This is not a food review.
This is an account of my personal experience with Nando’s and the PR firm that represents the food brand.
Nando’s, came to the forefront of local news a couple of years ago – much to the outrage of Joanne Peh’s fans – when she tweeted about the terrible terrible service she and then-beau Bobby Tonelli received at its Tanglin Mall branch.
My own experience at its Plaza Singapura branch wasn’t anything to hoot about either, though I was rather disappointed when my partner and I didn’t receive thunderous applause from the staff upon our exit. I had imagined raucous sendoffs were sort of a tradition at Nando’s but eventually realised – upon recalling said incident between plaintiff-Joanne Peh and defendant-Nando’s – standing ovations from staff were reserved for those who demand plain water but insist on not being charged for it, and was somewhat placated.
The PR firm visited our office yesterday, cautioning us to embargo the news of its “Just Say Lah” campaign until 15 Nov 2013, 0000hrs. That was when it hit me: SOCIAL MEDIA IS KING.
One, social media may forgive, but it never never forgets.
The PR folks while passing their cards out to an editor, let slip the faux pas, “With the recent bad publicity…” Saving the PR executive’s ass, the editor good-naturedly replied, “Oh it’s a good thing, the food has improved since.” Note: She only mentioned the food.
While I am unable to corroborate the editor’s sentiments about the food since I have never been back after the lacklustre incident at Plaza Singapura, it does prove two things about the media (social or otherwise): It has a flawless memory, and there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Two, speed is social media’s trump card (over traditional media).
A lot of flak has been said about bloggers not doing their due diligence, tending to shoot their mouths off without fact-checking. And let’s admit it, the majority of bloggers tend to write about their personal opinions rather than knock out a balanced piece with sound viewpoints while looking at both sides of the story. Present company included.
But, truly, if brands want to get their message out – fast! – social media is the way to go.
I recall a certain Hermès artist’s showing in Singapore where the tiny boutique at Liat Towers was flooded with members of traditional and social media. While the ruminations of my print colleagues made its way to readers only months after the exhibition, the caricaturist/blogger who stood beside me that very evening sketching furiously away, no doubt got whatever he wanted to say out the moment he transcribed his works into a digital format fit for internet-print.
And of course, you are reading this ahead of what my print colleagues have decided to put out (at a later date) because I alone own admin rights to this very blog. No editors. No advertising. No holds barred.