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

Blog post   •   Mar 05, 2018 16:45 +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.

Responding to a journalist's questions in writing might seem easier than taking part in an on-camera interview.

But getting your point across with text is sometimes more difficult than with your voice. The subliminal information the tone of your voice carries is removed, and the risk of miscommunication, misquotes or being taken out of context actually increases.

Which is why we have shortlisted Chief Commercial Officer of ShopBack, Candice Ong, for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018 this week.

She appeared in this article written by Grace Yip, Head of HR at Accenture ASEAN, as part of her LinkedIn blog series.

Ong came across as credible, substantive and clear, with little room for misinterpretation.

I am nominating her for the Best Text Interview in Non-Traditional Media in the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018 for these reasons:


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

Henry Chu: BreadTalk CEO on a roll in CNBC interview

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

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.

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

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


  1. Focused key message - Ong delivered her key message succinctly in the first paragraph, and devoted the rest of her answers to substantiating it. The message for senior business leaders is, you don't need to know about everything that's going on in the world. You just need to know your own message so well that you can focus your audience's attention on it.
  2. Examples - Ong tells an interesting story about a senior team member who worked hard to catch up with younger colleagues in her data and Excel skills. Examples bring your message to life.
  3. Short and sharp points - "Hiring the right people, Cultivating an open environment and culture and, Consistency of standards" stand out because Ong wrote them as three succinct points. Elsewhere in the article she also lists her points systematically, making them easier to grasp. Such concise delivery requires focus, which requires practise. But once you've got it, you will want to communicate like this all the time, because it's crisp and clear.

Media Savvy is about highlighting local business leaders who appear extremely well in the media, and are therefore good role models for others.

We would like to feature more women (and not just because it's International Women's Day this Thursday), and local business leaders from diverse backgrounds.

If you know a local business leader who performs well in the media, click on the link below to nominate them.

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