Ronald N. Levy (Jun. 7, 2013): It seems like only yesterday, but was actually two days ago, that Kevin's piece, "China Seeks PR Rebound" elicited a response that "The Chinese government and companies could become HUGE accounts for PR firms with the will and skill to go for this business in a major way."
Effective PR need not be contentious and can be just the opposite.
Du Pont for farmers and J&J for nurses reported to America what farmers and nurses were eager for more people to know. More drug companies could do themselves a lot of good by telling a story that medical specialty groups would love for America to know. All kinds of beer companies and other firms celebrate the greatness of minority leaders who like most leaders were not in all respects great, and America's firms could score major goodwill with Chinese leaders by telling America what those leaders would love to be more widely known.
Many kids have grown up convinced without question that the cowboys were the good guys and the Indians the bad guys--and that China is bad in all kinds of ways. But the TRUTH is that China can be a damn good customer and is populated with human beings who have hopes and dreams and justified fears just like our people.
Hill and Knowlton made a lot of money years ago--and earned it--by persuading glass companies and newsprint companies that the customer is not the enemy. IGNORANCE of what's good aout the customers is an enemy of them and their suppliers alike, and there are golden eggs to be harvested and a good buck to be made--and common sense to be served--by telling what's true to people the customers wish would know the truth.
The Chinese aren't stupid any more than we are. The way to get their goodwill is to earn it, and whoso earneth that good will may earn as well quite a bit of money.