Telum Media sat down for a chat with Oliver Stelling, author of "CommunicAsian", a new book about how Asia's rise is shaping the future of communications. Oliver is an independent advisor with 25 years of experience in corporate and government communications across Asia.
Here are some highlights from the discussion:
You can order Oliver's book here.
- "The rise of Asia commands an adjustment of long-established practices and value propositions in both government and corporate communications. To achieve this, PR pros must emphasise purpose in communications, focus on innovation in tech and strategy development, and dig into the historical and cultural backgrounds of the markets they are operating in."
- Western communication theory is rooted in philosophy, sociology, anthropology and linguistics; while Asian communication theory is based on the classic works of Chinese and Indian philosophies.
- With the decline of public trust in institutions, corporations, media and government, the focus for communicators should be what resonates most with audiences - purpose and shared values. The best way to get there is to move towards a more inclusive approach empowered by full executive authority.
- We can learn from the rise of Asian cities and nations that have managed to attract plenty of investors, trade partners, employees and tourists.
- We now live in a "post-truth" and "post-fact" world that calls for more efforts to expose propaganda tactics. The time has come for communicators to join governments, investigative journalists and fact-checkers in tackling disinformation.
- Younger generations (Millennials and Gen Zs) place greater emphasis on trustworthiness, activism and advocacy. This is the audience that communicators must know how to engage with as they will be future leaders and shape the global dialogue.
- The opportunities that artificial intelligence and big data present are profound. It is time to use the automated analysis of published content, speeches, presentations, media appearances and overall public sentiment.
- "Shenzhen speed and Dubai spirit" - the ability to make swift yet profound decisions should become a top priority. Combining speed and strategy is the new winning formula.
- Communications can no longer function in isolation. Achieving active participation of senior executives and getting their opinions is needed at every stage, from the planning to roll-out of campaigns.
- Some challenges to information flow and the development of communications strategies in Asia include political and digital divides, regulatory framework, respect for authority, restrictions in internet usage, censorship and government control on media.
- Like diplomacy, communications is not only about pushing one's message, but also about pulling - relating and resonating with one's audience.
- Soft power is an enormously inspiring way to get support from people. K-pop is a good example.