Demand for PR soars during Hong Kong handover

A rush of corporate clients looking to make an impression on the 8,000 journalists in Hong Kong for Monday’s handover of sovereignty forced local PR firms to look abroad for crews and equipment, as local demand outstripped supply.

A rush of corporate clients looking to make an impression on the

8,000 journalists in Hong Kong for Monday’s handover of sovereignty

forced local PR firms to look abroad for crews and equipment, as local

demand outstripped supply.



Firms said demand came mainly from existing clients looking to make

their mark on the historic event. But the volume meant that there were

not enough lighting rigs, marquees and sound equipment to go around.



Tuesday’s celebrations in Victoria Harbour alone cost HKdollars 10

million with corporate events costing many millions more. ’It’s boom

time,’ said Citigate director Karen Chang. ’We have had to bring in

overseas crews and had to hire equipment from overseas. We have

production people coming out from Australia.’



Local suppliers seeking to take advantage of the demand were charging

’exorbitant’ prices, Chang said, with many people opting to buy

equipment rather than pay over the odds to hire them.



Eddie Naylor, until recently PR director of Shandwick, agreed the

handover had pushed up business. ’The eyes of the world are on Hong Kong

and that creates an opportunity in PR terms,’ he said. John Frank-Keyes,

editor of Asian PR News, said firms had told him that business had

picked up after a quiet end to last year.



But other firms said they had not seen more business as a result of the

handover. ’It’s very hard to get the client to stand out,’ said

Burson-Marsteller managing director Shirley Dirkin. ’I know a lot of

clients have shied away from doing something as an event particularly in

June.’



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