Reached the office, settled down, switched on the notebook, turn on the radio tuned to the self proclaimed No1 radio station in Brunei, few sips of water, munching the customary cucur pisang, started the day as usual browsing through the local paper.
There on the front page, a big bold headline that reads "Hi-tech battle against flu". Finally, we are fighting back. Finally, I thought, we are employing and getting the latest technology to fight this menace. My mind went off into orbit thinking what hi-tech things we are getting our hands on. Are we getting the virus zapping lasers as in the Sci Fi stories? Are employing Optimus Prime and its transformers clan to help us? On further reading, the hi-tech thingy the headline referred to was the sms advisory service. Flat feeling engulf the mind. An anti climax. Sms is hi-tech? I am sure a lot will agree sms service is nothing to shout about nowadays. It is common even companies such as banks publicise their promotions through sms.
Admittedly sms is one of the best if not the most successful communication tool ever invented. A very useful tool for mass communication and to spread the word. Even rumours spread in no time through sms. One big factor in Brunei is the booming mobile market with penetration reaching 90% The figures published in Brunei Darussalam Key Indicators showed the total number of mobile subscribers in 2007 is 397,013 from an estimated total population of 390,000. It seems even babies have their own mobile phones!
I am sure introduction of the SMS advisory will complement immensely the fight against H1N1. But to call it Hi-tech? I suppose the editor meant well and is trying to spread good news in this troubling time. But in my case, to my brain, this painted the wrong image. The expectation is wide off the mark. So distant from the actual thing. In the eagerness to have a feel good headline, it painted a not totally correct picture.
Here I go again, complaining as if I am an expert in mass communication and PR. At the rate I am going, I won’t be surprised if the editor or someone from the paper will walk up to me, throw a copy of the paper at me and bark “Mun fikir pandai, cuba tia buat nah!”
At least I mean well............
PS: Keep up the good work MOH.