Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS (LKYSPP) wanted to raise brand awareness by portraying the school's thought leadership on key contemporary public policy and international issues through the sharing of alternative opinions of global affairs from Asia's lens. It also wanted to establish a sense of community by creating a knowledge transfer platform where like-minded communities can engage and learn from thought leaders. This led to team to create the Asia Thinker Series targeted at policymakers and the general public interested in policy which has been running since April this year. The series led the team to win silver for Best Team (Brand) in MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's recent Marketing Events Awards 2020.
Existing events in Asia often fall short of garnering worldwide interest in the current climate and much of the analysis and debate on global issues relevant to Asia are either centred in the West or remain Western-centric. Hence, the team's challenge was to deliver a series of high-quality events that will gather top academics, policymakers, and opinion leaders discussing the key contemporary global issues and the emerging challenges and opportunities in Asia.
The school currently has a brand "Global is Asian" which focuses on thought leadership. Instead of rolling out a different webinar brand or simply calling it the LKYSPP webinar, the team created a sub-brand under "Global is Asian" to ensure that the overall thought leadership work is enhanced rather than diluted, and that there is still synergy.
Instead of merely launching a webinar, the team at LKYSPP also wanted to ensure that the webinar is part of an ecosystem that leverages the other components from the main "Global is Asian" brand, instead of being one-off. The webinar is also required to be visually pleasing such that it is aligned to the school's overall brand, which aims to serve quality discussions.
The team incorporate a silhouette of a head in its logo to indicate a thinker and combined it with the "Global is Asian" logo to maximise the authenticity of the Asia Thinker Series brand. Prior to the launch of the series, LKYSPP posted teaser content on the "Global is Asian" Facebook page, which also directs individuals to register their interest for the Asia Thinker Series. When the Asia Thinker Series began streaming live on Facebook, the LKYSPP team also pushed out live tweets to boost engagement.
The team also planned out post-event coverage articles and social media creatives containing quotes were created to be posted on the "Global is Asia" Facebook page and its website. Part of LKYSPP's strategy was to also create additional content via its "Foreseeable" podcast recordings with panellists post event, and use them as a gated lead generation content on Facebook.
Prior to the event, LKYSPP leveraged on the diverse personalities and expertise of its speakers by tailoring the tone and framing of its social media and digital communications to fit their profiles throughout the campaign. It made use of ads and polls on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and created a pre-event page on its website. An eDM was also sent to the databases of LKYSPP and "Global is Asian".
Upon the launch of the event, LKYSPP showcased the webinar through Facebook Live to ensure anyone can participate in them. It also live tweeted content from the webinar to those who were unable to tune in, and developed a live word cloud based on the comments and questions from audience. This live word cloud was shown during the webinar for moderators to ask more questions based off of it.
After the event, LKYSPP created user-generated content that is shareable on YouTube, the school's digital publication, "Global is Asian", and the "Foreseeable" podcast channel. It developed gated podcast episodes with unanswered questions from Asia Thinker Series viewers, and recordings of all the sessions were uploaded to YouTube. There were also articles covering key discussion points from the Asia Thinkers Series episodes which were published on "Global is Asian".
The eight-episode series had 25 media features in local and Asian publications and more than 213,000 viewers from Singapore, Asia and beyond. According to LKYSPP, the series created a sense of community and viewers thought the virtual panel discussions were well-managed.