Your Facebook Friends

This two-man team from PUB, the national water agency, is engaging the public through social media.

They post water-related stories on Facebook, ensure that flash flood alerts are pushed out on Facebook and Twitter, and share inspiring sunrise photographs of Singapore’s newest waterways on Flickr and Pinterest.

This may sound like a fun and – dare we say – easy job, but it is just the tip of the iceberg of what Assistant Director Wesley Michael Lewis and Communications Executive Syed Omar Fadzil do. In fact, their work day is spent analysing online reports, blogging, tracking web chatter, churning out content and meeting staff from other departments to coordinate messages for PUB’s social media platforms.

In essence, they are in charge of most of PUB’s online communication efforts, apart from its website and YouTube channel. They also take turns to be on 24-hour standby to provide real-time Facebook and Twitter updates, such as when a road lane reopens after the completion of pipe repairs.

“We work as long as we are awake,” says Mr Syed, 35, who loves IT and photography and has worked in PUB for 17 years. He and Mr Lewis, 34, have been friends since their army days. Mr Lewis joined PUB about two years ago.

Inevitably, the pair has had to deal with “flaming” from unhappy netizens. They respond by trying to find out more about the complaint and giving a suitable reply. Such head-on engagement has helped turn foes into friends. “Our online netizens are now our friends,” says Mr Lewis. “On occasions when nasty comments are posted… they not only speak up for us but also reinforce our messages or information that we have previously shared.”

    Jul 24, 2013
    Jamie Ee
    John Heng
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