Takeaways from Strategies for Chinese Companies to Navigate the U.S. Media Landscape

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On October 5th, 2021, CGCC was honored to have Tom Rozycki, Managing Director at Prosek Partners, to lead the first event of the CGCC Public Relations (PR) & Marketing Training Series “Strategies for Chinese Companies to Navigate the U.S. Media Landscape.”

(Left to Right) Tom Rozycki, Managing Director at Prosek Partners, and Abby Li, Director of Corporate Communication and Research at CGCC.

Throughout the session, Mr. Rozycki shared his expertise on the changing U.S. media landscape, the types of media and PR tactics Chinese companies can utilize to tell their stories in the U.S., and shared some relevant case studies on crisis and issues management.

When discussing different types of media, Mr. Rozycki stressed the importance of companies to utilize digital media. “If you are not participating in digital media, it’s safe to say you are being left behind. Whether you are in financial services or other regulated industries, the time is now to engage in digital, social, and paid functionalities because it’s more and more where the media are getting their ideas and where the public are interfacing with you.”

Mr. Rozycki also offered companies several tips to deal with the evolving U.S. media landscape. These include:

Help the reporter understand some of the nuances of your company, such as what your company does and why it matters. With newsrooms shrinking, reporters are often not as well informed as they used to be.

Fill your social media channels with positive information about your company to inspire journalists, as they often get story ideas from social media.

Get ahead of negative stories by having good press already out in front of it. Everything on the Internet is permanent. When the algorithms have multiple things to pick from, it enables traffic to a diverse array of stories, hence diverting attention away from the negative piece.

For Chinese companies in the U.S., as well as international businesses with operations in China, Mr. Rozycki highlighted the need to be conscious of this evolving landscape, especially as it pertains to the following “hot topics” of interest for the media including the changing role of the U.S. & China in the world, U.S. political influence, Eastern standard vs. Western standard, Data security, intellectual property, Covid-19 and vaccines.

“You need to make a decision on how immersed you want to be in these conversations. Do you want to own them, do you want to participate in them, or do you want to avoid them? These are decisions you need to make for your organization,” said Mr. Rozycki.

Towards the end of the presentation, Mr. Rozycki emphasized the importance of companies to plan and prepare for potential crises. He explained that “PR firms can be more helpful as a communications counselor to companies if they are brought in before the barn is on fire…The ability to plan, prepare and reach your audiences when you need to is so crucial.”

During the Q&A session, attendees asked Mr. Rozycki insightful questions, including:

What advice would you give to CEOs who are hesitant to speak to the Western media?

In what types of situations should companies put out formal statements?

As a Chinese company operating in the U.S., how can we build good media relationships with journalists who are willing to listen and engage without an ulterior motive/agenda?

As a follow-up on crisis management, there is also a common thought that we should wait until the storm is gone and avoid engagement that could escalate the situation. What’s your comment on this?

Hear Mr. Rozycki’s insights and more by watching the webinar below.

CGCC sincerely thanks Tom and the Prosek team for helping to make the event a success.

About CGCC

Founded in 2005, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (“CGCC”) has been recognized as the largest and most impactful non-profit organization representing Chinese enterprises in the U.S. As an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental chamber of commerce, CGCC provides a broad range of programs, services, and resources to over a thousand multinational members across the U.S., with a mission to create value, generate economic growth, and enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Chinese business communities.

About Prosek Partners

Established in 1990, Prosek Partners is among the largest independent PR and communications firms in the U.S. and one of the few domestic, mid-size firms that offers global capabilities through its London office and international network. Prosek specializes in the financial and professional services sectors, working to build, strengthen and protect the world’s top brands.