Asia in focus – three lessons from our media roadshows in Southeast Asia

Company planning and kick-offs completed, Q2 usually brings our client C-Suite leaders out to Asia. Busy times for all the team over here but nothing better than having that face-to-face engagement to build brand credibility, loyalty and the leadership voice. In the past few weeks, we have hosted very successful media events in Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

With several new clients as well as long term partners, these were mostly media hospitality events; designed to educate our journalist friends on the company background and the business value these companies bring to the market. These interactive sessions, and being in Asia, always over a meal, are a fundamental building block in all our campaigns – putting a face to the company and providing an opportunity for candid questions and sharing ideas. From there, the goal is to build the thought leadership position for both company and spokespeople but there is never a leader without a credible face and voice.

Guidance Pointers

CHOOSE your day

Forget Mondays and Fridays – seriously Monday is just too hard for media confirmations, plus all the editorial planning sessions and then Friday we have Islamic prayers in Malaysia and Indonesia. Neither is impossible, but always something to hold in mind, together with the huge number of public holidays, religious and cultural festivals.

AVOID the cookie-cutter

Each market has very different national agendas and policies, one message never fits all but we recognise spokespeople typically bring one message they want to announce. This is where we partner with them, to help keep them on message but locally relevant, aligning the nuances of the announcement to resonate in each country. Being locally astute is a promise we make in our media invites and our reputation is built on it, which is the key to securing a strong turnout of the relevant media!

ONE VOICE, different audience interpretations

There are significant differences across Southeast Asian media when it comes to understanding technology and business. Exposed to more global players, Singapore media tend to have a deeper understanding of complex topics around technology and innovation. In contrast, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are less exposed and also, English is a second language so to hit home, messages must be simplified without the jargon and supported with easily-understood local stories and case studies. A translator is always helpful but the silver bullet is the understanding of the local market and what works in each country and, this is where our Priority team really come into their own to provide the counsel as needed.

We know that C-Suite time is valuable but the return on investment made in educating and informing the media is invaluable. Our skill is making it a great experience for all parties – media who get the time and commitment and spokespeople who have a chance to win hearts and minds.