What does participating as a speaker at the 2014 World Public Relations Forum mean to you?
I am honoured and glad to be given this opportunity to present at the World Public Relations Forum, and to share my thoughts on the “Character of Communication”. I hope my presentation will provide new insights on how culture is shaping the character of communication in Asia.
Our industry is evolving so quickly, even more so with the introduction and uptake of new technological platforms and applications.
Who would have thought that communication could take place so pervasively in virtual worlds decades ago?
Having said that, the core of communication remains the same. Communication is about connecting people, businesses and communities. Which is why it’s important for us communicators – whether we are practitioners or academicians – to get together to learn from each other so that we can continue to practise communication with a conscience and with integrity.
In your opinion, what are the most important benefits of participating in this Forum?
There are multiple benefits in participating in the forum. This is a great forum for best practices sharing. It is also a forum for us, communicators, to shape and take our industry to the next level by reflecting on how our profession and industry has grown, and how we can take measured steps to focus our collective energy and resources to improve how we practise communication.
On the personal front, I look forward to meeting people and making many new friends from across the world; friends whom I can count on – to exchange ideas, learn from and challenge me in new ways of thinking or doing.
What does “Communication with Conscience” mean to you?
Communication with a conscience means communication with integrity so that the audience we communicate to can make the right decisions and choices for themselves, for their companies and for their communities. It’s also about communication with a listening ear and tone so that it lands well with the target audience.
What are the most important challenges that communication professionals will have to face in the next years?
One key challenge that comes straight to mind is communication relevance and effectiveness for a multi-cultural and highly diverse community. Stereotypes and assumptions about cultures and audiences will continue to keep changing, and so will the way we communicate.
Another challenge is the battle for netizens’ mindshare. The internet has changed how we communicate, how we consume information and how we share information. There are simply too many information sources, platforms and views about accessing information online. To that end, it’s important that we remain creative and innovative in the way we communicate and target our messages.
With today’s technology, there is also an expectation of faster and prompt responses from people and organizations.
What is the key in a communication strategy to be able to successfully communicate to a team of 5,000 employees?
The key to successfully communicate with a vast team of people across countries and cultures is about connecting with a purpose and a heart. It’s about communicating shared goals, sharing success stories and getting personal (so that people can get to know you as a leader and as a person). At the core of our strategy is connecting – connecting people to business, each other and successes.
It’s also about driving innovations in communication so that we can cut through the clutter of emails. For example, when we first launched our communication strategy, we introduced it like a television series – with a theme and a set number of episodes of video podcasts. Since then, we have continued to innovate in the way we practise communication; we have used a combination of infographics, Yammer – a platform for corporate social media – so that our communication remains cutting edge, fun and engaging.