Rescuing Hong Kong’s reputation will take more than just a PR revamp

By Anant Deboor

Earlier this week, lawmaker Regina Ip wrote an excellent piece headlined “Hong Kong has a PR problem – time to put an expert in charge of its information department.” Its core message concerned the revolving doors within the Information Services Department, with nine different Administrative Officers leading it since 1997. Ms Ip pulls no punches about this issue, talking about the “scant importance the government attaches to public relations and public communication.”

Information Services Department. Photo: GovHK.

No one can disagree with that. However, as a marketer, I believe the question we need to ask is: Are we framing the issue incorrectly, which is why we are not able to find the right leadership for that crucial role? More specifically: Is public relations really the heart of the issue? Or is bad PR a symptom of a deeper problem that prevents us from finding the right leader?

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