10 Key Takeaways from the Singapore Press Club – Institute of Public Relations Singapore Webinar held on 16 July 2020

Singapore Press Club - Institute of Public Relations of Singapore Webinar

10 Key Takeaways

from the 16 July 2020 webinar

It was an interesting online panel discussion centred on the uproar in June over social media managers/PR specialists, creatives and business professionals being listed as "non-essential" jobs when in fact, these roles are more relevant than ever to corporates and the community. Panelists discussed the recent story against the backdrop of media/marcomms-related challenges faced during this pandemic and ways to tackle them.

More than 200 have registered to attend. To those who have attended or missed this session, here are the key takeaways summarised by the Panelists:

1.  To me, this was a made-for-print story with 3 articles spread out over 2 facing print/pdf pages (pages 4 and 5). At a glance, the reader is able to scan the headlines and determine the overall angle and intent of the story. However, when it was presented online or in the news app, the 3 articles were, as they would ordinarily, posted as 3 individual articles. While they each carried links to the other 2 related articles, the reader may only choose to read 1 article, to the exclusion of others. The non-essential list in question appeared in 1 article. First, one would question why there was the need to even present this list, which was not relevant to the story.

2.  When this list was clipped by readers and passed around on social media and WhatsApp, often devoid of context, it took on a whole new unfortunate life and interpretation of its own. This is something journalists and editors should bear in mind when working on stories. It’s no longer enough to ask, “Who is my audience?” but also “How will my story appear and on what platform?

Ms Lau Joon-Nie
Vice President, Singapore Press Club  & 
Director, Asia, World Association of News Publishers

3. PR is about creating buzz and, on social media, the use of clickbait is a proven tactic to draw readership. The challenge of this tactic is the ability to control the conversation to achieve the desired message.

4. In a crisis, the PR professional’s role is critical as credibility is a prerequisite for effective communications. 

Mr. Justin Fong
Honorary Treasurer, IPRS
& Director, Corporate Communications at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

5. Traditional mainstream media should keep at the back of the mind the rise of social media and how it is now recognised as a source of news. In social media, the rules of engagement are different because social media creators will just cut and paste the key parts without explaining or even understanding the context behind a graphics, headline or sentence. We saw it with this “non-essential” story and with the “Grab drivers cannot use the lift” story. https://mothership.sg/2020/05/rv-point-grabfood-cannot-use-lift/ Millennials live on memes, and we must adapt to this new form of media.

6. Media stick to the principles of neutral reporting and have clear separation between advertorials and editorials. With the business of media affected by the rise of social media and digital marketing, it is often tempting to compromise neutrality for extra dollars. This is understandable because of the real business challenges that the media is facing, but if it starts to compromise too much, it will lose its raison d’etre and its real strength. Because when money decides how and when a story runs, then the media will lose the reason for its existence and become obsolete. The aim must still be to reach out to readers but at the same time, media have to be more innovative in looking at ways to bring in revenue that makes sense for the modern marketer.

7. From what I have seen over the last 20 years, 15 as a journalist and 5 as a PR professional, there are too few CEOS who empower their Head of Comms to be able to make statements on behalf of the company without needing to get approval for every statement. One exception was the late Neil Montefiore, ex CEO of M1, who empowered his then head of comms Chua Swee Kiat, and it was always a pleasure working with them because as journalists, we would get fast and good quotes without going through a lot of red tape. This builds the reputation of the company and its trust among the media, which is really what the point should be about external comms. Too many companies are worried about “protecting their CEO” without realising that a “don’t rock the boat” attitude actually does nothing to build the reputation of the company in the eyes of the media.

Mr. Oo Gin Lee
Managing Director GLOO PR Pte Ltd
(former veteran tech journalist for 15 years)

8. Every research study, including surveys, should be understood and examined in the context of four key aspects: sampling, questionnaire design, analysis and visualisations. There is a difference between probability and non-probability sampling, and this survey involved a sample of respondents from Milieu’s existing panel and managed its representation of the general population based on the age and gender quotas. There are limitations in such a sampling approach compared to probability sampling where respondents are randomly selected from a population sampling frame, usually acquired from the Department of Statistics.

9. The other important points to note are how questions are designed – specifically, the underlying assumptions and hypotheses informing the questions. This is related to the earlier point about sampling – if lay citizens are surveyed, how do we expect them to respond to questions about jobs? What do they understand about ‘essential jobs’? Do we expect them to understand and see jobs that are less visible during a pandemic? What jobs should be displayed to respondents and how do we go about selecting this list? Clarity about these assumptions and hypotheses should inform how questions are designed.

10. Finally, the analysis should match the way results were presented visually – if respondents were not asked to rank jobs, much caution has to be taken with ranking them.

Dr. Natalie Pang
Senior Lecturer & Principal Investigator
NUS Department of Communications and New Media, NUS Centre for Trusted Internet and Community

We look forward to you joining us in our next webinar/event.

StoryFest Online 2020 (17 to 27 July)

Storytelling is an art that has captivated audiences through the ages. Now you and your family can enjoy StoryFest Online 2020  right from home!
This year’s festival takes place from 17–27 July with the theme: The Heart of Story. Different facets of storytelling will be presented by familiar faces from the local spoken word scene as well as emerging talents.  

Gain helpful tips from sessions like ‘How to Tell Personal Stories for a Story Slam’.
As the teaser goes:
‘There’s always someone at a dinner party with a captivating story to tell and an audience’.

The young—and young at heart—can step into the world of puppetry whose inhabitants include string puppets, marionettes and ventriloquist puppets!
Presented by The Storytelling Centre Ltd and The Arts House, this digital edition of StoryFest celebrates the timelessness of the oral tradition amidst a pandemic. Check out the programme @ https://storyfestsg.com/2020

Have an enriching and fun-filled festival!

#SingaporeBlockchainWeek2020 (21 – 23 July 2020) – Free virtual summit tickets for Singapore Press Club members

Free Virtual Summit Tickets for Singapore Press Club members

Members are invited to attend the Singapore Blockchain Week Virtual Summit.

It will provide insights into the latest development involving the use of blockchain in the various industries including finance and government. The finance and fintech industries are some of the shining lights in the Singapore economy, which have been badly hit by trade and travel due to Covid- 19.  
The Virtual Summit is part of the Singapore Blockchain Week which takes place from 21-23 July 2020.  The event focuses on a rapidly developing phenomena of blockchain based finance, where using the technology, leading enterprises and government organizations are coming together to strengthen the backbone of global trade. Link: www.blockchainweek.com.sg 
Speakers include Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Hester M. Peirce, Commissioner, US Securities and Exchange Commission, among others. 

An email with the exclusive registration link to attend for free has been sent to members. If you did not receive the EDM, you can email secretariat@pressclub.org.sg

Essential vs non-essential

Singapore Press Club - Institute of Public Relations of Singapore Webinar

Essential vs non-essential:

the value of media, PR and marketing professionals during this pandemic

Singapore Press Club and Institute of Public Relations of Singapore are delighted to invite you to our upcoming webinar event being held on Thursday, 16th July 2020 11am to 12 noon

This online panel discussion will dissect the uproar last month over social media managers/PR specialists, creatives and business professionals being listed as “non-essential” jobs when in fact, these roles are more relevant than ever to corporates and the community. Panelists will discuss the recent story against the backdrop of media/marcomms-related challenges faced during this pandemic and ways to tackle them.

Event details

Date: 16th July 2020 (Thursday)

Time: 11am to 12noon


  • Moderator: Ms Lau Joon-Nie, Vice President, Singapore Press Club  & Director, Asia, World Association of News Publishers
  • Mr. Justin Fong, Honorary Treasurer, IPRS & Director, Corporate Communications at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
  • Mr. Oo Gin Lee, Managing Director GLOO PR Pte Ltd (former veteran tech journalist for 15 years)
  • Dr. Natalie Pang, Senior Lecturer & Principal Investigator, NUS Department of Communications and New Media, NUS Centre for Trusted Internet and Community

This event is FREE and is by invitation only, however registration is essential to secure your place.

Please click to register.
Any issues with registration please email secretariat@pressclub.org.sg

WAN IFRA Asian Media Leaders E-Summit 2020

(20 – 23 July 2020) Special Tickets Offer  

Find out how news media organisations plan to reboot and recover post-Covid. Join the Asian Media Leaders eSummit, July 20-23 on Zoom.
Hear from industry CEOs and top editors from SPH, South China Morning Post, Stuff New Zealand, Vice APAC and thought leaders such as Dr. Mario Garcia (who has redesigned over 700 newspapers and now defining mobile content design) and Newsonomics author, Ken Doctor. 

FREE for WAN-IFRA members (i.e. staff of SPH, Mediacorp, SCMP, Apple Daily, Kyodo News, Star Media Group, The Edge Malaysia, Sin Chew, China Press, Bernama, Bangkok Post, Kompas, Jakarta Post, Jawa Pos, JoongAng Daily, Maeil Business, Süddeutsche Zeitung and more).

Singapore Press Club members who are not from SPH or MediaCorp (or other WAN-IFRA members), can enjoy 70% off the ticket price and pay S$200 per ticket for the 4-day event with a member promo code. This special price is valid till July 5 only. Check out our member circular dated 29 June 2020 for the member promo code. 

Check out the eAMLS programme and to Register from this link: http://events.wan-ifra.org/events/asian-media-leaders-summit-2020

Current state & future of journalism

Watch this video: SPC – Telum Media hour-long webinar on “Current state & future of journalism” attended by close to 1300 media and communications professionals.

“Print is undead,” said Singapore Press Club management committee member and Straits Times multimedia correspondent, Yeo Sam Jo. It was the most memorable quote to emerge from this very lively online panel discussion he had with Singapore Press Club VP Lau Joon-Nie and Bloomberg Managing Editor, Southeast Asia, Stephanie Phang. Hear their views on how the industry is changing, the future of distributed newsrooms, boot leather journalism and the need for diverse voices in this hour-long online event jointly organised with Telum Media!

Telum Media Webinar: Current state and future of journalism 24th June 12:30pm GMT+8

Singapore Press Club and Telum Media are delighted to invite you to our upcoming webinar event: “Current state and future of journalism” being held on 24th June 12:30pm GMT+8.

Event details
Date: 24th June 2020 (Wed)
Time: 12:30pm GMT+8

  • Stephanie Phang, Managing Editor, Southeast Asia, Bloomberg
  • Joon-Nie Lau, Director, Asia, World Association of News Publishers / Vice President, Singapore Press Club
  • Yeo Sam Jo, Multimedia Correspondent, The Straits Times / Management Committee Member, Singapore Press Club

For more information and to register, click here

This event is FREE and is by invitation only, however registration is essential to secure your place.

Please click to register.
Any issues with registration please email events@telummedia.com.

Knowledge Webinar: Freelance Work – what are the intellectual property implications?

This short interactive webinar hosted by Singapore Press Club and presented by Dr. Stanley Lai, Senior Counsel and Partner at Allen & Gledhill, will discuss IP (intellectual property) issues that can arise in the course of offering and engaging freelance work, over a range of different activities (e.g. writing, copy-editing, voice overs, drawings, graphics, etc.).   Participants can look forward to a discussion of the following topics:
  1. Basic principles of copyright law that apply to freelance work
  2. To what extent can you reproduce, communicate and publish content that derives from third parties or social media.
  3. Contracts. – what are the common pitfalls for freelance workers.
Click this link for more details of the topics and speaker of this Webinar that was held on Tuesday, 16 June 2020 at 4.30pm. Click this link to watch the webinar video. Click this link to the presentation deck 
For more information about Singapore Press Club’s Freelancer Network, you can check out this link

SPC Digital Training Series: Free suite of online courses by top external provider (Every Friday) on Data, Marketing, Business, Coding, Career Development, UX Design.

Looking around for good courses that could be offered free or discounted for members to explore and learn, we came across General Assembly. This organisation is offering Free Fridays. Every week through June, join peers from around the world to experience their most popular workshops (ranging from $60 to $200 USD in value) — for free.* From coding, to data and marketing, to UX design and career development, explore the tech skills that will keep you in demand and in the know.

Click this link to find out more of the courses, dates and timing and to sign up:-


Here’s what’s coming up. 




Career Development


UX Design

*Note: The above programmes are stated as Free. Any Friday workshops that are listed with a price on generalassemb.ly are not included in the Free Fridays promotion.

Enjoy your learning journeys on Fridays! 

Knowledge Webinar: The Power of Robotics to Benefit Mankind – During and After Covid19

With COVID-19 ravaging countries around the world, robots have taken a prominent role in the fight against the virus. This was not the case years ago when the robot industry was in its infancy. 

Join our SPC Knowledge Webinar, brought to you by SoftBank Robotics Singapore and their partners, as they discuss the role of robots in a world facing a pandemic. 

Date: 11 Jun 2020, Thursday 

Time: 11am to 12pm 

Format: Presentation, Panel Discussion and Q&A

Sign up through this ClickMeeting link: https://waniframfp.clickmeeting.com/spc-knowledge-webinar-the-power-of-robotics-to-benefit-mankind-during-after-covid19/register

More details at SPC Knowledge Webinar_SBR_11June2020-2