SPH reaches for the sky for 30th anniversary

SPH reaches for the sky for 30th anniversary

Singapore Press Holdings’ 30th anniversary celebrations will reach a pinnacle this week with a unique artistic event.

British artist and autistic savant, Stephen Wiltshire, will draw the Singapore skyline from memory in the main atrium of the Paragon shopping centre for the event, titled “See the Big Picture”, after taking one helicopter ride over the city.

The 40-year-old artist has previously drawn London, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong among others but it is his first time drawing Singapore.

Singaporean president Tony Tan Keng Yam will visit Mr Wiltshire as he works under public gaze during the week, along with other leaders. The completion ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 20, attended by Singaporean minister for culture, community and youth Lawrence Wong.

SPH executive vice-president, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility, and group company secretary Ginney Lim said “See the Big Picture” would be a good content marketing and CSR opportunity, as well as a chance to showcase the publisher’s range of media platforms.

“By promoting the campaign on our various media platforms, we can also showcase our extensive suite of integrated media offerings and solutions, covering print, online, digital, radio, events to out-of-home media platforms,” she said.

“As Stephen has autism, we have also incorporated some CSR elements into the campaign as part of our active corporate citizenry.”

The final artwork, measuring 4 metres long by 1 metre high, will also be SPH’s gift to the nation as 2015 marks Singapore’s 50 years as an independent nation.

The 30th anniversary celebrations started in March with a free concert by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the launch of the SPH Lucky 30 Draw.

A “ground-breaking” ceremony was held for the launch of the SPH Walk of Giants, an educational forest in the Singapore Botanical Gardens that SPH is sponsoring. In May, a charity carnival was held at SPH News Centre featuring more than 30 stalls raising funds for different charities.

SPH’s actual birthday, August 4, will see the Singapore Symphony Orchestra perform a lunchtime concert at the newly revamped Victoria Concert Hall for staff and members of the public, along with subscription deals and promotions for readers.

“The response from the readers and the public has been very positive so far,” Ms Lim said, following large turnouts for the lucky draw and events.

In the short span of 30 years, she said, “SPH has progressed from being just a newspaper company to a leading media organisation with different platforms.

“Beyond print, we have embarked on digitisation across our product lines by offering integrated multi-platform solutions such as the introduction of apps for smartphones and tablet devices. Most of our newspapers have embarked on All-in-One strategies to encompass print, online, mobile, video and social media in their offerings.”

Beyond media, SPH has invested in new growth sectors including property, establishing the SPH Real Estate Investment Trust. The trust comprises upscale retail mall Paragon and The Clementi Mall, a suburban mall, with a third, the Seletar Mall, slated to open at the end of this year.

SPH’s magazine business has grown to more than 100 magazines in the Asia Pacific Region, with many of its titles available on digital platforms. SPH Joint Ventured Internet classified sites have continued to show growth by becoming the leading sites in Malaysia and Vietnam, according to Ms Lim.  The publisher’s English flagship newspaper, the Straits Times, launched its inaugural edition in Myanmar this year.

SPH also organises more than 30 exhibitions and conferences in Singapore each year as well as in new markets in Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Celebrations still to come include the launch of the Seletar Mall, a charity outing involving a host of charities adopted by SPH’s various business units, and a charity cheque presentation of $1 million to 50 charitable organisations by SPH and the SPH Foundation.

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