China searching for PR firm to fix image

BEIJING: Chinese officials are looking to hire a public relations firm to bolster its reputation prior to the 2008 Olympic Games, which will open in Beijing this summer, the Financial Times reported Friday.

BEIJING: Chinese officials are looking to hire a public relations firm to bolster its reputation prior to the 2008 Olympic Games, which will open in Beijing this summer, the Financial Times reported Friday.

The China government invited several US and UK agencies to interview for the contract, which would include pre-game PR a well as media training and market research of Western views on China, but no winner has been announced, the paper said, quoting a “person familiar with the talks.”

PRWeek has put in calls to several public relations firms, but, so far, none have confirmed that it is pitching for the campaign.

The new agency would take on a greater role for the Beijing Olympics public relations campaign than the existing contract between Hill & Knowlton and the Beijing Organising Committee, Financial Times said.

The RFP comes after highly-publicized clash between Chinese officials and protests in Tibet that began last month, and have spread to other areas and countries.

On Sunday, a Beijing Olympic official criticized pro-Tibet demonstrations at the torch relay event in London as an “act of defying Olympic spirit,” the state-sponsored news service, Xinhua, reported.

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