Grossed out at the #SochiGames? Be thankful you have #walls!

As the Olympic Games kick off, I can’t scroll through my social media feeds and not trip over a half dozen hilarious takes on the #sochigames.

Plagued with a +$50 billion bill, the Games have run afoul with sarcastic and humorous takes on the less than humorous accommodations and logistical horrors. The ring which did not light up? Hmmmm. How about the national costumes which pay homage to the rights of gays and lesbians to be part of the Games; subtle and classy, Greece. As the athletes gear up to win Gold for both their country and their sport, stories began pandering off… until I saw this one.

The horror to end all horrors. Hotel guests are complaining about Portraits of half naked Vladamir Putin. You know. The ones where this geopolitical heavy weight is fishing. Topless. Or riding a horse. Topless. Or…. no words….

Averting my eyes.

These bring me to the far more legendary menagerie of awesomeness simply named: Life in Russia. Each one is better than the last. Enjoy. And when my next birthday comes around, no Putin sheets, please.

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Congrats: National Geographic Mag turns 125!

Who doesn’t envy and aspire towards the talent of the photographers who capture gorgeous picturesque landscapes, close up of a new species of insect in the Amazon or space exploration and experiments on the ISS? To celebrate the memorable 125 years, NationalGeographic.com has launched a photo blog, Proof which is edited by NationalGeographic.com director of photography Keith Jenkins. According to those on high, the idea of the blog is to take a “provocative and eclectic look” at National Geographic photography and the field overall.

Watch out as the blog will include “everything from how to edit down 60,000 photographs to 12, to which single item a photographer on a four-month assignment can’t live without.”

But don’t think it’s just the pros! Starting October 1, National Geographic plans to engage you, yes you, to participate on your first Nat Geo assignment for the magazine… this will be part of the photosharing-based #communityengagement platform (wow, that’s a mouthful!), Your Shot.

National Geographic magazine was first published in October 1888 as the official journal of the National Geographic Society, a nonprofit dedicated to funding science and exploration. Since then, the magazine has grown to 60 million monthly readers and has expanded to include the National Geographic Channel, which reaches 440 million households, as well as NationalGeographic.com, which has 27 million unique visitors each month.

Congrats on turning a venerable 125!


Movember + Prostate Cancer Awareness = Good Times

“My mo is coming along. By the end of the month, I will be able to Twirl it.”

This month is the perfect opportunity for you to grow that awful, itchy, offensive facial hair you’ve always wanted! The key is, you won’t get the living daylights kicked outta ya because… it’s for Charity!

To the amusement and oft times, horror of the many gorgeous ladies out and about town, it is Movember, our favourite month. This is when (feral) men, traditionally pilots and bankers, let their facial hair ‘down’ and pay homage to such trail blazers like Tom, Chuck and Salvador (for the folks who need a mo-dictionary: Tom Sellek, Chuck Norris and Salvador Dali).

The Movember trend has grown in recent years but I have yet to spot a Clark Gable mo, but instead, Hong Kong women are inundated with porn star handle bars, anchor man wanna bes and Hulk Hogan pro-wrestlers.

A couple of years ago, the global event started making serious dosh in Hong Kong when professional PR men took the reins and began the campaign heavily to raise serious money for serious business. This year, the event is on Day 12 and to date, there are 1,601 registered Mo’s…. who have raised a staggering HK$1,131,965.

“Guys taking part (Mo Bros) are helping to change the face of men’s health by effectively becoming walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by promoting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health,” wrote the Movember and Son’s Hong Kong page.

“Raising awareness and funds is vital because of the facts about prostate cancer in Hong Kong:

  • Over 1484 people are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Hong Kong each year
  • Prostate cancer is ranked No 1 in the rate of increase in new patients
  • The total number of prostate cancer cases have tripled in Hong Kong over the last 10 years
  • Life expectancy for women in Hong Kong is 86 and 80 for men”

Come support a Mo Bro and raise awareness about men’s health. I hope to see you at the rocking Gala Party to be held at Bisous!


It’s an official trend: RED TROUSER ALERT!

Every year, I go to the German Swiss International School Christmas Bazaar to support my lovely friends who volunteer their time there with their various German, Swiss and Austrian Associations. Basking in the sun outside, supporting great charities and celebrating Christmas is a wonderful occasion in the crisp air of Hong Kong ‘winter’! The reality is, I go there to drink bottles of bubbly, buy a Christmas wreath and take in the parade of men’s red and mustard trousers.

Please do not feel this last comment is a cultural slight towards Northern Europeans in Asia as they do not hold the title alone. It has been brought to my attention that this enduring trend has its own website devoted to the bold trouser.

Low and behold: Look at my fucking red trousers!

“Because there’s only one type of trousers you’ll be wanting to wear, and that’s RED TROUSERS. In fact – if you can’t wear red trousers you’d be better off wearing NO TROUSERS AT ALL. That’s what I say.”

Now, please enjoy and together, let’s extend our thanks to Paddy (a red trouser aficionado) who brought this to my attention!


3 Hot Tips: How to Market Yourself on Social Media

With the explosion of Social Media, it is no wonder that people are guarding their own personal brand more carefully these days. I have friends who refuse to have facebook sites  in fear of over exposure. Other embrace the quick pace web world and are happy to toot their horns all night long.

There is a happy medium to be had, but how does this work? Well, being proactive is the best means of staying ahead of the curve. But be patient, creating something takes time so learn about what your brand represents, invest your time and keep updating!

Here are a few tips to help you on project: “Brand Me!”

1)      Know your audience and create specialised content

People often ask me, what do you blog about? I take on this question as a former newspaper ‘columnist’. Essentially, I blog about what I want. But when really pressed, there comes the realisation. All blogs have parameters and these are dictated by your audience.

Who are you targeting? What is your blog about? Who will read your blog – more important, who do you want to read your blog? When thinking about your personal brand, pictures of a rocking night out might not be relevant (unless you are comedian, Russell Brand) while more career oriented topics and trends might appeal. As you start thinking, themes about pop culture, fashionistas, motherhood, foodies and designers will start to become a reality.

Once the audience is identified, create content under this ‘broad’ scope. Be fun and be yourself!

2)      Platforms

Don’t be a stick in the mud. Cross post. Use one community to leverage onto the next. The more platforms you have knowledge in, the better you can ‘work it’.  Linkedin to connect within your industry. Tumblr for your fashionista side. Facebook to keep in contact with your high school friends. Blog to pontificate about your views on the metaphysical world. Tweet to bring out your inner comedian. Pinterest to satisfy the wedding planner you are.  Instagram to create snapshots of your everyday world.

Now I am not saying you need to be on every platform, but knowledge is power and positioning yourself and your brand on different platforms will help grow your social presence. Keep abreast on the new platforms to figure out if they are right for you. May be not now, but potentially later? Keeping ahead of the curve keeps your brand fresh!

3)      Update on a regular basis

We are all guilty of this. You know. Starting something online and letting it just lay fallow for weeks, then months and wow, a year has passed. It’s no longer 1999. If you have that personal website which can be accessed by the way back machine, it might be time to either rebrand the site or even start again. And when starting (or restarting), keep at it.

Scroll down to my first posting: Content is King. This is something every website and brand should have in their rainy day drawer. But even more important, one has to be committed and focused to updating on a regular basis. Each post does not need to be a 36-page memo. Finding your voice – consistently, is the key. Try posting interesting links with a few pars of snappy commentary. May be photos which are interesting and even funny.  Guests posts are also interesting.

The take away: Figure out who is “Brand Me!” and target your growing audience. Work the different platforms to build your growing community. Don’t let things slide! Create an editorial calendar which you feel you can adhere to. This is your own personal brand. Keep updating, creating and re-editing.


Suiting up Jeremy Lin – Black Lapel


Jeremy Lin suiting up in a custom made suit from Black Lapel

Linsanity took over the world this year and it seems there is nothing stopping young Jeremy Lin – who rocked into  TIME’s 100 most influential awards gala sporting a custom made Black Lapel suit. Congrats to my brother (co-founder) of Black Lapel for drumming up great buzz from a noteworthy Asian-American! Check out his site for your next chic addition….

Tweeting from the red carpet of the TIME gala event, Lin was responsible for crashing Black Lapel’s custom clothier’s site! The 23-year-old (third backup!) point guard took the world by storm by leading the New York Nick’s six game winning stream. A tear in the meniscus of his knee and subsequent surgery has kept him off the court, but the celebrity status of this free agent player is still hot.

From the blog of Black Lapel: “Jeremy is as solid a guy as they come and simply oozed class and charisma in his Black Lapel suit.  So we won’t hold it against him for crashing our site within 5 minutes of tweeting and posting about the suit.  Stay classy Jeremy and godspeed on your recovery.”

Update update update - Black Lapel!

Lin and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (wow!)


Pinterest Boards: What does KSA do?

There just can’t be enough said about Pinterest and how utterly awesome it is, both for it’s target demographic 19-45 well-to-do females and the thousands of brands they love ‘pinning’.

When I first heard about the concept of Pinterest last year, I knew in my gut that I was their target audience. A colleague showed it to me and I shied away for months, knowing that the black hole of pinning would consume me if I signed up. I bit the bullet a month ago and have restricted myself to a daily regime of 15 minutes. How has that been going? Well, I am currently pressed for time because we are closing up a project but to be frank, it’s like digital crack cocaine to a girl like me (much like when I first discovered tumblr!)

Shiny. Pretty. Gorgeous. Fun. Lovely. Want. Yummy.

These are many ‘descriptive’, if not, giddy words which are used on a platform which celebrates consumerism, gluttony and design esthetic. (Oh no, I think I just described myself)….

So what is Pinterest and why has it been generating such a volume of press? How does it affect us consumers? More than that, how does it affect the brands?

 

What is Pinterest

Pinterest is a virtual board which allows the user to curate and share pictures and videos they find on line. Users are encouraged to ‘repin’ images they fancy onto their boards as well as ‘like’ or ‘follow’ other people’s images and boards.

“According to Google Ad Planner, in January 2012 Pinterest’s audience was primarily interested in fashion, arts and crafts, recipes, seasonal events and holidays, and interior design,” wrote a BBC article.

 

Who is on Pinterest:

On an average day, 1.36 million users scrolling through Pinterest pages which boast a plethora of cute puppies and over frosted cupcakes so it is no surprise that more than 68 per cent of the site visitors are women. Recently, Modea, a service agency used stats from comScore and other analyses to find out the following:

  • 28.1% of users are earn US$100,000+
  • Since May 2011, total unique visitors have increased by 2,702.2%
  • 50% of users have children
  • The 25-34 age demographic is the largest at 27.4%

 

Why is it interesting for Brands:

Referral traffic from Pinterest hovers around 3.6%, more than Youtube, Google+, Linkedin combined. Companies which are already on board include Esty, RealSimple, Nordstrom, Whole Foods and West Elm.

It is the level of engagement which is shocking many data analysists. The measurement is minutes per month.

  1. 405 minutes: Facebook is the most engaging site.
  2. 89 minutes: Pinterest and Tumblr
  3. 21 minutes: Twitter
  4. 17 minutes: LinkedIn
  5. 3 minutes: Google Plus

What has KSA done with Pinterest:

So KSA has embraced Pinterest and take it one step further. The key to any brand enhancement is engagement as well as a thematic board. We have chosen “What does KSA do” and this is a variation on the concept from www.christopherspenn.com who originally came up with the idea for his advanced social media university class.

 

 

 

Take a look and let us know what you think….. Also, why not try making your own. Let us know how it goes!