PRWeek Awards Asia 2016: Judge spotlight - Elaine Ng

Elaine Ng, head of communications at Philips ASEAN Pacific and PRWeek Awards Asia 2016 judge, shares her thoughts about what she hopes to see from the best PR work and campaigns of the last year.

Elaine Ng
Elaine Ng

I’m excited to be a part of this year’s PRWeek Awards Asia, where we’ll get to see myriad companies and brands showcasing their best PR work and campaigns.

As one of the judges, I am really looking forward to learning more about how companies formulate their PR strategies and campaigns that will have a measurable impact on their brand equity and reputation, ultimately driving business growth.

The global economy is going through constant change and even more so these days, which could bring a heightened sense of uncertainty for many companies. Businesses may become more prudent and one of the first things they might scale back is marketing and communications spending.

That makes this year’s competition a little more intriguing than the past because I’d like to see how PR professionals demonstrate their value-add to their respective businesses.

This could also mean that PR and marketing will have to work more closely together to generate more value collectively. The challenge then, is for PR professionals to differentiate their campaigns from marketing campaigns.

In these uncertain times, PR outreach becomes more important as companies look to maximise their earned media exposure versus that of paid media.

I’ve heard PR agencies tell me that their clients are seeing greater value in the longer-term impact of relationship building and perception management versus the one-off ‘big-bang’ from a marketing blitz.

Coming from a journalism background, I am keen to see how the PR work at this year’s awards showcases a deep understanding of news value and how the PR professional builds and tells stories that resonate well with the target audience.

Often, it’s easier to generate buzz and publicity around a large-scale campaign that is well supported by big advertisements and consumer events. But what really sets a good PR campaign apart is how you tell a compelling story.

Call me old school, but I still believe in good ol’ media relations. A journalist from a top tier daily newspaper once told me: "This is a newspaper, not a marketing collateral. I don’t understand why some PR people think I can print their marketing speak… you need to know how to do media relations."

I’m also definitely looking forward to seeing how PR and comms professionals demonstrate sustainable impact with a good grasp of news and media relations. 

Click here to find out more about the PRWeek Awards Asia 2016.

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