Asia Travel

‘Where is Singapore?’: Trump-Kim summit a PR coup for tiny city-state

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – As images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un strolling by revelers at a rooftop bar the night before an unprecedented meeting with President Donald Trump circulated around social media sites, U.S. citizens started asking ‘Where is Singapore?’.

‘Singapore’, the tiny Southeast Asian city-state that played host to nuclear talks earlier this week, was the most searched term on internet search engine Google in the United States on Monday with over 2 million hits.

Related searches during those 24 hours included ‘Where is Singapore’, ‘Singapore summit’ and ‘time in Singapore’.

Blanket media coverage on Monday included Kim’s surprise tour of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel and its surrounding gardens, and the first hours of the meeting with Trump in the resort island of Sentosa.

FILE PHOTO: A TV screen shows a news report about the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un at a media center for the summit, in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

Singapore said it spent S$20 million ($15 million) on the summit, a figure that drew the ire of some citizens. However, marketing experts say the coverage generated from the event could be worth more than 10 times that.

“It places Singapore on the map for international audiences,” said Oliver Chong, executive director, communications and marketing capability at Singapore Tourism Board.

Tourism contributes around 4 percent to Singapore’s GDP per annum. Visitor arrivals hit a record 17.4 million last year boosted by China, its top market, and India.

But just months ago, lifestyle magazine Time Out ranked Singapore among the world’s least exciting cities.

Andrew Darling, CEO and founder of communications agency West Pier Ventures, said it would cost more than S$200 million to generate the kind of publicity Singapore has received so far by hosting the summit.

Media intelligence firm Meltwater said the coverage over the three days around the summit equated to $270 million of advertising, while the month leading up to it was worth $767 million.

“The Trump-Kim Summit has arguably been the single most important event that brought Singapore to the attention of the most people around the world,” said Jason Tan of media advertising agency Zenith Singapore.

“For many Asians, Singapore as the choice of destination reinforces our image as an efficient and safe country. For Americans who might not be as familiar with Asia, the summit definitely brought Singapore into the global spotlight.”

Still, even some who should know better struggled to accurately place Singapore – known as the Little Red Dot in reference to its depiction on a map.

The U.S. State Department mistakenly made Singapore a part of neighboring Malaysia in a note issued in connection with the summit, drawing a slew of snide comments on social media.

Advertisements

0 comments on “‘Where is Singapore?’: Trump-Kim summit a PR coup for tiny city-state

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: