INDUSTRY FOCUS: PUBLIC RELATIONS; Galloway Sees Tremendous Opportunity within China

Article excerpt

Byline: TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS, The Times-Union

The public relations industry started in America about 100 years ago -- and Del Galloway has seen it grow and develop during the 22 years he's been in the business.

Now, Galloway, a partner in Jacksonville-based Husk Jennings Galloway + Robinson, is helping the public relations business develop in China, which he recently visited as an outgrowth of serving as president of the Public Relations Society of America.

During the 10-day trip, Galloway shared ideas with the awakening industry there, as well as getting information that will help public relations people in the United States.

"What's going on there is truly revolutionary," Galloway said. "Can a Communist society embrace capitalist principals and thrive?"

While the Chinese government continues to crack down on political and religious freedoms, it has opened up the sphere of business, leading to opportunities in public relations.

"A fundamental tenet of public relations is it must operate in a democratic society," Galloway said. "On the surface, it looks and feels like an open society."

The Western PR professionals -- the group included Galloway and four others, including a Canadian representative from the global alliance of public relations groups -- met with Chinese businesses as well as Americans who are in the country representing foreign firms.

"I've got cards galore," Galloway laughed.

The group also met with university professors who are ramping up programs in public relations as well as with the publishers of China PR magazine, the country's first trade publication focusing on the field. The representatives from both the Chinese and the American public relations societies also signed a protocol of cooperation, pledging them to share information with each other. …