Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Choice of Response for the Acidflask Saga

Mr Brown wrote Next time I dowan to speak to the press liao:
The deepest irony is that in their bid to defend the reputation of their organisation, their esteemed leader, and ahem, Singapore, A*Star's legal letter approach (which they were totally within their legal right to pursue) ended up making Singapore look a little silly and draconian to the rest of the world. Especially since the Gahmen has been telling the world and their own people, how open and tolerant Singapore is becoming here.

You can send out press releases all over the world to declare that you consider "the matter closed", but once the blogosphere gets hold of it, the matter will not close until the blogosphere says it is.

Link(mrbrown); Definitive guide (via Singapore Angle)

Thanks a lot. Now, besides the beaten-to-death topic of Singapore's ban on chewing gum*, I have to think of an appropriate response for the blogger lawsuit case when spreading the good name of Singapore to my international friends.

My thoughts on why this route was taken? Because (1) it's the fastest and most efficient way, (2) it's in the SOP (standard operating procedure), (3) the SOP has always worked so why bother exploring new methods? I can only imagine the board room protests made by the PR team when that response was proposed!

As Mr Brown has aptly put, the unintended consequences of using the tried and tested method is giving us a big PR headache. So much for risk-taking and being creative as far as responses are concerned. I wonder what alternatives were considered? Preetamrai's suggestion of fighting fire with fire sounded feasible. Someone blogs something inappropriate about you, you counter-blog (sounds like a new Streetfighter game blog-counter-blog, blog-counter-blog).

Why bother counter-blogging since it's going to take up more time? I mean time is of the essence (and all other time-memorable quotes) right? Because sometimes, the most efficient ways of doing things aren't the most effective ways. You don't win the hearts and minds of people by going the "I know better" way followed by "See, I'm right" declaration especially with a thinking society. It's a sure-fire way of disengaging the people you intend to work with, not to mention the perception it creates of one's image! So who gained here? My guess is ... er ... the lawyers?

But I am glad of one thing. I'm glad that this saga didn't drag out into a full-blown court case i.e. there was damage control. Time to move on in the Singapore blogosphere (translation: time for the MSM to play catch up).

*I know, it's banning of non-prescription chewing gum but try telling that to my friends!

May 14 - A good example of a counter-blog by SG Contrarian (via Singapore Angle).

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