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Nina Chua

Published on

October 10, 2016


International PR

Before asking yourself how to be successful doing in PR in Singapore, it is more important to find out the ever-changing answer to – What does PR mean in Singapore?

Public relations in Singapore has progressed far beyond pure traditional media relations. Be it large MNCs, local start-ups, or anything in between, companies based in Singapore recognise that media relations need to be part of a larger media mix of social and digital communications.

The media family tree

Singapore’s media landscape is split into the international big boys, our two local landlords, smaller privately owned outlets, and influencers.

International Heavyweights

Being a regional financial and business hub, Singapore plays host to international newswires like Financial Times, AFP, and the Asia Wall Street Journal. Regional broadcast stations CNBC, BBC, and Bloomberg also have local studios here reporting live on the latest market happenings for the region. But these heavyweights play with friends of the same level – only c-level executives who have business news/announcements that will make an impact on the region have a chance at scoring a seat across the regional anchors.

The two local guardians

The bulk of Singapore’s media outlets sit under the two main media houses – Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and MediaCorp.

Two of Singapore’s largest dailies, The Straits Times and The Business Times, along with majority of the consumer publications like HerWorld, Women’s Weekly, 8 Days, and more, all fall under the SPH umbrella.

Singapore’s only local broadcast channel, Channel NewsAsia, belongs to MediaCorp who also runs the free local paper, TODAY. Much like the dailies, on top of global breaking news, these outlets have a strong focus on government announcements and regional industry trend impact stories.

Recognising the change in the way media is being consumed, outlets like Channel NewsAsia, The Straits Times, The Business Times, TODAY, are increasingly moving breaking news to social platforms. Breaking news is first read on Facebook before it is published on the website. Facebook Live feeds and “Insider-style” short videos are the new news format.

Pro-Tip: Being government affiliated, the dailies/newspapers do “have” to report on local government initiatives. If you’re able to substantially link your story with the initiatives, or better, work with a government agency, the chance of getting in the news is doubled.

Small privately owned media outlets

From local versions of global lifestyle publications, to vertical trade publications, Singapore has a diverse portfolio of media. Looking to promote your latest wedding gown selection, showcase the brand new Nikon 360 camera, share a new Enterprise Resource Planning solution with CIOs or a cool campaign that is worthy of marketing acclaim? There is a media outlet ready to cover your story.

Most of the regional marketing, HR, technology, manufacturing, food and travel trade publications, call Singapore home. There is even a couple of aerospace and aviation titles around. These titles survive on advertising spend, have limited space to feature articles on their print publications and thus tend to be picky with stories. However, if you can put together a non-vendor centric online piece that will help boost their web traffic, they will greatly appreciate it.

Pro-Tip: Vertical media outlets usually run on lean teams, many being one-person outfits, so packaging bite-sized content that is almost “publish-ready” is the way to go. As usual sell-outs are a big no no.


Influencer marketing is huge in Singapore. Singaporeans prefer to hear about the latest products from people they can relate to and whom they trust to do honest reviews. If you have a new product to launch, you’re probably going to get greater mileage from your investment by pushing out the news through an influencer and their massive following on social media channels.

Wanting to differentiate themselves and stand out from the rest, top influencers like to showcase their own spin on products in line with their image. This gives you varied content, which is always a plus!

5 Tips for Creating Great PR in Singapore

With a bit of background into Singapore’s media landscape, we thought we’d share some tips on navigating the media landscape to create great PR in Singapore.

1. Speak in numbers

Have you found that Thailand is the top travel destination for Singaporeans? Cool, great. But who did you survey? How many people participated? How reliable and recent is your statement?

Sounds like an interrogation? That’s a feel of the questions you’ll get from the media and it’s best to be prepared. Surveys, studies and statistics are highly sought after by media outlets to substantiate their stories.

While we’re on the topic of counting, think twice about sharing that whitepaper or report. Singaporean media are time poor and don’t have the time to trawl through pages of data. Turn it into an infographic or listicle instead. Shareable content will go a long way in Singapore.

2. Kill the press release

Journalists in Singapore do not want to be sharing the exact same content as all other media outlets. Everything is written in their own publication style. This is where the press release is not a one-size-fits all and does not get traction with the local media.

Instead, develop short media alerts consisting relevant highlights that would be relevant for respective media outlets. Believe me, they’ll thank you for it.

3. Let others do the talking

With the huge popularity of influencer marketing, there’s a fine balance between forcing an ambassador to drink the kool-aid, and getting them to think it’s cool. Creativity and honest reviews are valued, and word of mouth spreads miles, so don’t fall to the dark-side of being too self-promotional.

Native media content is growing as well with new media publications like The Smart Local, The Travel Intern, City Nomads, and developing “brand content” for global and local brands in palatable forms for their respective target audiences.

4. No news? Create news

It’s not every day that you’ll have a new groundbreaking solution or product to shout out. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own buzz. There are always events/holidays/news stories to latch on to.

“Innovation” isn’t just a buzzword If you are able to come up with something totally innovative and creative like a Night At Abbey Road studios, you’re your own news outlet and the media will come to you.

5. Speak Singlish/APAC

Singapore’s main language of communication is English, but we have improvised certain terms and increased the efficiency of communication. Mastering the language will help you communicate with media, influencers, and your ultimate target audience.

Here’s some terms to get you started:

See how la – I’ll take a look and let you know if I think it’s worth it

This is a little Chapalang – This is a little all over the place and messy

We need our audience to feel as if we are HTHT-ing – We need our audience feel as if we are having a Heart-to-Heart-Talk

The latest menu is so SHIOK! – The latest menu is so delicious/good!
Have something to share with the Singaporean market? Come talk to us and see how la, we’ll make it a SHIOK experience!

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