Year in review: what resonated most with our readers | The Giles Agency

December 9, 2019

by Nicky Jenner

We spend most of our time looking forward, considering the progress that may await us in the future.

However, it’s good to regularly stop, pause, and reflect: to look back over what’s been successful, what this teaches you, and how this can help you have an even greater year ahead.

So as 2019 comes to a close, that’s what we’re doing – reviewing our content and seeing what resonated most with our audience.


Our most-read posts of 2019

1. What’s the difference between continued, continual and continuous?

We’re often asked by clients to explain the difference between continued, continual and continuous. For example, should we say “Thank you for your continued support”, “Thank you for your continual support” or “Thank you for your continuous support”?

Some things never change! The English language can be a mysterious beast. One of our top posts of all time dug into the difference between three misleadingly similar words – continued, continual and continuous – to explain when each should be used, and why. This post also highlights that well-written content (this one is from April 2014!) can stand the test of time and be valuable and welcomed for many years after publication.

2. Why did it work? How KitKat conquered Japan

Everybody in the West has grown up with KitKat. The iconic slab of chocolate-covered wafer fingers in a bright red wrapper is still a much-loved treat, and the brand’s advertising slogan — Have a break, have a KitKat — is imprinted on minds throughout Europe and America. However, when the brand wished to enter the Eastern market, they decided to alter their branding and marketing to suit their audience — and found huge success as a result.

Our ‘Why did it work?’ series is a popular one. This post was especially well-received: using the case study of KitKat in Japan, we investigated how clever marketing can easily clear international and cultural hurdles – and feed back into global success.

3. Hong Kong English words and phrases

Given all the years that English speakers have lived in Hong Kong, it’s inevitable that a unique kind of English would emerge here. Some call the blending of our official languages Chinglish. Others, like language professors Patrick J. Cummings and Hans-Georg Wolf, call it Hong Kong English.

The differences, complexities, and nuances of language are inherently fascinating to us. We operate in Hong Kong and Singapore, with clients from across Asia – so it’s no surprise that Hong Kong English is of particular interest. It was evidently interesting to our audience, too, when we shared a few choice phrases that all Hong Kongers know and love: from dai pai dong to sifu.

4. Our Write to the Top posts

In our ever-evolving world, written communication consistently ranks among the most sought after work-place skills. Effective communication is transformational. It can propel both businesses and individual professionals to success. With our new Write to the Top packages, you can learn from the best and access teachings from our team of communications professionals.

In late 2018, we released an online training course aimed at improving our clients’ business writing skills: Write to the Top. We published a number of blog posts on this launch and the course specifics, which proved very popular! We’re happy to see that interest in CPD and ongoing learning is far from diminishing – and excited to work with even more skills-hungry professionals in 2020.

5. How to write engaging content: The difference between Western and Eastern consumers

Is your marketing content engaging? This is certainly not a simple question! In order to be engaging, your content should resonate with your target audience in tone, style, and message. As a communications agency in Hong Kong and Singapore, we serve clients of many different cultures. We know that when it comes to marketing, one size does not fit all.

We’re huge advocates for localisation: altering and repositioning your content to suit different audiences and markets. A key example of this is when considering how to reach people in Western vs. Eastern cultures, as attitudes in these locations are, unsurprisingly, very different. We have a lot of experience in this area; we deal with international clients, host an in-house team of native English and Chinese writers and editors, and operate over multiple countries, so this blog post was an ideal fit.

6. British English vs American English (Revisited): Which Does China Use?

In our first blog entry looking at British vs American English, we touched on whether British or American English is more commonly used in Hong Kong. Here, we consider the same question, but, this time, looking at Mainland China.

Language – and its myriad cultural nuances and differences – is a key theme across many of our blog posts, and this post on British vs. American English is no different. Clients often ask us our take on this, and this post (and the subsequent posts referred to within it) is an ideal place to start.

We’re thrilled to see that the importance of clear, effective, culturally sensitive communication that translates into tangible business success is a theme lying the heart of our popular content this year.

Why not take a moment to reflect on your content, too? What successes did 2019 bring – and how can these help you fly even higher in 2020?