Press in China Wants to See Increased Cooperation with PR Agencies

Recently our consultants in Beijing carried out a small survey with Chinese journalists in China. I spoke with eight journalists to get their opinion on China’s media development and their view about cooperation with PR agencies. Here are the questions we asked: Where do you go to for your information? How do you conduct your research? How do you see the cooperation between PR agencies and media? When are your deadlines – do you have an editorial calendar? What trends do you see in the Chinese media industry? As to the first two questions, the PR agency ranks at the top as a resource for journalists for sorting out their stories. Journalists usually have interviews with companies to get  first-hand information. However, sometimes it’s time-consuming or difficult to get in touch with the management of a Fortune 500 listed company. PR agency then become a facilitator between the press and these companies. The chart below shows the detailed results:

News ResourceIn regards to the cooperation between two sides,  all of the interviewed media recognized the importance and function of PR agencies. The positive aspects include:

a. The relationship between press and agency can be described as a mutual help and win-win relationship. b. PR agencies are a bridge between the press and companies, which can provide a great deal of industry and company information to the press. c. PR agencies are a facilitator when the press wants to reach out to a company spokesperson. Also some deficiencies were addressed: a. It’s better if agencies can provide the media with in-depth information, instead of  press releases and just seeking for positive coverage for their clients. b. Regular, efficient and effective mutual communications are required. Five out of eight journalists complained that PR agencies always send to them press releases and ask for publication. But what the publication really need are valuable news to track attention from readers. Calls to media were not seen as an annoyance.  In fact, increased updates and communications on company management insights or industrial analysis were suggested. When talking about editorial calendars, six of them released their editorial calendar annually, monthly or weekly. However, there are many changes required to the calendar as times goes by. They need to adjust it constantly to stay current with the ever-changing markets. Lastly, six journalists foresee that print media will fade away steadily, while online media is expected to have a prosperous future. One interviewee commented that those prestigious printed publications with historical significance will still hold on their positions for a long time. For online ones, the future is long and bright. One reporter said that current advertising and marketing patterns are too simple. Seeking innovation will be a key to success. Through this informal chat with the media, we have received feedback on what we are doing right, which is maintaining constant communications with journalists. What we have learned is only by providing valuable information with efficient updates to the press can we build up a relationship of trust. Moreover, we get to know how the journalists see the future of the media industry. Almost all of them are bullish about online media development, which also give us a light on doing right things – digital marketing. We express our millions of thanks to the following participated media:

  1. Business Management Review
  2. Advertiser
  3. HC360
  4. China Information World
  5. CSDN
  6. eNet
  7. Beijing This Month
  8. Shanghai Daily

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