With business publications ranging from Fortune to The Economist devoting seemingly endless cover features to China, companies have gotten the memo that it behooves them to establish a China strategy.
But what about communications? Is there a China spoke in your 2014 PR plan?
I conducted a storytelling workshop for a Fortune 1000 company last month. In the course of brainstorming ways to go beyond the trades and crack the business media, I brought “China” into the discussion. After some rather polite back and forth, one of the participants questioned the benefit of China-centric content.
It was the perfect segue to scan that day’s Wall Street Journal for stories with “China” in the headline. The Journal did not disappoint.
China appeared on the front page thanks to Vice President Biden’s trek to China.
The Market Place section carried two stories.
And the “Money & Investing” section offered a China angle to bitcoin.
Four hefty pieces, and that doesn’t include all of the stories that addressed China in the narrative.
This is not an anomaly. Train wrecks like Greece generate spikes of attention. China sustains media attention week after week with no end in sight.
As another proof point, I built a business media index consisting of more than 100 U.S. publications using Factiva to see how articles that include the word “China” have trended.
The number of articles that include the word “China” have essentially tripled in only 10 years.
I think we can safely conclude that the U.S. business media cares about China.
Back to the question –
Does your U.S. PR plan for 2014 need a China strategy?
If your company operates in China and/or competes against Chinese companies, the answer is clearly yes.
Importing your China storytelling to the United States won’t reduce the trade deficit, but it has the potential to open new doors on the media relations front.