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On China PR & Marketing (Do’s and Don’ts) in the Aftermath of COVID-19 – Sally Maier-Yip

Posted by in China, Digital, Inspiration, Latest News, Marketing, PR

In this 9th China Masterclass Webinar, I am delighted to share my China PR and marketing insider tips and observations based on my PR experiences over the last 16 years, working with different international and emerging companies in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and London. 
China PR & Marketing: Do’s and Don’ts 

1. What are the top five PR strategies that corporates employ for brand building in China? 

Being a purposeful brand is critical to your success in China, meaning being absolutely clear about the purpose, the vision of your brand/company before designing and implementing your PR plan. 
Five common PR strategies that have proved to work well in China include: 

  • Media
  • Social media
  • Partnership with other trusted partners
  • Events 
  • Thought leadership building / speaking opportunities 

2. What are the top three PR mistakes that Western businesses make in China?  

The top three PR mistakes include: 
Political involvement, cultural insensitivity, and wrong stereotypes of Chinese heritage or values 

Cited “Not to do” examples are: 

  • Mercedes-Benz using Dalai Lama’s quote in a poster campaign   
  • Dolce & Gabbana’s infamous “eating with chopsticks” campaign
  • Burberry’s Chinese New Year campaign poster with a “long-face” grandma who was looking sad instead of happy during a joyful Chinese traditional season   

3. A lot of companies have reduced or even cut their PR spend because of COVID. What’s your views on this? Why should companies still invest in the China market? 

It’s actually the best opportunity to increase your profile in terms of voice and market share when your competitors are not doing anything. 

Two examples of why companies should still invest in the China Market: 

  • The Singles’ Day or Double 11, the biggest online shopping day on 11/11: Tmall and’s combined sales were approx. £88 billion in 11 days from 1st to 11th November, showing Chinese consumers’ hunger to shop and spend crazily (famously known as “revenge spending” after COVID-19) 
  • The third China International Import Expo held in Shanghai in November, where the delegation from the UK’s Department for International Trade made around £50 million in commercial deals during the expo, focusing on the UK agriculture and food and drinks sector 

These two recent incidents clearly indicate the continuous massive growth opportunities and strong consumer confidence in China despite the fact that COVID-19 has hit the world hard.
4. How should companies adapt their PR strategies in the aftermath of COVID-19?   
COVID-19 has made TRUST an even more valuable asset to brands. A recent Edelman’s Trust Barometer Report (with 20,000 correspondents globally including from Asia and China) highlighted that: 

  • Chinese consumers value trust – and they use their wallet to show it
  • When asked if they feel brand trust is more important today than in the past, 69% of Chinese consumers agreed
  • 88% say they have recently started using a new brand because of the innovative or compassionate way it has responded to the virus outbreak. 
  • Chinese consumers are also more likely to boycott a brand to force it to change, with a large majority (84%) saying they have convinced other people to stop using a brand they felt was not acting appropriately in response to the pandemic – compared to 40% globally 

This shows by building a trusted brand image, companies will be able to build loyalty and ultimately sales. 


I hope you enjoy watching this webinar and please do share your thoughts with us at 

If you want to schedule a free 30-minute brainstorm session about your China PR and marketing strategy, do drop me a line at Always happy to discuss and connect! 

Want more? You can watch our previous China Masterclass Webinars on 11K’s China Insights Hub page

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Sally Maier-Yip is the MD and Founder at 11K. She is a seasoned cross-cultural Public Relations Strategist with a mission to help ambitious companies grow in China, Hong Kong and the UK.

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