Please introduce yourself to your classmates! Show the real you!

Hi Guys,

I am impressed by the effort you put into our opening essay overall.

I could read your hearts and minds, and your passion about this course.

I just want to share some thoughts for your better engagement with readers, for instance, you might have to write this kind of essay to demonstrate your interests to concerned parties in a real-life business or academic project.

I have seen a lot of overlap in your essays—that is some boilerplate quotes and conventional stances regarding social media.

These are some examples below,

  • Social media can empower us in many ways…
  • I will like to be able to gain more in-depth knowledge on social media to help individuals and organizations to achieve their goals….
  • We need to embrace social media revolution….

Other than just stating about the change in the WORLD, please say something more on yourself and go straight to the points as your reader/audience would be able to pay only limited time to read your content as they’re bound to have been bombarded with content.



Another issue I saw in a lot of essays across the board is that your personal connection to or investment in the issue was not explained.

For example, many students seemed to pick F&B as their choice of organization as this business category appears to be most affected by the social media engagement and digital marketing.

But F&B is a hard sell, and you need to invest more time and effort as to questions—why F&B? and in what ways do you think you are relevant to this issue and capable of the problem solving, if any? Other than just stating a dry fact that F&B need social media, please expand on why YOU are interested in and why it is important to YOU.


Be personal and unique! Just be yourself and be real. In that way you will be the most creative and interesting person you can be.


One way to show more of your personal investment and unique critical thinking is to raise questions about things you find confusing or troubling regarding the issue.

Or you can state your personal history and experiences where you’ve realized the importance or value of your social media.

Or you could simply confess that you don’t fully understand or agree with a general consensus, such as “social media is increasingly important in our lives!”

If you want to confront conventional beliefs, you’ll have to think through your reasoning to convince yourself and others, right? That can be a great way to show personal engagement with the issue and find concerns worth exploring.

This courses might provide you some insights and rationale why or why NOT social media is important or might NOT be that effective way to your business and personal goals thus things should be turned around.

To me, social media is an effective communication tool to understand the “change” in society, “changes” in the way people think and behave. I have seen social media empower us as it provides a personal broadcasting channel, so people now tend to think in a more “self-centric” way than ever.

Also as we are more connected. We are responding to social issues more timely manner. However, issues can be volatile, and thus it is very hard to create sustainable relationship with one another.

So I continue to update this course with more diverse real-life cases, and more in-class activities and assignments will be given to create engagement and connect your personal interests with the class content. The readings are more of a classic framework or baseline, as fundamental and critical questions remained unsolved, but my in-class lecture materials are updated with more diverse and current real-life issues and cases.

Also, I updated my lecture slides with more text than previous ones to help your easy understanding about the content. Yet, visual aids also will be provided to draw quick attentions and intuitions to the content. And this approach is aligned with how infographics serve these days.


Infographics make complex information eye catching, shareable and easily digestible.


My aim for this class is to help students to be more STRATEGIC on social media, to be both “fascinating content makers” as well as “strategic relationship managers” simultaneously.

I believe we could be and should be both attractive and wise with our social media strategies… and we can learn through examining a diverse range of previous cases and principles and frameworks.

What were the initial questions that opened social media era, what were the issues and concerns society had to face with the advent of social media, and what are still ongoing and unsolved issues?

Please introduce yourself with regards to your “interest” and personal “history” regarding this class’ main topics encompassing MNC’s global marketing, political comm, crisis comm. and small and medium-sized enterprises and so forth.

There is no right or wrong way to express yourself on social media, but we all know there always attractive things and boring things in the eyes of social media audience. Similarly, keep your audience in mind as you introduce yourself.

Don’t waste your space and words just to portray really obvious and general things about social media. Don’t be too unnecessarily lengthy. Keep it simple and to the points in accordance to your audiences’ attention span.

Do be genuine and sincere, which will help your audience connect with you.



The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy

In the past semester, we learnt how to devise and craft social media strategies for firms by looking at both internal factors such as the firm’s manpower, networks and advertising competency, and external factors such as consumer purchase behaviours and crisis management, with a focus on the firm’s employees and their actions.

However, a commentary titled “The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy” offered a different perspective on social media strategy by focusing on the CEO and how their social media presence affects their firms. Neal (2017) stated that CEOs who were active on social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter are better at cultivating networks, make better decisions and are in general, more influential and “in the future, social media savvy may no longer be something that’s “nice-to-have” for prospective CEOs. Instead, it could be a powerful selection criterion that helps companies to identify CEOs who are well-prepared to lead” (Neal, 2017). That being said, we must also consider social media in the Asian content in determining whether such a move is viable for CEOs in Asia as users in Korea and China are more inclined to the role of producers and sharers while users in Japan and Singapore value anonymity and tend to be commenters and watchers.

In addition, Neal (2017) raised an example on how Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky crowdsourced for suggestions on Twitter on Christmas Day in 2016 and this is in line with a few of the concepts we discussed in class. The first being the Magnet strategy where the firm establishes a two-way communication by involving the customers and making them a part of the business and the second being the IMC strategy where this is similar to the Blendtec case study in the sense that the audience is also able to talk back and the CEO is used as a mechanism to build relationships.

All in all, it was not only interesting to see the importance of social media in a firm’s performance and how the impact starts from within, but also nice to be able to apply the frameworks learnt in class to analyse such issues.

Neal, S. (2017, April 13). Op-Ed: The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from

Australia Stakeholder Management Specialist, Penny Townley visit to COMM346

“Social media is a valuable tool not only to identify issues and key stakeholders on a project but also to enhance public participation thereby create positive and solid relationship with them”, said Penny Townley of Penny Townley’s Environment Services.

Ms Townley, COMM346’s honored Guest Speaker (29-30 Sept 2016), flew from Brisbane, Australia to lecture on “Australian infrastructure and social media.”

Throughout her extremely valuable lecture, Ms. Townley shared her more than three decades of experience in the field as an executive leader in communication.  Amongst other aspects she outlined major frameworks for stakeholder engagement models applicable to various projects including the International Association for Public Participation Spectrum. She explained and discussed how social media development has facilitated two-way engagement with key stakeholders. And – along with key guiding principles and frameworks – she elaborated on the role of social media in not only engaging the public, but also reflecting their voice, in the many infrastructure projects occurring such as Australia’s Sydney Metro, Northwest Rail Link and Barangaroo.

Ms Townley focuses on the key value of social media, especially in building understanding about the value of the project, as a listening post and educative communication tool, and in tackling the severity of crisis via social media trending during the disaster.

Of high interest during her extended lecture, Ms. Townley enlightened COMM346 about how digital media tools have contributed to online public or civic engagement needs. An example was the online consultation solution EngagementHQ, dedicated to helping government and private sector organizations to provide meaningful voice to their citizens. In 2015 alone, Bang the Table’s software EngagementHQ was used in 2000+ online citizen participation projects in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. (

Ms Townley also introduced AtHoc, a secure enterprise platform for crisis communication within and across organizations for personnel safety and business resilience. (


Ms. Townley’s work spans infrastructure, environment, planning, education, health, social and professional services, etc. She contributes to the industry’s professional standards and is one of six authors of Valuing Better Engagement, the Consult Australia guide to tendering for engagement services (published December 2013). COMM346 appreciates Penny Townley’s wonderful and generous guest lecture, and with it her sparkling enthusiasm for, and warmth towards young future professionals in academics!

PETA Opened a High-end Leather Store but…


I came across an article through social media and felt the need to share it for a good cause. It’s pretty impressive for PETA to come up with such genuine and viral content that is definitely relatable to their crucial stakeholders. The video produced had about 1.4 million views in the last 2 weeks. Do take a look if you have not done so.


Majestic Social media

Hello Class!

How amazing is social media that even the Queen, at 90 years of age recognises the vast impact it has been able to achieve! To give more detail, she recently approved a relaunch of the royal website and has set up a YouTube and Twitter account to better engage the community and allow them to get a deeper understanding of her role and the British monarchy as a whole. The main purpose of the Royal Family’s Twitter account is to allow members of the general public to personally communicate with the family. Interestingly, the announcement of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was first done through their Twitter account: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton – Clarence House, November 2010”. Truly how times have changed. This shows how social media usage should not be limited to individuals, corporations and companies, but it also relevant for governments and ruling families. In fact, this example shows us the pervasiveness of social media and that many companies are still failing to engage their customers and the general public when they dismiss the importance of having a presence online or when they fail to use these platforms effectively. What a shame. Time to up their game.


Whatsapp is now end-to-end encrypted

“Whatsapp’s roll out of the Signal Protocol, providing end to end encryption for its one billion users worldwide, is a major boost for people’s ability to express themselves and communicate without fear,” according to the Facebook-owned company in a statement.

This strategic roll-out is well-timed, in midst of increasing security concerns following FBI’s high profile attempt to force Apple to unlock an encryted iPhone belonging to terrorist shooter Syed Farouk. A 2015 survey done by Gemalto, an online security company, found that consumers have low confidence in corporate data security. Over twice of the 5,750 respondents worldwide also believed that the responsibility of protecting consumer data lies with the company (69%), instead of the customer (31%). By addressing this data protection gap, Whatsapp has one-upped other free messaging app alternatives.


Viral marketing: Hamburger Helper’s Rap-Mixtape

Hamburger Helper, a line of General Mills packaged food comprising mainly of boxed pasta bundled with packets of powdered seasonings, has recently released a viral mixtape on April Fool’s Day. The tape was listened to over 270,000 times on SoundCloud and propelled Hamburger Helper to be a trending topic on Twitter.

The five-song album was targeted at millennials and featured lyrics such as “if you catch me at the stove, I was whippin’ up a bowl” and “hold up I told you I’m servin’ that stroganoff.” The success of this stunt showed that authenticity is a key success factor of viral campaigns and trying too hard could backfire, as demonstrated by Google with its “Mic Drop” feature.

Listen to Watch The Stove here.

Health Freak? Maybe Social Media ain’t for You

Hello Everyone,

Hope the semester has been great so far. With exams round the corner, it is not uncommon for sleep to become a rarer commodity than Vibranium (Marvel fans will get it). So I thought I’d share an interesting article I recently came across that studies the side effects Social Media has with respect to our sleep cycles.

Possible Health Effects from Using Facebook?

facebook at night

This is something I think applies to us, as students, universally. What’s the first thing you do when you get up…? If you’re answer is not ‘Check my phone’ then you’re either lying or its just become such a reflex action that it no longer registers as an event even (Kudos if you really do do 20 push-ups or half hour of yoga).

The article highlights a study conducted on young adults and discusses the possibility of a direct correlation between the psychological aspects of Social Media and our sleep. Or…could it be another factor that is not being considered, such as mobile devices inherently?

Would love to hear what y’all think! Have a great study week and all the best for exams! Remember to sleep well!


2 Workers dead, does SMRT care?

Recently, 2 workers died in an incident whilst at work on SMRT train tracks. While much discussion has been made regarding SMRT’s current safety measures, I am appalled by what I see in the following screenshot:

IMG_2016-03-23 18:00:31

It can be noted that this response on social media (Facebook) is considered within the realm of crisis communication, and what our minister has done is basically the technique of diminishing the severity of the incident, by diverting attention to good news, before offering his condolences. This, inevitably, led to responses such as this:

IMG_2016-03-23 18:00:36

In retrospect, it can be seen that leaders of many corporations (e.g. Shell) attempt to downplay the severity of an incident, but it always backfires. A more sincere, and possibly effective method would be to take up full responsibility instead. Although it may result in immediate losses (of reputation), but this is minimised, and the organisation will be also commended for taking up full responsibility and providing compensation.


What are your thoughts?