The Philippines stands out among its Southeast Asian neighbor. Successively occupied by Spain, Japan, and the United States (and the Kingdom of Great Britain in Manila for 2 years), our country is overwhelmingly Catholic and incredibly Western. Naturally, the practice of Public Relations here is different from other parts of the world.
Creating personal connections are essential in marketing products and services in the Philippines. Culturally, we find it difficult to say no to people – and brands – that have formed bonds with us. Influencers that have built such connections with their audience have a great deal of impact on consumer buying behavior. Uniquely Filipino PR approaches take advantage of those connections, built through face-to-face interaction and constant engagement.
Activation is BIG
Going to the grassroots is the norm. Filipinos love to interact with brands in meaningful ways, which opens new opportunities for experiential marketing. Having products and services displayed, demonstrated, and explained is one of the basic interactions. Activations can draw large curious crowds, especially creative ones.
Bloggers are Decisive
Blogs are one of the earliest forms of social media and the Philippines is the social media capital of the world. While the writing form didn’t begin here, it found a place in many Filipinos reading lists and numerous bloggers have become truly famous and respected influencers. Marketers highly appreciate the blogging community, which grew successfully apart from businesses and corporations. In sectors such as retail, food, and tourism, their endorsement is crucial for success.
PR and Social Media are Integrated
Over 36 million Filipinos are on Facebook – more than a third of the total population – with opportunities for interaction and engagement greater than traditional media. A good fan page can be compared to on-ground activation, allowing your customers to experience your brand virtually. Social media, activation, and PR combined can work wonders. Additionally, viral content are increasingly featured on traditional media, creating another avenue for earned media.
The growing local market offers surprising opportunities but it depends on brands creating connections with Filipinos.
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