Be Remarkable, Be A Purple Cow

by Shazani Nartino, Republic Polytechnic

THE X-FACTOR: Panellists at a session at All In! Young Writers Festival 2018 on public relations writing in the digital age urged the participants to develop unique traits so that they could stand out in the field.


Singapore – When posting a photo on the social media platform Instagram, most users would spend just a few minutes editing the photo on their smartphones, write a caption and post it almost immediately.

But if you plan to be influential on social media, those few minutes may not be enough. This was according to public relations professional Herbert Sim who spoke at the All In! Young Writers Festival 2018.

“Most of the time, social media influencers don’t post photos that are ‘live’,” he said. “Instead, they take the time to edit the photos to make it remarkable before posting it after a day or more.”

Mr Sim was among two speakers who shared tips on public relations writing in the digital age during a panel session at the 10th edition of the Festival. Held between March 17 and 19, the Festival featured workshops, panel sessions and fringe events at *Scape.

Along with communications professional Kelvin Ang, Mr Sim shared how social media has taken over as a communication mode in public relations and gave tips to aspiring practitioners on how they could stand out.

Mr Sim, the founder of high fashion and luxury online magazine WardrobeTrendsFashion: The Portal, urged aspiring public relations practitioners to possess an X-Factor or a unique trait.

“Be remarkable, be a purple cow,” he said. “To be a purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins would capture anyone’s eye.”

Mr Sim shared some examples of other ‘purple cows’ in the industry. These included bubble tea drinks with their simple plastic packaging, Llao Llao’s bright green logo on their yogurt cups and even local influencer Xiaxue’s glamorous pink hair.

Both speakers also urged aspiring public relations practitioners to improve their language skills through reading and writing.

“Read, read, and read,” said Mr Ang, who is a member of the OCBC Bank's corporate communications team. “If you’re used to reading content from social media, I would suggest stepping out of your comfort zone and start reading content from news publications such as The New York Times.”

Mr Ang added: “Expose yourself to different types of content, not just content from a single source.”

This news story is written by Shazani Nartino, a Republic Polytechnic Diploma in Mass Communication student.