Media and PR in China is different than in Europe. - Foto: pixabay
Media and PR in China is different than in Europe. - Foto: pixabay

PR professional Gerold Muhr as a virtual guest

Melanie Schönwetter and Helene Purt,

Different cultures, different customs, different Public Relations. In the subject Corporate Communication, „Journalism and Public Relations (PR)“ students learned about the peculiarities of PR in China in a guest lecture with Gerold Muhr, one of the founders of the Brand University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg and got to know his private FH in Germany.

In addition to introducing his university of applied sciences, his talk focused on PR relations, digital communication, sustainability and politics in China. Gerold Muhr was invited by Wolfgang Kühnelt, a lecturer at the Institute of Journalism and Public Relations, to introduce the students to the underexposed superpower China.

The from Muhr founded Brand University of Applied Sciences, which is probably unique in the world, offers 450 students from 27 countries an education with a focus on brand design and management and branding in the form of many cooperation projects. The students bear the costs of their studies themselves.

Public Relations in China

The differences between the PR applied in China and the one applied in Europe are based on a completely different system of government and a different media and communication landscape. Chinese President Xi Jinping, together with his deputies, has, among other things, set himself the goal of controlling every form of communication in China, so that the public and the media must submit to the Chinese PR. To achieve this, the so-called “message control” was introduced, internet censorship and media surveillance are part of it. Many foreign websites, as well as western social media platforms, remain off-limits to the public as well as businesses. However, internet users can circumvent the censorship to a certain extent with Virtual Private Network Connections (VPN).

The propagandistic Radio and TV Administrative Council not only controls and monitors the broadcasts of the largest TV station in the People’s Republic, China Central Television (CCTV), but also monitors English-language media published by China abroad. China is subject to very strict state regulations, which is how the new 5-year plan with the goal “Made in China 2025” is to be implemented.

The students enjoyed the guest lecture: “The lecture was very exciting because you got an insight into a completely different world. PR in China works very differently from how it works here”, said Hannah Schultermandl, who listened attentively to Gerold Muhr.

Written by Melanie Schönwetter and Helene Purt, students of the Bachelor’s programme “Journalism and Public Relations (PR)”.