Hong Kong government brief goes on offer

The Hong Kong government is understood to have invited consultancies Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and Harris Communications, to pitch for work estimated to be worth at least pounds 1.5 million in fees.

The Hong Kong government is understood to have invited

consultancies Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and Harris Communications, to

pitch for work estimated to be worth at least pounds 1.5 million in

fees.



The appointed agency will be responsible for devising public affairs,

business-to-business and tourism programmes to promote the colony

overseas.



The proposed PR budget is expected to be up to pounds 5 million a

year.



The Hong Kong government has come under fire in recent years for

mishandling the Asian flu scare and not riding out the region’s economic

crisis as well as other countries, such as Singapore.



Two years ago it decided to slaughter all of Hong Kong’s poultry when it

was discovered the flu virus, which had killed four people, was carried

by the birds. The decision sparked mounting public panic.



Despite issuing tenders the government has not made a final decision on

whether it will actually use an external consultancy. This is partly

because it has come under fire from some members of its own legislative

council. They have been angered at the proposed plans and believe the

idea is a waste of money.



Cyd Ho Sau-lan, a member of the legislative council, said the plans

implied that the government’s Information Services Department was not up

to the job. A government spokesman claimed, however, that as the economy

recovers the image of Hong Kong needs strengthening and professional

advice is worth considering.



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