Chinese media matters exposed

Marketing tips for Australian companies targeting the world’s largest market have been released on audiotape.

8M Media & Communications managing director Thomas Murrell said China Media – The Ethics of Influence also included interviews with ten of China’s leading experts on marketing, the media and public relations.

Mr Murrell said in the past decade, the media in the world’s most populous nation had exploded.

“Ten years ago there were no more than forty television stations in China. Today, best estimates put the number at 5,000,” he said.

“The number of newspapers has increased from around 200 to more than 2,500, radio stations have blossomed from 100 to 1,200 and TV and radio penetration is now more than 85 per cent.”

Mr Murrell said the Chinese media was still heavily regulated, owned and controlled by the state-run Communist Party.

“Overseas media regularly have their offices screened and their activities are closely monitored,” he said.

Hong Kong-based Star TV CEO Gary Davey said China had become very conscious of reforming its media.

“It’s going to take a very long time because they are sensitive about the importance of control,” Mr Davey said.

Hong Kong-based Rowland Company chairman Tony Turner said that, in the past, there had been some cronyism, corruption and lack of transparency in the media in China “but that is changing as Western-based multinationals enter the market with a new set of communication standards”.

Tips suggested by Mr Murrell on the tape include learning and understanding cultural differences, using a local spokes-person to give local credibility, knowing a company’s point of difference in the marketplace and developing long-term relationships.

“Network and get to know people – relationships are very important in China,” Mr Murrell said.

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