Skip to content

Keeping up in PR

  • by

[vc_row][vc_column][us_page_title align=”center”][us_separator show_line=”1″ line_width=”30″][vc_column_text]Vancouver is blessed with multicultural demographics,and you would be surprised by the variety of diverse media outlets established for the interests and habits of various cultural communities. For example, the Chinese media is an important part of the Vancouver media landscape, and Sing Tao Daily is one of the first names that comes to mind when we think of this media group.

Victor Ho_0Affiliated with the Toronto Star, Sing Tao Daily is currently one of the leading Chinese newspapers in Canada, and has a readership of over 180,000 weekly in BC. Since its expansion to Vancouver in 1983, Sing Tao has had a big influence in the lives of the local Chinese community.

We recently caught up with the Sing Tao Vancouver Editor-In-Chief Victor Ho, and discussed what the newspaper means to the Vancouver community, and how the media outlet has been coping with the emergence of social media and digital communications.

What do you think Sing Tao Daily means to the Vancouver community? Has its role changed with the emergence of digital communications?

Sing Tao Daily is a good showcase of Hong Kong immigrants living in BC. Since the launch of the BC edition of Sing Tao in 1983, our journalists try their very best to bridge the information gap between the Chinese audience and local English-speaking communities. Our media role has not changed very much with the emergence of new media in the internet age, mainly because Sing Tao still exercises a strong advantage on the Chinese language news dissemination. We are now the biggest Chinese news supplier here in BC, and Sing Tao has embraced the largest readership for over three decades.

Who are the readers of Sing Tao and what are their age groups? Do they mostly read content in print or online?

The target audience of Sing Tao Daily are readers over the age of 40, with an affluent lifestyle and a kind of ample language capability. The readers of Sing Tao mostly consume their news in print. Some of them may occasionally read our online content but they will eventually choose the print edition, for the sake of their reading habits, as well as the feeling of touching the paper and smelling of the ink.

How is an established media outlet like Sing Tao adapting to social media’s influence and changes in the way locals consume news? 

It has been a rather gradual development for Sing Tao to adapt to the social media trend in recent years. It is mainly due to the special characteristics of our audience profile. We are establishing apps and other tools, but Sing Tao’s primary mission is to focus on communicating news content of Chinese communities for the local audience. The newsworthiness always overrides the convenience of new media, so we always put priority on the news content.

Your newspaper publishes daily. Being the Editor-In-Chief, how do you deal with the pressures you face with the ongoing news cycle?

I don’t treat the daily deadline for the front page story as a sort of professional “pressure”, instead, I use this as an opportunity to find great stories and to build momentum while improving the quality of our paper. I enjoy this kind of journalistic adventure everyday.

Looking ahead in 2015, what factors do you think could influence the Vancouver media landscape? How do you think both journalists and public relations professionals can adapt and help bring out the best in each other? 

For the year 2015, the major challenge for print news media will most likely be the ongoing decline of our audience. I think all editors will strive to improve the news quality, to encourage readers to buy physical newspapers.  On the other hand, there will be more Mainland Chinese immigrants living in BC, so the Chinese language media have to strive to accommodate their needs too. It means the news presentation on the paper will be adjusted as well.

I agree with the notion that Vancouver PR professionals could consolidate their existing communication networks with the ethnic journalists here to help bring out more attractive stories for the audience at large.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]