EthicsIn this assignment, reasons why the Chinese government hired a Western public relations firm to work on the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be discussed, along with reasons why protesters and activists target events such as the Olympics, and weather the opportunity to reach a global audience by advertising during the Olympics can offset the potential for bad publicity, and finally I will assess how well of a job the companies identified in this case did in anticipating and responding to the protests.
Reasons why the Chinese government hires a western public relations firm.
Recently the body of knowledge of public relations has grown significantly and public relations continue to evolve as a strong discipline. China had experienced bad publicity ahead of the Olympics where; Beijing's image was seriously battered by widely publicized protests especially in London, Paris and San Francisco, disrupting the Beijing Olympic torch relay. Also, Chinese embassies and consulates in several cities were also damaged because of protests by pro-Tibet groups and others capitalizing on the publicity of summer Games. Therefore, China decided that it would be a better idea to hire foreign Public Relation firms to handle the publicity issues of the games. “Several British and US 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” (AFP, 2008). Finally China decided to hire US Weber Shandwick and British Bell Pottinger as the major PR firms of the 2008 Beijing games.