What’s the toughest PR challenge you can imagine? Representing an institution charged with sheltering child abusers? Defending a multinational corporation for mistakes that cost others their lives and livelihoods? How about presenting the very best of a murderous dictatorship to an outside world that firmly rejects every attempt to make nice?
We were fascinated by today’s Christian Science Monitor profile of the man Kim Jong-un hired to perform public relations duties for the People’s Republic of North Korea. That still-mysterious country is one of the few things on the planet Earth that remains less popular than the Kardashian family.
His name is Alejandro Cao de Benós, he’s a Spanish man with “aristocratic roots”, and his official blog features a lot of stories about “Corea del Norte”. What else? He appears to have been an enthusiastic North Korean sympathizer for some time, and as the only non-Korean employee of the nation’s foreign ministry, it’s his job to travel around the world, speak to various media outlets and try (in vain) to convince people that Kim Jong-un isn’t as bad as we all seem to think he is. Cao de Benós’s only real messaging strategy is to insist that “everything you’ve heard is a lie” and that every supposedly bad thing North Korea does is in direct response to an aggressive action from the West (aka America).