Tech PR in Asia: Myths and Misconceptions
As a tech PR agency – one with clients that sell chips and components to mobile and CE device vendors – we are often asked about getting media coverage Asia.
That’s because most of the related manufacturing is done in places like China, Korea and Taiwan. Companies that are trying to sell their core technology into these markets want the media to highlight their products and news there, just like they do here in the U.S.
I find that there is much confusion on the topic. So, I thought I would share the most common myths and misconceptions, and set the record straight.
The information is based on our years of experience implementing campaigns for clients in APAC. The media and economic landscapes are constantly evolving; to help us stay on the cutting edge, we work with people that have native language skills and media knowledge; great resources like team member Carmen Ren, who is from Shenzhen, China.
Below, please see the most common myths, and our response:
It’s all kind of the same there, right? You pay the reporter and you get coverage
It is not all the same, the rules can vary from country to country, and within each country, based on the type of news or event. While payment is sometimes expected, it is important to understand the customs, so that you don’t offer money when it is not appropriate – or know when it is fair game.
You need to hire an agency in each country / major region
There is no question that it helps to have PR “feet on the ground” in each country – people who know the language, can help you translate materials, and are close with the media. But this quickly can get prohibitively expensive, and beyond the means of a smaller company or startup.
Fortunately, it is possible to get coverage from afar, if you know the right approach – and who to approach.
The government controls the media in China, and other countries – you are wasting your time with PR
While there is no denying government influence over the media, censors will simply not care about most tech vendor news. There is a rich collection of media in China and other countries, and a growing focus and interest on business and technology news.
You can get by with great U.S. PR results, and communicating in English
Yes, the Internet does make the world a smaller place when it comes to communications – and many do look to the U.S. and major media coverage here. But you will get much better PR results in Asia if you take the time to approach the media there directly, in their language, rather than hoping that they will somehow find your news.
For further clarification, I asked Carmen Ren about this point. She said:
“It depends on English proficiency in that region. E.g., in Singapore you can reach out in English, as that is their official Language; while in Mainland China, Chinese still dominates business communications. Hong Kong lies in-between.
It is also affected by the freedom of media access. Mainland Chinese heavily depend on domestic websites and internet services as news sources, thanks to the media censorship. (Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are banned there).
It’s true that mainland Chinese can still access some foreign sites, but as they are so used to the “home-grown” media environment, foreign contents just fall off the radar. So in mainland China, it is still necessary to communicate in Chinese and localize communication efforts.”
Want to learn more?
We will be blogging more on this topic, and issuing a series of briefs about how to maximize PR results in China, and other parts of Asia. Please visit this link to learn more.