Friday, August 29, 2008

From Spin Doctor to Newsmaker

An interesting twist took place on 25 Aug as I was interviewed by a bunch of reporters in Owase. As a PR consultant, I've had my fair share of dealings with the press, but only as a mediator, on behalf of my clients, the newsmakers. So, the opportunity to play the newsmaker's role today was really refreshing. I kind of enjoyed the process while sticking to all the golden rules of media training. The news peg - me, the new ALT in Owase. Probably the easiest interview a newsmaker can ever get.

A key misconception about Singapore that I noticed during the interview, as well as through my numerous interactions with the JET community and the Japanese here, is that many people are unaware that English is Singapore's primary language.

Of course, I've been doing my best to clear up the misconception - what do you think? - I'm all armed with my key messages as an ambassador for Singapore. Never been so patriotic before.

After the interview, I was brought to meet the mayor of Owase-shi. And guess what the photo op was? The classic handshake shot! At that point in time, I wished I had a small Singaporean souvenir with me, just to complete the shot. Oh well.

Being an Asian ALT comes with a few disadvantages, especially since I look Japanese (according to the people here). Neither the reporters nor the mayor realised I was the person they were supposed to meet, until I was formally introduced to them by my supervisor. They were probably expecting a blonde. Keke.

To answer my friend, Jong's request, media clippings shall follow when the articles are published. :)

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