FiftyOneZeroOne

PR in China – extraordinary growth is normal

Posted on: November 16, 2008

I have just been attending the International Public Relations Association’s (IPRA) conference in Beijing and have witnessed the extraordinary growth of public relations in China.

 

For most of the past decade there has been 30-35% annual growth in the public relations sector in this vast country. Annual expenditure on PR is estimated to be 11bn RMB (c.£1.1 billion). And this is taking place in a country which sees itself as backward in media and communication, compared with developed countries.

 

Other dimensions of the Chinese PR industry are that there are 10 million companies and organisations engaged in public relations and that there are more than 30,000 PR providers with turnover greater than 10m RMB (£1m) – and that’s historic data. The real situation continues at a fast pace.

 

Speaking at IPRA Congress, Zhao (Oscar) Wenquan, boss of China’s biggest PR consultancy Blue Focus told us, “the whole picture is very encouraging. We are at the tip of the iceberg on which to explore.”

 

Government public relations has shown great expansion, too, perhaps emerging from its strong control on information and entering a new form of democratic engagement (Although I could not access this blog whilst in Beijing nor could other colleagues).

 

The growth and expansion of the Chinese PR industry has come in a remarkably short period. Its leaders date its from 1984 when China was beginning its policy of greater openness and the transition to the “socialist market economy”. Its first undergraduate PR studies started soon after.

 

It’s notable that although all the major international PR consultancy groups have been represented in China for two decades, it is the regional and national PR industry that is growing fastest. Another example of industry growth is that there are more than 150 PR associations across the country, all acting as centres of training and industry promotion.

 

The industry growth may be hit by the downturn in the western economies but it is most likely to dampen the rate of growth rather than stop it. The next step will be the expansion of Chinese PR and marcoms organisations on to world markets. If this is not evident already, it will take place soon. 

 

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1 Response to "PR in China – extraordinary growth is normal"

[…] dummyspit wrote an interesting post today onPR in China â?? extraordinary growth is normal « DummySpitHere’s a quick excerptI have just been attending the International Public Relations Association’s (IPRA) conference in Beijing and have witnessed the extraordinary growth of public relations in China. For most of the past decade there has been 30-35% annual … […]

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