A handful of PR agencies are up for work around the Beijing 2008 Olympics, including "public relations strategies to be used before the games, media background and market analysis on how China is perceived in the West." Via Mediabistro
OK, before I give my perception, I’ll invoke tenets from two other PR bloggers.
Gomes Eighth Law of PR: "No amount of PR—no matter how carefully or strategically applied—will help a faulty or underperforming product in the long term."
Lally’s Tinkerbell Marketing Principle: "At one point in the play, Peter’s little fairy friend Tinker Bell starts to … well (cover the kids’ eyes) … die. The only thing that can save Tink is if the children believe in her. SNIP That’s the way some marketers think. If you only believe enough, everybody else will believe too. Then it will be true. Then all will be well"
So WTF kind of strategy would YOU propose to sell an Olympics being held in a country where even the Dali Lama cannot intervene to stop the abuse of human rights?
David Parmet notes, "This is not a PR problem, this is a humanity problem. If your clients are in bed with China, don’t be surprised to find yourself covered in fleas."
Yeah, playing off that, the Olympic Committee made their bed when they chose China to hold the event. Short of ending the human rights abuse, what could a PR firm possibly do to solve this problem for China? Some heads of state are boycotting the Olympics. The PR agencies should as well.
UPDATE: The New York Times provides insight into the Pro-Tibet PR strategy in the article Tibet Backers Show China Value of P.R.