In 1946, Al Fleishman and Bob Hillard created the public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard in St Louis, Missouri. After 48 years of development, the agency opened its first Asia Pacific office in Beijing in 1994.
Thanks to Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening up policy, public relations agencies had a freer environment to conduct their own business.1 The establishment of the China International Public Relations Association in 1991 and China’s entry into World Trade Organization in 2001 also contributed to the foundation and development of the agency’s Asian unit.
Fleishman-Hillard China has provided a wide range of expertise to satisfy needs of customers. One of its early works for the clients was the translation of food names. The agency helped to translate California Prune into Chinese names after conducting an analysis of the consumers’ characteristics and consumption habits. The new names either highlighted benefits of the products or emphasize the exoticism.
In 2009, the agency developed the integrated launch campaign “Make a Smart Move Today, for a Better World Tomorrow” for the Smart car, providing a once-in-a-life experience.
To help Chinese companies manage relationships across foreign culture, Fleishman-Hillard came up with the Global China Practice in 2013. It was named as the China Consultancy at that year. In 2014, It was named as the GM. Asia-Pacific Network of the Year for the launch of its refreshed brand and proposition: The Power of True. Meanwhile, the online magazine Fleishman-Hillard’s TRUE was published.
Fleishman-Hillard China has also promoted the positive relationship between the Chinese and the U.S. market. In 2012, it sponsored the U.S. China Investment Forum in July and the U.S. Ambassador’s Investment Forum. Ambassador Gary Locke gave a speech in the forum and noted the analysis about maximizing the benefits of Chinese foreign direct investment.
By reviewing the development of Fleishman-Hillard China, we can conclude that an outstanding public relations company needs to adapt to the local market and play an active role in social lives.