19 June 2021
The School of Communication (SCOM) and the Yazhou Zhoukan (YZZK) co-organised the ‘President X Chief Editor Forum’ on 19 June 2021, with President Simon S M Ho and Mr Lop-poon Yau, Editor-in-Chief of YZZK as the speakers. The Forum was the climax of the online certificate course ‘Creative Corporate Communication in the Digital Age’.
In her welcoming speech, Professor Scarlet Tso, Associate Vice-President (Communications and Public Affairs) and Dean of the SCOM, said that corporate communication had already entered the cyberisation realm. The content and organisation of corporate communication must be duly adjusted to cope with the new challenges to enhance the crisis management mechanisms and develop more modernised and creative corporate communication strategies.
President Ho and Mr Yau expressed their great concern over the flooding of false information in the Internet era. President HO pointed out that, according to a survey conducted by the HSUHK and the Hong Kong Public Relations Professionals’ Association Limited, apart from negative news and crises, the major challenges faced by the corporate communication and public relations functions in Hong Kong was that distorted facts and unverified news often go viral speedily. As such, providing true information and curbing the spread of false information were both prime tasks in corporate communication.
On the other hand, Mr Yau analysed the impacts brought by false and one-sided news and information to the general public and the society. He urged companies and the press to uphold the truth-seeking attitude and to avoid misleading the public with false information or one-sided facts, which will, in return, harm the credibility and image of the company.
President Ho and Mr Yau both opined that companies should develop effective crisis management strategies and contingency plans well ahead of time for clarifying rumours and defusing stakeholders’ negative feelings about the company. They proposed that companies should seek to establish mutual trust with its internal and external stakeholders with a view to building a positive corporate image and brand. Both agreed that corporate communication work was both challenging and highly valued, which required not only news acumen and professional ethics, but also the ability to motivate the interactive relationships among the media, organisations and the general public.