Much of the media coverage in China is apparently for sale, according to an article this week in the New York Times. The practice is pervasive with PR consultants divided on how much to embrace the practice.
How pervasive? Try $20,000 per page in in the Chinese version of Esquire, $4,000 per minute on state-run China Central Television and $1 per character in Workers’ Daily, the Communist Party’s newspaper.
Pay for play is certainly not limited to China. It’s usually much more obvious in the U.S. though and tends to be clearly labeled. Also, not all press in China blends advertising and editorial content so willingly.
At Olmstead Williams Communications, our clients want to be in The Wall Street Journal and on top wires such as Reuters and the Associated Press. There are no shortcuts to penetrate the high bars for their Chinese bureaus — or any other bureau. Only a story that merits the attention will do.