Public Relations and China
The Public Relations industry is global, and agencies are capitalizing on the growing demand for international PR, especially in the burgeoning Chinese market. Recently this includes Hill+Knowlton Strategies expanding their agency with EastWest, a segment of the parent company claiming to be the first American comms agency opening in China.
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
To facilitate the expansion, H+K uses two important factors working with it: language and strategically placed international offices. In their London office, their account director for the energy and industrial team, Peter Headden, fluent in Mandarin, plays an instrumental role in the Chinese relations. Their international presence appears in their operational offices in Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Eurasia, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.
H+K specialty services found in different levels of PR include market entry, audience mapping, campaign development, messaging, media relations, and brand marketing, amongst others.
Richard Millar, H+K London CEO, said, “Chinese investment in Europe, across a range of sectors, continues to grow. At the same time, the communications landscape is changing rapidly. As the lines between business and communications strategies become increasingly blurred, Chinese companies need to find more creative solutions to the challenges and opportunities that European markets present. H+K’s purpose-driven communications model means we are uniquely placed to help companies navigate this new landscape. H+K EastWest will serve this aim.”
While this is the first American-based PR agency expanding its market to China, Chinese PR companies have been recently making efforts on the global scale. An example, BlueFocus is the “first Chinese PR company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2010” making more than “2.17 billion yuan ($358 million) in 2012.” In addition, BlueFocus continues their expansion with 82.8% stock acquisitions in the British-based social media agency We Are Social to streamline their international-focused business.
Oscar Zhao, CEO of BlueFocus Communications Group LLC said, “Many multinationals that preferred to work with international companies are now turning to local companies for their marketing services because local companies deliver better results and business outcomes,” adding that BlueFocus gets at least half of its commissions from foreign companies.” On both sides of the globe, the public relations industry works towards a global economy.
Companies like Hill+Knowlton and BlueFocus work to streamline an international approach with Chinese-American relations coming to the forefront. It’s expected over time more PR companies like H+K or BlueFocus will broaden their horizons seeking new markets on an international stage.