Weber Shandwick | Asia-Pacific won two Gold Stevie Awards in The 2013 International Business Awards. Their Beijing office won in the app awards categories for an app created for McDonalds in China; and their Singapore office won for a community relations campaign in the PR awards categories. (The 2014 International Business Awards is currently accepting entries. Get your entry kit here).
We asked Simon Dang, vice president, inline strategy, at Weber Shandwick Beijing, for his insight on what companies and organizations should be doing to better promote their goods or services in the Asia-Pacific region.
Engaging with the Consumer
Simon told us: “Throughout Asia Pacific, and in the China market especially, social media and mobile access simply cannot be ignored. Brands really need to start with a mobile strategy first, not as an afterthought. Whether it is investing in a custom APP or creating content on social media mobile such as WeChat and Line or Weibo, branded customized communication experiences on mobile devices need to meet the demand for the on-the-go, always-on lifestyle of today. “
Simon added: “Just as many consumers today expect to be able to chat directly with a brand one-on-one via WeChat, WhatsApp, etc. It’s a huge opportunity for brands to further engage with personalized conversations and learn more about their consumers.”
Dedication to Clients
Weber Shandwick’s Stevie® Award-winning entry in the Apps categories, “Olympic App Strikes Gold with Youth,” is a perfect example of how the agency helped their client McDonald’s reach the youth market through the use of social media.
Simon told us that he regards the Stevies as one of the major awards in the industry. “We are honored and delighted to have received this award. It’s a testament to the exceptional dedication and skill of our entire team and the work we do for our clients.”
He added that the Weber Shandwick team had had a lot of fun creating the app for McDonald’s. “It was used to truly engage and tap into the passion of the Olympic fans of China. Winning this award has energized the team to really push the boundaries on what types of mobile apps to create for upcoming campaigns, and how we can make more apps that truly engage audiences and make a difference.”
Getting Around in Beijing
Being a part of the on-the-go, always-on lifestyle himself, Simon tells us: “It’s really hard to get taxis in Beijing so I like using 嘀嘀打车（Didi Dache）along with WeChat’s integrated payment system.” Useful information if you are doing business in Beijing.
We asked Simon what excited him about the future. He told us it was the limitless possibilities for the Asia-Pacific region. “It’s often said that there’s not a lot of innovation coming out of the China,” Simon explained. “But as many Stevie Award winners show, that’s completely false. We are living in an historic period of change. We’re already seeing so much being led out of Asia Pacific—and there is much more to come.“
About Simon Dang
Simon Dang is vice president, inline strategy, at Weber Shandwick Beijing. He provides strategic direction across digital and traditional PR teams to oversee integrated marketing and media strategies that inspire clients and target audiences in both the online and offline worlds. His ten years of experience in digital includes paid search, social media, display media buying, above-the-line advertising, and creative content production that spans FMCG, finance, retail, travel, and technology verticals. Simon’s current clients include McDonald’s, Unilever, Microsoft, California Walnuts, and Ocean Spray.
Prior to Weber Shandwick, Simon was the global search director at Mindshare NY overseeing the global account for SAP and the North America region for all Unilever brands. For Unilever, his team created and executed social media, community management, influencer engagement and integrated marketing programs for Unilever, including a Facebook campaign that led to top fan page growth in 2010. Simon was also invited to join Unilever’s North America Digital Innovation Board as an advisor on all brands for search and digital media strategy.
Simon has spoken at various international conferences, including BeaPon’s Annual Asia Social Media Summit, the Beijing Government Affairs Forum 2012, SES China, SES London, and OMS New York, and was a guest lecturer at the Zicklin School of Business in New York. Simon is a volunteer at TED-X Beijing and holds an MBA from Columbia University.
About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations firm with offices in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of thinkers, strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers, and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate social responsibility, financial communications, and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital, and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.