Blending PR and Digital ...


Our campaigns increasingly pay homage to search and online presence.

Regardless of the organization, the target audience at some point conducts due diligence online.

Which means bringing digital skills to the table in building a client’s online profile.

I recently shared a case study from our China team in which WeChat anchored a campaign. And our digital work for the City of Fremont won a Sabre Award from the Holmes Report last week.

This latest example of blending digital and PR comes from our Singapore team with Samson Lam providing the narration.

By Samson Lam

Hoffman Singapore

If you have been following this blog, one thing is evidently clear – PR can no longer be thought of as a stand-alone entity. The PR practices of today are increasingly a reflection of the multi-faceted age we live in – one of social media pervasiveness and visual storytelling.

Our Singapore team is no stranger to this.

A good example is a recent campaign on behalf of Expedia. The brief was to raise awareness of Expedia through a research-driven campaign about travel habits across Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. However, being a digital-savvy bunch, we were not content with simply meeting the expectations of the brief – we aimed to exceed them.

A what-a-rac-phic?

The team decided on an interactive infographic (or what we coined as an “Interac-phic”) to gain mindshare through social media platforms. Seeing how SG travellers are increasingly travel-savvy, we sensed an opportunity to allow users to explore the app and discover these travel trends for themselves.

Expedia loved our idea and energy. Furthermore, after witnessing our creative sensibilities, they gave us the freedom to play pilot in the Expedia cockpit and deliver beyond what was initially expected.

After expanding the concept, Expedia saw what could be achieved and were behind us all the way. We got cracking on the project with a programming resource, and the “The Anatomy of the Digital Traveller” campaign was launched in December 2013.

Hoffman Expedia campaign

Exploring the Ride

Like an infographic, an interact-phic appeals to users with visual storytelling, but it does more by enticing users to explore, engage and share.

For example, clicking on the laptop shows how often travellers use their mobile devices while on a holiday. Who knew that only 4 percent of travellers in Singapore are keen on in-flight Wi-Fi?

Visitors can take a short quiz to find out how their travel habits stack up against their friends and even strangers through Facebook. For more user personalisation, they can compare them against others within their own country.

All the interactions generated more traction for the campaign.

Closing Comments

Needless to say, the media were more receptive to this type of story which offered an element of discovery. The app and our PR outreach (interviews with national broadcasters and dailies) collectively was seen by over 3 million viewers in just Singapore alone.

Singapore media coverage of the Expedia campaign

And the interactive infographic has evolved into an evergreen digital asset.

Of course, this type of creativity requires a client who buys into the vision. Expedia saw the possibilities, putting in motion the collaborative effort.

Note: For more on the blending of digital and PR, check out “WeChat Campaign Offers Glimpse into the Future of Communications.”

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