North Korea's PR man, Apple's China crisis, Aussie
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

North Korea's PR man, Apple's China crisis, Aussie

Paul Holmes

What, really, is there to say about North Korea's "PR man"? The Christian Science Monitor claims that Spaniard Alejandro Cao de Benós is the only non-Korean employee of North Korea’s foreign ministry, charged with "taking the PR message of North Korea's greatness across Europe." Judging from his comments in the story, Cao De Benos appears to believe he is engaged in a credible content creation strategy, which might give 'brand journalists' everywhere reason to pause. Is Apple's growth in danger because of attacks from Chinese state broadcaster CCTV? Quartz appears to think so, as CCTV's call for an Apple boycott moves into its second week. The campaign began on CCTV's infamous International Consumer Rights Day programme, which has previously claimed Volkswagen. McDonald’s, Carrefour, and Yum Brands as high-profile Western victims. CCTV's Apple attack initially misstepped, but has since spread to other state-owned media. One hopes that Apple does not attempt to fight fire with fire and indulge in some 'black PR' of its own. In comments that should make every PR person sit up and take notice, the CMO of an Australian bank has warned the PR industry that it risks blowing its chance to play a more central brand-building role. CommBank CMO Andy Lark's point of view is remarkably similar to our own recent post on this issue. Indeed, it is hard to disagree with Lark's thoughts, or with the comments of his fellow panellists, which included Edelman CEO Michelle Hutton and Mango MD Claire Salvetti, making this one of the better articles I have read on the risks that await unprepared PR firms. On the same theme, a nice post from Wieden + Kennedy China planning director Robert Campbell on why actions speak so much louder than words, using the UK's Claridges Hotel as an example. Proof, if any were needed, that advertising people are not quite as clueless about reputation as many PR people would like to think. And, finally, Somaliland has stepped up its campaign for international recognition by hiring Glover Park Group to handle lobbying and public relations in the US.
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