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Public Relations in South Korea

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Julia Germain

on 1 May 2014

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Transcript of Public Relations in South Korea

Most print media is privately owned
The government funds broadcasting networks, and therefore has a lot of control over them
After the liberalization movement in 1987, press and media more or less became free
This has been accelerated by rapid development of new media technologies such as the internet, electronic newspaper, cable and satellite broadcasting
Case Study: South Korean Ferry Accident
Public Relations in South Korea
Evolution of PR
The first use of PR in South Korea was by US armed forces at the end of World War 2
It has started to play an increasingly important role in political campaigns to make candidates known and enhance understanding/support
On a global scale, South Korea set up the Government Public Relations Department to help gain international trust in the Korean economy
Evolution of PR in South Korea
Population of 46 million
Since the Korean War, has developed into the world's eleventh-largest economy and the seventh-largest in foreign trade
It has consolidated its market economy and democratic system
Political, Social and Cultural Media Systems
South Korean gov't is Republican with a president, legislature and jury
5 major political parties
Market economy (GNP $14,000 in 2004)
Economic success has been achieved through gov't business partnerships, labor effort and international outreach
Dominating philosophy is Confucianism
High-ranking individuals usually have more power than counterparts in west (respect for elders)
High power distance, high collectivism, high masculinity, and high Confucian dynamism)
Interview with Isaac Woo
Isaac Woo
Professor of Communication Studies
Adviser PRSSA
James Madison University
Q:Are there any communication trends or media traits in South Korea that you believe influence the PR field?
A: Social Media allows people to express their voices more freely. Confucius tradition faces big challenges. People do not trust government and major news outlets. As the value of communication grows (transparency, freedom of speech) the value of PR will grow.
Q: Can you explain differences between PR in South Korea V. America?
A: Korean PR is known more as promotions. PR does not have a very good name in Korea. Because of Confucius culture saving face in Korea is more important than telling the truth & that needs to change.
Professor Woo explained to us some of the PR failures regarding the South Korean ferry incident
Because Korean PR is promotions oriented, most of the "PR" money spent went to advertising for the ferry company rather than for educating the boat staff
The biggest failure according to Woo was the slowness of the response from Korean leadership and even slower apology (also related to Confucian ideology)
He believes PR should move away from advertising and align closer with the Western model
Full transcript