Tag Archives: Leadership

2014-06-19 19.20.34

This event was Tweeted about with the event hashtag, #wmntrafficking.

With the help of our sponsors, Thomson Reuters, WMN put together a panel about human trafficking, inspired by the Thomson Reuters’ reports on the Rohingya people, winning Pulitzer Prize.

The panel consisting of staff member Tara Joseph, Tom Leander, a member of the Society of Publishers in Asia’s Awards Committee and editor-in-chief for Asia for Lloyd’s List, as well as Archana Kotecha who is best known for her work in social issues like human trafficking and her work with Liberty Asia. (You can learn more about the panel members here). Hong Kong Chapter President, Christina Pantin performed her last role for us, by moderating the panel.

Rohingya People

While the panel started with a chance to watch a short video about the Rohingya, I’d like to start the blog with a definition of human trafficking, which is not the same as human smuggling. Trafficking is essentially slavery and while we think of that as a thing of the past, it is not. Check out some of the event tweets to learn some shocking statistics about it.

Joseph starts things be questioning whether media have been paying attention to human trafficking is a question in itself. She notes that a lot of people who have risen in journalism in the last 20 years were looking at finance and Wall Street. But corporate social responsibility plays a bigger factor now and that affects society, the audiences and therefore media.

Leander says that the media is also under an economic pressure so these stories can be left behind, but what’s reported and how, is still important. “Stories create value, which generates revenue. It used to be ruled by columns inches but it isn’t anymore. That changes some of the approach to journalism,” he adds.

Leander and Joseph

And for Reuters to win a Pulitzer Prize shows that a decision to follow that story was made despite that it didn’t create revenue. But the award surely has created prestige?

Kotecha, who has dedicated most of her career to such things, answers somes questions: “Before, these stories were left to organisations like Amnesty International,” she explains noting the difference in smuggling and trafficking, which reporting doesn’t always make clear. “Thomson Reuters reported that, noting that the Thai Government had referred to it as smuggling, which it was not,” she says.

Moving deeper into the reaches of human trafficking, she says, “another correlation that people don’t understand is how the prawn on their dinner plate does link back to the slave on the fishing boat. So, human trafficking benefits us in ways we don’t know.” She adds, that prawns used to be considered a luxury and now, they are common-place.

In fact, companies that don’t do proper due diligence on their supply chains might easily be buying materials and products from factories and companies with outright slavery conditions, poorly paid and cared for workers and so on. Customers might not think about this at all – but CP foods, who sell huge supermarket chains in the UK, got caught out.

But human trafficking and slavery is in our every day lives. Kotecha says, “where there are brothels, there are sex workers. Mainland construction workers who cross the border every day, what are their conditions? If you are worried, don’t buy just any chocolate, buy fair trade chocolate. We make choices.”


Looking back at media, Joseph says, “it was easier in the past for these large stories to disappear quickly, especially when it’s not clearly occurring on your doorstep. But computers and globalisation changes that. As does the ability to get data – journalists in the field are at risk, there are considerations to covering such stories.

And if you think it doesn’t happen in Hong Kong? Migrant workers come here for work, often in debt from getting here and are stuck working in a household and with the agency holding their passport. Kotecha says, “in LegCo and elsewhere this is overlooked now because it’s become a tired topic.”

The story of Erwiana can’t be ignored by Hong Kongers, can it? Kotecha discusses this with the audience, wondering how such a sick woman could get through the airport without any notice? With her own tired and crying children, Kotecha receives stares and attention. The case is now in courts so watch this space.

Of course, this raised some awareness in Hong Kong and many found it shocking. “Highlighting personal cases makes the cause stronger within the news, helps people to understand and give it attention,” says Joseph. But Kotecha wards off that, because it creates a hierarchy between victims. “So if your wounds are less visual, are you in a better condition? If you can’t see the emotional and physical wounds, does it mean that people won’t feel the story?” She asks.

“A lot of between-the-lines issues occurred during the case, which was not reported, despite the reporters being aware. The difficulty perhaps being that the Indonesian economy does rely on these overseas workers sending money home, just as Hong Kongers rely on their help to go out and do their work,” says Kotecha. Her very real criticism is that the wider issues were not covered in Hong Kong media.


Leander notes that human rights organisations often criticise how the media reports but the Rohingya story was a good example of how to do it. “It’s necessary to really define the issues and definitions as well as follow up – what about the court cases, what about the outcome?” This is a big issue for Kotecha, who says we need more than an amazing story that captures attention and then dies out, we need a more sustainable approach to the stories. One of the reasons the Rohingya story worked is that it didn’t focus on a single person. Leander asks “why isn’t naming the criminals as compelling as naming the victims?”

But there is a brighter side. Joseph says that it is getting better, even compared with a year ago, and Kotecha agrees. Her experience in helping to employ and rehome women like the Rohingya, in detention centres, changed entirely after the Thomson Reuters report came out, with strangers contacting her to help. “Human trafficking makes people into objects – no name, no passport, no home, no bank account and suddenly they are not human and no-one will help,” Kotecha explains.

Follow the conversation @wmnasiapacific

Follow the conversation @wmnasiapacific

If you’re interested in this topic, please contact WMN. There is also this TED talk about it.

Join the conversation:



LinkedIn group

For our International Women’s Day event, we decided to turn things around a little and discuss whether some women block other women’s careers. Learn more about the event description, here.

Folllow the Twitter conversation and event highlights, here. If you want to join, please use #WMNIWD

Our wonderful panel was made up of Christine Brendle, Founding Partner of Kids Dailies and Independent Non Executive Director at The Red Flag Group Kimberley Cole, Head of Specialist Sales, Asia at Thomson Reuters andMariko Sanchanta, Asia Pacific Regional Managing Director, Media at Burson Marsteller, with the amusing and candid MJ Jennings, Director, Training & Executive Coaching, Active Communications as Moderator

Brendle: Was the only woman on her first team/ job – and the only one who knew how to use a computer. Therefore, there were no women in senior ranks. After moving to New York, she found supported female bosses… She quotes Madeleine Allbright, “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Sanchanta: Had good sponsors and mentors as well as some issues – she joined the panel because she couldn’t believe that women would block each other.

Due to a fire, our Hong Kong President, Christina Pantin had to step in for Cole at the beginning. To start us off, she shared some information: For the first time, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y millennials are working together now.

  • Lawyers under 40 prefer working for men who give better direction and constructive criticism.
  • 40% of workplace bullies are women.
  • 70% of the time a woman is bullied is by another woman.



So, why might women step on each other?
Some women who play the lone female at work might feel threatened by other women that come into the work place. When women work together and become friends, they might also share some very personal stories and secrets – perhaps becoming a root cause for future bad behaviour with one another?

Cole shares that she tries to see which women at work always have their heads down, and then tries to mention to others about their work, to help them connect with each other.


Should women working in Corporations play by the men’s rules?
Sanchanta: I’ve always refused to do so – and I’m a small Asian woman so I just can’t take that presence. I’m feminine and a woman and kept a mix of friends. In my experience a lot of workplaces are gender neutral, for instance after work activities like drinking in the pub are quite inclusive.

Brendle: Those rules exist but I don’t think you should play by them. Moving from France to the US, it was like the ceiling was raised by about 50 meters!

But the same company can be a totally different place depending on the corporate culture there. Encourage women leaders. Think about who is replacing you and what that brings. I’ve seen women who I’ve hired and am grooming take a hundred steps back as they become Queen Bees or try to assimilate more with the men.

Pantin: If a man is running the business, then it is under such rules because women have different career tracks and styles. But until you accept and take into account the different biology, those differences will be clear.

Why do women leave the leadership stream? Do they settle or do they just not want it? Fostering women to move up the ranks to the top is a big change that has to be approached at all levels of the company and management chain.


How do you juggle your life balance?
Cole: My kids were born in the UK where maternity leave is fantastic and practical. I came back to Asia to have them looked after!

Women feel guiltier going back to work and feel bad – men take it differently. I don’t think you can have it all, at the same time.

Brendle: For my second child I stopped work and enjoyed it because for my first born, I missed out. When you leave and come back to work it’s great to feel welcome – don’t bring them back and give them a second rate job.


Women are delaying careers for their family but might still go for new job interviews while pregnant. What are the compromises?
Sanchanta: Most of my colleagues don’t have wives who work. I have a baby and if I don’t leave by 6.30 I won’t see my daughter – I told my husband to stay home with her tonight instead of supporting me. I couldn’t miss bath time for a whole week but I think some men can.

Audience: I started my own business so that I could spend time with my children, when it became evident that between my and my husband’s career, we had no time at all.

In your early thirties in places like the US, you can’t afford a nanny or day care, so the pay gap between husband and wife determines who goes back to work.

I have three boys – once, they were all under five. I’m aware that my boys can learn why mummy shares responsibilities with daddy and why mummy needs to have a good job. We try to balance it as a team but I know my boys will be future workers. I’d prefer a good hour with them in the evening than time when I’m trying to do all of it, working from home, etc.

Cole: I always intended to have it all and have a career and children. I would have gone back even if my work only covered the childcare, but I was probably lucky to have those six months paid maternity leave in the UK.


Who do you turn to when you’re afraid? A cultural shift in your organisation or managing your lives better? What about mentors and paid mentors?
Sanchanta: “I’ve had a range of different female mentors in my life – but only ever been sponsored by men (in hiring/decision making positions).

Brendle: I’ve had mostly male sponsors and mentors – usually the same person – but I have also mentored.

I never looked for a mentor but it happens sometimes. At one point I had two men above me in different arms of the company, but I learned a lot. If you’re hiring the staff you might have a lot of wisdom and be a great sounding board.

Cole: I’m task oriented so I needed a sponsor – if that person can be a mentor as well that’s great. I now have one woman who was my mentor but she’s been so elevated now is that she could also be a sponsor. But it’s great to have both internal and external mentors and sponsors, because if people leave, what will you do? You get the balance.


How do you celebrate success?
Brendle: If you only have one discussion a year about your pay rise, it’s something that most people don’t feel too comfortable about. Doing this, you have metrics that are measured, and some women feel quite trapped by having men measure this – “oh growth in Asia, well, anyone could do that” – make sure you have your facts and proof behind you. Prepare.

Sanchanta: In Japanese culture you should be humble – so it took me a long time to unlearn these things. Working for American companies, you have to learn to trumpet your achievements.

Audience: Have a yey me folder to track and recall your successes.

JJ: Share feedback about people within the organisation, about a team etc – it will impress managers too. What goes around comes around!


What helped you on your journey to keep growing and taking a step forward?
Brendle: I waited ‘til after I was 50 to become an entrepreneur, by enjoying the means I could from corporations. I’m still learning a lot – I’m good with the big picture but I find being detail oriented a struggle.

Sanchanta: I have had several catalysts that make me do things differently. Having a child encouraged me to leave my 15-year comfort zone of journalism. Networking is great and amenable here because of the size of the city. I just keep going and perhaps I’ll end up doing my own thing one day too.

Cole: I like a challenge but the reason I keep taking them is financial independence. I was brought up by a single mother and she always taught me to have options and being able to be in control. 

Community Business has recently shared a research paper carried out by Standard and Chartered in Hong Kong, about the number of women serving on boards in Hong Kong.

Funnily, I feel as though I have seen a number of strong women in Hong Kong – and I mean in politics. I always thought that Anson Chan was a solid politician and now we see people like Emily Lau and  Carrie Lau holding some awkward positions.

Aren’t Chinese women strong and determined? The aunties in my family are definitely not to be messed with and I always felt that some of the big local families are somewhat led by the matriarch – even (the rise and dip of) Sun Hung Kai includes the mother.

But apparently, Hong Kong scores shockingly low compared with other countries, when it comes to the number of women on boards.

In case you missed it, Community Business’s newsletter about the report went like this:

Yesterday we released our latest research, Standard Chartered Bank Women on Boards: Hang Seng Index 2013.

Whilst the needle is moving in the right direction, progress to increase the number of women on boards in Hong Kong remains very slow. In the last 12 months, the number of women has increased by just three and the number of female directorships by four, resulting in a total of 9.4% of all board directorships being held by women.

Our figures are consistent with statistics recently made available by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx), which looked at female representation on the boards of all 1,551 companies listed in Hong Kong. The overall figure as at January 31, 2013 is 10.7% compared with 10.3% as at May 31, 2012. 40% of boards listed in Hong Kong are all male.

We congratulate the companies with the highest percentage of women on their boards.  They are leading the way and we hope that more companies will follow.

Read the full report, here.











This is a re-post from LinkedIn, which surprisingly doesn’t employ a proper infographic. But it ends with a good question, so I suggest we all meditate on that for a few minutes.


Throughout Change by Design, I tried to show that the designer’s skills can be applied to a wide range of problems—and also that these skills are accessible to a far greater range of people than may be commonly supposed. These two threads come together when we apply them to one of the most challenging problems of them all: designing a life. There is a big difference, though, between planning a life, drifting through life, and designing a life.

We all know of people who go through life with every step preplanned. They knew which university they would attend, which internship would lead to a successful career, and at what age they will retire. Unfortunately, this never works out as planned. And anyway, if you know the winner before the start, where’s the fun in the game?

Like any good design team, we can have a sense of purpose without deluding ourselves that we can predict every outcome in advance, for this is the space of creativity. We can blur the distinction between the final product and the creative process that got us there. We can learn how to take joy in the things we create. We can work within the constraints of our own natures—and still be agile, build capabilities, iterate. We can conduct experiments, make discoveries, change our perspectives.

Think of today as a prototype. What would you change?

Original article here.


How the social media landscape will develop is a question that is always discussed during social media think tanks. Not only are we unsure of the future – and is it just a phase? – but we can also play a part in guiding it.

This post from Ragan.com gives six interesting prediction for social media in 2013. And some of them we’ve all heard before, so we should take note. A picture does tell a thousand words. Infographics are on the rise. And yes, timing is everything.


Although 2012 was filled with exciting PR and social media developments, including London’s 2012 Olympic extravaganza,Prince Harry’s Las Vegas scandal, and a down-to-the-wire race for the U.S. presidency, the coming year is sure to see even further transformations of the media landscape.

1. LinkedIn is the new Facebook. More brands will use LinkedIn to monitor conversations and connect with customers and influencers. New and enhanced features on the site, such as its “endorse” capability (which employs the one-click validation of a Facebook “like”) and new profile and company page designs are encouraging users to spend more time building their personal brands with LinkedIn’s tools. Companies, particularly in the B2B world, will increasingly recognize its marketing potential. Also, as adoption and activity on LinkedIn surge, journalists will spend more time using the platform for research, identifying sources and breaking stories.

Read the rest here.

Faith Brewitt, the name behind China-based company Have Faith in Your Brand, has kindly agreed to write for WMN and to let us re-post some of her earlier blogs.

Originally posted July 2012, re-posted with permission.


Eight Things Any Small Business Must Know Before Jumping In
China has become THE place to be and I often hear from U.S. and European small business owners that it seems like every company, big and small, is already there selling a product or service. The worry being, ‘Am I too late?’ The good news is that as fast as your competitors enter China, there are scores of Chinese businesses and customers coming online just as quickly; meaning there is more than enough to go around and the potential profits are sizable. So how do you break through the clutter to grow your customer base, build effective partnerships and get the media’s attention – all while not breaking the bank



In my 20 years of working and living in China, I’ve come to appreciate the dynamic and fabulously complex place that is modern China; and I’ve learned some surefire methods to getting the biggest bang for your PR spend. 


Choose a local PR agency. Now this sounds pretty obvious, and by “local” I don’t mean the Beijing office of one of the top global “full service” PR agencies like (Hill & Knowlton, Edelman, etc.). Small businesses do not need, and likely can’t afford, to spend big bucks on monthly retainers with these guys. What they don’t want you to know is that if you are small you won’t get the best talent working on your account. Sure they might send in the VP for the pitch, but in the end you’ll have an Account Executive or lower. Don’t be concerned with their title. Be concerned if the person really working on your account has the media relationships, knows all the universities and best venues for events, and has relations with the most popular (and affordable) local celebrities.  They will also need a real understanding and appreciation of what your company is all about – because they will become the de facto “face” of your business to the Chinese public.   

Go ‘native’. China is all about relationships, face-to-face interactions and respecting China. Going in with the wrong attitude can spell disaster. If you find a match with a small agency, they will help you navigate the local business customs and garner you the right kind of press. One challenge will be language. Many, not all, of the smaller Chinese boutique agencies spend all their days speaking Mandarin and while they do learn English in school, finding someone that you can really communicate with may take time. Take the time.

Get the right kind of exposure. What is the ‘right exposure’? If you are in transportation, pharmaceutical or banking, for example, and looking to make the right impact to your business, I’d prioritize government relations over traditional public relations. There are some great government relations agencies that are worth every yuan spent! But if you are in consumer goods or IT, I’d focus on finding a small agency that is working or has worked with companies you admire within your specific industry. 


Be clear and meet the team. When looking for an agency, be sure to send out a well written Request for Proposal (RFP) and specifically ask for bios of the real team who will work on your business along with their hourly rates. Meeting the agency’s team in-person is the absolute best case scenario and one that I highly suggest. You really need to see China to truly comprehend it and as previously mentioned, personal relationships are critical to success so TAKE THE TIME AND GO TO CHINA. But if you can’t for whatever reason, then definitely use a webcam to see the proposed team. Be prepared for awkward silences, because this happens when junior staff is sitting in front of their managers. Here’s a tip to getting around that – send your questions in advance, in writing and specifically ask for certain people on the team to answer them. This may seem strange in Western cultures, but it allows non-native English speakers time to digest the question and prepare a well thought out answer that best represents her or him and his firm.


Beyond press releases. If you only have a small budget, and as a small business owner I’m assuming you do, you want to make the biggest bang for your buck. Real engagement with press and potential customers is essential to building your brand and business, and that’s not going to happen as quickly as you need it to by sending out press releases in China. There are hundreds of journalists, at almost as many publications, and they get bombarded with press releases hourly. Journalists in China want face-to face time to meet with executives and appreciate tours of offices, factories and stores to learn first-hand about your business. So why not hold a summit or luncheon or roundtable and bring existing customers in with new prospects and media and hold a conversation about a trend or issue that relates to your business offering. This is a great way to promote your company as a thought leader.

Funny thing about titles. While you shouldn’t be worried about the title of your account person at your PR agency, you do need to be concerned with title when identifying spokespeople in your company. When it comes to Chinese media, they will always want to meet the CEO, then VPs, so make sure someone senior is available when doing press tours or large PR activities. 

What doesn’t work at home, works in China. While today in most Western countries, press events are no longer the norm and most journalists prefer to simply speak to you via the phone to save time and money, events and press conferences are a must in China. Press events around things you’d never imagine doing at home, like office and store openings, really work. Small events can run around US$10,000 for most agencies to support, plus out of pockets. The price rises depending on size and complexity of the event.  The old adage ‘to make money you need to spend money’ is true when it comes to publicizing your business in China.  Perception matters and photo opportunities (so you will need a colorful backdrop) and even finding a local celebrity to come to your event works extremely well. When done right these can garner a lot of buzz for your company.

Forget Twitter, try Weibo. Mastering social media is a challenge for any business in every country, but when getting started in China you need to know that both Facebook and Twitter are blocked by the government and therefore can’t be leveraged like in your own country. Knowing the local versions of both of these is a must. Your agency needs to able to use these tools to get the word out. Volume matters; literally hundreds of millions of Chinese use social media every day, so ignoring it is not an option. Make sure your agency is thinking about multiple audience categories also, like students and NGOs, as well as customers to speak on your behalf. One thing to remember – focus on your products and their benefits and stay away from anything controversial or critical of China itself.


Using PR to building your brand in China doesn’t have to be a daunting task. And in fact, it can be a lot of fun. The above tips are just to get you started. I’m eager to hear your comments and help point you in the right direction.





About Faith
Faith is a senior branding executive with 17 years international experience managing global public relations programs for Fortune 500 companies in the United States, China and across Asia Pacific and Japan. A mandarin speaker, she understands the complexities of the China market and how to help companies build brand awareness through engaging marketing and PR campaigns to meet and exceed business objectives.


Her company, Have Faith in Your Brand, delivers strategies and tactics for brand and corporate citizenship, strategic philanthropy and issues management. With capabilities in both Beijng and Singapore, we have the senior-level knowledge, to help grow brands in China and promote worthwhile causes and issues for both business and social progress.


Your digital presence tells the story of who you are – and what you are worth… so what should you be saying?

In a world overflowing with the noise of Facebook updates, tweets, blog posts, Pinterest pins and YouTube video responses, it’s difficult to connect with the people who matter most to your business and your career.


Mastering Story, Community and Influence explains the art of social media storytelling, showing you how to turn your offline expertise into the sort of online thought-leadership that cuts through the noise and attracts larger, more important communities.


Whether you’re new to social media or racing to keep up with every new platform, social media storyteller extraordinaire, Jay Oatway, reveals the underlying mechanics and best practices behind becoming a serious online influencer.


Mastering Story, Community and Influence will help you become an authoritative presence online and build both the reputation and community you need for your future success in the Social Media Era.





Introduction to Mastering Story, Community & Influence: How To Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader


There was a time not so long ago when a CEO would dictate his correspondence to his secretary. The notion that he type it himself would have been laughed at. Today, the modern  CEO is on his Blackberry all day. Tomorrow,business leaders will be the masters of their own social media empires.


This shift has already begun. Increasingly, business needs people who treat social media as a professional thought-leadership tool, both for their own careers and for the benefit of the company they work for. We want to do business with those who make social media feel less like mass marketing and more like customer service. We seek out those whose influence has grown through caring for their community.


The future needs Socialeaders. A Socialeader is someone who treats social media as a professional thought-leadership tool, both for their own careers and for the benefit of the company they work for. It’s someone who makes marketing feel more like customer service. It’s someone whose influence has grown through caring for their community. A Socialeader acts as a role model in the workplace, demonstrating how to use social media tools professionally.


Why should you care about your digital presence, or how much online influence you have, or whether you know how to build social capital among relevant social media communities? Simply, you will be socially and economically disadvantaged if you don’t.


An alternative economy is fast being built on top of social media. And those who ignore it, do so at their peril. Our digital presence tells a story of who we are.


At some point, you will be Googled, possibly by a prospective client, or by a new employer, or an investor. Over any matter of great importance, we will seek out more information on the person we are dealing with. We are being judged by what is found. But many of us have yet to try to close the gap between our offline reputations and our lack of online reputations.


Social media is clearly not a fad that will go away. We need to stop treating it like a child’s toy and start using it like a tool of power.


Even if you haven’t yet begun to take charge of your digital presence, there is already information about you online. You might not have placed it there, but anyone can find it. Why  leave it to chance what people find out about you? Why not take the steps towards working with social media to curate an impressive living breathing biography of your expertise and reputation? When that prospective client, or new employer, or potential investor does a search  for you, and one for your competition, who will look most promising? Shouldn’t it be you?


You can’t escape the fact that social media are reshaping the competitive landscape. Business competition studies are showing that those using social media are gaining advantage. Your boss is going to want this too. At some point, you are going to be expected to know how to use social media for business, just as you are expected to know how to use email or the telephone.


Resistance to this will not benefit you. Already you are missing out on deals, discounts and other free stuff reserved only for those with significant online influence. What is online influence? Think of it as having what it takes to get into an exclusive club. All of our social media activities are being monitored to judge their relative impact within online communities. If you can’t demonstrate that you have the influence it takes, then you can expect to wait a long time in the queue outside. Is that where you want to be? No, didn’t think so.


Socialeaders go straight to the VIP room. But you only get as good as you give. We need to begin to invest a significant amount of effort to mastering the new frontier. It’s more about investing in the people than it is about the technology. It’s not called social media for nothing. It has been said about this new technology that “The last mile is human.”


Socialeaders are part of that solution; you are the human that completes the transition to the new way the world operates. You can’t afford to be the last person to figure this out. The younger people in your company need leadership. They may be digital natives, but what they need is a digital role model to show them how to use social media as more than a toy.


Granted, it’s not easy keeping up with all the rapid developments in social media. I use the term social media purposely throughout this book as a generic stand-in for the hot services of the day, like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram. I’m well aware that social networks come and go.


But I’m also aware that no matter how much the social media landscape evolves, the underlying principles at work only become stronger and stronger. That’s what this book will explain so that, no matter what comes next, you understand the bigger picture of what needs to be done to be successful.


Social Currency, Social Capital and Social Credit in a Nutshell

There are three terms I use throughout this book to help explain what is happening in social media and to use it to get to become a Socialeader. They are: social currency, social capital and social credit.


Essentially, story is the currency of social media. Through the exchange of social currency you build up relationships. The value of these relationships is your social capital. Social capital works much like at a bank: it’s hard to withdraw more than the value you have already deposited. You can’t ask more from a relationship than you give to it, not if you want to maintain that relationship. Also like a bank, the longer you invest in relationships, even if the social currency is of only modest value, the more social capital you will have.


The bottom line: to get more out of social media, you’ve got to put more in.

Social credit, on the other hand, is often offered even when you don’t ask for it. It is born out of your online reputation (or, more likely, from a perception that you are someone important). It is when you are given the VIP treatment because your online presence is considered influential by someone who wishes to get on your good side. Social credit is a double-edged sword and must be handled carefully.







Jay Oatway is a tech-journalist who has become a regional leader in social media reach and influence. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Mastering Story, Community and Influence: How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader . And with more than 100,000 followers worldwide, along with close ties to social media’s most influential thought-leaders, Jay has been dubbed “Hong Kong’s answer to Twitter royalty” by Marketing magazine and ranked #22 on the Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers.


Jay now provides executive social media training on how to tell stories that captivate, how to grow communities that matters, and how to cultivate online influence that can deliver results. He is also co-founder of HKSocial, Hong Kong’s first Society of Social Business Best Practices.


Working as both a tech-journalist and digital strategist in Hong Kong since 1997, Jay has become the leading independent social media authority, speaking extensively to businesses and the media about harnessing the power of the new digital tools.