Beijing to call in media trainers

Organisers of the 2008 Olympics are to hire a media training outfit to help them understand how Western journalists operate.

The Beijing Media Committee (BMC), the press arm of the Beijing municipal government, is keen to prepare for the influx of foreign journalists to the Chinese capital for the 2008 Olympics.

Representing institutions such as the mayor’s office and the police force, it is determined to make sure ‘brand Beijing’ is portrayed positively at the showpiece sports event. The BMC is more used to dealing with a Chinese media that works under tight state control.

Hill & Knowlton is working for the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) (PRWeek, 5 May). The BMC will work closely with BOCOG, but will focus on press coverage of Beijing, particularly topics not directly related to the Games.

London-based China specialist PR agency 93 1/2 told PRWeek it was on a shortlist and would be pitching in Beijing this Friday. Serafim Kotrotsos, media and comms director for the 2004 Athens Olympics, is part of the agency’s pitch team.

The BMC could not be reached for comment.

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