04Feb 2019


by: Richard Etchison in: Crenshaw Communications PR Fish Bowlpublic relations

In the round-the-clock battle for media attention, reporters, marketers, and PR pros cannot afford to waste words. We’ve all come across executive quotes in press releases or news articles that sound like they were written by a novice PR person, or, worse, a committee. A poor spokesperson quote is a lost opportunity at best. How do you make something as ordinary as quotes from executives a real asset?

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Add to the story

The executive quote is a chance to add information — substance, details, color — to the story, not to repeat information found elsewhere in a press release or article. If a release announces a $30M Series B funding, the executive quote should not be about how “pleased we are with the investment,” even if that is true. Instead, it should describe plans to use the cash infusion, brag about milestones already hit, or articulate specific reasons for why the company merited it.

Use visual language

One thing that will make a quote stand out is visual imagery. If you plant an image in the reader’s mind, they are much more likely to remember it, and a journalist is more likely to use it. In an article where many industry figures are quoted, a visual one is also more likely to be used as the “pull-quote” — a key excerpt pulled from the piece as a highlight. A congressional hearing is a “political strip search.” VC pressure for startups to scale prematurely is like “driving a car that’s leaking gasoline.” A loss of transparency is a “black box.” Using such evocative language also adds dimension and color to an executive’s persona.

Be bold

Strong language works for those corporate leaders who are keen to embrace a higher public profile or be seen as a thought leader — and who can weather the attention that may follow if the comment is controversial. Quotes that convey bold predictions, unexpected opinions, or blunt honesty will often attract attention. When objecting to Indiana’s law to allow businesses to refuse service to gay or transgender people, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff objected with public comments. But he didn’t just say, “We don’t agree with this legislation” or “It doesn’t reflect our values.” He called it “brutal,” “unfair” and “unjust” while pledging to reduce the Sales force presence in the state. The strong words put Benioff at the top of the list of business leaders who opposed the move in the media coverage that resulted.

Banish robo-quotes

Even if an executive isn’t trying to be a Benioff or Bezos, his comments don’t have to be boring or robotic. Press release quotes are often written in stilted, jargon-stuffed, or boilerplate language, the better to earn internal and legal department approval. Yet they’re far more effective and usable if they read as comments that a human being might actually utter. The ideal way to craft a natural-sounding quote is to discuss it with the executive on the phone and listen to or record his response. Unfortunately, PR staff don’t always have the opportunity to do that, so we rely on our skills and familiarity with the situation and the spokesperson in question.

Don’t go overboard

In press releases, it’s not necessary to quote business leaders more than twice at most, and one well-written quote is better. Sometimes we must include quotes from multiple people, as in the case of partnership releases involving two or more businesses, but too many executive quotes can be tedious and unwieldy. If remarks by executives multiple organizations must be included, consider a quote sheet and a press release addendum.

The perfect executive quote adds value to the story in a visual, conversational manner while simultaneously reinforcing the organization’s voice. We are storytellers. Let the quotes help tell the story. Quotes in press releases and as commentary are valuable opportunities to communicate with stakeholders in a fairly direct manner. Don’t waste them!—crenshaw-communications

04Feb 2019

Permanent Under-Secretary at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon McDonald, and British Ambassadors from ASEAN Member States, visit the ASEAN Secretariat, 10 January 2019

Permanent Under-Secretary at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon McDonald, and British Ambassadors from ASEAN Member States, visit the ASEAN Secretariat, 10 January 2019

Permanent Under-Secretary at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon McDonald, and British Ambassadors from ASEAN Member States, met with H.E. Hoang Anh Tuan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political-Security Community Department and H.E Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community Department, to discuss ASEAN-UK cooperation, 10 January 2019 at the ASEAN Secretariat.

04Feb 2019

The ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards 2019

The ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards is back in 2019. A world-class international film festival to celebrate South-east Asian movies. In its fourth edition, AIFFA will be held over Thursday 25th, Friday 26th and Saturday 27th April 2019 in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.

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From filmmakers to fans, AIFFA has movie magic and so much more for everyone. This iconic three day, fun-packed event offers visitors the best of ASEAN film screenings, star-gazing and a glitzy Red Carpet Gala Night.

Celebrities at previous AIFFA included Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Nora Aunor and many other film personalities who came to enjoy the events and the city.

Kuching is the perfect venue for a film festival as it is cultural and serene, picturesque and historic while its people are friendly and warm. Whether you are a local or a visitor, filmmaker or film fan or just want to soak up the atmosphere, mark your calendar for AIFFA 2019.

AIFFA is a celebration of our city’s love of the creative arts and is proud to showcase the best in cinematic experiences through this entertaining and inspiring event.


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04Feb 2019

Institute PR Singapore PRISM Award 2019

The IPRS PRISM Awards (Public Relations In the Service of Mankind) was created by IPRS in 1987 to encourage, recognise and reward organisations and individuals for excellence in public relations and communications, and outstanding contributions and achievements to raise the level of PR professionalism in Singapore.

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The highlight in the PR industry calendar, the prestigious IPRS PRISM Awards have been given to some 160 PR Agencies, MNCs, Government Ministries, Statutory Boards, public-listed companies, private firms and non-profit organizations for their creativity, originality and overall best application of public relations and communications practices across all sectors.

Keep a lookout for the next PRISM Awards in 2019.


04Feb 2019

Murdoch Singapore-IPRS MOU Renewal Ceremony

On 17 December 2018, the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore (IPRS) and Murdoch Singapore renewed the Murdoch Singapore-IPRS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU renewal was signed by Singapore Dean Associate Professor Peter Waring and IPRS President Robert Conceicao, Council 2017/2019.


04Feb 2019

Jose Manuel Velasco – Chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management

In recent months, while serving my responsibilities as Chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, I had the opportunity to talk with colleagues from five continents and I have participated in PR conferences in Portugal, Norway, Spain, Argentina, Philippines, Indonesia and China. The first conclusion I drew from these experiences is that communicators speak a common language. Although there are different degrees of development, the profession is globalized.

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The second conclusion is that we share concerns. The most cited is the need to strengthen the ethical framework of the profession, hit by phenomena as widespread as the fake news, post truth, alternative facts (an unfortunate expression of Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump) and some immoral behavior. This is precisely the objective of the 16 principles launched by the Global Alliance in collaboration with other international organizations in mid-2018.

Alex Malouf, Global Alliance board member, representative of the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) and member of the task force that agreed on the 16 principles, says: “Even though our work has to do with reputation, we have given ethics the importance and the time it deserves. This is changing, thanks in part to the efforts of various associations, which drive a renewed focus on putting ethics at the center of what we do and why we do it”. And Jean Valin, past chair of the Global Alliance and leader of the task force, adds: “Concepts such as credibility, transparency, trust and social responsibility, linked to the professional practice of communication, have a clear moral dimension“.

This concern is linked with the weakness of the media, whose role as watchers of truth is in question in many countries and their credibility has been undermined. As much as we affirm that each person has become a media source, communicators still need the media, especially in their role as fact checkers. The more people that exercise the micro-power to communicate that technology has put in their hands, the more important the work of the media (whatever they are called) is when selecting, contextualizing, analyzing and distributing information through secure channels.

Another shared concern is the impact of digitalization on the Public Relations sector and its environment. This process is being used by marketing to recover spaces in the field of communication, in the heat of the search for immediate results and their greater experience with metrics. We are in a world of leads, closer initially to funnel marketing than to the communication strategy.

From this global and particular observation I have synthesized ten trends that, in my opinion, will affect the exercise of communication in the next twelve months.

  1. The pressure for greater transparency

Not only there is more information, but it is easier to access it. There is a growing social demand for organizations, especially companies, to be more transparent, systematically offering the data, facts and strategies that shape their management and stance when crisis situations occur. The aim is that stakeholders can make their decisions with full knowledge of the cause.

  1. The search for authenticity

The expansive growth of ‘fake’, in part because of its greater impunity, has given more value to ‘the authentic’. Sincerity is one of the components of trust. Citizens rely more on those people, organizations and brands who express themselves with sincerity, who do not hide their vulnerabilities, who know how to recognize mistakes and who relate to others on an equal footing.

  1. The growing importance of corporate purpose

José Antonio Llorente, founder and president of the Latin American reputation and public affairs consultancy LLORENTE & CUENCA, described it this way in an article published in the Spanish newspaper El País: “This change of era, in which artificial intelligence (AI) has an increasingly relevant role, far from being a threat, is an opportunity and a challenge for organizations to communicate and devote more time and resources to the intrinsically human, that which can never be automated. And this is when the corporate purpose is revealed as one of the key elements for the survival and profitability of organizations in this digitalized, hyperconnected and hypervulnerable environment“.

The purpose connects the mission and vision by giving a collective sense that is superior to the organization. It is the expression of ‘why for’. The purpose must be authentic and impregnate all the processes, in such a way that story doing acts as a guarantee for storytelling.


  1. Good stories (well told and with a socially responsible purpose)

Walter Fisher developed his narrative paradigm in the 70s. In his opinion, a good story is better than a good argument. Fisher believes that human beings understand our life as a succession of narrations, each conceptualized as “a symbolic action -words and / or facts- that has sequence and meaning for those who live it, create it and interpret it“.

In a hypersensitive environment, the stories that work best are those that have a soul, that is, that connect with feelings and human ambitions. Each story must include a piece of the corporate purpose, in such a way that the organization reveals its most human side.

The communicators are, essentially, the storytellers of their organizations. A story with shared protagonisms, interactions and ongoing construction. In fact, communicating through writing remains one of the most valued skills for a communicator, according to the Global Communication Report.

  1. The micro-video boom

Wechat, the Chinese social network that has more than 1,000 million users in Asia, is full of short videos. There are hundreds of applications that allow you to create 10-second videos with a caption and soundtrack. On Facebook and Instagram the penetration of audiovisual formats also increases. This has a neuroscientific explanation (the brain is capable of processing a complete image in 13 thousandths of a second) and a functional one (it is easier to produce a photograph than a text). People like to see and see each other.

Short formats are imposed. It is difficult to capture the attention of audiences (increasingly the sum of individuals) by the enormous competition of information and opinion producers, channels and applications. It is essential to knock at the door of perceptions and, once open, to quickly enter the search for the emotions that unleash basic decisions in the processes of interaction between organizations and their public.

  1. The omnichannel

With multichannel strategies, the relationship begins and ends in the same channel, but with omnichannel we seek to maintain a lasting relationship with clients that adapts to the medium that best suits them at all times. The aim is to improve the customer experience, in such a way that the customer journey is pleasant, while simultaneously generating involvement and loyalty.

This principle, which applies to marketing, should also be transferred to communication strategies. It is obvious that the contents have to adapt to the characteristics of each channel. In addition, such content must make sense separately and, at the same time, contribute to a common history. Omnichannel invites, then, transmedia initiates.

  1. Co-creation

The best way to involve a person is not to make them feel like a link in the chain, but as part of the chain. A good example is the interface that allows the configuration of vehicles tailored by the client: each car is unique and utilises the creative capacity of those who buy it and will use it.

More and more brands are daring to build a story with their customers. They provide space, tools (computer applications in most cases) and, above all, the confidence to participate in campaigns or communication and marketing actions.

It is co-created from conversations, which are central to the life of any organization. Peter Senge, director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that “conversation is the basic or essential process that has always enabled cohesive human beings”. Let’s talk, then, to create together.

  1. The entertainment factor

The principles of journalism were and continue to be “inform, train and entertain“. The problem is that some media companies have focused exclusively on the latter, which is undoubtedly the most profitable in the short term. This axiom may also apply to the content that we generate from communication departments. Do not give up on capturing attention because the competition is fierce.

Proof that the entertainment factor is increasingly present in communication actions is the growth of events. The entertainment approach facilitates the contextualization of the information and presents it in a format that is easier to consume. In addition, it brings various communication resources together in a single action. Often the ‘how’ is part of business.

  1. Cooperation with other functions

If it is time for co-creation, it is also time for cooperation. The communicator is a natural silo breaker. Their responsibility is vertical (in the creation of the communication strategy) and transversal (in their interaction with all the departments of an organization or business units of a company). This naturally integrative nature is compounded by the need to converge with those other functions that have a more direct impact on the company’s reputation, understood as the most valuable and often also the most fragile intangible.

Cooperation with marketing is essential so that the corporate and brand stories are consistent and effective. It is essential to collaborate with human resources in the field of talent engagement, and it is necessary to work with the compliance departments to facilitate the reporting of corporate governance. Communicators must always respond to the requirements of operations in the short term without losing the perspective of the long term that implies the management of reputation.

  1. Accreditation of the value of communication

Organizations express their results primarily through numbers. In the world of the company there is no doubt about it. The communication sector must prove its contribution to the results through metrics.

Recently I listened to the master of communicators Antonio López, President of Honor of the Spanish Association of Communication Directives (Dircom), who assured us that “with the obsession for the metrics we run the risk of focusing only in the short term and neglecting the magic of a job that involves managing relationships, emotions, feelings and solutions to problems that are often not easy to measure”. But if the market asks for measurement, it will have to be measured. The key is to develop metrics that combine short and long-term objectives, because communication must be conceived as a basic component of sustainability, an objective that can only be served with long lights.

José Manuel Velasco

Chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management

04Feb 2019

Dear APRN & Friends,

Happy New Year to Everyone! We hope that 2019 will be another wonderful and fruitful year for all of us at APRN.

As APRN enters its 5th year in 2019, we are very excited to welcome this year with so many lined up events and happenings. Throughout ASEAN, dramatic changes that cannot be predicted or forecasted are unfolding. As ASEAN continues to breakthrough, more and more countries are targeting us for collaborations and partnerships. APRN is committed in 2019 to continue to launch practical initiatives to enhance regional integration and connectivity in the region and amongst neighboring countries.

Let us all be ready to tackle the new challenges in 2019 and make further progress to ensure that APRN will continue forging ahead as we strive to contribute to society as The Voice of Public Relations in ASEAN with a global presence and roots in the ASEAN communities in which we operate. We look forward to working with you all again this year.


Prita Kemal Gani, MBA, MCIPR, APR

President of ASEAN PR Network


13Dec 2018

ASEAN-IPR, member and participant take a picture for a symbolic of peace and reconciliation

JAKARTA, 10 December 2018 – The ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR) and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs co-organised a workshop on conflict management and resolution in the Southeast Asian region in Jakarta from 5 to 7 December.


More than 50 participants from ASEAN Member States – including government and military officials, as well as non-governmental representatives attended the ASEAN-IPR – UN Workshop: “ASEAN Perspectives on Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution in the Region”. They were joined by regional and international resource persons.


Convened under the framework of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint 2025, ASEAN-IPR Three-Year Work Plan 2018-2020, as well as the ASEAN-UN Plan of Action 2016-2020, the workshop aimed to highlight the best practices and lessons learned from ASEAN governments, civil society and all stakeholders on the issue. Moreover, the workshop endeavoured to look into global trends and perspectives, and provide comparative examples from other regions on the aforementioned topics.

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13Dec 2018

Jose Velasco – President of Global Alliance gives a speech about How Public Relations Play Communication Value in a Numerous International Environment

On December 7, 2018, the 2nd Public Relations and Globalization Communication Summit and the 2018 Golden Flag Awards Ceremony were unveiled in Beijing. “The History of Chinese Cultural Communication and Public Relations” was exhibited at the same time. This is the first exhibition of development history in the field of Public Relations. It pays tribute to the 40 years of reform and opening up from the perspective of Public Relations, and unveiled a new page in the industry to promote business prosperity and social progress.


At the conference, Public Relations experts from home and abroad shared the past, present and future of Public Relations from the perspectives of intelligence and business value, and gave Chinese Public Relations practitioners greater inspiration and expectation in terms of internationalization, professionalism and forward-looking.

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13Dec 2018

President Joko Widodo Open the PR Convention 4.0

JAKARTA, 10 December 2018 – Three hundred participants of National Public Relations Convention 2018 attended the PR Convention 4.0 and were welcomed by the President of Republic Indonesia Mr. Jokowi at the Presidential Palace. The President gave a speech on the challenges of PR in the future especially in the era of digital technology.

Opening ceremony of PR Convention 4.0 at Presidential Palace

PR Convention 4.0 itself was held by Indonesia Public Relations Association in collaboration with 10 other social organizations such as ASPIKOM, ISKI, BAKOHUMAS, and FORUM HUMAS BUMN. It was a 2 day event in which, after the opening by President Jokowi, the convention moved to the Ballroom Djakarta Theatre with other topics and agendas to discuss, such as, Goverment PR Transformation, Personal Branding and Reputation in 4.0 era, Media Landscape in Digital Era, and Role of PR 4.0 to Encourage Millennials.

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