Translation Difficulties: How to Get Publications in China

Мария Лапук

Russian entrepreneurs see great growth opportunities in China and are actively entering this market. When it comes to promoting a brand in China, it is important to understand the nuances of local media, otherwise the PR campaign is doomed to fail. Let’s understand how to build a dialogue with local media and get publications in China.

How to Communicate with Chinese Journalists: 6 Rules

To get publications in China and establish contact with local journalists, it is important to take into account the peculiarities of the national media market, have a good understanding of the news agenda in Chinese regions, understand the mentality of Chinese residents, and follow several rules.

Start with smaller media outlets.

In China, information flows from the bottom up. Regional media write about you first. If the news is interesting, it can then be picked up by portals with multi-million traffic. Thus, to get quality publications in China, the first thing to do is pay attention to smaller media outlets: large ones will not take the article right away. You can also take a look at niche media. The Chinese market is highly segmented. There are many publications in China that write on narrow topics, for example, only about artificial intelligence.

Find direct access to the journalist.

If you call or write without a recommendation, you are unlikely to get a response. You can only meet in person with an employee of a Chinese publication if someone introduces you to them.

Do research before the first meeting.

A PR specialist will not have a second chance to make a first impression on an employee of a Chinese media outlet, so you need to be polite and do preparatory work – study information about the target media and, if possible, read all the articles by the journalist you are scheduled to meet. In the conversation, it is worth mentioning why you approached this particular specialist, and do not forget to praise the media outlet where your interlocutor works. This is a rule of good manners.

Do not come to the meeting without materials.

You need to prepare as detailed information about the project or product, photos, and a press release in advance. For Chinese journalists, completeness of information and fact-checking are very important. Unlike media employees in other countries, they are not chasing exclusivity. Let the whole world write first, publications in China will gather facts and publish material in a week – but it will be more accurate and complete.

Prepare a separate press release for each region.

The materials must be linked to the current agenda, so it is important to localize the content for mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. If there is not enough information in the press release or the media finds it uninteresting for the residents of the region, you will not be able to get a publication in China.

Value your interlocutor’s time.

Do not prolong the meeting. Journalists in China do not like long conversations, as well as overly proactive PR specialists. It is better to keep your distance and not be overly active. At the same time, if an employee of a Chinese media outlet asks you for a favor, you cannot refuse – you need to try to do everything possible to help them. This can become the basis for long-term cooperation.

There are a few more important nuances. In marketing materials and press releases, you must emphasize the project’s connection with China, show that you are interested not only in making a profit in the country, but also in the prosperity of the Celestial Empire. It is also important to respect the customs, culture and traditions of China and leave humor for PR campaigns in other markets. What seems funny to us can mortally offend the residents of China and ultimately cost the brand dearly.

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