As we get set to announce the winners of the first round of the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018, I thought it would be of value to share what we have learnt from the process of shortlisting candidates.
During our media training and executive presence workshops for senior business leaders, we sometimes hear the view that Asians lag their Western counterparts in media and presentation skills.
By launching the Awards, we wanted to acknowledge local business leaders who set an example with strong performances in media interviews and public speaking engagements.
We weren't disappointed.
All the shortlisted candidates of the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018 proved our point: that our local business leaders can be just as good communicators as their Western counterparts.
But there were four unexpected things we learnt in the process of shortlisting candidates:
- Strong response – I was floored by the many positive comments I received on WhatsApp, via our LinkedIn page and by email, congratulating us for this initiative. While flattering, it also revealed that many thought local business leaders ought to receive more encouragement for appearing in the media. This seems to have been in short supply, possibly exacerbating the situation.
- Going viral – By convening the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018 our aim was to recognise local business leaders who appear in the media. What we didn't expect was that some local communications directors are actively using our weekly nominations as a resource to encourage their senior business leaders to be more welcoming of media exposure. This also explains the fact that the click-throughs on our weekly columns was almost double the number of recipients.
- You don't have to be the CEO to present – Our nominees weren't always the CEO. On a number of occasions, we selected people who excelled even though they didn't hold senior leadership positions. Clearly the CEO should take priority in being in front of the camera. But staff at all levels should have the opportunity. They certainly have the ability. You can see this reflected in the candidates we have shortlisted.
- More diversity wanted – Singapore is so diverse, yet it was difficult for us to find candidates of different ethnicities. There is much scope for our national diversity to be reflected among interviewees. And not just ethnic diversity but gender and age, too.
We'll be announcing the winner shortly.
We are also inviting partners to join us in our quest to recognize local business leaders for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards, and to ensure every Asian business leader is a world-class media performer and presenter. Hit reply or PM me for a further conversation.