BMC 3524 International PR (Mar2014 Intake): Assignment 2

Word Count: 1054

1.0 Intro of World Vision Malaysia
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian, development and relief organization serving the world’s poorest children and families across five continents irrespective of nationality, race, politics, sex, age or religion. It was founded in 1950 and currently runs over 2500 projects in about 100 countries, impacting the lives of over 50 million people. The organization’s community development projects are mainly concentrated where the need is greatest: Africa, Central and South America, and Asia. World Vision is a signatory to the “International Red Cross Code of Conduct” and responds to two categories of human needs - Emergency Relief and Poverty. The organization receives donations from various people and re-invests these funds into their community projects.

World Vision’s Malaysian branch was set up in 1997 as a support office with the partnership of World Vision International. As a support office, the primary role of World Vision Malaysia is fund-raising. The branch works together with Malaysian charity organizations like Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled, Dignity for Children Foundation, Malaysia AIDS Council, Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd, and United Voice. World Vision Malaysia regularly holds exhibitions and conducts presentations to promote greater awareness and understanding of specific issues afflicting the poor and marginalized like HIV/AIDS, Protection of Children’s Rights, and Discrimination and Abuse Against Women.

2.0 Vision of World Vision Malaysia
World Vision’s care is to help communities build stronger and healthier relationships. They focus mainly on children, as they are the best indicator of the social health of a community. When children are fed, sheltered, schooled, protected, valued and loved, a community thrives.

It is World Vision Malaysia’s long-term goal to build its own capabilities and experience in the area of field transformation development so that it could have more direct on-site involvement to give a hand up to communities in need in Malaysia.

3.0 Mission of World Vision Malaysia
World Vision helps the poor to help themselves, working with them to build sustainable futures for their children, families and communities through emergency relief, education, healthcare, economic development and promotion of justice.

World Vision works toward a world where every child experiences life in all its fullness – where they are protected, cared for and given the opportunities to become who they are meant to be.

4.0 Analysis of 2 issues they generated in media

4.1 World Vision Malaysia’s Annual 30-Hour Famine to Fight World Hunger
World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine is an annual event that happens all over the world and it was introduced in Malaysia in 1997. Participants will fast for 30 hours to feel the pain of hunger and poverty. They normally fast together in a group over the Famine weekend where activities and games will be held to educate the participants. Children under the age of 12 may also participate in the 8-Hour Kidz Famine where they fast for a shorter period of 8 hours only.

30-Hour Famine Do-It-Yourself (DIY) camps were also organized in various parts of Malaysia (The Star Online, 2014). These camps will provide participants with training on how to obtain sponsorship, plan programs, raise funds, organize events and manage funds. The organization estimates approximately 190 DIY camps to be held, involving 30,000 Malaysians. Each participant can then proceed to organize their own mini DIY-camps.

Every $35 collected feeds and cares for a hungry child for a month (30 Hour Famine, 2012). Participants may allow World Vision to send the funds to areas that need it most or dedicate it to their preferred locations. World Vision Malaysia’s aim for 2014 is to raise RM 2.2 million to fund child-focused food security projects located locally and abroad (The Star Online, 2014).

In 2012, World Vision Malaysia collaborated with group buying portal, Groupon, for their “Donate RM10 for Nutritious Food for a Child and Family in Asia” campaign. The platform made it easy for people to donate with just a click and successfully raised RM 110,040, which is equivalent to $35,000 for the cause (Groupon Malaysia Blog, 2012). The outcome was collected over just 12 days (, 2014).

            World Vision has also obtained the support of famous artists such as Vanness Wu, who is the World Vision Malaysia’s 30-Hour Famine Ambassador 2014 (Kong, 2014). By joining charitable activities like this, he is encouraging his fanbase to follow his footsteps. Previous advocators also included Wang Leehom in 2012 (, 2012), Nicholas Teo in 2010, Fish Leong in 2007, Belinda Chee & Gary Yap (Chan, 2010).

4.2 World Vision’s Sponsor a Child Program

            World Vision Malaysia works together with World Vision International to fund poor and oppressed children from Asian and non-Asian countries. World Vision’s child sponsorship project provides access to basics necessities such as clean water, food, healthcare, education and many more for a child to grow physically and mentally. This sponsorship program also enables individuals to make donations of as little as RM30 per month to the HOPE fund by World Vision to help children who are impacted by AIDS/HIV gain access to basic education and education facilities.

            World Vision sends their volunteers to countries such as Uganda, Sri Lanka, Syria and many more to conduct interviews and have articles written about the children in these countries with hopes to educate the public regarding the issues the children have to face in order to be given basic education in their country despite the willingness and the excitement of the children to go to school to better themselves and have a brighter future.

            In 2013, World Vision Malaysia collaborated with local Malaysian Youtuber and radio DJ, JinnyBoy with hopes to reach out to the younger generation of Malaysians and raise their awareness of the importance of education and everyday basic necessities for the families affected by poverty. They produced a video that showcased the children under the child sponsorship program in Mae Sariang, Myanmar. Through the video, they managed to convey the importance of basic education in ensuring a brighter future for the children and their families to the viewers (JinnyboyTV, 2013).

            Instead of trying to convince the public to make donations or be part of the sponsorship program, the sponsors of the program and the sponsored children have their testimonies written so that the publics are aware of the benefits of this program to the sponsored children. Also, these testimonies are usually heartwarming because they contain real life stories that feature the impact and the relationship of the sponsorship program on both the sponsors and the sponsored children. This is because World Vision Malaysia and World Vision International keeps their sponsors updated with the well being and the type of assistance the sponsored children are given. For example, a video was created to show the public how Nicholas Teo, a local Malaysian singer/actor felt when he met his sponsored child.

1.     30 Hour Famine, (2012) Famine FAQs - 30 Hour Famine. Available from: [Accessed 8 May 2014].
2.     Bourke, D. (2014) A mother’s love--A Moved Story from World Vision's Education Programs for Syrian Refugee Children in Jordan. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2014].
3.     Chan, S. (2010) 30-hour Famine countdown with Teo [online]. Available from: [Accessed 8 May 2014].
  1., (2012) Concert Events - Concerts Promoter - Galaxy Group. Available from: [Accessed 8 May 2014]. 
5.     Groupon Malaysia Blog, (2012) RM110,040 raised for World Vision Malaysia. Available from: [Accessed 8 May 2014].
6.     JinnyboyTV, (2013) JinnyboyTV & World Vision's Child Sponsorship visit to Mae Sariang. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2014].
7.     Kong, J. (2014) Taiwanese singer promotes 30-Hour Famine campaign [online]. Available from: [Accessed 8 May 2014].
  1., (2014) MIS-Asia. Available from: [Accessed 8 May 2014]. 
9.     The Star Online, (2014) Training young leaders via 30-Hour Famine project [online]. Available from: [Accessed 9 May 2014].
10.  World Vision, (2014) How Sponsorship Works. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2014].
11., (2014) World Vision Malaysia - FAQ. Available from: [Accessed 7 May 2014].
12., (2014) Decline in education for Syrian children 'worst in region's history' | World Vision. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2014].
13., (2014) Journey through a school day with kids around the world | World Vision. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2014].
14., (2014) Sri Lanka: Education helps hope bloom again | World Vision. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2014].
15., (2014) Uganda: Overcoming barriers to education | World Vision. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2014]. 

Financial PR (Mar2014 Intake): Assignment 2

Word count: 991

Highlights of Facebook’s First Quarter Earnings of 2014

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the control to share and make the world more accessible and connected. People use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, to know what’s happening in other parts of the world, and to share and express their opinions about things that matter to them.

Since its establishment, Facebook has grown to become a prevailing force in the mobile advertising world in just a few short years. The company has grown faster than most experts have forecasted and its market stocks have been assessed at some bullish expectations.

The company released its first-quarter earnings on 23 April 2014, which beat analysts’ anticipations. This article highlights of the popular social network’s earnings from an independent financial analyst’s viewpoint. Facebook brought in $2.5 billion in revenue (Facebook, Inc. 2014) as compared to the $2.36 billion that analysts had predicted that could be seen in an article for Re/Code (Isaac, 2014). In comparison to analysts’ expectations that the company would earn only $0.24 per share (Walsh, 2014), the company said in the report that it earned $0.34 per share, once again exceeding the estimates of experts.

The biggest improvement that can be seen involves the surprising growth in mobile as explained in a recent article in The Motley Fool (Sparks, 2014). The company relies heavily on the force of its mobile app install advertisements and recently announced a progressive quarter on the power of its new advertising products. Referring to Facebook’s quarterly earnings report, mobile advertising revenue now makes up 59% of the corporation’s total revenue for advertising, only a year and a half after first introducing mobile ads. This is a significant increase from advertising revenue reported in the first quarter of 2013, which was approximately 30%.

It was reported that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company has served 350 million installs through its app install program – adding to it another 100 million or so installs in the first quarter of the year, thus sending the corporation well on its way to achieving a $1 billion annual run rate (Lynley, 2014a). Mobile app install advertising is evidently one of Facebook’s most profitable new products. By the end of 2013, the social network had already served 245 million app install ads, as reported by Buzzfeed in February this year (Lynley, 2014b).

Based on the company’s quarterly report, it is obvious that advertisements that show up on Facebook’s News Feed have proven to be a natural step towards growth in Facebook’s advertising business as it moves to becoming a company that is more focused on monetizing mobile. The app install program is so beneficial that it has become a leader in its field that it has fueled other competing businesses to follow suit, as Twitter did not so long ago as seen on Twitter’s Advertising Blog (Lynn, 2014).

It is interesting how Facebook has redefined the mobile advertising business despite it not being the first to use mobile app install advertising. Owing to all the information that Facebook has of its users, the network has been able to perfect mobile advertising by targeting their audiences more efficiently.

Throughout the same quarter, Facebook spent more than $20 billion in cash, stock and restricted stock units in their bid of acquiring new companies that include WhatsApp for $19 billion (Covert, 2014) and an additional $2 billion to obtain gaming Kickstarter success, Oculus Rift (Welch, 2014). Facebook reports its cash and marketable securities were $12.63 billion at the end of the first quarter of this year.

One reason for the increase in profitability was partly due to better user engagement.  The corporation’s user engagement or daily active users (DAU) has steadily grown from 58% in the first quarter of 2012 to 60% in the same quarter of 2013 and has now reached 63% in the first quarter of 2014. Should the engagement continue to surge, a bigger number of users will become active on a day-to-day basis, which could eventually result in more improvements for Facebook’s revenue.

It is evident that beyond the steadily growing advertising business, Facebook itself has not stopped developing. The social network currently has more than a billion people logging in on their mobile devices every month, with more than 600 million of that number logging in every day. Facebook has a total number of 1.276 billion monthly active users (MAU), of which more than 800 million check the network every day.

Also part of the quarterly announcement, Facebook revealed that its Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman, would step down later this year after holding the position for almost five years. Ebersman had taken the company through its slightly tumultuous initial public offering. “This has been a tough decision because Facebook is such a great company and has such a bright future ahead, but I’ve decided to move back into healthcare where I spent my career before Facebook,” Ebersman said of his resignation.

Succeeding him as CFO will be David Wehner, Facebook’s current Vice President of Corporate Finance and Business Planning. Wehner was CFO of Zynga prior to his position at Facebook now.

“David has been a great partner in building Facebook, and I’m grateful for everything he’s done to help make the world more open and connected,” said Zuckerberg. “David set us up to operate efficiently and make the long term investments we need, and built and incredibly strong team including Dave Wehner, our next CFO. I look forward to working with Dave in his new role.” Ebersman is slated to remain with the company until September to guarantee a smooth transition of responsibilities.

Undeniably, Facebook has bested itself and managed to increase income and advance profit margins by intensifying its user base and turning consumers into daily users. The social network’s first-rate performance is living proof that Zuckerberg and his band of programmers have what it takes to continue to grow the mobile advertising field and encourage big marketing funds.

  1. Covert, A. (2014) Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion. Available from: [Accessed 3 May 2014].
  2. Facebook, Inc. (2014) Quarterly Earnings Slides Q1 2014 [Online]. Menlo Park: PRNewswire. Available from:  [Accessed 04 May 2014].

  1. Isaac, M. (2014) Facebook First-Quarter Earnings: What to Watch. Available from: [Accessed 4 May 2014].
  2. Lynley, M. (2014a) Facebook's Mobile Advertising Juggernaut Keeps Growing. Available from: [Accessed 4 May 2014].
  3. Lynley, M. (2014b) Meet The Woman Behind One Of Facebook's Fastest-Growing And Most Lucrative New Businesses. Available from: [Accessed 3 May 2014].
  4. Lynn, K. (2014) A new way to promote mobile apps to 1 billion devices, both on and off-Twitter | Twitter Blogs. Available from: [Accessed 3 May 2014].
  5. Sparks, D. (2014) Facebook, Inc.'s Monster Quarter in 3 Must-See Charts (FB, GOOG, GOOGL). Available from: [Accessed 3 May 2014].
  6. Walsh, T. (2014) What to Expect When Facebook Inc Reports Earnings Tomorrow (FB). Available from: [Accessed 4 May 2014].
  7. Welch, C. (2014) Facebook buying Oculus VR for $2 billion. Available from: [Accessed 3 May 2014].

BMC 3524 International PR (Mar2014 intake): Assignment 1


Word count: 704
Company: Mattel, China

For Barbie’s 50th anniversary, Mattel launched its flagship Barbie concept store called “House of Barbie” in Shanghai in March 2009. It was Mattel’s attempt at developing the market of its most popular doll into China. The store had six floors, complete with a stairway decorated with 875 Barbie dolls and a Barbie bar that was designed by one of Shanghai’s premier restaurateurs. It also featured a cosmetics department, a fashion runway and a spa. The concept was that Barbie would be a lifestyle symbol and cultural icon for girls and young women (Wang, 2012).

BBC News Business (2011) offers information saying Mattel was hoping to counterweigh decreasing sales in traditional markets affected by the financial crisis at the time. Longid (2011) stated that Mattel did not cite a reason for its shutting down though it had reduced the outlet’s sales targets by 30 percent within the first eight months of the store’s opening in Shanghai. According to Pierson (2011), the closure was a surprising revelation for a store that seemed to embody the spirit of a city that was on an unstoppable material rise.

Mattel unveiled a doll especially for the opening – a Chinese character called Ling, who had black hair and was dressed in a traditional Chinese outfit. According to Wang (2013), local Chinese girls actually preferred the original blonde Barbie to the Chinese Barbie. ­This highlighted a debate of what beauty meant to them and whom they wanted to relate with. Wang (2012) also stated that numerous experts pointed out the fact that Barbie is a Western doll and was dubbed as “too sexy” for Chinese girls. Rauhala (2011) gave information that analysts concluded that Mattel had failed to localize their product to cater to local consumer preferences and habits enough to successfully expand their market.

Based on research done by Wang (2012), one of the mistakes that Mattel made was to open a standalone store before they established Barbie as a strong brand in China. In the U.S., Barbie is an iconic symbol of “femininity” for young girls. Over the years, the Barbie brand was a strong force as the doll assumed many different roles of women. However in China, Barbie is just another doll. She does not have any cultural significance for Chinese girls and young women. Because of that, Chinese consumers do not care about Barbie-branded products as much as Americans do. In an interview done by Wang (2012) with the general manager of Barbie Shanghai, Gar Crispell, it was pointed out that Mattel had wrongly planned the concept of the store. Had Barbie been a cultural icon and an established lifestyle brand in China, the House of Barbie would have done much better.

As stated by Rauhala (2011), Mattel hoped to attract the Chinese demographic by focusing on Barbie-branded merchandise. However, Mattel didn’t understand enough of what Chinese girls and young women want to achieve that. The Chinese concept of “femininity” is not the same as that of Americans’. In China, “feminine” is more related to sweet and soft instead of smart and strong. Although Mattel created a Chinese Barbie, the firm still failed to understand what Ling would represent in order to properly appeal to the Chinese market. According to Wang (2012), Mattel could have made Barbie an aspiring brand that empowered Chinese girls. If Barbie or Ling could become a role model for Chinese girls, Mattel would have had a better chance of succeeding in China.

Apart from that, Mattel wanted to bring a 50-year old brand to a new market that had just been introduced to Barbie. In the U.S., everyone knows Mattel and Barbie. In China, it is still new and relatively unknown (Longid, 2011). According to an interview done with Ben Cavender, a Shanghai-based analyst at China Market Research Group (Longid, 2011), Mattel should have set up their stores in malls instead of occupying a whole building as it would have increased awareness of the brand.

The magic of Barbie didn’t play out nearly as much in China as in her homeland. Chinese culture is significantly different from that of America. Without understanding this, it was no surprise that the House of Barbie closed its doors so soon after its opening in Shanghai.

Reference list:
1.    Longid, F 2011, ‘Barbie Packs Her Bags as Mattel Closes Shanghai Dream House’, Bloomberg News, 7 March, viewed 18 April 2014, .
2.    Pierson, D 2011, ‘Barbie’s flagship store closes in Shanghai’, Los Angeles Times Business, 7 March, viewed 18 April 2014, .
3.    N.a. 2011, ‘Mattel shuts flagship Shanghai Barbie concept store’, BBC News Business, 7 March, viewed 18 April 2014, .
4.    Rauhala, E 2011, ‘In Shanghai, Barbie’s Dream House Crumbles’, TIME, 8 March, viewed 18 April 2014, .
5.    Wang, H H 2013, ‘Can Mattel Make A Comeback In China?’, Forbes, 17 November, viewed 18 April 2014, .
6.    Wang, H H 2012, ‘Why Barbie Stumbled in China and How She Could Re-invent Herself’, Forbes, 24 October, viewed 18 April 2014, .

Financial PR (Mar2014 Intake): Assignment 1

Final Word Count: 504

This essay seeks to summarize and discuss the financial activities of a company and how it affects a company’s public relations.

Hulbert (2014) discusses the drop in shares of Twitter in the duration of the next four years that is based on a scale that tracks growth of sales. It indicated that there would be more struggles in store for Twitter’s financial future. The article also discusses Facebook’s finances in brief.  

According to the Hulbert (2014), Twitter’s shares have gone down 45% from recent highs while Facebook’s shares are down 19%. Grounded on a common evaluation formula that predicts where freshly public stocks will be trading five years after their initial public offerings, Mark Hulbert, the founder and editor of Hulbert Financial Digest, concluded that Twitter and Facebook may be in for more bad news. The sales-based formula that was used in the assessment was constructed on the basis of how fast a company’s income will develop over its first five years as a public listed corporation and what its price/sales ratio will be. It was stated in the article that spokespersons from both corporations failed to comment on the results of the estimates, which suggested that Twitter and Facebook shares would be much lower than where the messaging services currently trade.

The article referred to previous research on speed of sales growth of newly public companies carried out by Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida and Martin Kenney and Donald Patton, both from University of California, Davis. It was from Ritter’s records that Twitter’s stock in November 2018 and Facebook’s stock in May 2017 were calculated. Based on the results of possible 45% and 50% drops in stocks for the companies respectively, Ritter stated that it would not be unmanageable for them to avoid that outcome. According to him, Twitter, along with social network giant Facebook would either have to increase their sales quicker than average or increase their price/sales ratio. While both situations are possible, they also pose as risky acts.

Hulbert (2014) suggests that investors may instead gamble on high-tech companies that have more practical evaluations, as the Internet sector is more likely to change unpredictably than the overall stock market in comparison.

Based on the article, it seems to be that investors are now more cautious or more rational toward what they are buying. In my opinion, both companies did not put enough emphasis on their sales strategies. While it is inherently important and smart that they invest in their future growth now, they are simultaneously sacrificing their earnings, which in the long run may not be beneficial to the finances of both corporations. From a public relations angle, as the spokespersons for Twitter and Facebook refused to comment on the findings, there is a risk of both companies’ reputations being scarred. From the article, it is evident that both corporations need to be able to prove two things to investors; that they can dramatically improve communications with advertisers and they can increase engagements with users.

Reference list:

  1. Hulbert, M 2014, ‘Twitter shares four years from today – down 45%?’, Market Watch, 12 April, viewed 13 April 2014,