Brands and institutions spend tens of thousands or even millions on publicity campaigns and charitable initiatives every year to earn consumers’ trust and favour.
Not that these do not work (if they don’t, we would have been out of business), they do. However, as time passes, the society expects more than the occasional rah-rah of clichéd airport flashmobs or overplayed charity runs; a brand’s attention is the price for the society’s devotion. Winning the hearts of the society starts with active listening. The companies also need to prove their commitment and dedication with the right action. Here are our top picks that deserve a PR Award for their social listening and actions.
PR Award 1: Razer
Gaming hardware company, Razer Inc, is one of the most prominent brands in the booming esports industry. Equally as recognisable is the company’s co-founder and CEO, Mr. Tan Min-Liang. The 40-year-old Singaporean entrepreneur heavily invests in an active presence on social media. Topping his earlier Twitter exchange with the Prime Minister of Singapore is perhaps how he saved Christmas for an Australian child with a single tweet.
Anyone in Australia can get me in touch with the author of the article or the family? I’d like to make sure the Callum gets his @Razer keyboard for Christmas. Kids’ Christmas presents stolen https://t.co/mc6OW6S9ux
— Min-Liang Tan (@minliangtan) December 23, 2017
Read the Razer Christmas story in detail here.
In short, Tan found out from the news that a family’s Christmas gifts were stolen just days before Christmas. One the stolen items included a Razer gaming keyboard set for the boy in the family. Tan decided to reach out to the family via Twitter to save the day. While some may be awed by the brand-new gaming suite the boy received, the rest of us were fully aware that the CEO scored another brownie point with the public. He deserves a PR award for his quick action.
PR Award 2: U-Gate Design
Yishun, a notorious neighbourhood in Singapore known for a list of disturbing occurrences and Voldemort impersonator has made multiple national headlines over recent years. It came as no surprise when the news of three break-in attempts in a single night by the same perpetrator, on the same house, happened in Yishun. Now, that is perseverance.
U-Gate Design took the opportunity and swooped in to provide Molly’s (the victim) house with a new set of their patented burglar-proof grilles. More importantly, it’s free of charge. U-Gate Design could not have picked a better time to show up at the victim’s doorstep although we cannot say the same for the burglar. The incident, along with U-Gate’s goodwill was published in numerous news portals and shared across social media. The brand truly deserves a PR award.
Read more about the break-in here.
PR Award 3: King Koil
In May 2017, Channel News Asia aired a series of short documentaries on Singapore’s elderly poor. An episode featured Mr. Ng Teak-Boon, an octogenarian who could barely make ends meet selling ice-cream on his bicycle push cart. People sympathised with the elderly man but it’s the U.S. mattress brand, King Coil, that took a step further.
King Coil quickly picked up on the mention that old man Ng did not have a mattress and pillow to sleep on. They proceeded to locate him and offered him bedding free-of-charge. Being one of the firsts to reach out and provide assistance to an elderly in need, King Coil definitely deserved a bonus point from us!
Read more about the ice-cream uncle here.
In short, a model corporate citizen must be flexible to the changes in societal expectations and needs. Active social listening enables the brand to not only grasp the sentiments but also provide opportunities for them to contribute and integrate into the conversation. While people of altruistic nature may frown upon John D. Rockefeller’s famous quote on “publicising good works”, publicists with the interests of both the client and stakeholders at heart may not always feel the same way.