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Analysis Of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Approach In Communication With The Public

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Communication has always been an important tool in today’s society. The use of communication in modern day has expanded beyond face-to-face communication as there are an abundance of ways to interact with people. From a company’s perspective, communication is an extremely important principle for business to flourish as consumer’s needs would then be recognized and could be accommodated to. This essay would discuss about Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) approach in communication with the public. SPH is a media organization in Singapore in which its core business is publishing of newspapers, magazines and books in both print and digital editions. Like any other company, SPH follows the matrix organizational structure on how the company is being run. Since SPH has many areas of business which includes media where in Singapore, SPH publishes 17 newspaper titles in four languages, the internet and mobile area where the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 150 million pageviews. SPH also has business in the broadcasting, properties and outdoor advertising industry. With different areas of business, SPH took up the matrix organizational structure to ensure that each area is looked after by the respective departments.

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It is important for companies to earn the trust of their consumers and they do so by communicating the goals of the company on their official website. SPH’s core values for customers to ensure quality news comes from the short-form – EXCITE where EX stands for Excellence, C – Customer-focus, I- Integrity, T- Teamwork, E- Embracing Change. Publishing the core values of SPH will ensure transparency in the management of the company and it will bring about a sense of mission in meeting the needs of customers by SPH. At the same time, SPH also publishes their brand statement on their official website which shows how SPH aims to be “Asia’s Leading Media Organization, Engaging Minds and Enriching Lives Across Multiple Languages and Platforms”. Knowing the aims of SPH will educate consumers on the aim of the company as well as understanding the company’s standpoint in the industry.

SPH core business is already focused on communication as they are the ones producing and publishing articles on a daily basis about things that are happening around the world. As such, SPH’s way of communicating is similar to that of its business – which is through both online and hardcopy form. SPH has various platform of communications which includes social media through Twitter, Facebook, and websites – SPH official website, SPH foundations, SPH Reit. Moving forward, SPH adopted a more effective way of communication which is through the SPH’s location-based advertising SMS service. This service is extended through all telecommunication companies in Singapore and the main advantage of this service is that SPH can decide on the location and profile of their target consumers, as well as the time of their marketing messages.

SPH also does well in addressing controversies as they address the issue at hand immediately. An example of an incident was how SPH locked out about20 employees out of their computers before they were informed of their retrenchment in October 2017. The employees included those from the English Malay and Tamil media group. The reason behind why the incident happened was to restrict access to critical business systems for security reasons after affected staff were told of their retrenchment, but the lapse led to them being locked out prematurely before their retrenchment was known. However, SPH had already started retrenching workers earlier in the week as part of restructuring efforts and the affected group of workers were not informed of their retrenchment yet. To deal with this issue, SPH Chief Executive Ng Yat Chun addressed lapse during retrenchment controversy through a press holding and also, publishing a printed article to address the issue. There was also a huge uproar when a Straits Times portal known as “STOMP” made an inaccurate report on the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) in June 2012. It was reported that the train was moving with the doors opened by one the website’s content producer, however, it was found out that the image which was posted along with the article was photoshopped and was fake. The staff was sacked and the Straits Times’ editor, Warren Fernandez; its editor-in-chief of SPH’s English and Malay Newspapers Division, Patrick Daniel; and STOMP Editor, Azhar Kasman, all issued apologies and pledged that the portal would do better. They all issued statements regarding the incident and the importance of the credibility of their content and professional ethics must definitely be followed, which follows their core values.

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