Red-Hot Reads: A Retrospective On Earlier Versions of Challenge

Five years ago, as it turned 15, Challenge evolved to approach the Public Service differently and tell stories in punchier new ways.
Red-Hot Reads

In 2010, the Challenge May/June cover gained an edge, with a slash mark in the new masthead. The significance of that diagonal is up for interpretation, just as the refreshed content and stories within aim not to give ready answers but to provoke thinking.

Back then, the cover story explored officers’ passion to serve the public, while other features looked back on 50 years of the Singapore Public Service and 15 years of Challenge.

The Challenge annual bumper issue, printed (and packed with a gift) for every public officer, has always been timed with Public Service Week in May. The cover stories have featured ideas such as Public Service culture, and 12 mega trends that will affect public officers. More recent issues pull several stories into a series, as with 7 Ways to Go Steady on strengthening relationships with the public.

The magazine revamp also introduced the eight-page Pullout section, packed with useful, light-hearted tips. In 2013, the magazine underwent another subtler redesign, with a slight tweak in the masthead. The Pullout gained a more distinctive illustration style, and other content sections were updated too.

New sections such as Digital Pages sprung up to keep pace with the rise of social media and the magazine’s growing presence online. On CUBE, the now decommissioned Public Service social intranet, Challenge readers have an online space to share stories, discuss articles, give feedback, and keep up with the latest happenings.

Challenge continues to highlight both Service-wide efforts, as well as individual public officers in sections such as Unsung Hero. Columns featuring wisdom from senior leaders, like A Cuppa With… and Letters to a Young Public Officer, remain readers’ favourites. Yet, there was a call to reflect the voices of younger officers – hence a new section called #hearmeout emerged.

This year, for the magazine’s 20th anniversary, the bumper issue shifts from May/June issue to this issue you now read (and tote in your bag), as Public Service Week is expanded to be Public Service Month this October in celebration of SG50.

Here’s to many more great years!

Are You a Loyal Fan?

Tell us when you first read Challenge and how your impression of it has changed over the years.


Hooray! For the second time, Challenge won the Best Government Publication award in the 2015 Content Marketing Awards, the leading international awards programme for corporate content creation and distribution.

Look back at the various forms that Challenge has taken over the years:

    Sep 2, 2015
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