Public Relations in Southeast Asian Market

PR agencies in Singapore, which is currently the hub of PR and advertising in Southeast Asia, are headed towards a digital future. According to comScore, the industry leader in the digital world, trends in public relations relate to web usage, digital advertising, social media and search (engine) marketing. Other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are also experiencing these trends.

Over 600 million internet users reside in Southeast Asia which make the internet the perfect platform for promoting and marketing products and services. A portion of these users are also on Facebook, which still places it as the number one social networking site. Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn are right behind Facebook in the social networking ranks. Based on Nielsen Online’s study, 73% of consumers online are influenced in some way by social media ads. PR agencies are aware of the power of online advertisements over markets which gave way to more Social Media managers or Community managers. Another finding in the study points out Southeast Asian consumers to follow a brand or company which means companies have higher chances of a loyal following and brand exposure in this region.

In terms of purchasing power, the Mobile Internet Consumer report found out that mobile internet users are economically stronger and live an affluent lifestyle compared to non-users.  This is the target market PR firms want to access and market to.

Southeast Asia is going through big changes when it comes to how consumers view and interact with different media channels. This is mainly due to rapid technological advancements. Marketing strategies are shifting from traditional advertising to digital as more and more consumers are becoming inclined to multi-platform device usage (Desktop, iPhone, iPad, Android). It’s the digital age and it’s easier now for people to get and stay online. Being online has become a daily routine, especially in Singapore where the average internet user spends 25 hours a week.

The challenge now for Southeast Asian PR agencies are to improve their skills and knowledge on ecommerce, search engine optimization and content marketing. PR agents need to become digital marketers, too. Although social media platforms offer plenty of opportunities for brands to engage with and affect consumers, PR agencies also need to learn more about the other aspects of digital marketing. They need to be familiar with mobile commerce marketing and apps, search engine marketing optimization and data analytics, customer experience management, and many more.