Supercharging Public Sector Communications With TikTok

Ms Teresa Tan, Director of Public Policy for Southeast Asia at TikTok and a former public officer, shares how TikTok and the Public Service are working together to support digital literacy and wellness efforts in Singapore.
TikTok and the Public Service are working together to support digital literacy and wellness efforts in Singapore.

During the COVID-19 circuit breaker period, many government agencies had to find more innovative ways to interact with people. As many in-person government services and transactions moved online, we at TikTok found that communications in the Public Service was also ready to evolve – with a greater appetite to get creative and explore new formats such as short-form video.

A great example of this is’s #IGotMyShotSG COVID-19 vaccine education campaign. We collaborated with the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) to raise awareness of the campaign on TikTok, as part of our efforts to provide a safe online space for users to learn about the nationwide vaccination programme.

Through formats that engage digital natives (e.g., gamification, and livestreams with doctors, nurses and frontline workers), the MCI reached close to a million people in Singapore with over 1,400 videos created and 4 million video views on TikTok. This has played a part in educating youths, as well as addressing concerns and uncertainties pertaining to vaccines.

The MCI reached close to a million people in Singapore with over 1,400 videos created and 4 million video views on TikTok.

A “Government-With-You” Communications Approach

The team at the MCI is part of an emerging breed of incredibly savvy public officers who have sparked transformation in government communications – shifting from a one-way “government-to-you” approach to a collaborative “government-with-you” approach.

In fact, the Public Service was among the first in Singapore to embrace and experiment on TikTok, leading the way in how organisations engage with the community.

Several government agencies have successfully used TikTok for driving public awareness and building communities with the launch of various campaigns on our platform. Here are three ingredients for creating successful content on TikTok:

1. Get the Basics Right

Design your content for mobile: Shoot in vertical full-screen to leverage the full real estate of the phone. Include audio, such as music and narration, to create an immersive experience for your audience. The most successful creators on TikTok adopt an experimental mindset, constantly testing and learning what works best on the platform.


On TikTok, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) rallies support for our homegrown athletes and showcases the wide array of sports here. From an augmented reality filter that matches users with a South East Asian Games sport to sneak peeks into the lives of Singaporean athletes, the MCCY has brought sports fans closer to the games and their favourite local athletes.

2. Be 'Flawsome'

‘Flawsome’ is the belief that flaws can be awesome. Today's audiences are tired of overly polished and curated content. They want brands to be comfortable showing their vulnerabilities and imperfections. Express your brand in a genuine way by tapping into trends, joining conversations and telling your unique story.


The Singapore Police Force (SPF)’s TikTok strategy focuses on being relatable to the public by showing a fun, humorous side of their work personalities. They have received praise for their ingenuity in creating educational skits inspired by the spooky Netflix series Wednesday, but instead of psychic visions, people who commit crimes get a ‘vision’ of the consequences.

3. Collaborate With the Community

It is important to empower users to showcase their creativity and invite them to be part of your story. Take the time to cultivate a sense of community, build trust and create a more meaningful connection with your audience.


The Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB) was one of the first government agencies to use TikTok Live. To spark conversations about retirement among younger Singaporeans, they did a livestream where prominent TikTok creators grilled a CPF expert with user-submitted questions.

Close to 5,000 unique viewers joined the livestream event and, as is typical on TikTok, engagement was high and lively!

A Force for Good

TikTok is a community-driven entertainment platform that invites authentic user expression and provides value to people and brands.

From food drive volunteers to experts who share their expertise online, TikTok is a platform driven by its user community.

To support our commitment to user safety and community well-being, we actively collaborate with the Singapore government and non-profit organisations to boost digital safety and provide resources (e.g., the Digital Wellness Hub) to help users safely navigate digital plains.

With several government agencies, we also launched Youth for Good, a training programme to nurture Singaporean youths into becoming wellness content creators. On TikTok, these youths discuss the social issues that affect their peers, such as mental and cyber wellness.

Youth for Good: In less than two years, TikTok has successfully onboarded more than 43 non-profit organisations and over 50 youths  as wellness educational creators.

By embracing new digital platforms, the public sector can build a more connected and informed society, and shape the future of digital communications and engagement. TikTok can connect people in new and meaningful ways, and bring public messages to life.

    Sep 26, 2023
    Teresa Tan
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