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Posts Tagged ‘Weibo’

Chinese Government to Tourists: Don’t Pick Your Nose or Pee in the Pool

OK.The Chinese government doesn’t just want to present its own best face to tourists; it also wants its tourists to present their best faces to the rest of the world.

This Wednesday the China National Tourism Administration released a 64-page book—complete with illustrations—designed to help its citizens overcome the perception that they may not be the world’s most gracious guests when traveling abroad. This latest public service campaign has turned a few heads in the West mainly because we can’t quite imagine our own government issuing such edicts.

Here are some of the key takeaways from this epic PSA:

  • Don’t sneeze or pick your nose or teeth in public
  • Keep your nose hair neatly trimmed
  • Don’t steal airplane life jackets
  • Don’t pee in the pool
  • Don’t force locals to take your picture
  • Make sure women wear earrings when in Spain lest they “be considered effectively naked”
  • Don’t steal any saltwater animals if you go swimming in the ocean

And our favorites:

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China’s ‘Black PR’ Industry Uses Social Media Influencers to Spread False Gossip

It seems that even the notoriously corrupt Chinese government worries about PR ethics.

Earlier this year we reviewed a telling report on what’s known as China’s “black PR” industry—a game run on the power of blackmail and personal sabotage. It’s all about digital “entrepreneurs” either finding or planting stories about brands, prominent politicians and business leaders online. If the content is defamatory, these men will approach their victims and offer to remove it for a steep fee.

Looks like the business might not stay that way for long. Last week the Beijing Times ran with the headline “Qin Huohuo’s online black society rumor mongering brought under control“, reporting that two of the most notorious web practitioners who ran companies “paid by other companies to artificially generate grassroots online activity for their benefit” had been arrested as part of a general crackdown on corruption. Their services are described as such:

…web marketing, creating online scandals or events, damaging the reputations of rivals or competitors, deleting negative comments from online forums…

That’s not even the worst part.

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Damage Control in China: Bow Down Before Your Leaders!

PR in China: it’s a brave new world! Yet, despite all the talk of a dirty “black PR” industry and the impressive propaganda powers of a one-party government, damage control campaigns in the People’s Republic seem to be very simple. Based on the recent PR fails and recoveries of Western brands like Apple, KFC and Volkswagen, a big “yes sir” apology seems to be the way to go.

This issue is very relevant because, as the economy grows more global by the hour, every company that doesn’t sell artisanal pickles in Williamsburg, Brooklyn wants to build a strong reputation in China.

Here’s the backstory:

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2012’s Top Chinese Social Media Branding Stories

Nike ChinaCapturing the Chinese market is every marketer’s dream. More than a billion potential customers in a newly open society that continues to grow more and more infatuated with brand-name goods? We can certainly see why everyone’s so interested.

So what are the world’s largest companies doing to familiarize the Chinese public with their products? Well, 2012 found them executing a lot of sly promotional campaigns via social media. Jeremy Webb (@thepekingorder), co-lead of Social@Ogilvy Beijing, recently provided us with his list of the year’s top 10 brand posts on Weibo, the Chinese micro-messaging equivalent of Twitter. It’s a fascinating list that shows us how PR/marketing practices in China are quite similar to those in the Western world.

In fact, we’d say that speedy, topical posts offering clever takes on the day’s “water cooler” topics are even more valuable in China than in the United States. Take, for example, the year’s most-shared post, which predictably concerned the Summer Olympics: It’s a Nike ad with a message about fairness, indirectly referring to the fact that many Chinese citizens believed the London judges to be biased against Chinese athletes.

Damage control is important in China, too:

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