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​SMG, NTU and Facebook pioneer social media education initiative

Published on: 21-Apr-2015

SMG Social, Starcom’s social and content division, the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Facebook have teamed up to develop social media talent in Singapore.

SMG Social Connect, a programme developed with Facebook since 2014, supports the media industry in nurturing, mentoring and training students for entrant positions in social media. The collaboration with WKWSCI, one of Asia’s leading communication schools, is the second long-term academic-industry partnership for SMG and Facebook.

The partnership addresses the industry’s demand for talents who are social media-savvy. The academia-industry partnership with WKWSCI at NTU is also SMG’s way of contributing to the broader mission of advancing knowledge and best practices in social media management and generating greater value through a deeper collaboration model.

“SMG Connect uncovers greater meaning for SMG's talent and partnerships through contributing to the academia of Singapore and the rest of the region. We're proud to continue taking our passion for the business beyond conventional agency boundaries, while investing for a promising future,” said Ian Loon, Regional Director Digital Leadership of SMG in Southeast Asia.

During the programme, students learned to develop social media strategies and campaigns, and how to identify key social media platforms for campaigns. In addition, the programme educates students on how businesses can leverage social media to its full potential through the “Define, Design & Deliver” framework.

SMG guided students on how to design a content strategy for social media campaigns using the 4Cs (Community, Currency, Content & Conversation), tone of voice, and best in class brands on the social web.
“We are proud to pioneer this initiative where we go beyond the traditional industry practitioner/guest lecturer model and implement a practicum with real deliverables and bottom-line impact,” said Eunice Tan, Senior Manager at SMG Social.

WKWSCI’s Chair, Professor Charles Salmon, said, “Some schools prepare you for your first job. NTU educates the next generation of leaders. This partnership with two of the industry’s trailblazers is an important part of our ongoing efforts to enhance our students’ skills development.”

“Social media is an increasingly integral part of good marketing and communication practice and this programme will ensure that our NTU graduates have a good balance of theoretical and practical skills that are highly valued in the communication industry.”

Four month long hands-on practicum

For this year’s initiative, WKWSCI offered the programme as a practicum titled The Social Lab – Community Management, overseen by Ms Wong Pei Wen, a lecturer at the school.

Fourteen undergraduates applied their newly acquired social media knowledge and skills to manage the school’s Open House page on Facebook, aiming to increase its engagement with prospective students.

Facebook provided students with an induction to the basics of building and managing a community on Facebook, featuring a media planning framework and exercises to design online posts.  In addition, Facebook provided support in helping students develop programme ideas based on the original brief as well as help judge the final presentations.
“Attracting, developing, and retaining digital media talent in Singapore is imperative in fostering innovation within the local media industry. Partnering with leading education institutions like WKWSCI and agency partners like Starcom is crucial in helping us nurture the next generation of client leaders,” said Matthew Drury, Agency Development Lead for Facebook in Asia Pacific.
During the practicum, students learned the basics of social media community management, content creation and marketing. Students worked closely with mentors from SMG and Facebook to bring WKWSCI's dynamic student culture and brand experience to a recruitment campaign targeted at potential students.

NTU student Jonathan Lee who was the Content Team Leader said, “People may think that managing a Facebook page or Instagram is easy, but the amount of effort that goes into it can be overwhelming. It’s very similar to managing a brand where every action has to be rigorously checked to ensure consistency. Thankfully we had SMG, Facebook and our lecturer Ms Pei to guide us with their experience and industry knowledge. Knowledge and skills aside, I’ve also gained a lot of respect for the community managers out there who are handling their own respective brand’s Facebook pages. It’s a tough job.”

The overall campaign objective is to raise awareness and attendance for WKWSCI’s recruitment programmes in 2015.

SMG invited local online influencer, Smith Leong, 2014 Winner of Lifestyle Blog, to conduct a dialogue session with the students to learn how to effectively engage a key opinion leader.
Facebook and SMG conducted several workshops during the content planning stage of the campaign to demonstrate to students the concepts in community management, how to create online content calendars, campaign reviews and measurement, conversation moderating and monitoring, and crisis management.


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Media contacts:
Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687

Deepa Balji
Director, Brand Marketing & Communications Southeast Asia
Starcom MediaVest Group

Archana Shah (for Facebook)
Weber Shandwick


About Starcom MediaVest Group
Starcom MediaVest Group architects connected human experiences to create value for our clients through precision marketing, content and technology solutions.  Ranked the number one global network by Ad Age and RECMA, SMG partners with the world's leading marketers and more digital disruptor brands than any other agency network. With 8,000 employees and 110 offices worldwide, SMG's network includes our three global agency brands Starcom, MediaVest and Spark; content brands LiquidThread, MRY and Relevant24; and ad tech units, RUN, Audience On Demand and more.  In 2014, SMG ( was named the top media network at Cannes, Eurobest, Dubai Lynx and Festival of Media Global. SMG is part of Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40], one of the world’s leading communications groups.

About Facebook

Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
Facebook is a trademark of Facebook, Inc.

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

The University’s main Yunnan Garden campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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