WASHINGTON: South Korea has renewed its contract with Finn Partners, retaining it to reach out to companies and tell stories about the country’s business achievements.
Jessica Ross, managing partner at Finn Partners, said the firm’s remit includes "cataloging success stories" and updating stakeholders. The contract was renewed on January 1 and will run through June 30, with a monthly retainer of $25,000, according to documents.
PRWeek reported on Tuesday that BGR Public Relations had been hired by the South Korean Embassy in Washington, DC for strategic PR services. Documents filed with the Justice Department state that BGR "fully recognizes that the subject matter regarding the scope of services require the highest degree of confidentiality."
Further details were not disclosed.
Also on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported the reason South Korea hired a DC-based PR firm – though the firm was not named – was to "promote its position on Japan’s war history ahead of a speech by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Congress." It added that the firm is trying to "make sure reporters who hear Mr. Abe speak understand what he’s not saying." Abe is expected in the US next week.
Finn Partners’ remit does not include work on the nation’s relationship with Japan, said Ross.
"We have been working with [South Korea] since right after the passage of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement [in 2012]," she explained. "Work has been around promoting [the] success of that agreement."
When asked about the Journal story, BGR president Jeffrey Birnbaum said, "It is our policy not to talk about clients."
Birnbaum would not confirm or deny whether the agency’s work has anything to with the relationship between South Korea and Japan.