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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.

Shanghai Young People’s Favorite Social Media Site: Sina Weibo

22 Feb

What is Sina Weibo?

Sina Weibo a Chinese micro blogging website. Akin to Twitter, it is one of the most popular sites in China, in use by well over 30% of Internet users, of which most users are people aged from 18-35. It was launched by SINA Corporation in 2009, and achieved a great success during the following years. Just with in two years—by the time of November 2011, Sina Weibo has more than 250 million registered users.

I can say that nearly 90% of my friends are active Sina Weibo users. I am following 491 accounts and I have 916 followers. I am a absolute Weibo girl with 5659 micro blogs published.

Image shows information of my Weibo account>

What can Weibo do?

I keep up with my friends back at home through Weibo. Everyday in the evening—while they are at the beginning of the day, I can hear from my dear friends saying good morning or complaining about the traffic or weather. That makes me feel close with them, as if I am not at the opposite side of the Pacific.

As I am at the process of becoming a PR practitioner, I realized many things that Weibo can do other than just keeping up with friends. It is a powerful communication tool—because it is a net, and people gather on this net. Let’s see how powerful the net is.

The power of weibo

Reasons why Weibo is so popular

  • User-friendly

It is easy to use. Pictures are easy to see, you can follow anyone easily by clicking a button, you can also download app for your mobile phones.

  • Fast

The information is easy to get, so it is easy to spread. People find information actively, and “viral” the information.

  • Informative

Weibo has become sources of information for many people, including me.

  • New person to person relationship

You can follow anyone on the site. It is not like LinkedIn, you need some relationship to get connect with someone. It is not like Facebook, you search someone through the information that you already know—school, gender, email, etc. You can actually see anyone’s account. This is a brand new relationship format.

 Weibo, as well as Twitter, is the fastest media ever!

The last minute thing is the next minute’s “viral”. On the small column called “hottest topics”, you can see what people are talking about this minute on Weibo. That’s why many marketers and communication people use Weibo as a very important platform to distribute their products and to spread out their messages.

I talked so much about Weibo because I take it as a part of my daily life. Actually, you are out of fashion if you are not an active user of Sina Weibo! Follow me on Sina Weibo: @王妙妙欢乐多

<Images are all from the author.>