China Seeks PR Firm to Smooth over Protests

Olympic Torch Protest in ParisOlympic Torch Protest in ParisIn the wake of the widespread protests in Tibet and growing protests along the route of the Olympic Torch Relay, the Chinese government is looking to recruit a public relations firm to advise the government "on strategies to repair its image before the Beijing Olympics." Jim Pickard and Richard McGregor report that "several British and U.S. agencies were invited to interviews with Chinese officials to discuss a contract, which includes pre-games PR strategies, media training and market research on western perceptions of China." The new contract would be in addition to Hill & Knowlton's role in advising the Beijing Organizing Committee, which is responsible for organizing the Olympic Games. It would also be separate from "an invitation issued in Beijing several months ago by the State Council Information Office for pitches on how to brand China around the world."