Shanghai Expo from a PR Perspective

8 Mar

Expo 2010 gave Shanghai a chance to open its door and welcome friends from all over the world. Also, Expo 2010 gave all other countries a chance to present themselves to the world in Shanghai. Overall, the six months’ exhibition was a success.

As we all know, the next scheduled Universal Exposition after Expo 2010 will be held in Italy. As we are on our half way from Shanghai to Milan, let’s take a professional peek at Shanghai Expo 2010.

Serving the Expo almost covers all the PR perspectives: reputation management, image promotion, event management, media relations, crisis management, and etc. For PR agencies serving the Expo, it is not only a great opportunity for them to enhance their profession, but also a challenge for them to overcome any problems they might encounter.

Like any of the other communication campaigns, whether the key message is reached its audience or not is the most important thing. Simply relying on the official channel of news distribution is not enough. I found one shining point and one problem when communication people spreading the message of China out to the whole world.

<image from Expo 2010 Shanghai’s Facebook Album.>

The shining point—taking advantages of the Chinese people who live overseas.

There are over 40 millions Chinese people who are living their life in another country. And this group of people is playing an important role in these countries because of the non-ignorable number. They have strong emotion about their motherland, and would definitely support the development of China. And their local social status improves their credibility, so that messages from them are acceptable.

To get their support is not difficult. One of the best ways is to start a good relationship with oversea Chinese media. So, the communication department of Shanghai Expo Bureau have kept a positive relationship the oversea Chinese media and had them covered numbers of stories.

<image from Expo 2010 Shanghai Official site.>

Need to improve on—social media

The communication people who serve the Expo did use the Internet as a tool to communicate with people from other countries. One good example is Expo 2010’s official website. People can easily find information they need because the navigation is clear. People can also enroll the volunteer program by following the online process. But no social media sites were linked to the official site. Actually, they did have an active Facebook account and a Twitter account.

Check their website.

@EXPO 2010 Shanghai only has 485 followers. And almost all the tweets are not attractive—simply content plus link. No conversations happen between the organization and the audience.

Check their Twitter.

Their Facebook page is nice-looking and more active. They have more than 500 images uploaded and more than 20 thousands “likes”. But again, few conversations happened between the organization and the audience.

Check their Facebook.

They don’t have a YouTube channel at all.

<image from Matt Carter’s Internet Marketing.>

But Expo 2010 was still a success for it over reached its goal of attracting the participation of 200 countries and international organizations and 70 million visitors. If they could have improved on the above aspects, it would be even a better memory of the whole world.

3 Responses to “Shanghai Expo from a PR Perspective”

  1. Alan March 8, 2012 at 12:08 #

    I want to say that the PR that Shanghai EXPO did is not bad, but the only problem is that there are so many people! Uncountable, Endless people! in Chinese words:”People like mountains, People like Sea”. That’s a really negative hit to the reputation of Shanghai EXPO. I have to queue at least two or three hours to see a medium sized hall of a country.

    However, forget about the factor of numerous people, everything is doing well, at least doing the best as they can. For example, I can see from the EXPO website that how much time should I wait in the line to get into the hall. If the estimated time is too long, I’d rather choose another hall.

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