INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Hong Kong dollars 2.4m revamp contested

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong government has invited Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and Harris Communications to pitch for an estimated dollars 2.4 million in PR business. But whether the country will actually hire a firm, however, remains up in the air.

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong government has invited Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and Harris Communications to pitch for an estimated dollars 2.4 million in PR business. But whether the country will actually hire a firm, however, remains up in the air.

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong government has invited Shandwick,

Burson-Marsteller and Harris Communications to pitch for an estimated

dollars 2.4 million in PR business. But whether the country will

actually hire a firm, however, remains up in the air.



Despite issuing the RFP, the Hong Kong government has come under fire

from members of its own legislative council, who are said to believe

employing a firm is a waste of money.



Council member Cyd Ho Sau-lan said the initial PR plans implied that the

government’s information services department was not up to the job.



However, a government spokesman responded that as the economy recovers,

Hong Kong’s image needs strengthening and professional advice is worth

considering.



If an agency is chosen, the successful candidate will be charged with a

wide range of assignments, including public affairs and tourism programs

to promote the colony overseas. The budget is expected to exceed dollars

8 million per year.



The Hong Kong government has recently come under attack for mishandling

the Asian Flu scare and not riding out the region’s economic crisis as

well as countries such as Singapore.



The Asian Flu crisis cast Hong Kong in a particularly poor light. Two

years ago, the country opted to slaughter all of its poultry when it was

discovered the birds carried a a virulent strain of the flu. The

decision sparked mounting public panic, and the country did little in

the way of crisis communications to ease the uproar.



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