A company’s media relations officer is arguably their most potent brand ambassador. Though they may not be the ones talking up the brand on TV commercials or gracing the gigantic billboards on EDSA, they’re the ones who speak to the press and handle all their questions. Aside from these duties, media relations officers have to keep a close eye on what’s going on in their industry and guide the company response accordingly.
Such is daily reality for Lana Macapagal, the Asia-Pacific Public Relations Manager for calling and messaging application Viber. With the app’s user base spanning over a billion people around the world, Macapagal certainly has her hands full.
“When your product is so relevant and widely-used,” she said, “you can’t afford to be lax with your approach to the media. A good, proactive relationship with the media is a competitive advantage and that’s certainly important anywhere you go.”
Competition is stiff in the messaging app market in particular, where there are a host of platforms vying for space on people’s phone screens. Thus, Macapagal shared that she has an assortment of ways to stay on top of current events and trends in her industry.
The first is the most obvious: simply read the news daily. According to Macapagal, what helps her is to hone in on a few key news and tech sites that give her the best insights. Even following certain personalities with clout and credibility in the industry can be a good source of information. Second, it also pays to go the extra mile and sign up for news alerts to instantly get notified on news articles or reports that are of interest.
“Of course, it helps that many of the major local media outlets are on Viber Communities, so I get updates straight from my phone,” she said.
However, Macapagal shared that keeping updated doesn’t have to mean just staying within your industry. “I’m pretty much online most of the day, so I try to catch any developments― the latest hit song, an awesome brand campaign, whatever’s trending―these are all good sources of information, ideas, and inspiration that could drive your next campaign.”
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