
Action – The consumer forms a purchase intention, shops around, engages in trial or makes a purchase.
If you are working on a new brand, product category or product or services, your advertising activities simply revolve around gaining attention. People start to recognise your new brand, logo, brand imageries with not much interest and desire. They simply become aware of your brand. So it is difficult to assume that consumers will proceed on to the action stage immediately within a short period of time. This is why it is wrong to assume that sales will come in immediately after an IG post by a popular influencer, jingles are heard on national radio stations, or eyeballs registered from a gigantic billboard in a prominent outdoor site.
It is wishful thinking to assume that advertising results in immediate responses from our audience. More often than not, consumers must be exposed to a brand messages at least 3 times to register the information and will take a lot of more affective and emotional engagement with the brand to have interests and desire. Similar to making close friends, we are interested in their lives after spending time and effort in knowing one another better. It takes a while to build trust, relationship and goodwill.
Desire is the philosopher’s stone of brands. If companies can create true desirability for their brands, customers will not only be loyal, they will also act as brand champions. Brand desire is a powerful motivating force that outstrips needs and wants and sometimes encourages people to go to surprising lengths to buy an object or experience. Some of the big brands like Apple, Samsung, Starbucks, Coke, Nike possess strong brand desirability.
Once you have passed the interest and desire stage, you have a group of customers with a strong purchase intention. This is a good sign as the chance of buying is extremely high at this stage. In the case of online shops, this would ultimately be the shopping cart process, in which a customer is lead to a conversion. The customer can be encouraged to buy the product with a call-to-action. In a shop front environment, be sure to ensure that the touch points and customer service are handled well, so the entire purchase experience can be seamless and smooth.
So, the next time when you are questioned on results; be sure to bring up the AIDA concept. Every campaign has its own objectives. If brand awareness is the key focus, then the outcomes will mostly be increasing brand awareness and category understanding. People are aware of the products or services, however, that does not mean they will be interested to buy yet. Only when a strong interest and desire have been cultivated among your target audience, then a purchase action is possible. Often, the whole process could take as short as a month, to as long as 5-6 months, or even a year, depending on other factors.
Ever wondered why certain websites are ranked higher them the rest? How do you think the world of Google and search engine work? You just started a new website, probably from using wix or weebly, for your new business, and have been hopeful about getting new customers or leads from this channel. You wait and wait, and the leads doesn’t come.
Why, you asked?
You probably have not understood the terms SEO and SEM.
In simple terms, SEO is called Search Engine Optimisation – Unpaid and organic. Search Engine Marketing is paid and orchestrated.
Before we talk about the difference. I would like to discuss about how google ranks websites.
Google knows you’re looking for information, so it uses things like keywords to predict the likelihood that the content on the page is relevant to the search query. In other words, Google is going to rank these pages based on how relevant It thinks they are to this person – based on their search.
Next, Google looks at the website’s authority – essentially trying to estimate how reliable each website is. As a general rule, Google assumes that the more popular a website is, the more reliable it is – and therefore more likely to contain what the user is searching for.
These are only 2 major factors, there are a lot more and there are weighed averages, but you’ve probably heard the term algorithm used, and this is essentially the unique and secret formula each search engine uses for ranking.
So how does one do SEO?
Step 1: Learn what your customers are actually searching for
You can’t optimize your website without knowing what your customers are searching for—that much is obvious.
How do you figure this out? The best starting point is to use common sense.
Imagine that you run a hotel in Dublin, Ireland. It doesn’t take an SEO genius to guess that your customers are probably searching for things like:
‘hotels in Dublin’
‘place to stay in Dublin’
‘accommodation in Dublin’
The other way is of course, to log on to Google keyword planner. This is a very simple tool to use. It allows you to know the dynamic searches of keywords worldwide. So at any one point, you know what are the trending keywords on the internet.
Step 2: Create pages optimized for search
Keyword research is only the first step towards attracting more organic search traffic.
You also need to make sure your pages are structured well and satisfy the person behind the search to rank for the keywords you selected.
Your optimization efforts should start with making sure that your visitors are enjoying the user experience (UX) your website provides. Use design and typography that makes it easy to consume the content, and remove any unnecessary elements such as pop-ups, opt-in boxes, etc. that can annoy your readers.
Step 3: Make sure your website is accessible to both search engines and humans
When doing SEO, it’s important to remember that you’re working for two separate customers—your human readers, and the bots search engines use to index your website.
While bots are becoming more intelligent and human-like, many differences still exist between the two. Therefore, your goal should be to create a positive experience for both humans and bots.
Understanding how to create pages optimized for bots can be challenging. That’s why, while it’s important to have a strong understanding of the features we discuss in the following paragraphs, I encourage you to delegate them to a professional (preferably a developer).
Step 4: Build backlinks from other websites
Link building is critical for the success of your SEO strategy, so if you’re prepared to spend resources (time, money, etc.) on producing content, you should also be prepared to commit at least as much time to promoting and generating links to your content.
Why? Because there’s clear evidence showing that backlinks are one of the factors with a strong influence on Google’s ranking algorithm.
Step 5: Tracking your SEO success
The final step in setting your SEO strategy is figuring out how you’ll track your performance. There are many methods and metrics you can use, so it’s easy to get confused.
My advice is this: focus on the basics.
The most important metrics when it comes to SEO are a) organic traffic, and b) the average ranking position for the keywords you’re targeting.
So how about SEM?
If you want a faster method to reach out to your customers on Google. Using Google Adwords will be ideal.
Google Adwords is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform. Unlike other PPC platforms like Facebook, AdWords actually offers advertisers two basic ways to reach people: 1) through the Google Search Network and 2) through the Google Display Network.
While these approaches are functionally very different, they both use a PPC bidding system, where advertisers bid to have their ads shown to relevant audiences.
The Google Search Network allows you to show your ads to users who are actively searching for the keywords that you’ve selected. If you own a landscaping business, you bid to have your ad show up every time a user types in “Landscaper in Tallahassee.”
As you can probably imagine, these “text ads” are an excellent opportunity to capture users who are at the research and purchasing stages of the digital sales funnel. Text ads are marked with a small “Ad” tag next to the site URL.
The Google Display Network works differently. Instead of showing ads to users who are actively searching for a product or service online, “display ads” or “banner ads” are placed on websites you think your target will be on.
So, there you have it, two different methods to have your website found fast. If you think getting your website noticed is hard, think again. You can effectively get lots of customers once you get your online marketing strategy in the right direction.
Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to get awareness for your personal brand, products or services? You’ve been trying again and again to blast your new offerings on your personal facebook page and no one seems to care about it. To break through the ever-changing media clutter seems like an impossible task.
People often think that building businesses and brands could be a very simple and straightforward affair. Some students whom I have taught, even commented that as long as the products are good, customers would start flowing in!
This is a wrong mindset. Yes, given that the other 3 Ps ( Price, Product and Place) are right, one should ensure that the creation of the promotional tools is on-going and sustainable. You must have a long -term plan to ensure that your brand communicates with your customers regularly.
So let’s explore the 5 Promotional Weapons which you need to master.
I call them DAPPS.
D stands for Direct Marketing
Direct marketing is a form of communicating an offer, where organizations communicate directly to a pre-selected customer and supply a method for a direct response. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response marketing. Most of the time, there’s no medium involved, unlike Advertising. Some of the most popular forms of direct marketing include Email, Telephone, Catalogue and SMS marketing.
The company may gain a few customers while merely annoying all of the other recipients. Junk mail, spam email, and texting all are forms of direct marketing that many people can't get rid of fast enough. However, direct marketing is the preferred advertising strategy for small local businesses, which can distribute hundreds of flyers, coupons, or menus for less than it would cost them to place an ad or make a commercial.
Most Popular form of Direct Marketing in Singapore currently:
1) SMS Marketing ( However Do note of the PDPA, Do not call registry clauses in Singapore)
A Stands for Advertising
This is the tool which most of us are familiar with. Based on Wikipedia’s definition, Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. What’s important is that advertisiing allows the control of message, so you can specially tailor your message to appeal to the subconscious of your audience. It is also non-personal as most advertising reach out to a mass audience rather than 1 to 1.
Advertising is communicated through various mass media,including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. In modern times, it includes advertising via influencers, instagrammers, youtubers and even tik tokers.
One downside of advertising is the erosion of trust people place on this discipline. Credibility is sliding as more sophisticated and educated customers see through the advertising and commercial intention by the advertisers.
Most popular form of advertising in Singapore:
1) Advertisements on Youtube
2) Advertisments on Facebook and Instagram
3) Product Placements on Youtube Channels
P stands for Public Relations
This is my favourite topic as I have personally taught a lot of PR subjects and have managed public relations campaigns for many clients in the past. I also have many friends in the PR field who are still enjoying their work in this ever-changing industry.
This is also an area which most people are clueless about. What’s PR? Is it all about entertaining and networking?
I believe the keyword for PR is ‘stakeholder’. We need to understand the notion of stakeholders and how it matters to us. Stakeholders are essentially groups or parties that have an interest in a company and can either affect or be affected by the business. While advertising deals with only customer, PR on the other hand, deals with several stakeholders ; media, government, non-profit groups, community, competitors, customers, suppliers, employees, and the list goes on.
So what’s PR? Public relations (PR) is the practice of deliberately managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.
Some might still find this difficult to grasp. Have you ever wondered why some people are constantly hogging the media limelight while some are not? The former group most likely understood PR well and have used media relations to their advantage.
There’s a lot more to go for PR, but a key word for you, just think of ‘Publicity’ for now.
Most popular forms of Public Relations activities in Singapore;
1) Media relations – Pitching stories to the media
2) Press launches and events to attract mefdia attention
3) Special Events like mass run, charitable work, stunts
P stands for Personal Selling
The other P, which concerns more high value selling or high-involvement products. Due to the 1 to 1 nature of the tool, Personal selling requires a dedicated Salesperson to approach the entire marketing and selling process.
It is not easy to be a salesman. In fact there are several steps in the sales process. One might think that lead generation is important. However, there’s many other skills like presentation, relationship building, closing, handling objections, etc.
Personal selling can be defined as "the process of person-to-person communication between a salesperson and a prospective customer, in which the former learns about the customer's needs and seeks to satisfy those needs by offering the customer the opportunity to buy something of value, such as a good or service.
Many of these industries are using a heavy personal selling approach; MLM Businesses, Insurance, Financial & Banking, Property, Car, B2B businesses.
S stands Sales Promotion
Sales promotion uses both media and non-media marketing communications for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability. Examples include contests, coupons, freebies, loss leaders, point of purchase displays, premiums, prizes, product samples, and rebates.
We always call this a short-term inducement of sales. Essentially, we are using price or freebies to trigger purchase. Sometimes, irrational customers will buy because of the discounts or freebies.
One of the drawbacks of Sales promotions would be Increased price sensitivity. Consumers wait for the promotion deals to be announced and then purchase the product. This is true even for brands where brand loyalty exists. Customers wait and time their purchases to coincide with promotional offers on their preferred brands. Thus, the routine sales at the market price are lost and the profit margin is reduced because of the discounts to be offered during sale-season.
If the promotions in a product category have been rare, the promotions could have a negative effect about its quality image. Consumers may start suspecting that perhaps the product has not been selling well, the quality of the product is true compared to the price or the product is likely to be discontinued because it has become outdated.
Most popular Sales Promotional activites in Singapore:
1) Discounts, Discounts, Discounts
2) Off Peak hour benefits and perks
3) Membership to increase loyalty with existing customers
4) Credit card tie-ups and promotions
5) Working with Grab / Fave App
So there you have it, the 5 important Marketing Communications Weapons everyone should master. Depending on the kind of business you are in, you should learn how to mix and match the tools. So remember, if you don’t start marketing, your competitors will. In a downtime like this, it is essentially important to think about how you want to market your business. Don’t sit there and think that business is bad. Do something, and go out there and fight for your customers!
I believe you will keep your business afloat in this difficult time.