PR is powerful form of communication
The objective of having a PR presence in China is to:
- Improve your reputation both broadly and within specialized communities.
- Improve your image by disseminating positive messages.
- Control and manage your reputation.
Public relations in China works differently
You have to be conscious of a number of factors before you start engaging in PR activities.
The government strictly controls press agencies, newspapers and portals, state censorship severely limits what can be reported upon and how it is reported.
The majority of newspapers seek to make a profit, this is often their focus. The press are most likely to include stories that will encourage sales.
Chinese journalists did not have the same ethic as the western journalists. They cannot be so openly critical, seeking to report ‘the truth’ is side-lined in favour of promoting the official state perspective.
Chinese journalists are arguably more open to novelty stories than western journalists. Sensational, human interest stories are very popular amongst Chinese consumers.
Online PR is more important in China
Online news sources are the main source of information for the Chinese. The majority of people, with increasing purchasing power, read more news on the Internet rather than buying a newspaper.
It is thus important to adapt your PR strategy accordingly. Content needs to be tailored to the online news reader who will often spend less time reading each article, focus on the quality of the content and keep it clear and to the point.
Here are the main online newspapers in China :
- Sina : the most important web portal in China
- Sohu : the second most important
- 163 / Netease : news.163.com
- QQ News
- Renmingwang (the People’s daily)
- Xinhua (New China) Press agency
- Fenghuang (lfeng)