The Philippine Telco Wars: How Globe Screwed Up Its PR Mileage by Spending Almost Half A Million Pesos Just to Force Smart to Make Money Off It

By N Mark Castro

One of the dumbest telecommunications company in the world, Globe Telecom Philippines, has consistently managed to screw up its PR nightmares by mismanaging its, well, communications.

First, it wasn’t too long ago when Globe got entangled with the wit of Professor Solita Monsod, an eminent UP Professor, economist, and media personality when Prof. Monsod wrote a scathing column against the customer service of Globe.

After several days of silence, Globe finally responded with its own version of the truth via its Communications Director, using words and phrases like:

We regret that there may have been several unavoidable circumstances and a convergence of many factors that led to the delayed resolution of their concerns.

Convergence of many factors?

I’m sure the mass-based readers and followers of Prof. Monsod got that message right.

But at least that reply is certainly more Einstein than the recent snafu of Globe yet again.

Globe decided to run a promotional campaign focusing on a foreign artist, which it has done so in the past.

So far, so good.

Never mind the continued complaint of both prepaid and postpaid Globe subscribers regarding its terrible network coverage. As long as they’re putting up promotional concerts, they think, they’re good.

And after patting themselves on their collective backs, they decided to up themselves by sponsoring a concert junket for their lucky subscriber to an Alicia Keys concert in Madison Square Garden, New Yawk City.

Now this definitely takes the cake.

Prepaid users are targeted for this campaign: Two (2) Round-trip tickets to New York City, Two (2) Front Row (18th row) Seats to Alicia Keys’ concert, and Hotel Accommodation in New York for Two (2).

Imagine that.

They’re now aggressively promoting a high-end event to a very low-end market.

But to add serious hilarity on the entire campaign, they raffled off the tickets to the winning recipient of Globe calls.

The first winner did not pick up the phone.

So did the second.

And the third.

And the fourth.

Until the fifth finally received the call.

We have a winner.

So far, so good.

Unfortunately, the winner had neither a passport nor a US Visa, two important elements required for anyone to visit the United States of America to watch an Alicia Keys’ concert.

But as a consolation, Globe did say that the prizes were transferable.

And transfer the winner did.

The recipient of the winning junket got the prize and took the opportunity to fly out to New York.

According to sources, Globe did not even bother to ascertain if the “new winners” are Globe subscribers as well. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend so much money on a contest where the winners are not even your subscribers and, worse, belong to your competitors.

Thankfully, however, the two hillbillies had Globe lines and even requested that their international roaming services be opened and extended. Globe informed them that they should do this in writing with the specific approval of the president of the company to which they belong.

This, they did.

But further to advancing to the missed opportunities of Globe, they also failed to take this rare photo-op of sending off their “winners” to the States, pronouncing to the entire country how much they value their subscribers.

By the time the two winning hillbillies arrived in New Yawk who, in a way, have become Globe’s Brand Ambassadors, get this: the international roaming service of Globe was not working.

The two winning hillbillies sent another letter to Globe requesting to activate their roaming services, twice, to no avail. So not only did Globe miss out on a great PR opportunity, they also missed out on sales, in terms of recovering the investments they’ve made on the contest and, at the very least, from the two hillbillies they sent out to space.

Meanwhile, the two hillbillies were using the SMART Phone international roaming services and have already racked up Php 12,000, EACH.

In other words, SMART had a free ride on Globe’s contest and made money off it.

Now isn’t that pretty SMART?

About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the chief political communications strategist for PT AsiaLeads, a political and communications policy-making body based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the Executive Director at the Southeast Asia Consulting Group, an investment advisory company assisting clients roll out their presence for the ASEAN Economic Integration in partnership with government. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on April 17, 2013, in General, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. This doesn’t make sense. Hope you could write better articles. In my opinion, I think Smart has been wasting more money paying people to write negatively about Globe than actually reinventing their services. I don’t see them having anything new to offer than revamped Globe-initiated ideas. And in truth, Smart has been paying more for the concerts. They’re big supporters of concerts more than Globe.

    • Thank you for the visit Jade, however, I do believe this is a better article because this is about how Globe Communications Department FAILED to manage the opportunities they had in optimizing their investments.

      I do not care whether or not both companies pay paid-hacks to support their cause. The entire Philippine news department is already replete with such allegations. This is about how they missed their chance in the PR department.

      And what is more embarrassing is that in a country of 100 million, we only have 2 operators.

  2. Article posted was dated April 17, 2013 but Globe poster shown was dated April 8, 2011.
    Article written by a ‘smart’ rock.

    • Thank you for the visit, but first of all, the poster herein used are just reference as to the type of events sponsored by Globe that has no relation to the recent contest they’ve conducted.

      Secondly, this piece is not an attack on Globe per se (as it has its own telecommunications problems) but rather the irony of missing the “communications and PR” opportunity by the mismanagement of its team involve with the same event.

      1. They awarded the transfer of prize to the contestant without determining if the chosen winner is a subscriber.

      2. They sent out the winner to the US without sending them off with a photo-op here in Manila, receiving them in the US, and then welcoming them back again. These are all great PR opportunities that they missed. It’s basic communications. You don’t run a campaign and not take your stakeholders or readers know what happened. Never mind covering their journey.

      3. Sales. The winner — and companion — requested that their international roaming service be activated and even showed proof that their president signed off in its approval. The people involved in the event did not coordinate with the technical staff, hence, failing to provide the said service. Is this important? Only if you’re after sales which, to the mind of anybody working in telco, is the be all and end all of any call to action. And since the winner — and companion — are also SMART users, they ended up spending 12,000 PESOS each.

      4. Because of this incompetence, Globe just spent almost half a million pesos and never gained a single PR mileage and, worse, SMART made money off it.

      And you’re gonna come back to me with a poster?

  3. I’ve been to some of their events, and met some pr guys with high faluting masters and doctorate degrees and talk to the small and medium entrepreneurs with greek sounding technical language only they understand. So we just ate and run!

    • How very professional of you to eat and run. Bravo!!

    • The use of words in this article is incredibly dumbfoundingly obvious to attack Globe. Whatever happened to this very poor man. You wanna know what your so called better company is doing? Read this — I doubt if you know this. http://business.inquirer.net/117183/digitel-workers-protest-pldt-retirement-plan

      And I also doubt if you publish this comment.

      • First off, your doubts have been misplaced as your comment has been posted.

        Second, this same site has attacked Smart and couldn’t care less what they do as both are foreign-owned companies (Smart – Indonesia) and (Globe – Singtel).

        Third, the ironic criticism is to point out how Globe Communications Department has mishandled and bungled the chance to maximize the PR opportunity they have and ended up making Smart make money off it.

        Isn’t that pretty obvious?

      • Sorry but I did a little research that presents your article fallacious. I don’t even know what kind of motivation you have with publishing this article. But from what I know, these are all false.

        And if you’re not pro-SMART, how can you explain your final sentence? There’s nothing wrong with siding with somebody but hurtful words like calling Globe a dumb telco company is subjective and derogatory.

      • Because I know the people who won the contest and yes they’re dumb for failing to optimize that and yes it is dumb of them to continue to fail both in network coverage which does not communicate with Motorala Noki and Huawei towers.

        And no, I do not take sides because both foreign-owned companies are a duopoly in a nation of 100 million.

        Name me one fallacious incident and I’ll tell you the name, the person, and telco idiot that would be fired.

      • I’d rather not. While I know the truth it is not with delicadeza to tell it here. That is not my goal here. My goal is to tell you your tone in this article is derogatory and unhelpful. I know this is your blog and you have the right to post whatever you want but, as a responsible netizen, please consider the words that you use.

      • Truth has no delicadeza.

        A spade is a spade.

        The mere fact that this piece has reverberated among telco presidents in the region shows how cautious they are now about their departments and would act accordingly.

        So tell your low-end friends at Globe that they’ll be hearing from their bosses to get their asses straight.

      • Haha! You’re funny to even scoff at my “low-end” friends. You don’t know who I know buddy. And how sure are you that your lowly blog has brought “change” to them?

        And your lack of delicadeza just showed what kind of person you are. And so is this blog from nowhere.

  4. And just for the record of motivation, it’s to point out as a case study for future communications people how you can lose so much money by not optimizing opportunities the company has invested on.

    Wag kang matulog sa pansitan.

    That’s the motivation.

  5. Sorry but I did a little research that presents your article fallacious. (I’m very curious about your research because I can guarantee you you don’t know the people I know in both telcos).

    I don’t even know what kind of motivation you have with publishing this article. But from what I know, these are all false. (Simple: to point out how the communications department can bungle up an entire campaign because of ineptitude and should be a case study for future communicators, which the entire article is all about, hence, making your assumptions grossly wrong).

    And if you’re not pro-SMART, how can you explain your final sentence? (It’s called pun).

    There’s nothing wrong with siding with somebody but hurtful words like calling Globe a dumb telco company is subjective and derogatory.

    Kid, where the hell have you been? EVERY THING IS subjective and derogatory remarks are purely based on perceptions which other telco higher ups that your friends know are laughing at based on the irony.

  6. Oh that’s easy. I’ve already submitted your name to ask around their staff.

  7. I used to be a blogger ambassador for Globe and I have to admit,it was a toughs sell.But as I have always said in my posts —Globe never denied the ongoing modernization and all the glitches which goes with it. I am no longer writing for them but i just renewed my postpaid contract with Globe last month.Proof that I still personally believe in the brand as others continue to do so.While it might make sense that some marketing strategies don’t work all the time,all companies do make wrong moves.I am sure SMART also had many misjudgements. What is exposed with your writing therefore is that “GLOBE”is sincere in exploiting all means possible just to give back to their loyal customers.Shame is on those “two” who pretended to be customers of Globe.

    • I actually have both numbers since both telcos have their strengths and weaknesses, whether through their campaign or through their networks.

      The sad part, as I keep repeating, is that in a country of 100 million, we have embarrassingly only two telcos. And that’s the bottomline.

  8. Hi, I know these people who got to go to the concert. The guy is from Smart. I think it’s good of Globe not to be discriminatory. Globe decided not to limit whom the winner chooses to bring with him to the concert, and I think it’s very kind of them.

    • Bottom line, the PR department were dumb enough to fail to capitalize on the opportunity.

      This is not about Globe per se but their PR department who failed to optimize the event.

  9. Obviously, the story is biased because the guy used to be with Smart for a long long time, so it is obvious where his loyalty lies. He has a globe line by the way, or rather, a company issued Globe phone.

  10. I think whatever the PR strategy is of Globe, is none of your business and you’re not in the position to say whatever Globe missed out on. It’s Globe’s business, and not yours.

  11. Hey man, your article doesn’t make sense.

    • Simple, Tara.

      1. Globe run an expensive high end campaign to a low-end market
      2. Globe did not use the chance to take photo-op for media mileage before the winners flew to the US or when they arrived to the US
      3. Globe did not activate the international roaming services of the winners, thereby losing a chance to make money
      4.The winners instead used their Smart numbers and Smart ended up making money off a Globe event

      That simple.

  12. Globe doesn’t need the PR, they’re that good.

  13. Simple everyone! Globe’s PR dept accept the fact and take it as an opportunity to improve their job.

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