The Manpower Ministry (MOM) is starting a six-month campaign to get more people to visit its online sites.
It hopes to raise awareness of its Facebook page, blog, YouTube channel, Twitter and the little known www.workwise.sg website it uses to explain its policies through cartoons and videos.
The ministry's plans, seen by The Straits Times, will involve asking Internet marketing firms to list at least 50 websites that MOM does not own so that it can pick which ones to advertise in or draw traffic from.
It also wants the firms to propose a list of words such as employment rights and salary so that information provided by the ministry will appear prominently in online searches, in what is called "search engine optimisation".
The campaign targets Internet users from employers, tertiary students, professionals, executives and managers to older workers.
When contacted, the MOM confirmed its plans but was tight- lipped about the details. It would only say that it "regularly reviews (its) online communication platforms to increase their effectiveness" and was looking "to identify a vendor to propose measures to raise awareness and reach of these platforms".
The ministry would not say how much the campaign is expected to cost or when it would start.
The latest move comes after the MOM was under the spotlight for its policies such as the Central Provident Fund, the tightening of foreign workers quota and changes to labour laws which affect employers and the workforce.
The MOM-run sites vary in popularity. Its Facebook page, set up in 2010, has nearly 50,000 "likes" - more than the pages of at least six other ministries, each with fewer than 30,000 "likes", though not as high as the nearly 103,000 "likes" enjoyed by the Education Ministry.
MOM has nearly 3,600 followers for its Twitter feed. But its YouTube collection of more than 170 videos uploaded in the past three years saw viewership of fewer than 50 for some videos.
The ministry did not provide any user statistics for its blog and www.workwise.sg website.
Experts back the drive. "If you have an online channel and you don't market, it may not have traffic and no one will know about it," said Mr Alan Koh, founder of home-grown Internet marketing firm Impossible Marketing.
Singapore Human Resources Institute's president Erman Tan said: "The online channels can also help dispel rumours because Internet users will know that the information is authentic."
This article was first published on June 12, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.