Tibet Trumps China in PR Readiness

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(Tibet supporters, one step ahead of The Torch)

This is the Spring of big PR agency work getting exposed by the mainstream media, not ideal for those handling entire countries.

Mark Penn’s very public departure from Clinton campaign was over conflicts of interest involving Burson-Marsteller’s work with Columbia. The article put the contract at about $300,000 for the year.

Though Hill & Knowlton’s contract, along with whichever agency China hires per their RFP to do damage control will be far greater than Burson’s Columbia take, the Army of Davids rule applies to the number of pro-Tibet groups banding together draw publicity to the conflict over the region, according to The New York Times this morning.

According to the article, China hired Weber Shandwick after losing the Olympic bid back in 1993. Since then, the Army of Davids has just as many channels of communication as Goliath. It’s an oversimplification of a complicated news cycle.

Look at the tactics in the article:

“To get that word out, the International Tibet Support Network, a London-based group that coordinates pro-Tibet organizations, has been sending press-focused bulletins to its 153 member organizations.”

“Every other month, Students for a Free Tibet holds conferences for members of pro-Tibet groups, where media training is a focus. The sessions cover everything from giving a good sound bite to answering reporters’ questions artfully.”

Combined with more guerrilla methods:

“With an eye toward demonstrations that will get coverage, S.F.T. also holds weeklong “action camps” four times a year. Attendees learn to organize protests and deal with the police, and receive training in attention-getting activities like rappelling and guerrilla street theater.”

We’ll let you know if we learn which agency China hires. According PRWeek‘s reporting, no one is copping to landing the work just yet.