Public Relations in China - a Decade of Rapid Growth

By Jun, Yu | Communication World, October 1991 | Go to article overview

Public Relations in China - a Decade of Rapid Growth


Jun, Yu, Communication World


In November 1984, Guangzhou Bai Yun Shan Pharmaceutical Factory set up the first public relations department in any of the state-owned enterprises in mainland China. They allocated one percent of profits for public relations, and as a result, sales and profits of the factory improved rapidly.

This historic event raised the attention of some people, including the Chinese financial newspaper the Economic Daily. It published a news report saying: "...the work of public relations in Guangzhou Bai Yun Shan Pharmaceutical Factory is like a tiger that has grown wings." An editorial in the same December 26, 1984 edition was headlined: "Study the socialist public relations seriously." Two years later, the biggest newspaper in China, the People's Daily, also published the news report and editorial.

So the trend of public relations in China began, according to a report by Yu Jun, editor in the Shanghai office of the Public Relations Society of China. Yu Jun provided the report to Communication World. The edited version follows.

Soon after the concept of public relations entered China, some serious scholars began to undertake academic research on the subject. In November 1984, the Chinese Academy of Social Science, News Research Institute set up a project team specializing in PR. Nine months later it finished its first project ... a book titled: "An Introduction to Public Relations," edited by Dr. Ming Anxiang. It was the first comprehensive academic book on PR in China. Since then more than 100 others have been published.

Additionally, more than 30 various publications exist concerning PR activities in China. Among them are: Public Relations (bi-monthly), edited by China Public Relations Special Committee; and Public Relations Research (semi-monthly), edited by the Shanghai office of the Public Relations Society of China. The former has published 14 issues and is noted for introducing the basic information about PR and for reporting PR activities in and out of China; the latter has published 25 issues and is known for publishing research findings on Chinese PR theory.

Currently more than 20 universities in China offer PR courses and more than 300 institutes and colleges offer courses through some 1,000 teachers. Also, two of China's vocational schools offer PR courses, one in Beijin and one in Hei Longjiang Province.

Shenzheng University in southern China began its special education of PR in 1985. Later, others including Beijin University, Beijin Normal University, Zhongshan University and Fudan University also began offering PR courses. …

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