Local Chinese PR Agencies

Overview

Despite the industry’s young history of only 20 years, Public Relations has grown rapidly in China. According to a report released in 2004, by China International Public Relations Association, there have been about 2,000 PR agencies in China and the numbers continue to increase. The top 20 firms share one-fifth of the market profit.

The PR industry is still developing and most local PR agencies in China are focused on media relations and event planning. They are working on trying to form longer partnerships with their clients and the implementation of strategic thinking. Currently, relationships with clients tend to be short in China, with an average of 2.8 years because the work is often project-based. The Public Relations industry in China relies heavily on the practitioners’ relationships with journalists and the media.

1. BlueFocus(蓝色光标)

  • Founded: 1996
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Shanghai and Guangzhou and 23 regional offices across the country.
  • Specialization: IT, Finance, Healthcare, Consumer Products, Government and Non-government Organizations.
  • Clients: Lenovo, Cisco, Sony, Canon, Pepsi, L’Oreal, Pampers, Johnson & Johnson.
  • Other: Currently one of the most powerful local PR service provider in China.

2. Broadcom Public Relations Company(广通伟业)

  • Founded: 2000
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Shanghai and Shenzhen
  • Specialization: Telecommunications and IT
  • Clients: China Mobile, Konka, Panasonic, Mary Kay, Ping An of China, Homeway, SinoSun, Intel
  • Other: Successfully planned and created the service magazines: Go-Tone and M-Zone for China Mobile Group.

3. China Global Public Relations Company (中国环球公关公司)

  • Founded: 1986
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Provincial Capitals and all major cities
  • Specialization: Food and Beverage, Finance and Insurance, High Technology, Tobacco Industry, News and Media, Petrochemicals
  • Clients: Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Philip Morris, Apple, IBM, GM, Jaguar, Mobil and Caltex, Tokyo TV, Asahi TV
  • Other: The first local PR company in China and was founded with the sponsor of China’s state news agency – Xinhua News Agency and Burson-Marsteller, so it has resources like information and talents that other competitors don’t have access to. Also, this background helps them maintain a good relationship with the government, media, communities and other competitors. Because of the close ties with major international PR agencies in its early stage, the staff of China Global PR Company were able to receive professional training. As one of the first PR companies in China, they always pay close attention to the development of  the PR industry in China and continues to promote it.

4. D&S Consulting (迪思公关)

  • Founded: 1996
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and Hefei
  • Specialization: IT, Automobile, Consumer Products, Pharmaceuticals, Entertainment
  • Clients: Motorola, CHANA Automobile, VW, NEC, Snow Breweries
  • Other: Named amongst the top 3 Chinese PR agencies for 6 consecutive years. Slogan: “Empowering your Brand”; good at brand promotion and management.

5. eVision Consulting (时空视点)

  • Founded: 1997
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Shanghai and Guangzhou
  • Specialization: Technology
  • Clients: HP, Intel, Cect, Powerware, Linux, AMD, Veritas, Motorola, Canon
  • Other: Value—integrity, honesty, rectitude, self-discipline, diligence, tenacity, teamwork

6. Genedigi Group (际恒公关顾问机构)

  • Founded: 1997
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Shanghai, Guangzhou
  • Specialization: IT, Automobile, Home Appliances, Fashion, Tourism
  • Clients: Chrysler, Honda, LG, Mengniu, Suning, Red bull, Saic Motor, Elantra, Shanghai Jahwa Group
  • Other: In 2007, it won the CIPRA, “Best Public Relations Firm Award”.

7. HighTeam Communications (海天网公关顾问有限公司)

  • Founded: 1995
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Shanghai, Guangzhou
  • Specialization: Automobile, IT/Website/Consumer Electronics, Game & Sports, Government Organizations
  • Clients: Audi, BMW, Microsoft, Sony Ericsson, Amway, Nike, Citibank, NBA, China Children and Teenagers Fund
  • Other:  Focus on working closely with their customers and provide online communications and integrated campaigns.

8. Insight PR Consulting(智扬公关)

  • Founded: 1999
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Located throughout 19 cities in China
  • Specialization: High-tech, Real estate, Pharmaceutical, Auto and NGO
  • Clients:  Huawei, Lenovo, Hanwang, Tsingtao, Soho China, Toyota, Chery, Great Wall
  • Other: Pursue better performance of “strategic thinking + creative planning + outstanding implementation”. They also create value through INSIGHT, IDEA, IMPLEMENTATION and IMPACT.

9. Marketing Resource Group ( 嘉利公关)

  • Founded: 1996
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Shanghai and Guangzhou
  • Specialization: Automobile, IT, Healthcare, Finance, Consumer Products
  • Clients: Toyota, Mercedes Benz, IBM, HP, Intel, Motorola, P&G, Haier, Epson, Nikon, Yahoo, Alibaba.com, PICC, Johnson & Johnson, HSBC
  • Other: It is the first Chinese PR company to merge with other agencies – in 2003, it merged with the PR agency, Boneng. It is also the first Chinese PR company to go abroad. In 2004, it established a branch office in London. Marketing Resource Group is the earliest Chinese PR company to focus on promoting their own brand. They published series of PR books that received wide recognition. It has been chosen as the top 10 PR agency in China by CIPRA since 2002.

10. Shunya Communications Group (宣亚国际传播集团)

  • Founded: 1999
  • Headquartered: Beijing
  • Offices: Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu
  • Specialization: Automobile, Finance, Home Appliances, Healthcare
  • Clients: GM, Ford Motors, Volvo, P & G, Fuji Xerox, Yili Dairy, China Netcom, China Unicom, China Merchants Bank.
  • Other: Concept “Power of ONE” is at the heart of their PR service. In 2008 they formed a strategic alliance with Omnicom.

Diagnosis – Advantages and Problems

Local PR companies in China have their advantages, like, knowing local Chinese policies and regulations. They also maintain a good “guanxi” with local government, industry and media professionals. They know the audience and market well, so it is easier for them to develop ideas and strategies close to China’s reality.

The rapid development of Lenovo, a Chinese PC brand, is a good example of the successful partnership between of a local company and a local PR agency. Bluefocus has been Lenovo’s PR agent for over 10 years and helped the company become an interntionally well-known brand. They contributed from the purchasing of IBM’s PC business, to changing its brand name from Legend to Lenovo, which was already an established name in many foreign countries, to becoming a partner of the Beijing Olympic program. Bluefocus has continued to plan strategically and making sure every step Lenovo takes is beneficial to promote the brand.

However, problems exist at the same time. The industry and clients they serve are not quite diverse. They are mainly concentrated in the IT and automobile industries. Their business models are very similar to one another, few agencies have their own distinct brand characteristics. Some improper relations with the media severely prevents the establishment of the industry and ethics, and the unclearness of clients’ needs also prevents the market development. Their ability of dealing with crisis and offering long-term strategies still needs improvement. Overall, the industry has still manage to have achievements within such a short period of time it has been present in China.



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