Where’s the PR Guy ...


One of the best parts of a 12-hour overseas flight is catching up on the stack of magazines that have accumulated on my night stand.

The March 28 issue of Businessweek carried the story, “Li Huabo, Corrupt Chinese Bureaucrat or Fall Guy?”

It’s the type of business storytelling that I suspect we’ll be reading more about in the coming months – Chinese government official shows a flair for entrepreneurialism on the side. In this case, Li Huabo escaped to Singapore with his millions hoping to live happily ever after.

Not so fast.

The Chinese government tracked him down. The case is now working its way through the legal process in Singapore.

No surprise that Businessweek devoted feature treatment to the story. It’s got all the earmarks of compelling storytelling (i.e., money, intrigue, cheating, escape, and sticking it to the man).

What caused me to do a double-take was this photo.

Li Huabo

This is what can happen when you don’t have a communications pro at your side.

Businessweek certainly got its visual reflecting the theme of  Li Huabo closing an eye to the shenanigans going on with his provincial government.

Did Li Huabo know when the photographer asked him to pose like this he could have said, “No?”

I’m sure he didn’t. He probably figured the more he cooperated with the photographer, the greater the likelihood the story would come down in his favor.


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