I wrapped up my last day in Singapore speaking and attending the PR 2.0 - Engaging Stakeholders In The New Media Landscape - conference put on by the IPRS - Institute of Public Relations Singapore today. This full day event gathered communications and marketing professionals from both the private and public sector at the Suntec Convention Centre. There were about one hundred and fifty delegates and I managed to exchange business cards with many of them. Along with some great speakers, the networking was amazing. I also had the chance to spend more time with my new BFF from Singapore: Melvin Yuan from The PR 2.0 Universe. I arrived at the event just as Melvin finished moderating a panel called, Endorsements And Reviews Through Celebrity Blogging.
The first speech that I caught was Mr. K. Srinivasan (Managing Director, Prime Point PR) from India. He's the moderator of many Yahoo! Groups on Podcasting and Technology, and his passion is out of this world. His presentation was called, Enhancing Your Brand Using Social Media, and I was so impressed with his thinking that I recorded a chat with him over lunch that I am hoping will be on next week's episode of Six Pixels Of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast.
My favorite moment of the day came when John Kerr (Director of Edelman PR for these parts) was presenting: Managing Crisis And Reputation Management. A member of the audience asked John how Public Relations and Communications professionals can trust Video Bloggers, especially considering the usual low-cost production value. John said: "the shaky cam is now seem as the most trusted form of media"
That was a "wow" moment for me. At that moment in time, the power of channels like YouTube crystallized. He then went on to finish the thoughts I was mulling about in my noggin by saying that slick, highly-produced video is now the type of content that the general public has become skeptical of. To paraphrase: we're trusting each other more and more. The more authentic (re: raw) the video, images or words are, the more trusted they are becoming, whereas in the past those forms of communication were considered - for the most part - amateur (re: untrustworthy).
I presented a tightened thirty-minutes of Know Control Or No Control - How Social Media Is Shaping Communications. My biggest surprise was how many of the attendees actually use a tool like Google Reader (practically all of them) and how up-to-speed they were on channels like Google News Alerts, Podcasting and LinkedIn. The number of people using these tools was, without doubt, significantly higher than when I do this sort of public polling in North America. The biggest challenge Singapore and South East Asia now face is getting the common person engaged in Social Media.
Prior to my presentation I was awed by Dr. Jim Macnamara (Group Research Director, Media Monitors - Carma Asia Pacific) and his presentation: Measuring PR Efforts In The New Media Landscape. He ran through how they are measuring success in Social Media - including the power of links versus page views (more on this in a later post). I also had a smile on my face when he called the changes in the media landscape a "Mediamorphisis." I don't know whether or not he made that word up, but I sure will steal it for one of my next presentations. It also gave me pause to reflect on the true power of New Media. We're moving to a true two-way conversation with corporations and the media outlets. The true challenge will be how those companies and media properties adjust their business models accordingly.
Interestingly, the Marketing and Communications professionals of Singapore see lack of quick public adoption to Social Media as a problem (as if they are six to seven years behind North Americans). I see this as a tremendous opportunity. Over the Geek Dinner Singapore I was remarking to one of the business people that being in Singapore would be like getting in on the early days at Google.
There is tremendous growth and business opportunity here in Singapore for Social Media.
I hope they'll have me back.