This Week in Asia: Mobile News Not Involving WhatsApp or Facebook Reply

On this side of the globe, Rakuten’s purchase of Viber for $900 million is an interesting story for several reasons.  You can hear why, and how the purchase fits into broader regional trends, by listening here.


As always, subscribe to For Immediate Release (FIR) and check out all the exciting new podcasts available in the FIR Network.

Two Nice Reads for a Monday: Asia Content Consumption & Intel’s Branding in China Reply

New: report on Internet consumption in Asia and an “Intel Inside” branding campaign out of China.  Both are interesting and worth a look if you have a few free minutes in your day.

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How India’s Aam Aadmi Party Leveraged Networks & Crowds for Electoral Success Reply

aam admi partyI stumbled upon a fascinating post from a professor of strategy, Phanish Puranam, describing how India’s Aam Aadmi Party achieved a stunning electoral success in Delhi by turning to networks and the power of crowds.  I must admit I completely missed this story as it developed during one of my busiest times of the year.  But you can read all about it in Beating the Incumbents with a Fraction of Their Budget.

This story illustrates several important ideas.

Key points:

  • Aam Aadmi appears to have had 1/6th the budget but still won the election
  • Their activities are purpose-driven (i.e., anti-corruption) as discussed by Dan Pink
  • Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, served as tools for organizing volunteers
  • The party gave people many ways to get involved–from homemade banners, to rickshaws as mobile billboards, and volunteer telephone call campaigns.

The localization of these efforts is fascinating–the rickshaws and such–especially because of one simple point that seems to have been overlooked in all the media coverage (at least what I read).  This success story is a textbook replica of the means that the Obama campaign used to win the democratic nomination in 2008.  I have been teaching the Obama-Clinton YouTube case for years as an example of how networks function and crowds can be mobilized.

I have also spoken with colleagues from India and I am equally intrigued that the Aam Aadmi Party is now being criticized for not delivering upon its promises quickly enough. In one news article, they are described as being out of their depth.   While the timeframe differs (i.e., much more rapid in India), the same phenomenon was seen in the US after Obama was elected.  The high tide of commitment and emotion that drove voters to the polls now appears to be a source of criticism.

Is there a risk to to the crowdsourced approach?  Do the techniques that activate a network also lead to create discontent when overwhelming success is not immediately replicated (in a completely different content, I might add)?  What must crowdsourcing protagonists know about their techniques and the risks involved?

In plain English, the skill set that got us elected is not the same skill set that allows us to govern successfully.

We now have a fantastic example from India and this one definitely will be discussed in Friday’s class.

Two Great Reads for Wednesday: History, Leadership & Corporate Culture Reply

Brain food for your Wednesday morning–numerous articles have appeared these last few weeks linking current events in Asia to the lead-up to World War 1.  Gideon Rachman in the FT delivers one of the more coherent statements of the past-present connection in his article Time to Think More About Sarajevo, Less About Munich.

Similarly, a lot has been said about Zappos and the decision to eliminate classic hierarchy.  Andrew Hill draws out some great concerns regarding the company’s decision, linking the decision to suppliers, customers and employees.  Clear and sober considerations regarding the decision and its potential consequences.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

This Week In Asia: Corporate Responsibility Reporting Increases Measurably in APAC Reply


This week in Asia, KPMG releases new data indicating a measurable rise in corporate responsibility reporting across Asia Pacific.  You can hear about the findings and future opportunities for improvement just by clicking the “play” button above.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!

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Two Thought Provoking Campaigns About Language and Stereotypes Reply


This Week in Asia I share two interesting campaigns.  The first is produced by Edelman and looks at language in different Asian countries (called Words of a Generation).  The second was created in Philippines for Pantene and is a powerful comparison of workplace stereotypes differing between men and women.  Do take a listen and as always subscribe to For Immediate Release if you enjoy the content.

This Week in Asia: China to Maintain Tight Grip on the Internet Reply


This week in Asia, I share a report from China Media Project examining China’s media policies.  Let’s just say that reform does not appear on the horizon.  As always, I encourage you to subscribe to the best communications and PR podcast, For Immediate Release, over at at iTunes.

Do Suicides and Sudden Deaths Among PR Pros Signal an Overwork Problem? Reply


This week on For Immediate Release #712 I discuss the tragic death of Tata Steel’s communication officer and link this with other reports of death and unhappiness in Asia’s PR industry.  

Are we creating a work environment that simply is not sustainable if we want to attract and keep the best talent?

A Good Reputation Can Help Increase Profits, Yet Expose You to Regulators Reply


This week in Asia, I discuss the reputational angle to news out of China that antitrust investigations have been announced against Tetra Pak, and also impacting infant milk formula brands.  I also discuss why Singtel’s Hawker Challenge is a great example of localization in marketing.

Get all the communication news and the full podcast at For Immediate Release.