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Cecily Ng: The right recipe for coffee with the boss

Blog post   •   Mar 27, 2018 16:11 +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.

When Channel NewsAsia comes a-knocking to produce a 10-minute feature on your company, you have a great opportunity to build your brand – and that wasn't lost on our shortlisted candidate for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018 this week, Cecily Ng.

As Area Vice President, Asia Enterprise Sales at Salesforce, she delivered a solid interview in CNA's Coffee with the Boss program. She brought across her point-of-view without being overly salesy.

I am nominating her for the Best Interview on TV in the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018 for these reasons (read on below):


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

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.


On message – Ng was clear in what she wanted to say and delivered her points concisely. Even if the questions were pre-supplied (read my thoughts on that phenomenon here) she came across as conversational and natural.

Part of the production team – Much of the footage about the company was provided by the company. This so-called b-roll doesn't come cheap because a production crew has to go to your office to shoot it. But the impact of showing off your company at its best is obvious. You can't rely on the TV station to record this footage because they will unlikely have the time or resources to do so.

Customer examples – Ng provided viewers with multiple customer names, and had the APAC growth number at her fingertips. She didn't divulge Singapore sales figures, as most multinational companies don't provide country-by-country breakdowns.

Eye contact and demeanour – This can be a surprisingly difficult balance to strike. Do you go for the toothy grin or a more serious demeanour? Both have their up- and down sides. I felt Ng held eye contact well and smiled appropriately at the right times.

Any local business leader watching the interview can see how being featured on television can build a positive brand image. All they need to start is to say yes.

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