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Appearing well in the media is part of our heritage

Blog post   •   Apr 16, 2018 08:39 +08

Each week until April 30, 2018, we are shortlisting a local corporate figure who has demonstrated excellence in a media appearance, in the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018.

Did you know you should never take photos in threes? And that you have to wash your feet when entering your house? Or that you have to knock before entering a room you know to be empty?

We learnt so much watching Laavanya Kathiravelu and Yeo Kirk Siang on ChannelNews Asia talking about Singapore Heritage Festival, that we shortlisted them for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018.

And not because we're pantang!

In fact, it's auspicious to be good in media appearances.

Each brought specific strengths to their TV interviews. Read on below.


We are now in the home stretch of the award nominations, and there is limited time for you to nominate yourself or another local business leader.

Nominations close Monday, April 30, at 5pm, with the winner announced in May. It is free to enter the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018, and there is no obligation to buy tickets to the awards event.

We launched the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards to recognise local business leaders for their communications skills, and to showcase authentic and credible home-grown communicators. Here are our previous nominees:

Desmond Kuek: Will you resign?

Are you a demanding boss, Lee Lik Hsin?

Star Alliance CEO: Local business leader is a star media performer

Budget 2018: Iswaran balances selling it, and explaining it

Kurt Wee: you don't need to be big to be media savvy

Candice Ong: the whys and hows of strong new media interviews

Elim Chew displays a high Sensitivity Quotient in her TEDxNTU presentation

How to win at interviews, even if English isn't your first language

Ho Kwon Ping: no-nonsense media presence builds credibility

David Koh: Cybersecurity chief gives locked-down on-camera presentation

Cecily Ng: The right recipe for coffee with the boss

Razer CEO makes TV interviews look like child's play

Anthony Tan grabs our attention with interview about Uber merger

Liew Mun Leong lands his key points in airport surcharge interview

These are shining examples for other local business leaders to follow, and to build a culture of excellence in communication, to maximise the potential of Asian companies in the Asian Century.

Click on this link to enter yourself or another Senior Business Leader.


Here's what we liked about the two interviews:

Laavanya Kathiravelu, Researcher, Heritage Research Grant Project

  1. Authentic – Laavanya appeared very natural on camera, even though this was clearly not her comfort zone. She was conversational and chatty, in keeping with the morning show format. The kicker at the end was a light way to round out the interview.
  2. Story telling – She related a story of being photographed while pregnant, and how her unborn child made up the numbers to avoid a photo of three people. Anecdotes like these are important to make your points come alive for your audience. Corporate storytelling is increasingly in demand.

Yeo Kirk Siang, Director, Heritage Research and Assessment (interview starts at around the 35 minute mark)

  1. Structured – Yeo gave a clear overview of the National Heritage Plan, and delivered the four pillars of the Plan in his opening answer. He clearly knew what he wanted to get across, and did so in a structured way.
  2. Emotive messages – Yeo clearly had the bigger picture in mind when he said "heritage belongs to the people", "confidence to face future challenges", "what truly makes up the multicultural Singapore we call home", and similar sound bites. Critically, he delivered them in a conversational, non-contrived way.
  3. Story telling – Like Laavanya, he had a few descriptive examples at the ready, including ideas submitted by members of the public, some of which were adopted into the campaign.
  4. Call-to-action – Yeo delivered his call-to-action, to get viewers to participate with photos and ideas, in a non-salesy way.

What both guests missed in terms of a super-polished performance they made up for with their authenticity. They show all local business leaders that you don't need to be a Fortune 500 corporate chief to do well in media interviews.

The Singapore Heritage Festival is on until April 22. Now, where's the salt?

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