People's Association calls slew of pitches covering PR, digital marketing and social

The People's Association (PA) is on the search for an agency to manage PR duties for 12 months. The agency will manage media pitching for planned runs of key programmes, adhoc human interest stories, and media relations for physical and online workshops, webinars and events. According to the tender document seen by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, the appointed agency is required to pitch and secure maximum media coverage for the authority's courses, initiatives, and interest groups including, but not limited to communication plans, media engagement, media coverage, media monitoring, issue management, and quarterly reports.

The agency will also be required to provide a team of at least four members to manage the account. Of the four members, there should be at least two dedicated staff that will be working with PA for all PR-related matters throughout the entire contract period, servicing media engagements and media opportunities as required. The tender closes on 12 July at 4 pm.

Meanwhile, PA has also launched a tender for PR and/or digital marketing services for North East CDC for 12 months, a Gebiz tender said. The appointed agency will be responsible for strategic consultancy, media coverage, media materials, media management, brand building, media monitoring, and crisis communication. On the digital marketing services front, the agency will manage communication management, content creation and campaign management, social media growth and engagement strategy, reporting, and consultancy. The appointed agency is also required to provide a dedicated designer for digital marketing services. The tender closes on 13 July at 4 pm.

At the same time, PA is also on the hunt for an agency to manage the social media channels of PAssion Card for two years with the option to extend for another. According to the Gebiz tender, PA is looking to mainly target PAssion Card members followed by the community-at-large who have social media accounts. It currently has a presence on Facebook, Telegram, and Instagram, and the agency will be responsible for monthly reviews and reports, the provision of a calendar of wall postings and campaigns, design conceptualisation and adaptation of any artwork, as well as propose creative innovative contests and campaigns.

Additionally, the appointed agency is also required to propose, purchase and manage ad buys for PAssion Card social media channels based on a provisional sum of SG$36,000 per year on a reimbursable basis. It will also provide and manage key opinion leaders for six PAssion Card social media campaigns. The Gebiz tender closes 19 July at 4 pm.

PA was caught in a cultural PR storm last month when it used wedding photos of Sarah Bagharib without prior notification or proper permission. The images were used as part of Radin Mas SMC's Hari Raya decorations at Tiong Bahru Orchid estate. Bagharib, founder of female empowerment platform Crazycat, called out PA for using decorations that were culturally confusing. She added that she was “disappointed and frustrated to see the confused cultural messaging” in People’s Association’s use of a photograph of a bride and groom in traditional Malay outfit with Malay traditional wedding symbols to advertise the PA’s “ostensible celebration of Hari Raya” which she said is a completely different cultural event.

PA said it has since apologised unreservedly to Bagharib and her husband for the mistake and offered to meet to apologise in person and elaborate on the steps it has taken to prvent such incidents from recurring. In an Instagram post, PA explained that it will set up a resource panel to guide and advise its staff on cultural matters. It will also be stepping up training efforts to enhance staff and volunteers' understanding and appreciation of different cultures.

That said, PA responded to Bagharib's claims in an Instagram Live interview on 7 June that the incident "perpetuate the racist culture". "This is not true. Whilst the error might have been careless and culturally insensitive, it was not racist," PA said.

According to PA, Bagharib's recent public posts also called for netizens to share their messages or suggestions to PA, which will be shared with PA during the meeting. In light of this, PA said it appears that the meeting was being appropriated as a platform to funnel the views and comments of individuals unrelated to the incident. Hence, it cancelled the meeting with Bagharib. "All these led us to believe Bagharib's purpose in agreeing to meet with us had gone far beyond the Radin Mas incident," PA said in the Instagram post.

Nonetheless, PA said it will continue to keep these conversations moving and work hard at expanding its common space. Most netizens, however, were enraged by PA's cancellation of the meeting. Some commented on its Instagram post that PA should consider reviewing its marketing and communications team and one called it a "ridiculous, half-baked apology".

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