Sunday, January 01, 2017

My return to column writing!

Today marks my return to writing a weekly column and feature series, this time for NST. I began my column writing career writing for The Bangkok Post nearly two decades ago. As for feature writing, my first attempt at that was for The Nikkei Weekly. Later, I would move to local media and at different times, I wrote columns for The Sun, The Edge and even The Star (briefly). Now, I'm writing for New Sunday Times, so you could say I've done the rounds!

Each Sunday, I'll be writing an opinion column entitled "Future Proof". The theme centres around innovation and changing with the times. My first one, out today, is about the need to change business models -- this applies to companies as well as individuals. The feature profile is about Teoh Mei Ying, a social media consultant.

It's good to be back and writing again. Just as it's important to exercise your muscles in order to prevent atrophy, you also have to exercise your brains to keep it from going rusty. For the past five years or so, I've been very busy editing other people's work. It's something I still do but it's about time I start writing myself.

The stories are not online so you'll have to buy a copy of the paper if you want to read it. But I promise you it'll be worth it!

Monday, November 14, 2016

The 80/20 rule for digital marketing

Here's a key takeaway from Molly Reynold's tips on digital marketing:

The 80/20 Rule
The Pareto Principle says that 80% of results come from 20% of causes. So, 80% of customers won’t engage with your brand’s digital marketing efforts. Only 20% take the time to look at it. Of those, only about 5% or so will actually make a purchase or respond to your call-to-action. So, seek to understand which customers and strategies make up your 20% and build your marketing engine around them.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The difference between a "job" and "work"

In today's economy, jobs are getting scarcer, especially in certain lines of work. Journalism is a good example. As newspapers and magazines downsize -- or even close down, in some cases -- there will inevitably be a shrinkage in the number of journalism positions available. That doesn't, however, mean that there is a decrease in demand for journalistic work. Nowadays even corporations want to engage journalists to do content marketing work.

So, there is a big difference between a "job" and "work". Diane Mulcahey articulates this superbly in this Harvard Business Review article. Here are the salient points in her essay:
When the students in the MBA course I teach on the gig economy ask me for the best thing they can do to prepare for their future careers, I tell them: “Stop looking for a job.”

The best preparation I can offer students is to help them cultivate the mindset, skills, and toolkit to succeed in this new world of independent work.

The advice I give my students is to look for plentiful work, not increasingly scarce jobs.

The best strategy my students can follow is to prepare themselves to be independent workers, not full-time employees.

My students have a better chance of creating an engaging and satisfying work life if they focus on getting great work instead of a good job.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Why content marketing needs journalists

This is why Brian Corrigan, content director at Spectrum Group Read, says journalists are critical to content marketing:

A trained journalist approaches every piece of content they produce with an audience-focused mindset—what’s in it for the reader, listener or viewer? They’ll ask the awkward ‘so what?’ questions when other members of the team drift into product messaging. People are at the heart of every good story, and a journalist will pounce on opportunities to bring them into your content. When you only have half an hour to extract maximum information from a client or a senior executive, they’ll skip the corporate fluff and quickly get to the questions that matter. They’re also skilled at keeping a story alive by coming up with relevant new angles.

Friday, October 14, 2016

To taxi companies: Stop whining and start innovating!

Land Public Transport Commission's CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah has some good advice for taxi companies who are complaining about competition from Uber:

“Change is never easy. This is a global issue. Every taxi company in the world is not happy about it. New York’s taxis are considered the best, but they are feeling the heat too since Uber’s debut. My advice to them is stop complaining, evolve and change your business model. The world is changing and you have to find ways to attract your drivers to stay on and continue to be part of the system."
He goes on to say:

“No one is stopping you from being creative and innovative... You are running a business, so stop complaining and start innovating."