NETWORKING has proved essential for public relations company The Capital Group, ranked fifth in the WA Business News Book of Lists 2003 list of marketing and market research companies.
Around 12 months ago and with the 2004 Beijing Olympics on the horizon, The Capital Group started searching the Chinese market for a strong Beijing firm with good connections that could represent it in China.
Last February The Capital Group and Chinese public relations firm China Global signed a joint venture agreement called the Capital China Global Alliance.
Capital State manager Kate O’Hara said the firm had always enjoyed a good network-base in Shanghai but had been looking to expand its Chinese operations.
“China Global is the first advisory public relations company in China. It was founded in 1986 with the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Corporations and it’s affiliated to Xinhua news agency,” Ms O’Hara said.
“It’s a connection that is very attractive.”
Even though this joint venture is not a financial merger, according to Ms O’Hara, the devastating effects of SARS in the Chinese economy will have an impact.
“The alliance infrastructure will be affected. It will also affect confidence and trade,” she told WA Business News.
The Capital Group’s strong presence in international markets such as the UK provides a positive outlook, however.
Capital recently became one of the five finalists in a London Stock Exchange award program for the services it had provided to listed companies in the UK.
Ms O’Hara said she was optimistic about the firm’s position in the UK market and predicted future activities developing in other areas.
In Australia, the Perth office is involved in direct marketing in the mining, resource, retail, leisure, building and land development sectors, while the Sydney office deals with the property side of the business.
Ms O’Hara said the key to having a successful business in Perth was “cognition”.
“Perth operates in networks, introductions and referrals; in the current marketplace it’s the only way to go forward,” she said.
The Perth direct marketing sector remained small, she said, with the company focused on knowing how its clients worked and being able to demonstrate to them value and accountability in public relations.
“It allows you to be more analytical,” Ms O’Hara said.
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