Government affairs arena ’getting tougher in China’



Public affairs practitioners operating in mainland China are set to witness greater challenges in the government relations arena as a result of decentralisation, rising nationalism, increasing CSR expectations and the growth in social media dialogue.

This is the finding of “Embracing Complexity”, a wide-reaching White Paper produced by PublicAffairsAsia and Edelman as part of the annual Public Affairs Dialogues series.

The key findings of the 2010 White Paper, which followed a survey of 110 practitioners and a roundtable with 43 senior-level professionals, are:

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS: Practising government relations in China is tough – but it is set to get tougher as a result of economic advances, greater regulation and heightened nationalism.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Western MNCs are expected to do more in the CSR arena and staff, government and the public are watching closely.

SOCIAL MEDIA: The importance and influence of social media is not in question – but companies have yet to fully engage with it in their public affairs programmes.

The 16-page White Paper contains practical case studies, toolkits and take-aways for frontline public affairs practitioners and is now available for download from The Public Affairs Dialogues website.

Writing in the White Paper, Mark Hass, president of Edelman China said: “Across China, there is a growing sense that a tipping point has been reached, that a nation once described as ’emerging’ has come out in full flower onto the world stage.

“Both economically and politically, China is a different place than it was before the global recession of 2009. It is stronger, more aggressive and more demanding of its partners, especially multinational companies operating here.”

Craig Hoy, executive director of PublicAffairsAsia, added: “Rapid decentralisation, an era of digital democratisation and the development of a significant culture of corporate social responsibility are framing new terms of reference for corporations. For public affairs and government relations practitioners, this landscape is challenging, but not impossible, as this White Paper shows.”

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