KNOWLEDGE BASE International PR For Singapore
International PR For Singapore
Before expanding your business into any new market and reaching out to media, there are several things to prepare for. This is especially true for international markets. You’ll want to decide if you’re going to manage your PR efforts from your home country, outsource PR completely, or use a hybrid of the two while having some sort of local PR support.
In Singapore, journalists typically will want to speak to the CEO or most senior person in charge of international expansion, and high-level titles are considered most desirable for interviews and other communications.
For the most part, best practices for PR are similar country to country but there are some nuances unique to Singapore that we’ll share with you.
The PR basics to prepare for well in advance of your first initiatives
1. Understand the Singaporean business market
As a foreign company, it’s especially important to recognize that each market will have established competitors already in your space, or alternative ways of doing things. Be aware of how your competition is positioned in the market place to see if your product will fit in. Conduct product testing and research to see how your product will be received and what aspects you’ll need to localize well in advance of going into international markets.
2. Understand your prospects
Recognize from the beginning that you have a lot to learn about the Singaporean people and that they are very different from people groups you are familiar with. Spend the time to get to know and love the people and their culture, to understand what motivates them, appreciate their values, know which media they consume and messages that resonate, understand their purchase behavior, and have a high-level of respect for different people groups. Getting local assistance from some great PR agencies to support your efforts is a good idea, especially before you’ve established your company. You can find some great PR agencies in the Globig Marketplace. Even if you outsource your PR, make sure your brand is positioned correctly and that you ultimately control your voice and messaging.
It’s also important to understand what is considered newsworthy by the media and to pay attention to the timing of when you’re reaching out. Stay away from holidays ( you can see the holiday schedule in the Globig Religion, Holidays, and Festivals section), government events such as elections, and other distractions that make your outreach less important. We’ve also created a Singapore Media Calendar for you to use in your media efforts. Singapore’s holidays are already added to help you get started.
Singapore is a sophisticated and well-established consumer and media market, don’t underestimate how savvy they are.
3. Prepare your product
If you are localizing your product based on early research, do that in advance of reaching out to prospects and media. Even your product name may need to be localized so it doesn’t offend or mean something inconsistent with your brand. Setting up your product for success at the beginning of a new relationship with the people and media in Singapore is much more effective than having to start again after failing the first time.
As a gateway to Asia, Singapore is often a testing ground for new products for China, Malaysia, and India. Be aware that media and customers expect to get free samples and aggressive promotions but it’s taboo to ‘buy’ your way into media. Some bloggers allow sponsorships on their site and that’s a way to control that you receive some media coverage.
4. Identify the desired benefits of using your product
As a product from another country, there must be a clear and highly valued reason for using your product versus established local or foreign brands. If you don’t have clear differentiators and your product differences not are highly valued, it will be very difficult for you to get media or customer attention in Singapore.
5. Identify and build relationships with the media players
Many months before going to market, identify and start paying attention to the journalists, bloggers, and other media influencers that cover the industry and reach your prospect targets. Follow them on social media, read all of their work, start commenting on their work and try to develop a relationship with them before you reach out for coverage and pitch article ideas. Try to be helpful, be an expert in the industry, and respect how they want to be communicated with.
6. Message clearly articulated benefits, be on strategy and culturally relevant
When you’re ready to communicate and reach out, make sure your outreaches are well timed, specific to each person and what they cover, culturally appropriate, clearly articulated, on-strategy, and always consider if what you’re sharing would be valuable to the journalists readership and viewers.
Don’t be offensive. Singaporeans, while very modern in style, technology, and business, are very traditional in their cultural and moral values and media is strictly monitored.
7. Focus your effort
Expanding globally requires time and effort. Every country deserves a dedicated and committed approach. You may not get the media attention you desire until you’ve proven that you’re committed to Singapore and have spent some time getting to know the people and the media. Starting out with smaller grass roots efforts is a good approach.
8. Be prepared for Crisis PR
Prepare for a crisis and consider having local support if needed. Communicate immediately, clearly, respectfully, and humanly. With social media, people expect a response within 15 minutes of a crisis and that the message shows that company representatives care. Appropriately timed messages, and transparent communications are important.
9. Consider non-traditional PR
Singapore is often used as a market to test publicity stunts because it is such an important cross-cultural market and so perfectly positioned to gain access to other important Asian markets. Companies will pull out all of the stops to be creative and gain attention, which means that you have to be very clever and execute well to truly stand out.
Here are some examples of bad publicity stunts inside and outside of Singapore:
Overall, the key as with all good PR and marketing is to understand your market and follow best practices, which probably includes having local support for effective PR.
KNOWLEDGE BASE International PR For Singapore