Understanding the Diverse PR Practices in East and Southeast Asia – Part 1



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is slowly entering the world stage as its own entity. Edging closer to regional integration, its member states are poised to form the world’s seventh largest economy. As early as now, the ASEAN region is making waves in the East Asian market.

For companies that want to expand into the region, it’s important to have a firm understanding of Southeast Asia's distinct regional PR practices in order to present their message effectively and gain mind and market share. East and Southeast Asia are not homogenized cultures. While the regions are geographically adjacent, their respective countries have developed in very different ways, resulting in a diversity of popular PR practices.



With a population of roughly 91 million people, Vietnam managed to nurture a vibrant, rising economy. In the digital age, the Vietnamese youth have turned to the internet for everything from news to communication, and ultimately commerce, with up to 87 percent of social users accessing information through mobile devices.



Despite a looming string of recessions, Japan remains resilient and still boasts the world’s third largest economy. The decline of print media is felt, though it still commands an enviable position of influence. On the other hand, the public harbors a general dissatisfaction with TV because of poor content.

In contrast, mobile penetration has gone through the roof, with over one in five smartphone users owning multiple devices. Oddly enough, users typically spend 20 minutes a day on social media. This peculiarity allows traditional PR to persist in Japan without much pressure to change—for now.

Next: Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Philippines. How do these countries differ from their neighbors? What unique PR practices can we pick up from these nations?