China is reportedly looking to beef up its PR defense as the Olympic Games approach and international criticism simmers over its crackdown in Tibet. So which firm will take them on?
The Financial Timesreported today that the Chinese government has heard pitches from several U.K. and U.S. agencies and will soon tap a firm for “PR strategies, media training and market research on western perceptions of China.”
Most troubling no doubt to some is this observation by the FT: “The initiative signals no change for the moment in China’s Tibet policy, which appears to be entrenched by a tough line from the top.”
The government’s move to bring in more communications support shows that it either wants to put a better spin on what they see as biased reports from the West, or they are looking to open up more lines of communication. China is already using Hill & Knowlton for Olympic PR.
There’s little question the Chinese have a serious PR problem. But in light of the recent violence, the country’s skepticism of free press, pressure being put on Olympic sponsors, and its iron fist in cracking down on dissent, what firm would cash those checks right now?