Platforms Featured East Asia

SCMP’s latest brand initiative showcases journalism as more than the sum of its parts

Hong Kong – The South China Morning Post (SCMP), the Hong Kong-founded and -headquartered global news company, has released its biggest brand initiative in five years. Called ‘More than a story’, the campaign aims to tell that ‘a story’ is not to be digested at face value as its purpose and essence transcends more than just it being a set of facts or a trove of words. It seeks to share the message that it is more than just reporting, words on a page, facts, and a story – it is greater than the sum of its parts. 

Adrian Lee, SVP of audience growth at SCMP, says the campaign serves as a ‘love letter’ to the city the Post calls home, that is Hong Kong. The brand initiative honours the vocation of journalism and how it is an enabler of keeping the principles of truth, responsibility, and community intact within society. 

“[It is] a reminder of the resilience and tenacity which we share with our home audience, made possible because of a vocation informed by purpose and mission,” added Lee. 

He continues, “This shared mission by our people is fuelled by a deep sense of belonging, serving as their beacon every step of the way as they report on the entire spectrum of social issues in our community.” 

The latest campaign builds on its previously-launched messaging ‘Journalism that Hong Kong Deserves’. Divided into three parts, the inaugural episode of ‘More than a story’ brings us behind the scenes to offer a candid and unvarnished close-up of the deep commitment Hong Kong desk reporters exhibit in. 

The campaign turns the focus inwards and allows readers to hear straight from the source – SCMP’s journalists and its people – of what motivates and inspires them, as they explain why they do what they do and are driven to effect positive change in their home city. 

Episode one debuts across SCMP’s website, news app, and social media channels and will also make an appearance on the iconic videowall at Times Square in Causeway Bay, a location which has served as the Post’s newsroom headquarters since 2018. The campaign’s citywide rollout will extend to a wide range of locations in the coming weeks — a tribute to its journalists, readers and fellow Hongkongers who have been with the Post “every step of the way.” 

Throughout the year, subsequent videos will be released featuring different aspects and individuals working in the Post’s newsroom. 

“As our global coverage continues to evolve and expand, the Post remains committed to honouring its roots and origins as Hong Kong’s home-grown international newspaper of record,” said the Post.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Media company ACM partners with Dailymotion to bolster growth of video journalism in Australia

Melbourne, Australia – Australia’s independent media company, ACM, has partnered with Dailymotion, the video solutions provider and content discovery platform, to further grow its video journalism capabilities in local and regional Australia and to further monetise audiences across its network through the Dailymotion Video Player.

Through the partnership, Dailymotion will be bringing its full range of products and services, including bespoke migration of the video catalogue assets, workshops, training, and insights on both video content and monetisation to ACM’s editorial, product and technology, ad operations, and local and national sales teams. The partnership also seeks to upskill every team in the ACM newsrooms, front and back office, with 24/7 support and cutting-edge tools.

Moreover, Dailymotion will be committed to supporting ACM’s news sites with its advanced video solutions to enhance user experience and digital content strategies.

Chul Hong, Dailymotion’s vice president of content for APAC, said that partnering with ACM is a thrilling achievement for Dailymotion, and it expands their premium network and allows Dailymotion to join hands with ACM to support community, regional and rural news outlets reach and engage wider audiences, to monetise their video content better. 

“Our OVP technology will contribute to ACM’s mission and innovation ambitions in the journalism field,” added Hong.

Meanwhile, Paul Tyrrell, ACM’s chief customer and marketing officer, noted, “By partnering with one of the world’s largest video hosting platforms, we are able to provide our audiences with state-of-the-art video content to increase engagement, encourage shareability and ultimately drive growth in ACM video consumption. This is a win for the community and our commercial partners.”

Marketing Featured South Asia

The Indian Express’ latest campaign embarks on restoring fairness in journalism

India – The Indian Express together with Isobar, the creative experience agency from dentsu India has launched ‘News Beyond Views’ campaign, a modern-day solution for stories that get covered but remain undiscovered. 

According to the Indian Express, readers are unaware that they consume propaganda, gossip, and spicy scoops despite the fact that one-sixth of their day is spent browsing news. While 86% of readers clicked on a top stories, the same audience completely skipped other comparable stories in the same category. In keeping with their commitment to unbiased reporting, this national newspaper is now ensuring that no relevant story is left unread.

Through the partnership, The Indian Express and Isobar India, have developed a unique experience of discovering news that may have previously slipped through the cracks and past your view. Using a simple HTML innovation at the backend, the media house has embarked on restoring fairness in the journalism they believe in. So, on highlighting any top story, the user gets to read another story that would have otherwise lurked in the shadows.

Heeru Dingra, CEO, Isobar India group, said the fundamental objective of journalism is to serve the people with news, opinions, comments, and information on subjects that matter in a fair, accurate and unbiased manner. Any media house cannot afford to lose sight of this obligation. 

“This initiative by The Indian Express and Isobar India not only showcases their integrity towards the reader but will also inspire other news publications to follow suit,” Dingra said.

Aalap Desai, CCO, Isobar India and Taproot Dentsu, commented, “We believe that journalism is meant to be fair and honest, however, we don’t see this happening quite often. The responsibility then lies on our shoulders to make sure that every story covered reaches every reader. 

“Our commitment to that kind of responsibility drove us to develop News Beyond Views. The germ and the beauty of the idea is that it is simple and a modern way of doing our job as a news corporation. When journalism of courage meets the simplicity of innovation, no news will miss the spotlight,” Desai added.

Marketing Featured APAC

PRCA extends governing PR body to Asia-Pacific

Singapore – Global public relations professional body Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has announced that it is now extending its presence to Asia-Pacific with the launch of PRCA APAC, replacing the narrower governing body PRCA Southeast Asia.

With the PRCA APAC, the PR body has also announced the appointment of inaugural co-chairs namely Caroline Hsu, managing director for APAC at The Hoffman Agency; Carolyn Devanayagam, executive vice president and APAC head of corporate at Weber Shandwick; and Nitin Mantri, CEO at Avian WE. The appointments are part of a further strengthening of the Board to represent the whole region.

As part of the changes, current PRCA SEA General Manager Tara Munis will relocate to Hong Kong as the new head of PRCA Asia-Pacific, and further team appointments will be made in Singapore and Thailand.

“We’ve been lucky to call Singapore home since 2018, cultivating a passionate and driven PR community. That passion and dedication to support our industry has inspired incredible membership growth in not only neighbouring countries but to the entire Asian Pacific region. I’m excited to get started in Hong Kong and continue to provide word-class support for all our members,” Munis stated.

Meanwhile, former PRCA SEA Chair and regional director for APAC at Archetype Lee Nugent commented that PRCA’s commitment to drive further professionalism, raise standards and provide representation will be of great benefit to what he believes is the most exciting and vibrant part of the world for PR and comms.

“It’s been a real honor to have represented PRCA Southeast Asia as its inaugural chair over the last three years and I’m terrifically proud of the progress we’ve made. Now is the perfect time for geographic expansion and, as my tenure comes to an end, I couldn’t ask for a more inspiring set of leaders to hand over to Carolyn, Caroline and Nitin – as our three new co-Chairs take on PRCA’s next phase of growth across APAC,” Nugent said.

For Francis Ingham, director-general at PRCA, by representing the industry throughout the whole of APAC, providing professional links between fellow practitioners all around the world, and continuing to collaborate with local associations, they can address the challenges and embrace the opportunities in front of our industry even better than ever.

“Our three co-chairs are highly respected figures from across Asia-Pacific, and it’s a pleasure to welcome them to their new roles, and to the PRCA’s Global Advisory Board. I’d like to offer my profound thanks to Lee Nugent for his chairmanship over the past three years. His drive and dynamism has embedded the PRCA in the wider region,” Ingham concluded.

Marketing Featured Global

Reuters’ first major brand campaign ‘tells all sides of stories but takes none’

New York, USA – As the current world is currently seeking independent and unbiased reporting, global news organization Reuters has launched its first ever major brand campaign, adhering to their existing philosophy of journalism: tell all sides of stories but take none.

Made in partnership with brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R, ‘The Source’ takes back viewers to the company’s 170-year heritage to emphasize its reputation as one of the world’s most trusted news outlets.

A predominant theme in the campaign is the utilization of quotation marks in its creative as the universal symbol of reporting directly from the source. The quotation marks are employed to frame the truth at the heart of Reuters reporting, letting the story speak for itself.

“With 2500 journalists in 200 locations around the world, our strength spans markets and geographies, delivering the deep global and local expertise that is uniquely Reuters. ‘The Source’ campaign puts that unique value front and center, showcasing what Reuters has been for nearly two centuries: the place for trusted, unbiased news,” said Alessandra Galloni, editor-and-chief of Reuters.

For Josh London, CMO at Reuters and head of Reuters Professional, said campaign speaks to the pedigree of long-time journalism, as well as the evolution of Reuters and their continuous innovation in how they report and deliver the news.

“With the intense speed at which information travels and the proliferation of misinformation, people and organizations need a source they can rely on for the unfiltered truth. ‘The Source’ squarely tells them that place is Reuters,” London added.

Meanwhile, Tamryn Kerr, creative director at VMLY&R London, commented, “With journalists in every corner of the world, Reuters truly is the source for unbiased news and information. We are proud to have worked with some of the best journalists in the world to bring authenticity and journalistic authority to the campaign.”

The campaign is set to roll out first for their United States and United Kingdom markets.

Reuter’s Asia-Pacific presence is evident across 14 locations in the countries of India, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines.

Main Feature Platforms Southeast Asia

The power of social media in a pandemic

The precarious Covid-19 hit the Indonesian islands in mid-March 2020 and has been creating havoc since then. The rampant pandemic brought social and economic consequences disturbing the entire economy. Out of the many policies implemented by the government such as PSBB or the country’s large-scale social restrictions, affected the socio-economic daily lifestyle of Indonesians in infinite ways. The fury of the virus hasn’t spared anyone and sadly, Indonesia is no exception.

In troublesome times like these, passing on vital information and keeping the commoner well-aware of the situation becomes imperative. When there is mayhem and uncertainty, the need for building social solidarity among people comes to the fore. That’s when social media comes into the picture. It is indeed a driving force behind the emergence of mass social solidarity.

This digital cohesion is created through various means on different social network sites (SNSs), including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. With the virus that is spreading at lightning speed, reliable information also needs to spread like wildfire. When masses have to be educated about the do’s and don’ts of staying vigilant, social media emerges as a clear winner that delivers every piece of information to your smartphone.

Digital cohesion 

Netizens help educate and impart psychological support in reducing panic through experiences, statistics, photos, and current updates and live coverages conducted by journalists. As per a survey conducted by Universitas Airlangga, 67.5% of the Indonesians who took the survey confirmed that social media has helped them stay informed during the pandemic. Meanwhile, 34.5% said that news and information on social media helped influence their behavior regarding precautions or safety against the virus.

If we talk of Twitter, it has been instrumental in helping people find reliable information, connect with others and follow what’s happening in real-time. By adding a new tab in explore titled ‘Covid-19’, it has helped netizens find help instantly and post a medical or financial requirement. Health experts and doctors also are banking upon the power of Twitter to pass on verified information for the benefit of people. Global Twitter insights reveal that there was a 45% increase in the curated events page for Covid-19 and a 30% increase in direct messages with respect to the virus information.

Besides spreading awareness, it gives rise to volunteerism through donation drives, online concerts, and interactive activities conducted by social agents, celebrities, and influencers who have a mass appeal. These are impactful and solve existing problems by raising large sums of monetary support.

Indonesians have benefitted from medical and financial aid received through amplification on social media, making it a particular savior of uncertain times. A clear example of successful volunteerism would be the fundraising campaigns conducted by Kompas TV and Narasi TV, which have shown tangible evidence in alleviating and assisting covid relief.

As per research conducted by GoPay Digital Donation Outlook 2020, the acquisition of digital donations increased by 72% due to covid. It’s a win-win situation when the community comes together to help each other achieve the end goal and fight their common enemy together.

Spreading digital literacy

Digital solidarity in the Covid times has also led to the strengthening of digital literacy as people realized the tremendous power and significant benefits of social media. As per reports, the number of social media users in Indonesia increased by 10 million in 2020-21, amounting to 170 million users. Facebook has the highest user base, with 57.33% of people using the platform as of April 2021 compared to 49.73% of Facebook users in April 2020.

Penetration of social media in Indonesia has been experiencing an all-time high since the breakout of the pandemic. Many regional celebrities and pivotal figures of the globe have a social presence that navigates through various levels of society. Both government and non-government entities accurately use social media to address and respond to the existing economic impact. It is remarkable how a medium of shared awareness has successfully turned into a joint action of sorts. It will not be wrong to say that when the world stands divided by social distancing, it is social media that unites.

This article is written by Devinder Sharma, Twitter partner director at Httpool Indonesia.

Httpool is an Aleph Holding company, representing leading digital media platforms across Europe and Asia. It supports their growth as well as drives business results for traditional and native advertisers across more than 30 markets.
Marketing Featured APAC

APAC journalists spend majority of their time angling COVID-19 centric stories

Hong Kong – As journalists continue to perform their media duties in the mid of a pandemic, the greater slice of these media practitioners in the Asia Pacific spend a larger chunk of their stories now centered on COVID-19 and how it affects the industries they are covering for, new report from global public relations company Cision show.

In its latest ‘Cision’s 2021 Global State of the Media Report’, the report noted that 45.8% of APAC journalists note that writing new angles about the pandemic shaped their editorial strategy recently. Following such data, 36.5% of APAC journalists seek to write ‘feel-good’ stories on how businesses and communities help each other.

On another note, other factors that helped mold the current editorial strategies of APAC journalists include diversity and inclusion stories (33.7% of APAC respondents), going back to the ‘new normal’ (32.8%), new technologies (31.4%), and research-based thought leadership pieces covering topical issues (29.8%).

It is also worth noting that despite the pandemic, journalists still juggle multiple beats with demanding workloads and pressing deadlines. This is evident despite numerous newsrooms shrinking in number due to the pandemic. According to the study, almost half of journalists (47%) cover five or more beats, and nearly the same amount file seven or more stories per week; 33% say they file 10 or more. 

“Journalists don’t have time to chase down stories, so giving them all the information they need upfront such as insightful data, relevant quotes, and accompanying images, which then takes the burden off them to assemble critical details and increases the likelihood of the story getting covered,” Cision stated in their report.

Such a multitude of tasks faced by journalists in APAC pose struggles for them as well, with 37.6% of APAC respondents saying that they experience fatigue in covering the COVID-19 pandemic. Other factors that pose struggles to APAC journalists include reaching out to sources remotely (29.9%), public pressure on covering both sides of the story equally (22.3%), thoroughly addressing racial inequalities (15%), and challenges in distinguishing fictional and factual political/election coverage (13.9%).

Adding to journalist’s dilemma is how frequently they are inundated with spam email and irrelevant pitches. Cision reports that 53% of journalists receive more than 50 pitches a week, and 28% receive more than 100 per week. Yet the vast majority of journalists (69%) say only a quarter (or less) of the pitches they receive are relevant to their audiences.

About 59% of journalists agree that the availability of detailed audience metrics (views, engagement, demographics) has changed the way they evaluate stories. Many are focusing on stories that will generate the most traffic and shares across social media and other distribution channels in an effort to draw the almighty advertising dollar (and job security).

In terms of journalist behavior, a large majority of APAC respondents prefer to receive media pitches on Monday, with 60.4% of respondents saying so. Tuesday is also fine, with 42.3% of respondents agreeing, and surprisingly 28.3% of respondents say they prefer to receive their pitches by Friday.

On follow-up pitches, the best time period to ask, according to Cision, would be 2-3 days later (30.4% of APAC respondents), and around 10:00am to 12:00pm (28.3%). 

Over one-third of journalists (35%) would like to see a list of stories planned in advance. While 33% of journalists plan their stories in real time throughout the day, 1 in 4 (25%) journalists plan their stories a week ahead; 18% plan a month ahead. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of respondents (81%) included images with their stories in the last year, followed by videos (45%), infographics (43%) and social media posts (40%). On top of this, more than 1 in 5 journalists (23%) explicitly said they wish PR pros would include multimedia assets in their press releases.

“After a year like no other, the partnership between the media and PR pros – and the technologies they use to develop and distribute content – are becoming even more critical. PR teams who are not actively using data intelligence and newswires to guide and promote their campaigns are at risk of falling behind as they compete to have their stories heard,” said Maggie Lower, chief marketing officer at Cision.