Image by iXimus from Pixabay

In the midst of the novel coronavirus (covid-19) continuous spread worldwide, Singapore has been praised for her “gold standard” containment efforts. While experts felt that our virus-fighting playbook cannot be replicated (Source:, there is one crucial area that can be studied with valuable lessons to be distilled: Risk or Crisis Communication.

Crisis comms plans cannot be validated unless there is a crisis. “Black swan” events make it all the more impossible to do so. …

After missing the mark last year, Apple iPhone is back with a brilliant video that evoked emotions appropriately and optimally for this year’s Chinese New Year (CNY).

Having decided to make this into a yearly review of CNY videos, I suppose I have to lay down some “guidelines” on how I judge:

  1. Videos will not be judged on production techniques (not my area of expertise).
  2. While high budget productions can have more bells and whistles, I try my best not to allow them to affect my judgement.
  3. Videos will be assessed based primarily on storytelling and brand (or product) integration…

One realisation in these “VUCA” times is that no one individual has all the answers. “Teams” become the way to go. Besides, high speed connectivity means that we can form teams across the globe, or at least use a lot of “team apps” to facilitate working together.

With this emphasis on “teams”, corporates know the value of “team building”. Yet, there will always be hesitation whenever, a team building exercise, retreat or kick-off whachacallit is mooted. Why? Because event organisers have not evolved with their team building activities.

Team tug-of-war for team building?

Divide the attendees into mixed groups from different divisions and levels. Throw…

Everyone wants to be the hero in a story.

When we watch a movie, we often project ourselves into the role of the protagonist. We wish to have the same suit as Tony Stark so that we can be Iron Man as well. We wish to be able to win the hearts of that beautiful girl or that handsome guy and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, so do many brands out there.

When a brand takes on the role of the hero or protagonist in a brand story, it becomes a “self-centred” bragging spot. If the brand is the hero…

One of the key issues faced by brands in content marketing is brand narrative consistency. Challenges include having different agencies create content but on “campaign” basis and having staff turnovers that result in new but different ideas for the brand.

Typically, the boss (either the head of marketing or even the CEO) can provide the direction to ensure everything is on brand. But heads of marketing and CEOs can change. And even when they don’t, their decisions may shift ever so slightly occasionally that will steer the brand off course over a longer period of time. …

Is 4/5/6 P’s of marketing still a thing?

With digital disrupting marketing, inbound marketing/digital marketing has put the focus on customer journey and its various stages. Seems like P’s have gotten a little out of fashion… or have they?

When I first studied Marketing in the late 80’s/early 90's, there were only 4Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, Place). Yet, on entering the workforce, I realised that Marketing was more synonymous with advertising and promotions. “Marketing” jobs dealt with coming up with campaigns that helped move inventory. And to do so, the easiest level to pull is Advertising and Promotions. Promotions may…

Humans are complicated… so are Brands

Whenever we touch on branding, we will come across various “components” or “elements” of a brand. Not only can they be confusing, they are also somewhat inconsistent in the industry with each agency creating their own “proprietary” insights (are there 5, 7 or 10 elements?).

As branding evolves as a discipline, we have embraced the concept that a brand is just like a person. A person would have values, character and personality. It is therefore natural to extend the same thinking to brands. With brand stories become more and more important, it is imperative that the brand be seen as…

2018 has been great for Liverpool football fans around the world with our team unbeaten so far and sitting snugly at the top of the English Premier League. :)

Of all the intense rivalry, that against Manchester United is unparalleled. Having bragging rights as well as secretly (or some openly) happy to see Man U struggling (after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson) is a feeling to be savoured for the loyal ‘Pool fans.

A striking contrast between the two teams has been the different managers: Jurgen Klopp for Liverpool and (ex-manager) Jose Mourinho for Man U. Klopp is always…

Will you take my flyer? (Picture source:

We can learn the concept of Inbound Marketing using the analogy of flyer distribution.

I am not advocating plastic surgery.

Nor am I suggesting that we wear “masks” in our lives (although truth be told, all of us do at some point).

I was looking at how plastic is recycled and found that plastic is indestructible and is usually broken into tiny pieces. That got me thinking about the difference between “indestructible” and “unbreakable”.

In life, there will be times we fail. Many motivational messages say “do not give up”. But there are many factors and reasons why we fail. Sometimes, we are not good enough. In that case, we try harder and get…

Ryo Leong

Content Strategist, Content Play — Helping to craft your stories to date and chart your stories to come.

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