Unlike the United States, Chinese public relations industries are just being to mature. However, the needs and opportunities in China are huge. People are starting to realize the importance of having public relations. Nowadays, most public relations agencies are mainly located in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Among them, Beijing has the largest market share. Some other smaller cities such as Shenzhen, Chengdu and Dalian also have small developing agencies. Top agencies in China include American agencies Ogilvy, Burson-Marsteller and local firms such as BlueFocus.
Besides the rise of public relations agencies, business firms are developing their own in-house agencies. Even though large companies gradually set up their own public relations departments, these departments are more likely Less effective given that often times in-house departments are relatively small.
Currently, China’s public relations industry is facing A wide array of issues:
Lack of experts
The most serious issue is lacking professional public relations practitioners, especially senior managers. This restrains the long-term development of the whole industry. Reasons for it vary from company to company.
First, the industry development history is very short and education system has deficiency in cultivating professionals. Thus, for many public relations practitioners the only way to learn practical skills is to rely on hands on experiences. Also, there is often no authoritative training in the industry as a whole.
Second, according to surveys, the average working time of public relations agencies is over 50 hours per week. This high work intensity makes professionals unable to pay attention to personnel training.
Unstable client and employee growth
Newborn domestic agencies emerges unceasingly, which leads to high personnel flow rate. For agencies, this causes waste of resources. As a result, agencies are unwilling to increase their training investment.
For clients, changing agencies frequently leads to the lack of long-term planning in branding and propaganda. Even worse, the disorganized management can create inconsistent messaging and thereby weakening the the company’s opportunity for success.
As one of the most important emerging markets in the world, the advertising and public relations professions in today’s China are growing rapidly. However, It is still evident that there are many immature elements in the industry and all these elements make this eastern giant hungry for the real public relations professionals and an authoritative framework that matches its culture. China, as a rising market and serves as an important player in the world economic arena, however when it comes to communications there is a lot China can learn from the U.S. practices.