Sunday, December 11, 2011

Its your fault -- NEW MEDIA

After the Arab spring, many countries have blamed their problems on New Media. "Information is spreading too fast. We can't stop all the rumors."

For many decades, the government in many countries have no transparency, and a state controlled media where information they do not wish to share is simply not reported. Controlling the media allows the government to craft their messages and share what information they deem is required.

New media had caused turmoil in the Arab world, where popular uprisings ousted the autocratic leaders of Egypt and Tunisia and brought the Libyan regime to its knees. In Singapore, new media sites are more influential than all the other newspapers with more engagement, discussions and reads.

Many governments want to "control the Internet", either by censoring or blocking sites or imposing fines on a certain code of conduct. Many government are unable to respond to critics when they roll out an unpopular law, and pledge "responsible expression" or a code of conduct on the Internet. In Singapore, the ministers call social media, "The Wild West" and condemn the use of many site which reports on their failings.

But what exactly has changed? What made these government fear or hate social media? In essence, nothing much have changed. People will always complain about bad policies or information that seems unjust. The only main difference is, the government gets real feedback from real people who feel the need to share. So why do the government fear the rise of social media?

1) Unfamiliarity causes fear. Most people in power are not Gen-Y and do not grow up using their gadgets. But just think about emails, 10 years ago, many of them will still be expecting mail, but now email is a standard form of communication.

2) Some may feel that they are too important to engage with the public on social media, or their privacy is threatened. The truth is, you are the one sharing data, and if the information does not put you in a good light, then you have the choice not to share.

3) People will give lots of negative feedback if you engage on social media. However, people will talk with or without you. With social media, you get informed on the negative feedback and it is not filtered from you.

4) People can form groups faster and create instability. On social media, it is true that people can form groups faster. But instead of complaining, large organizations like Red Cross and many other NGOs have used it to create more awareness and raised more funds for their causes. The government can also engage and influence to win more people on their policies.

5) Social media is a waste of time. Although social media may be a "time-suck", when use properly, it disseminates information faster than one-to-one communications. When you ask a question on your twitter account, all of your followers can read and may respond to you.

A good policy is important for successful social media engagement. Social media is here to stay and it is just another medium of communications. Don't blame social media. Instead on leverage and you can find the ease to reach more people and get real feedback.

-- Robin Low

The Indonesian Way: When in doubt, blame the New Media

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Social Media Manager vs. Community Manager

I have been encouraging companies who are getting into social media to get a community manager, and even explaining the concept of the Community Manager, many people still do not get it. The person they tend to hire is a Social Media Manager, and there is a difference.

Social media manager

A social media manager takes the lead in managing the overall efforts of a company social media platform. He is responsible for creating content specific to a product or brand strategy across social networks. They monitor and create engagement to achieve goals of a specific campaign, and measure ROI.

Community manager

A community manager's role is mainly to monitor and engage the public for that community. After which, the community manager will feedback what is learned from the community to the company. I consider a community manager to be more detailed and involved in certain aspects of social media, whereas a social media manager can manage more of the bigger picture aspects of online marketing.

Do you believe they vary for a small business vs. an enterprise?

Usually, an enterprise would hire several social media managers, and they may not be even in charge of developing the strategy, however for small businesses, a social media manager would wear many hats and focus on one or 2 channels.

A community manager in a small business may actually take on the role of social media manager, having many responsibilities including creating content, however a community manager in a large enterprise may just be in charge of engagement on one or 2 channels.

With a good community manager and social media manager, a company or an enterprise can monitor brand and prevent social media crisis from happening.

-- Robin Low

Monday, October 31, 2011

Is New media still New to the government?

In 2006 when the government first attempted to ban internet electioneering. It did not work. Now The government is also using tools to monitor and restrict free speech online.

A man in Singapore is facing charges of incitement of violence due to comments made on Facebook about the Government’s preparations for last month’s Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Abdul Malik, a 27-year-old project officer in a construction company, was a a member of the Facebook page “I hate the Youth Olympics Games’ Organising Committee”, an on-line dedicated to criticising the Government’s preparations for the Games and the cost of them. On the Facebook site, Abdul called for “us to burn Vivian Balakrishnan”, Singapore’s Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports the head of the organising committee.

Malik claimed meant the statement as a metaphor – to vote out the ruling People’s Action Party, of which Balakrishnan is a member.

Temasek Review, a site critical about the government is also taken down.(quietly)

“The government has, over the last few years in particular, referred to the new media in largely pejorative terms – the Prime Minister has previously referred to it as the “wild west” and more recently, as a “cowboy town”. But the reality is this – the new media is here to stay, and it will continue to eat into the mindshare of the mainstream media, no matter what the government chooses to call it. Temasek Review may have gone offline, but it is not going to be too difficult or technically challenging to bring 10 new incarnations of Temasek Review online overnight.”
-MP for Aljinied GRC, Pritam Singh

Many of the world's media have evolved into a more open and engaging media. News have became more social than ever before with the internet, yet many news broadcasters have this believe.
To come up with innovative ways to engage viewers, public broadcasters will have to refine and improve our story-telling techniques.

Isn't this public diplomacy? This concept should not be new to any broadcasting network that is not in a monopolistic domain. This role differs in many ways from traditional public relations or public affairs, which despite a recent influx of new technologies still mainly involves “providing information for the public” at its core. Corporate public diplomacy, on the other hand, involves actively shaping the communications environment within which corporate activities are performed, and reducing the degree to which misperceptions complicate relations between the company and its customers. In my view, this complex mission is conducted using what I call innovative social engagement.

We are told stories and rhetoric all our lives, and we get engaged in a story that we can relate to. News and information are all experiences which can be told in a form of a perspective or story. However, the story needs to be believable and balanced as well as savvy readers can see a spin.

The problem with a controlled media system is that the view are very much one sided and for other views, readers will go on blogs and other "non-traditional" media for their daily reads. When the other outlets have a differing opinion, the government gets upset as they have lost control over controlling the medium.

In the Internet age, I feel strongly that controlling the media is not a cost effective and efficient way to public engagement. The more restrictive the views are, the more interesting differing opinions will be. (And more people will read)

How do you market an unpopular cause? There are no easy models or quick fixes for a people seeking to establish a legitimate identity or share their experiences and feelings. And an over focus on media and message dissemination (should we have a Facebook page? How many radio stations?) while important, is no replacement for the deeper work of developing a identity story that resonates with the people.

There is a lot of articles online sharing the state of media in Singapore. This one is very interesting. "Impending crunch on New Media?"

New media is not new to the government, they have ignored it much in the past, and tried to control the messages, and today, they are still trying to do so. I feel that the media landscape have changed with the times. To engage people today, the keyword is trust and transparency. Information gets around very quickly and the more "secret" the leaked information is, the more easy it gets viral.

I feel that if the government really wants to engage the public in discussions and move together forward into the future, the media should be more transparent and less controlled. The attempts of their very own "Astro-turfing" has to end and people should be allowed to air their views -- both positive and negative -- in a constructive manner which encourages discussion.

There is a lot of progress as shown by the MPs having Facebook pages, but there should be more willingness to open up, especially to allow feedback (A lot of feedback channels are still blocked on social media.) Addressing the feedback on the channels transparently will also create a positive effect as it show that the government is acting and listening to the public.

It is time for the nation to have a better representation of the people in parliament, after all it is a democracy, and not ALL Singaporeans are scholars (like the majority of the MPs) The ministers do not need so much qualification to run the government, but what they need is empathy, to listen and feel the challenges the public is facing. The multimillion salary also puts the minsters in gap above the average citizen that it is hard to understand their needs and one can only assume as a $15k or $4MM salary means you do not need to take even the efficient public transportation anymore.

New media is not new. The public sentiments are all there to search for, and I'm sure the government does have all the keywords the 80 - 85% who say negative things about them online. Now is the time to act and show you are here to change for a better future of Singapore -- all with the help of social media.

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Need for social media in Singapore

I've always advocated the need for social media to be in house in Singapore.

Not only social media is important, corporate wide training is essential.

Here in Singapore, pressure groups have employed social media to protest against Resorts World Sentosa's dolphin issues. Most recently, we witnessed how Wildlife Reserves Singapore was flamed on social media as a result of its sudden cancellation of the Halloween Horrors event.

Crisis often comes with internal staff training as well, KFC Malaysia had staff shown a video on them playing with food, and it attracted a lot of attention and negative publicity.

Social Media training is very important as it prepares the whole corporation to engage with the public in a transparent and natural way. Empowering the staff, most staff will not take the opportunity to destroy the company's reputation. With trained staff, enlightened empowerment can indeed allow the business to react to queries faster, and attend to feedback before a disaster occurs.

Monitoring social media does not need to be a one department job.

-- Robin Low

More info: Read.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Social Media in Singapore

Govt to boost social media usage

After the poor performance online, lack of understanding the ground and the inability to control the conversation, the government decided that they need to do better in engagement.

"You need, basically, two people just to maintain one site, and typically, the respondents come (online, sometime after dinner). " "So it's not trivial," "Facebook is not owned by any Singapore entity; it's an entirely foreign entity and putting in the resources online in this foreign entity, it could shut off Singapore," Says the "experts"

It seems like the government experts have much fear of social media because they do not understand the medium and are unwilling to engage.

I hope they get real training and learn to listen to the public and not just censor comments and negative feedback. It is a whole mindset change and there needs to be proper policies that encourage engagement and empowering everyone to participate, so the responsibility is not on a "team" and hopefully they do not need to get permission to answer the questions raised.

I hope the executives would be willing to learn and create policies that support social media. Hopefully we can see a more vibrant Singapore in the near future.

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

RWS Woes

Resorts World at Sentosa seems to be a pretty successful Facebook page, with more than 140,000 fans, the engagement on the page was pretty spontaneous as well.

However when a post on Sept 2 on Diets of Dolphins open a can of worms!

It started a flurry of replies on the blog and Facebook Page and as the censorship and moderation starts, the intensity of the angry replies increased. This is again a good example that if they want to post something controversial (or about their captive dolphins) they have to be able to engage in the conversation.

A blog called "Marine Life Park" Blog when it is not talking and providing information on the conservation efforts of RWS, is simply a marketing blog for their new dolphin park and not informative.

I hope to see improvements and less censorship in the engagements, and hopefully, RWS can show more of their ongoing efforts in sustainable marine life education in the region.

Eventually this will become a crisis if it is not one already as I found out about this on the news.

This is indeed bad PR and bad for business.

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How unfortunate.

CNA tries to use more social media and get news from Twitter, however as they are very selective on their news and their views are sometimes biased, many people are unhappy with their reporting.

So it is very unfortunate that this shall appear on live TV, however if you check their twitter feed, and Singapore related hashtags, it is common to see many angry people with angry comments.

But it is simply very unfortunate to have it revealed on TV

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Curry Incident Gone Viral.

Cook and Share A Pot of Curry !

Sort of a Facebook Protest to the Curry incident has garnered more than 50,000 attendees and it is something the government cannot ignore.

As observed last week, the Google Search for "Singapore Indian Curry" yields all the negative information about the Curry Incident.

So, instead of ignoring the people, the government finally decides to act, but I feel that the comments made by the minister is not enough and does not respond to the root of the problem. Shanmugam cautions against xenophobia

This respond was partly because of this article and it suddenly became mainstream news.
Singapore's 'anti-Chinese curry war'

In social media, it is very common that when someone feels strongly about something, they will share it with their friends. In turn, this kind of communication gets viral quickly, and when the government wants to engage, it takes much more than a news respond or a campaign -- but rather, listening and responding to the everyday needs of the people.

This does not mean giving in to every request, but rather sharing the reasons with proper communication to let people know the reasons behind things, and accepting and addressing negative feedback instead of deleting it away.

So are you cooking a pot of curry to show your support for the rights to cook curry at home?

-- Robin Low

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Does the government understand Social Media?

This is the comments made by DPM Teo in a dialogue with students.

I feel that this statement is not very valid. While social media is "very powerful in amplifying voices of people who are most articulate" Articulate or not, social media allows the public to have a direct feedback unlike the traditional one way broadcast the government is used to have. The truth is nobody needs to have a good command of English to comment on news or articles they read, they simply have to care.

"One negativity I personally don't like in social media is anonymity because it allows you to make statements without responsibilities. And I don't think we can have a responsible discussion if one is not asked to be responsible for what he says," Mr Teo said at a dialogue, Singaporeans in Conversation, with 250 students yesterday. "That results in a discussion which quite often becomes skewed and unproductive."

I do not believe that social media has anonymity. It takes time and effort to build trust, and anonymous posts will not be given much attention unless it is either interesting, humorous or inexplicably -- convincing.

Social media allows the government to crowdsource ideas, broadcast information and get real feedback from the masses. In terms of making statements without responsibilities, it is easier to spread rumors through coffee shop talks. For credibility and trustworthiness, reputation needs to be built, and this is a long process and cannot be done overnight.

The influencers in Singapore like Mr Brown, Mr Miyagi and other popular blogs all took time to build their reputation and create their following.

In terms of leaving anonymous feedback, if the government is willing to put the time to engage and understand the cause for the feedback, it might learn something new. Although there are times people may leave hurtful remarks which may seem to have no basis, but taking the time to investigate further may reveal whether it is a hoax or it is valid concerns which needs to be addressed.

Like any corporation which want to engage with their customers, it does take time, effort and the willingness to engage. Just having a Facebook page, Twitter account and a blog is not using Web 2.0 in the most effective way. It is a whole new change in mindset, policies that would support the engagement to be able to succeed.

-- Robin Low

Monday, July 25, 2011

Presidential Race in Singapore with Web 2.0

As the Presidential Race heats up, the Presidential Candidates get on their A game and starts engagement on social media.

Dr Tony Tan decided to engage bloggers and influencers in Signapore in a lunch meeting. Famous Bloggers like Mr Miyagi, Mr Brown, Yawning Bread, TheOnlineCitizen, MotherInc, Alvinology, Dr. Cherian George attended and of course some of them wrote about their experiences and probably increased his profile a little.

Tan Cheng Bock launches smartphone apps. "For the 71-year-old, it is a big step in leveraging on the power of social media. He confessed that he had not known what "apps" were just two months ago." I don't understand why he would do such a thing, probably just to get the attention of the press?

I feel that social media is continuous engagement and building trust, not a cheap app and just having a Facebook Page or Twitter account can do.

Tan Kin Lian to rely on social media I was not really aware that Mr Tan Kin Lian has a "Popular Blog" and I wonder if he would engage on conversations on other blogs forums and popular pages like the Online Citizen to create awareness, build trust and credibility.

These are clear signs that the Presidential candidates believe that Social Media is a great way to influence people, and they are willing to learn to engage the public using social media.

I hope their efforts will continue even when they are elected so that they can hear the voices of Singaporeans and those who supported them!

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The DaVinci Incident

Once a pride of Singapore, Dr Doris Phua, Singapore's women Entrepreneur of the year in 2001 and 2002 is now the center of the news. And you guess it, its not good news, but a rather bad one.

News after news, the high end furniture store DaVinci furniture is under the spotlight now for products that are not really from the "country of origin" as stated... Which is not from Italy or USA, but rather .. Made in China.

Furthermore, there are reports that are coming out on forums, and discussion boards on the wood which they claim, used in their products made from high density board, rather than real wood.

News like "Furniture retailer to face press"
"Furniture retailer Da Vinci under fire "
Chinese Upset Over Counterfeit Furniture
Picture gets worse for Da Vinci

"DaVinci is the place to go for Versace sofas, sumptuous Fendi Casa calf-skin couches or stylish chaise lounges stamped Made in Italy. A DaVinci bedroom set can sell for $100,000. "

That same day, however, customs officials in Shanghai said they had evidence that DaVinci was temporarily storing Chinese-made goods in a Shanghai warehouse, including cattle-hide sofas produced in nearby Zhejiang Province. The officials said that after a day spent in Shanghai’s Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, the products — with the paperwork duly filed — were imported back into the country.

From the news reports, interviews and the myriad of blogs bashing DaVinci furniture, Davinci furniture's reputation will probably take a long time, if ever, to recover.

However, in digging deeper, I realized that the Chinese search and even in English forums, there was much talks about the quality and authenticity of the furniture.

Along with perception, news and other social interaction, this fueled the situation into a crisis, one could have prevented if DaVinci Furniture actually monitored and engaged with their supporters in conversations.

There are a lot more op-eds bashing "DaVinci Furniture"

Will DaVinci Furniture's reputation recover from this incident?
Will there be more scandals from the foreign import companies in China?

Only time will tell.

-- Robin Low

Monday, July 11, 2011

KFC employees playing with your food.

Malaysia's Version of "Playing with your food"

If you have been following the Social Media crisis that happened to Dominos in 2009 (or 2010) 2 employees shared a series of videos about their disgusting behavior in the kitchen when they played with your food. Well, there is a Malaysia version which involves KFC employees now.

In June 2011, someone uploaded these videos and there was an uproar. Although KFC Malaysia may have acted on this crisis, their reputation of having flies in their restaurant and "slow moving" employees that give bad service does not really help them in dealing with the crisis either.

En. Mohammad Alwi, KFC Malaysia’s Director of Restaurant Operations, made a personal address to the public in two languages – Malay and English. In the video, he apologizes and ensures customers that KFC Malaysia has taken action to prevent the same incident from happening. Here’s how:

1. Cameras in kitchens: KFC Malaysia has installed cameras to make sure that the kitchen team can be held accountable for their actions.

2. Appoint supervisors: One lead cook will be appointed at every kitchen to supervise the food preparation process.

3. Improve the training program: The training program will be made more rigorous to ensure employees understand the value of KFC and food hygiene.


This is a lesson that many companies in the world must learn. No matter how big or small a restaurant chain is, it is important to have a social media policy and good training guidelines on the consequences on behaviors on social media.

It will take years to build your reputation, and with a small antic and video on YouTube, the confidence you may have built will be destroyed.

A lot more may be mitigated if KFC Malaysia engages regularly with their fans and supporters, and build up a community who can help monitor and defend its brand. Leveraging on staff, and empowering them as the voice to reach out, I really doubt such an incident will happen. Perhaps poor training + badly treated staff without background checks.


I felt that the reply video from the director of operations was not sufficient. The case does not seem resolved and there seem to be not enough actions taken by authorities to the staff involved to show that there was any serious consequences.

The Malaysia Food and Safety board did not even investigate, and this is even more troubling as it shows that the food safety level in the country is pretty much no present!

My guess is that this is not became a full blown crisis as the Dominos crisis yet, and as such, not much is done, and there will probably be more to come as companies are still slow to embrace social media.

But for those who do, at least they will be well prepared and hopefully their staff will not create a social media crisis for them.

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Asia getting on Social Media

I've many friends who asked me about how Asia is getting on social media and all the data I've got, they all point to very strong growth in the region.

With strong growth of mobile technologies and mobile broadband in Asia, it is not really a surprise that it shows in the pick up rate of social media here.

As more people try out Facebook and Twitter, it is no doubt that they will be curious about the other social powered tools that leverage on crowds. If you own a business and you want to find out more about things like Foursquares, Facebook Pages and how to use Twitter to engage the public, there is a course tomorrow in Singapore.

1) Aventis Social Media Marketing Professional Certification program (Stage 1)

This is an extensive course which introduces you everything about social media, to engaging the public and measuring success. With this course, you can plan and start your social media campaign for your company.

And if you already think you have enough knowledge about social media, there is a second part of the course just on Real Time Marketing and new ideas on Social Engagements. Get information on actual case studies of companies that succeeded and failed, so you can learn from these examples and do have to run into the same mistakes.

2) Real Time Marketing and Public Engagement (Stage 2)

I just arrived in Singapore after running the course on the Eastern Coast of United States, and the course in Singapore starts tomorrow, be sure you check it out!

-- Robin Low

Monday, May 9, 2011

Yam Ah Mee

When you think about the elections, whether it is Nicole Seah or Tin Pei Ling. The loss of George Yeo or getting Show Mao into parliament, if you are following the trends of social media online, you suddenly will know about this man.

YAM Ah Mee.

Not only is he an unknown before the election, this man now has a fanpage, that will exceed 15,000 fans soon.

In time to come, when you start to recall the election and what exactly happened, you will probably remember the 2011 elections as the year of Yam Ah Mee.

And now we know that he is:
The People's Association (PA) Chief executive director (CED) The Harvard Club of Singapore's Volunteer program and the President of the Harvard Club BG (NS)

He is one of the most unlikely social media superstar!

He is here to stay!

-- Robin Low

Friday, May 6, 2011

Social Media vs Controlled Media.

Today is the day for Singapore election.

Social Media vs Controlled Media.

The PAP does not engage on social media. They have their fans write good things about them, and delete negative posts. For their YouTube Pages, no "likes" or comments are allowed.

The PAP does very well on the controlled media, as reports after reports, focused on their leaders and agenda, even on "cooling day" The rest of the opposition is covered much less than the PAP.

On social media front, the new candidates like Nicole Seah seemed to be fantastic! She has more than 60k fans on Facebook, and she replies to feedback and comments.

For most parts, Angry Singaporeans numbering thousands bashed PAP online, and the sites theonlinecitizen became a very popular source of info.

Most dormant Singaporeans share their stories and blog about their thoughts freely. The PAP indeed lost out on the social media front.

So the big question is, will social media affect the results of the election? How much of a role will social media play to determine the results?

Only the results will tell!

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dirty Politics may back fire.

Vivian Balakrishnan is playing the gay card, and yet all the media in Singapore, the controlled media is printing Gutter news like this as headlines.

Dr Vivian's involvement in this fear-mongering and hate-mongering attack on Dr Vincent's character and political "motives" is simply "Dirty Politics". To condemn homophobia and the wild and false conflation of homosexuality into "sex with boys" is wrong like this video.

Well, in the news yesterday, the carefully edited video posted by an Astroturfer who just registered the account and posted 1 video was shown.

Here is the full video and it does not show that Dr Vincent was a homosexual nor did it show he has an agenda. (YoutubeUser: JohnTan88888 joined 1 week ago and uploaded only 1 video.)

Vincent Wijeysingha clearly does not take a stand on either these two issues!

This smear campaign is not done right as there seems to be not much engagement on social media end of the PAP, just broadcasting.

What's worse, there is more Astroturfing on the PAP site.

Is this how "fans" are manufactured to support your point of view?

It is indeed sad to see the incumbent party doing such low brow tactics to try to gain support in their losing social media battle.

This is not how you engage, things will only get worse if you do not plan and do it the wrong way.

-- Robin Low

More links.


Vivian Balakrishnan and the video that cannot be named

What's your douchebag agenda, Dr Vivian?

PAP's statement on Wijeysingha disappointing

Vivian’s bomb goes boo boo

Build trust! Don't Astroturf.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Engagement is crucial

The government of Singapore is doing many things well. Great transportation system, relatively good education system, great financial system. The political system is stable, and for 30 years, it has brought much progress.

Since the popularity of social media where people can share their opinions and feedback, many aired their views freely online.

With the government not willing to engage as shown in their actions on their YouTube channel, and Facebook page, it is very hard to win people over when you are not willing to hear them out.

Feedback is crucial, taking in the good, and fixing the failures, it is all in a days work to build trust and relationship. Obama was very good at using the crowd to create awareness, and luckily for the PAP, the opposition was not able to be as influential, however, there are a few sites which are very popular, no thanks to the government trying to Gazette it as a political website.

The online citizen is now an official political website and it has since drawn much crowds to its Facebook and Webpage. The conversations are genuine and people are allowed to share views about their likes and dislikes. Some of the posts do not hit the mark, and some do, and through feedbacks and comments, they are able to learn and carve out views which most of their viewers would like and share.

The current situation, the Internet is a big enemy. Nearly all posts about "PAP" online, whether it is on their official news site, on YouTube or on Facebook, you get to read about some very negative comments and after the heavy monitoring, a lot of the comments are deleted.

If this continues, I would think the opposition has a strong chance of getting angry votes.

Please do the right thing, enable comments and listen to our feedback. You need to engage!

-- Robin Low

Monday, March 28, 2011

Power of Social Media

Social Media can do a lot of things, it can empower those without voices, connect those in need, enable you to reach a wide audience without a big budget.

Recently, Carlos the founder of Relief 2.0, went on a mission to Japan, and I helped in the engagement and creating awareness of the situation, leveraging on social media.

Within a short period of 1 week, we are able to use social media to form a team to go to Japan, and raise funds. Through social media, I tell the story from the ground from the perspective of an independent unit with the goal to use local capacity, and empower the survivors to rebuild their businesses.

You can learn more about social media and use it for more than just a marketing tool.

There is a class on 7 & 8 April (Thur & Friday) 2011 at Aventis on "Social Media Marketing Professional Certification program"

Please join us, and understand how social media can help your cause or business.

-- Robin Low

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Poem FTW!

I recently came across this article 'Jalan Besar facelift will happen if PAP MPs 'have the chance''

Sort of an outrage to force people to vote for PAP, but to my surprise, I came across this poem which is pure genius:

Recently, my white MP,
nok on my door, and very kek ki..
Say ‘I’ve worked so hard, so vote for me’,
‘Or rubbish won’t be cleared, in your vicinty’..

I said ‘Dear MP of my GRC’,
‘Dun remember u, so please pardon me’..
‘I only saw you on TV’,
‘Dozing off and jiak liao bee’..

Last GE I voted for thee,
2% up in GST..
Cut CPF and up utility,
Are still very clear in my memory..

5 years later, then you come to me,
Fresh from your slumber of ivory..
Say that only, you can help me,
Escape from a life of poverty..

Just take a drive on CTE,
Count the number, of all the gantries..
Or squeeze a ride on the MRT,
That has not been cleared for me

My life since the last GE,
Has been downhill though I voted PAP..
If I vote the same for your sleeping spree,
I can expect the same misery..

So! this time round, I vote for somebody,
Who will kachiao you, to productivity..
Forms fill wrong, no big deal to me,
If there’s someone to speak up for ah bee..

So dear MP of GRC,
If life no improve, vote u cho simi?

Who says Singaporeans are not creative?

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Social Media -- Good for Entrepreneurs.

Social Media is a great way to engage your customers, getting a good feel of what the market wants, needs, and thinks about your brand. For an Entrepreneur in a startup, time must be spent smartly, however, it is also very important to engage with your customers. Besides creating awareness, Social Media can help in branding, product development, customer service and much more.

LinkedIn -- LinkedIn can be used to create awareness, finding B2B sales leads, and network with other professionals in the industry.

Facebook -- Facebook has more than 500 million users, and FB pages are getting better by the day, providing analytics, and allowing your fans a place to share and discuss about your products and services.

Twitter -- Twitter is a fast way to share information and get information. You can follow a lot of people at the same time and get lots of information as well.

Quora -- If you have some questions you need the answer of or answers to questions with your products or services, this is the place to be.

YouTube -- Sharing videos of your products and services, how to guide, etc -- fantastic way to create awareness and possibly go viral.

Flickr -- Sharing photos go a long way.

Blogging -- Your blogs containing keywords can drive traffic to your Facebook pages, YouTube account and homepage. It is asynchronous and can generate traffic even after years.

Foursquare/Gowalla -- If you have a restaurant or shop, you may be interested to increase the stakes of giving more rewards to the "Mayor" -- Make it fun and interesting.

Don't forget -- GroupOn

There are many other social media / social tools to look at. The social media sphere is filled with opportunities, however it may be different from your personal usage.

There are always short courses and tips which you have not learn, and keep an open mind. Read blogs and be in touch of the latest happenings, by following influencers on Twitter.

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Social media arsenal, unleash your personal brand

Have you ever wondered how some people could get some much opportunities or move up so fast in Organizations? Do you know of friends who get job offers even without putting up any online resumes?

Networking is key for success. If you know more people, you get more opportunities. Have you every realized that even when you have lots of resumes on every job site online, you still cannot search for them on Google?

The Internet opens up so much more opportunities if you know how to use it. Social Media is a tool which you can use to brand yourself as a competent individual who is an expert in various fields. However, if you unaware about your digital footprint and do not take steps to limit bad information about yourself, it may impact your progress, and affect your career.

Just remember, you may have a lot of talents, but if nobody knows about it, how can they discover you and hire you?

Aventis School of Management is running a course on Unleash your Brand, and this course will unlock your expertise and let you understand the various social media tools to leverage upon to build your brand and get you more opportunities.

Don't be afraid, empower yourself with the knowledge to market your skills and talents. Engage!

-- Robin Low

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Government & Social Media

For the past few years, The Singapore Government has been trying to get on social media. However, they do not welcome feedback and censor comments.

“The Singapore government, as a whole, is not averse to using new media. We’re not ruling out the opportunities it presents us. But we’re not completely sure how to use it yet.”

– Goh Yam Song, Deputy Director, Emergency Preparedness, Land Transport Authority, Singapore –

Even when more ministers are getting on social media, I still feel that they don't get it.

A Facebook user, Abdul Malik Ghazali, was arrested few weeks ago on charges related to incitement of violence due to comments he made on Facebook. The 27-year-old had urged other users on the social networking site to “burn” Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for community development, youth and sports.

Does he sound serious or frustrated?

On Facebook, even Singapore's Broadcast Media -- Mediacorp is on Facebook, but they do not invite any comments, and they only allow comments on the posts they make. Furthermore, active moderation is also seen.

I feel that if any nation, company or individuals is interested in Social Media, they need to be prepared to engage -- accept both positive and negative feedback, and willingly resolve the issues transparently.

With the coming elections, there are more ministers with blogs and Facebook pages, but the engagement is heavily moderated, and they types of posts does not seem genuine and engaging as well.

A good example is a Facebook Page -- Ang Mo Kio - Yio Chu Kang

It was originally started by the government, heavily moderated, and eventually nobody cared. It now serves as a page where people complain and nothing seems to be resolved.

I hope things change as social media can be a cheap and effective way to engage with the public, and together, we can shape the country together. The government should be inclusive and the public, empowered to share their ideas and comments freely.

-- Robin Low

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Great Ads

You don't need much words for the best of Ads.

The pictures speak a thousand words...

Which one do you like best?

-- Robin Low

Monday, January 31, 2011

Flickr can be used to catch suspects.

Recently, I've suggested some friends on Flickr who is from the police department to try to put up wanted posters as well, with as much information as possible.

As he has a number of supporters, crowd-sourcing can be done to leverage his network for additional eyes and ears, especially for an End of Watch, where a police officer has been killed.

And it actually worked. adding details and other information led to the suspect being arrested.

Perhaps local law enforcement can do the same as well.

-- Robin Low

Friday, January 14, 2011

Infographics: Are We Too Obsessed With Facebook?

Obsessed with Facebook
Via: Online Schools

This infograpics is AWESOME!

Many people are obsessed with Facebook and these are great data!

-- Robin Low

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The story continues after it breaks

If you have not noticed, most news sites allows comments. Unlike in the past where newspapers only exist in print format, you now can influence stories as they are breaking. 
This means that the story never ends as it is published, it can still be updated, corrected, followed up upon, and added to
In the real time PR world, the PR team can no longer hang around and wait for bosses and lawyers to sign off. Rules of engagement should be shoot on sight! 
-- Robin Low