Saturday, December 17, 2011

#SMRT Social Media Crisis -- no end in sight

With the breakdown in SMRT trains, 3 times this week, the public was increasingly angry as it comes after the announcement and price increase for Taxis in Singapore.

This week, Circle Line was down, and on 15 Dec, the NS Line is badly disrupted and it created a crisis where power was out, ventilation was cut off, and someone had to break a window for air.

Then it comes the memes.

Clearly at this point, people are concerned and unhappy. On a few articles, thousands of people voiced their unhappiness. However, the state media and the communications department started to make stories which enraged the public more.

‘Train disruptions unacceptable and unforgivable’

The credibility of State Controlled Media -- Straitstimes is also questioned.
The Straits Times reports factually – not

The news title keeps changing on Straitstimes.
Singaporeans confident of MRT despite Thursday's MRT breakdown

The media also tries to cover things up with the "Extra income fiasco"
Yahoo! News 1 The Straits Times 0 Either that or the ST reporter is not trying too hard.

This is the photo which enraged many Singaporeans too.

Next comes the #PRFAIL from the communications department.

MRT breakdown: Don't break the windows, says SMRT
One frustrated commuter used a fire extinguisher to smash the glass on the door.
He should not have done so but considering the situation, he will not be penalised, SMRT officials said.

This is official statement from SMRT where a train stuck for hours in a tunnel without ventilation, and when passengers find it hard to breathe, a man smashed the windows to let air in, and SMRT was "considering" the possibility of pressing charges. -- WHAT KIND OF RESPONSE IS THIS?

The state controlled media also penalized Hossan Leong for sharing information on the incident which he read on tweets on Radio, informing the public that the MRT may be down and asking them to seek alternative transportation methods.

And this led to the awkard moment on TV.

So not only had the PR team of SMRT fail to handle the crisis, it seem to enrage the public more.

Unfortunately for SMRT, the worst is not over as the trains broke down today again.

So did the bus ferrying the passengers.

How can SMRT restore confidence and happiness in passengers?

It seemed like in their monopolistic market they are in, they do not really care as shown in their attitude and response. Will the government step in? I do not think so as well as it was quite clear that PTC and the Minister of Transport is one of them.

There is a Facebook Page to share your experience on the MRT

I am not sure if they are interested in solving the problems, but there is a crisis growing, and people are not getting satisfaction.

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Social Media is about Long Term Engagement (Singapore)

March 2011, in Singapore, Nicole Seah is the most influential blogger in Singapore. During the elections, Lee Kuan Yew had the support of many influential bloggers including Xia Xue, who apparently could not manage her emotions when Nicole Seah, a relatively young lady was seen as more influential than her, decided to help boost Lee Kuan Yew's Facebook popularity.

Along with many other bloggers who were invited to meet the PAP group, Lee Kuan Yew's Facebook Page was boosted till he has more fans than Nicole Seah in May 2011.

However, it is very clear that if you do not engage anyone, like Lee Kuan Yew, no matter how much you pay for people to follow you, you are still not influential! Number of followers does not equal to engagement and influence.

Today, 6 months later, Nicole Seah does have more followers than Lee Kuan Yew.

"Engage or Die." -- Brian Solis.

--Robin Low