Last year we wrote about the Chinese government’s “censor and deny” approach to damage control after a New York Times story about the considerable wealth of prime minister and supposed “man of the people” Wen Jibao threatened to damage his political fortunes. Here’s an even more interesting story on the role of PR in Chinese politics–and this is legitimate public relations, not the underground blackmail and bribery industry.
As expected, former VP Xi Jinping officially assumed the presidency after receiving a ridiculous 99.8% of the vote in The People’s Congress. Xi posed as a reformer, and his primary goal is to convince the growing number of Chinese citizens who aren’t happy with their government that his administration is more concerned with improving quality of life than lining its own pockets.
In order to do this, he’s taking some steps right out of the political PR playbook that will look familiar to anyone who has suffered through an American presidential campaign.