Hong Kong’s carefully nurtured reputation as a business and
consumers’ paradise could suffer lasting damage unless its image is
better managed during this summer’s hand over to China, Shandwick Group
chairman Lord Chadlington said last week.
In a visit to the territory, Lord Chadlington said the organisations
responsible for promoting Hong Kong abroad should improve their
co-ordination to counter the battering the territory has taken in the
foreign press in recent months.
He called on the tourist authority, the Government Information Service
and the Trade Development Council to develop a single message and
’identify those who are going to be the territory’s advocates’.
With thousands of journalists set to descend on Hong Kong in the coming
months, Lord Chadlington warned of PR pitfalls. ’The media will not give
Hong Kong the benefit of the doubt because it does not want to give it
the benefit of the doubt,’ he said.
And he warned: ’What happens in the early days following the hand over
will affect what happens over the next two or three years.’
Trade Development Council manager of international publicity Mark Daley
conceded more could always be done to promote an image but said the TDC
had been ’heavily involved in promoting the economic side of the
The Hong Kong Tourist Authority said it had launched a campaign, under
the banner ’wonders never cease’, two years ago to ensure its attributes
were well publicised in the run-up to the hand-over.