AmCham’s Director of Digital Marketing & Communications introduces our brand-new website and talks all things digital
By Jennifer Khoo
Tell us a little about your role at AmCham, and about what went into launching the new website.
I oversee the Chamber’s promotion of its services and activities via digital channels and our media partners. Internally, I am responsible for our website, our social media channels, and the digital upload of our publications.
Before its launch, I acted as the facilitator and point-of-contact between Chamber staff and EventBank & Altima, who developed the system behind our new website. After communicating AmCham’s functional requirements and suggesting design ideas of my own, the developer returned with a list of workable solutions for us to choose from.
Can you take us through some of the website’s new features?
The most visible change you will notice is its overall look and feel, and that it is now, of course, mobile responsive. The new Events page in particular looks dramatically different; it uses a different template for different event natures, making it much more user-friendly.
Another feature I am proud to announce is our website-embedded videos, where anyone can watch public event webcasts directly on AmCham’s website. In the past, they would’ve been redirected to our YouTube channel.
And finally, our new system developer, EventBank, has a ‘ready-to-use’ mobile application, which members and non-members can download to keep track of all AmCham-related news and activities. The best part is, app users will receive a QR-code-enabled digital ticket when they register for upcoming AmCham events, which is a convenient green alternative to paper tickets.
How have AmCham’s online marketing needs evolved since you joined?
When I joined AmCham at the end of 2015, we were focused on streamlining the old website by removing unnecessary layers and making pages accessible with fewer clicks. But our old operating system restricted how much we could change. This gave rise to the idea of replacing the system entirely, so we could enjoy more flexibility with the website design.
Throughout the last two years, we have worked on overhauling our email-direct-marketing campaigns (which were relied upon heavily for event signups), to encourage more personal interaction between AmCham Event staff and potential attendees.
You may have also noticed that we are more active on social media, including the recent launch of our company Instagram (@amchamhk)!
Why is online presence important for businesses today? What do firms get right or wrong about maintaining it?
From what I have observed in Hong Kong, many firms aim to create “noise” in the digital world, with little regard for whether their message is right or wrong. But not all publicity is good publicity, and companies and brands shouldn’t compromise their integrity just to make a sale.
I think every piece of content that a company puts out should be aligned with its core mission, vision and values, and every message should draw to the viewer’s mind what that company is about. For instance, when anyone talks about auto pilot cars, most people will think of Tesla.
What can organizations do to ensure digital changes are implemented as smoothly as possible?
The biggest challenges occur during the initial implementation period, and getting through it smoothly requires good communication skills and patience.
Good communication skills, as you are essentially asking people to change the way they work, and you need to be able to explain to them why it is necessary. And patience, because levels of technological literacy vary between individuals in a workplace, and some may take longer than others to adapt.
My biggest tip would be to introduce digital change gradually - with an initial pilot test - along a timeline that allows for continuous tweaking, feedback, and sufficient training/briefing for users.