Once upon a time, the Southeast Asian island of Hong Kong was ruled by the United Kingdom’s government. Some 70 years ago, Hong Kong broke off from British rule and became its own sovereign nation. Although Hong Kong is technically under the leadership of the People’s Republic of China, the country is still very much its own ruler.
Earlier this year, China attempted to cut down on Hong Kong’s autonomy by proposing a bill that would have allowed the country to extradite people living in Hong Kong – people visiting the country, those living in Hong Kong on work visas, and full-blown Hong Kong citizens alike – to China who had been accused of breaking Chinese law.
Hong Kong’s residents came out in full force against the threat of governmental overreach by the People’s Republic of China, with countless hundreds of thousands of people showing up at a number of protests throughout the autonomous region. Just a few weeks ago, the threat of the aforementioned extradition bill proposed by the government of mainland China finally went away.
Although the sovereignty of Hong Kong was successfully maintained by its government and its oh-so-active populous, the autonomous region has taken quite a hit to its public image. The Holmes Report, a prominent publication in the world of public relations on the global level, reported last week that the Hong Kong government had attempted to secretly kick off a public relations campaign to repair its now-damaged image. Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam, the country’s leader, spoke on the government’s attempt to engage in a public relations campaign in the name of repairing its public image.
Earlier today, on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, Carrie Lam announced in a press conference that a whopping eight public relations firms that were all contacted directly by the Hong Kong government with requests to start up a public relations campaign turned down the country’s offer to fund such a massive public image campaign. Ms. Lam relayed the message to reporters who were present at the press conference earlier today that the cohort of public relations businesses informed the Hong Kong government that “the time is not right” to engage in such a campaign, as paying for the campaign wouldn’t be an effective, efficient allocation of government funding.
Reuters reported recently that, based on a document compiled in August, four of the eight PR firms turned down the offer from the jump, whereas the other four turned down the government’s requests after first meeting with officials.