Posted by: Ian Ross | June 24, 2008

Another Beijing Olympic PR Blunder

Poor PR decisions continue to dog Beijing and its attempt to save face with the international community. Here is the latest blunder: the hotel hosting media at the Olympics Games is offering cash for coverage.

According to the Guardian, “The Gehua New Century Hotel…has promised journalists up to 1,000 yuan ($145) for articles about it….’We want to extend our reputation through the opportunity of the Olympics, it is necessary to promote our brand,’ PR manager Zhao Xiaoda told Reuters by telephone on Monday. ‘I understand it is different from international practice. It was a decision of the PR department not the hotel.'”

This just reinforces an image of corruption and bribery in China, in addition to damaging our profession. The Olympic’s focus on fair competition is a perfect opportunity for a host country to show how it also reflects that value. Instead, this unethical PR tactic shows the world that China is not ready for foreign investment and doesn’t have a free press.

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