China’s new first lady uses PR to project ‘soft power’

People's Republic of China leader Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan during their arrival in Russia.

People’s Republic of China leader Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan

Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton show Peng Liyuan the way

At a time when China’s Foreign Ministry is struggling to improve the country’s international image, new first lady Peng Liyuan, who in the past has dazzled audiences at home and abroad with her bravura soprano voice, has been brought out of the Chinese closet and into the PR limelight. Continue reading

Are apologies overworked in PR? IKEA versus Apple

IKEA, founded in 1943, and one of the most successful international retailing companies, is undergoing a practical lesson in crisis management after admitting last week that political prisoners in the former East Germany laboured under cruel conditions to produce its furniture.

In May, a documentary made in Sweden – the home country of IKEA – made claims that the company had used the forced labour of political prisoners suppressed by the former head of the German Democratic Republic Honecker and his ubiquitous Stasi police to make its furniture. Continue reading