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  • Guānxì, the key to Chinese media

    29 September 2015Interviews

    The key to successful press relations in China is in a word: Guanzi….activating and maintaining your network of contacts through informal exchange. Since Chinese media is centralised in Beijing, it is important to find the relevant hooks and messages to keep content alive, create connections between the different supports, and capture the interest of increasingly solicited journalists and key opinion leaders.

    Here are Yueping Wang’s, Sopexa China PR Director, tips for successful press relations in China.


    What is the key to successful press relations in China?


    While the middle classes are very attached to Chinese food heritage, they are increasingly drawn towards foreign products, which are synonymous with a certain way of life and are capable of stirring the imagination. We devised a particularly quirky campaign for our client InterRhone, comprising an art competition, a fashion show, a play, and short movies to promote Côtes du Rhône wines. We used every digital channel available to create a real buzz, including social media strategy  primarily on WeChat, video teasers and motivating Chinese e-influencers.


    What is the digital landscape in China?


    The internet is considered to be the most reliable source of information, ahead of other medias such as television and newspapers. The digital landscape in China is extremely varied, more dynamic and more complex. And given the censorship on international media vehicles such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, competitors and pseudo Facebook sites such as Q Zone, RenRen, Douban and Kaixin, or even WeChat have risen to the forefront. WeChat has nearly 550 million uses, 55% of them check their WeChat account more than 30 times per day. The Chinese internet population loves to trust, criticise and recommend brands. For the Chinese, these platforms of interactive expression are an important.



    How are foreign products generally perceived?


    Since the latest food scandals and the rise of China’s middle classes, Chinese consumers are more than ever adopting  ”healthy eating” habits. They are also very keen on food safety and quality. They are increasingly shifting towards foreign products, which they find more reassuring. Imported products, such as French or even Chilean products, are one step ahead of the game. Health, nutrition and traceability are important communication themes in China. Chinese consumers are ready to pay a premium for a healthy product.


    And what do you think is your greatest challenge?


    Constantly striving to become more innovative and creative. Press relations and consumer PR continue to go from strength to strength. They play an essential role in developing product awareness, in educating and training and building customer loyalty. Essentially, in building confidence. PR must be at the heart of all development and communication strategies.


    Source: Sopexa China 2015