Our international PR Series is featuring Vietnam this week: The communication specialists of VERO Public Relations are giving us an insight into the general development of PR and current media and communication trends. Recent PR examples demonstrate how to utilize these trends to do successful PR in Vietnam.
*The series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.*
1. What is the latest change in PR you have identified in your region?
Son Nguyen: PR activities and businesses’ opinion about them have changed significantlyover the last few years. As Vietnam economy is growing swiftly and joined by moreinternational companies, the need of building a strong brand image to be distinctive inthe market has become vital. Thus, PR role has shifted from only polishing a brand nameto communicate the brand key messages (or stories) to the public in both emotional andrational way.
For years, Vietnam did not have any professional institution or university majoring in PR.This is changing now. Both national and private foreign universities have establishedcurriculum and courses focusing on communications, advertising and PR. At the same.2time, the bar for Vietnamese PR practitioners is also lifting, requiring them to be moreprofessional, open-minded and creative in order to meet international standards of their clients.
Although the industry is moving forward, there are influential factors which peoplepracticing PR in Vietnam still need to take into consideration such as Vietnameselanguage, culture, media system and legal framework.Finally, online communications is gaining the spotlight as one of the most effective PRtools. While the Vietnamese youth are embracing social network sites, onlinecommunication platform is also praised as a multi-way channel, giving peopleopportunities to share their ideas, opinions and viewpoints. The number of VietnamInternet users exceeded 24 million (27% population) while Facebook has also surpassedthe number of 1 million. Thus, many businesses see this as a new channel through whichtheir messages can be conveyed effectively to their target customers. Although the industry is moving forward, there are influential factors which people practicing PR in Vietnam still need to take into consideration such as Vietnamese language, culture, media system and legal framework. Finally, online communications is gaining the spotlight as one of the most effective PR tools. While the Vietnamese youth are embracing social network sites, online communication platform is also praised as a multi-way channel, giving people opportunities to share their ideas, opinions and viewpoints. The number of Vietnam Internet users exceeded 24 million (27% population) while Facebook has also surpassed the number of 1 million. Thus, many businesses see this as a new channel through which their messages can be conveyed effectively to their target customers.
2. How does your agency embrace these changes?
Son Nguyen: At our agency, we work in team that allows every member to have a fair chance to learn and involve in the whole process from the beginning to the end. Thus, our employees can have a big picture of what they are doing rather than only focusing on their very specific roles. Personal ideas are respected and taken into serious consideration. From that, creativity is nurtured and growing up. As for online communication, Vero Public Relations is also keeping up with new trends. We are incorporating more digital activities in our projects and maintaining strong ties with influential bloggers. However, in Vietnam, traditional media still remains as a strong and credible information source, having deep impacts over public opinions. Thus, up to requirement of each clients and specific objectives and budget of each project, we also balance between the new and the old channels to put together the most effective communication programs.
3. Can you give us a recent example from a project?
Carmen Le: For instance, we have recently developed a communication campaign for one of our clients who would like to raise their profile in Vietnam. The client is an educational institution which considers Vietnam as their potential market. We have helped them to put up a communication plan, combining both traditional and new media channels. Our primary target is students and young adults. However, they are not yet independent in term of financial support to study abroad. Thus, we also target parents as the secondary target audience. The significant difference between two previous groups is the way their info-graphics. While the youth is embracing the Internet and social media; their parents are still more conservative and inclining to trust printing sources. As the result, we have continued to disseminate the information in a traditional way to the press while building up a facebook fan page database and blogs for our client.
Next week we learn why it is important to take the Vietnamese mentality as well as the different government system into account for communications and PR in Vietnam.
PR Specialists Son Nguyen and Vicky Tran, Crisis Management Manager Carmen Le and Event Specialist Ha Ngo of the VERO Account team joint forces to answer the interview questions. The team, most of whom have graduated from Royal Melbourne Information Technology in Vietnam, brings together a broad background of journalistic and communications experiences having worked for well known media and clients from both B2B and B2C markets.
Vero Public Relations supports clients in expanding their footprint in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia through smart public relations campaigns which effectively build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, customers and influencers. Vero Public Relations services include branding, media relations, event management, public affairs, issues/crisis management and a broad industry knowledge to support their clients with the development of a comprehensive public relations program which is designed to help clients to make significant strides in growing brand values, sales and profits.