By/ Chloe Dong
Compared with advertising, public relations tries to convey the messages to the target audience in a ”softer” way. From the customers/audience perspective, sometimes they instinctively reject the advertisement because they always sense the intense pressure from the advertisement. They know the company spares no effort to persuade them to spend money on the products/services. Public relations, by contrast, subconsciously affects the customers’ recognition and acceptance of the brand and event place is always the necessity in PR.
Ordinarily, it is not easy for a local brand to implement PR campaigns with too many things involved, let alone a foreign brand that wants to expand its overseas market. In terms of fashion PR, fashion events held in China are a lot different from those in the Western countries. Besides the long and complicated process of activity approval from the government, the filtering of guests to the event is a pain in the ***. A couple of years ago, more than 50 private entrepreneurs were invited to a brand’s launch party in China. They felt humiliated by not receiving the “VIP treatment”, which almost turned the runway show into a disaster. Undoubtedly, these 50 private entrepreneurs are successful businessmen. The point is how many of them know fashion or, at least, were really into fashion. So, think twice before sending out the invitation and ask yourself: who on earth are supposed to be invited to this fashion event?
Another obstacle is the long and complicated process of getting approval from the government of the event space. Since most historical and important places are owned by the government, too eccentric or extravagant decoration may have difficulties in getting the approval. Believe it or not, there was a big company that had to give up the entire celebration because the event place was not confirmed at the last minute. We all can imagine how terrible it was. Some places in China, you have to pay off 100% fee and 100% deposit in advance. Let’s say, if the activity is eventually cancelled for whatever reason, the company cannot get a penny back. What’s more? The company has to suffer from the huge threat and pressure from the media and the public. It may even backfire and burn the company itself if it is not well handled.
Anyway, a foreign brand that wants to hold a fabulous fashion event in China is just like a man who wants to survive in this new country. Sometimes, you have to drop your knives and forks and pick up chopsticks. It doesn’t matter if you like chopsticks or not; nor does it matter if you are good at using them or not. All that matters is if you are trying to blend yourself in this brand new environment. The harder you try, the more success you will receive.