In just five days, Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) Chinese Media Group raised US$215,475 to contribute to COVID-19 efforts and produced “Fight against the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak,” a live programme to show appreciation to medical workers and other frontline workers, as well as to support relief efforts to aid other affected communities.
Harnessing the combined resources of Chinese Media Group (CMG) — from its digital and social media channels to collaborations with experts and artistes — the team was able to assemble a production team from CMG’s various news desks in record time. The programme was broadcast live on Sunday, February 9.
Producing the show
At that time, China was the epicentre of the outbreak and was facing a shortage of medical supplies. The live show was produced to raise funds for Red Cross Singapore to procure and deliver protective equipment expediently to the frontline medical workers there.
Production was complicated by the COVID-19 situation, and the team had to exercise caution to minimise the gathering of large crowds. To this end, it made good use of CMG’s own digital and social media platforms, allowing the public to watch the show on zaobao.sg and zaobao.com, as well as nine social media channels of CMG.
The two-hour show was conceptualised to provide a good mix of news, information, and entertainment. It included first-hand interviews with frontline staff and rare footage of journalists based in China, painting a vivid picture of how the pandemic was unfolding.
Renowned infectious diseases specialist Dr Leong Hoe Nam addressed some of the public's growing concerns and shed more light on what was known about the virus.
Sharing the stage with Dr. Leong were 30 Singaporean singers and celebrities, including Joanna Dong, Jack Neo, Sharon Au, Liu Lingling, Su Xinquan, Hong Shaoxuan, and NEKO Highway. These artists graciously came together to host and perform in hopes of uplifting citizens’ spirits during such a trying time.
Our very own CMG artists also unveiled artwork that was donated to hospitals and other frontline organisations.
The live show saw positive responses both in terms of viewership, and in its main goal of raising funds. More than 212,000 views were recorded across CMG’s digital and social media platforms in Singapore, as well as one million views on China’s video portal, Pomoho. In addition, zaobao.sg experienced a 51% surge in web traffic on the day of the telecast which reflects the audience’s high levels of interest.
By the end of the show, approximately US$215,475 was raised from individual donors and organisations, with proceeds going to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Response by Singapore Red Cross.
With the evolving COVID-19 situation changing audiences’ consumption patterns of the news, CMG continues to produce more online content, such as livestream programmes and videos, to inform and entertain the public. These include three daily shows for senior citizens to help them maintain an active lifestyle, virtual performances and concerts, and tri-weekly evening shows featuring local musicians.
This has led to a 184% increase in page views and a 75% increase in unique visitors for the month of April, compared to corresponding figures in December last year for the zaobao.sg Web site. This is consistent with the changes in the mobile figures for the same period.
In the case of CMG’s “Fight against the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak” live show, the team successfully demonstrated its agility and versatility to cater to the needs of its audiences, while also giving back to the community.