Projecting Changi to the world - digitally

Round-the-clock commitment to bring the best of Changi to the world

April 2017

With most people consuming information on almost everything online nowadays, social media channels have become the de facto digital windows into the world of brands, in particular, Changi Airport.

From announcements about new shops and destinations to exciting events at the airport, Changi Airport’s social media team is always at the forefront, providing fans with the latest updates through its three key channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Round-the-clock commitment

The team is responsible for sourcing the most exciting content to engage its fans daily, but that’s just one part of the job. They are also actively monitoring the social feeds to engage in conversations, offering help to travellers in need and also preparing for the worst case scenario – if there was ever a need to manage a crisis. 

“We have colleagues from the social and customer service teams monitoring the social media channels round-the-clock to ensure that we respond to travellers in a timely manner and that we don’t let the Changi service levels slip,” said Melvin Leong, Senior Manager at CAG’s Corporate and Marketing Communications division. “You can never quite switch off because the airport doesn’t sleep. And this commitment comes with the job of working in the world’s best airport where people have higher expectations.”


Collaboration across the board

While the social media team collaborates with various divisions within the company to highlight events and promotions, inspire travel and also showcase the Changi Experience, they also work closely with airport tenants and airlines to present unique perspectives and memorable experiences through Changi’s social channels. 

“Apart from being the first to know about upcoming promotions in the airport, I must admit membership in our social media team does come with privileges,” Melvin revealed.

One example was when the air hub cluster informed the social media team of the arrival of a KLM plane with a unique orange and blue livery to commemorate the Dutch King’s birthday. With advance information, Melvin’s team was able to prepare and film the plane’s landing at Changi Airport.  That would have made any plane geek or ardent plane spotter turn green with jealousy.  

“Different divisions now see that social media can add value to the work they do, as it generates positive conversations about the airport, and sustains the momentum of campaigns.”

The airport’s Pokemon@Changi campaign in 2016 is an example, where the team created a constant flow of content to drive interest and engagement throughout the eight week-long campaign.

The team worked closely with their public relations counterparts to promote the event, resulting in a huge turnout on the campaign’s launch day.  Following that, the buzz was sustained via social media, with the highlight being the delivery of a giant Snorlax to the lucky winner of its online contest, which saw more than 36,000 shares and over 38,000 reactions.  

“Apart from the adrenaline rush from creating content showcasing the characters, we also had plenty of fun filming the entire delivery process. But the most satisfying aspect was seeing how the video went viral and getting media coverage regionally,” added KJ, who runs the airport’s Facebook and Twitter channels, excitedly. Now, what wouldn’t one give for that?

Those Special Moments

Always on the lookout for opportunities to tell the Changi story, the team came up with a series called #FacesofChangi, where they regularly feature staff members from different parts of the airport to introduce their roles.  It also provides a glimpse of ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories from within the airport community.

“Last year, a young CERTIS Cisco security officer working at the airport was spotted for his good looks, and people started talking about him online,” said Melvin.

Quick to spot an opportunity, the team immediately went in search of the officer and profiled him under the #FacesofChangi series. With a polished photo of the officer and a short into to the role of an airport security officer, it went viral overnight.

Another big win for the team was when national swimmer Joseph Schooling won the Gold medal during the Olympics last year.  KJ said, “When we realised that he had a very strong chance in winning gold, we started to think about how we could celebrate his victory in an authentic, Changi way.”

“With the help of our agency, we created a mock-up of a flight information board showing his finishing time, and announced his win within 20 minutes of his historic 100-metre butterfly finals.” 

“It was a really exciting day for us, because the post received more than 10,000 reactions within the first hour! That feeling is just indescribable,” chipped Melvin.

Looking back at the events the team has covered in 2016, Melvin admits that no one can predict or plan which content will go viral. However, the team works hard to seize every opportunity.

“The work we do doesn’t always take off as we imagine, but when these magical moments happen, there is a sense of fulfilment that makes the job, with all the planning and tabletop debates with colleagues, worthwhile. Winning awards for the work we do certainly makes it even more gratifying,” Melvin said with a wide smile.


The team

“Each member of the social media team possesses skills that complement the rest – and that’s what makes us a great team. We’re especially proud that we manage most of the social media work in-house although we have an agency that helps us in areas that we cannot do ourselves.”

“Through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and our content hub ‘Now Boarding’, I truly believe that the social media team at Changi can be relied on to raise the profile of the airport and help amplify the offerings that our colleagues have painstakingly created for passengers.  To Christopher, Claudia, Elise, Khai Yan, KJ and Tracy – thank you very much for being a part of the team.”  

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