Enhancing brand influence was the top priority for businesses in APAC in their communications campaigns, while news websites were the most important communication channels to optimise brand awareness, according to a report by PR Newswire.
The “2020 Asia Pacific Corporate Communications Report” surveyed 948 public relations and communications professionals. It is aimed as a barometer of the region’s communications landscape, covering trends and challenges that span distribution strategies, corporate news content, and media budgets, in 10 markets – Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Asked which communications outcome was prioritised, 59% of respondents said they had focused on enhancing their brand influence, while 41% said they had focused on sales growth and conversion.
The top five industries focusing on brand influence were automobile or transportation (68%); finance and manufacturing (both 66%); health or medical care (65%); along with government agencies or NGOs (63%). On the other hand, the top five industries focusing on sales growth and conversion were real estate or property (54%); energy or environmental protection (50%); tourism or lifestyle (48%); retail or food (47%); and fashion or entertainment (46%).
The report also examined distribution strategies. News websites (70%) were the most prioritised communication channels for APAC businesses, surpassing other platforms such as corporate websites (58%), print media (56%), and social media (60%, excluding China).
Businesses from Hong Kong (73%) placed a priority on print media, while 45% of surveyed Hong Kong companies leveraged emails or EDMs as their core communications channels.
As for core challenges across APAC markets, 63% of Hong Kong respondents said maintaining trust and audience engagement were the major problems ahead. Sixty five per cent of Chinese companies said content production was the main challenge, while 68% of companies from Singapore said measuring the impact of communications was the greatest challenge.
Meanwhile, 79% of respondents said they would increase their earned and owned media budgets this year. Additional budgets were likely to go to earned media (37%) and owned media (42%), with paid media (21%) the least likely to increase.
When delivering the news, 85% of APAC businesses had chosen to send press releases when promoting new products, services or major business developments, followed by releasing news on official social media accounts (79%) and official corporate websites (72%). Event-related news (63%) and new products or services (61%) were the most frequently seen topics in corporate press releases.
To better communicate with the target audience, PR Newswire suggested that authenticity, relevance, and transparency had become increasingly important. At the same time, as press releases served as an anchor amid different opinions on social media, they can become more attractive and persuasive if well-crafted and well-substantiated with facts and opinions.
Last, but not least, producing long-tail, yet relevant to “the bigger picture” content, was another factor that businesses had to pay attention to.