Agency Profile: China Advocate

Agency Profile: China Advocate

Telum is looking to highlight diverse and vibrant PR agencies in East Asia in upcoming editions of our PR Alert. We want to encourage networking and business opportunities and celebrate great initiatives being worked on around the region. If you'd like your agency to be featured, get in touch.

What services does China Advocate offer?
With an integrated approach, China Advocate provides our clients with business counsel and tactical support across a range of areas, including corporate strategy (positioning and narrative), communications (media relations, employee engagement, change management, digital engagement), crisis management, executive communications coaching and services for government and public affairs.

How large is China Advocate?
For a consultancy like ours, delivering a best-in-class service is more about quality than quantity. China Advocate is a boutique agency with 20 full-time professionals and an expansive network of external consultants.  

Do you have a particular area of focus, and what kind of clients do you serve?
China Advocate primarily focuses on the key sectors of IT, healthcare and advanced manufacturing. Most of our clients are leading MNCs and global Fortune 500 companies such as Boston Scientific, LinkedIn, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Lyondell Basell. We also work for blue-chip Chinese companies such as ByteDance.

Many clients come to us for reputation campaigns that create a big bang, especially on critical issues that require a deep understanding of the Chinese government and business environment, outreach and coalition building with multiple stakeholders, and strong connections to top media organisations.

Right now, most of our work is done in Mainland China, but we also support globalising Chinese companies in outbound markets.

Who are the founders, and why did they start the agency?
Founder Jiang Xiaofeng is an industry veteran with deep connections to Mainland China's local entrepreneur community. He previously worked at Ogilvy, Weber Shandwick and Maersk and was co-founder and CMO at a genetics company. Co-founder Linda Li has extensive experience in strategic communications, having previously worked for global agencies such as Ruder Finn.

Nowadays, corporations operate in a fast-changing and challenging world, where the stakes are high and branding matters more than ever. This creates niche opportunities for PR firms that can solve complex reputation issues and drive growth. China Advocate was created to serve this mission.

We strive to be an agency that truly combines "Global Breadth" with "China Depth," operating as an extension of our clients' organisations to help them better understand the broader landscape and execute in a flexible and responsive manner.

This founding vision has proven to be the right course for China Advocate. Many of our clients initially came to us with a "hot potato" issue, but gradually switched to us after seeing consistent results and took up a full set of retainer services.

Tell us about the leadership team.
One of China Advocate's advantages is having senior professionals that work on the front line serving clients, including the two founders.

We hand-picked a diverse team of talent comprising not only PR professionals such as those with experience in media, marketing and government, but also atypical backgrounds such as MBAs, tech, and healthcare.

What skill sets do you look for in new hires?
  • Curiosity and self-drive for excellence  
  • Business acumen with diverse experience and disciplinary backgrounds
  • Multi-faceted PR skill-set
  • Content creation ability

What is next for China Advocate? What is the five-year goal?
China Advocate has a long-term outlook. In the four years since we were founded, we have enjoyed high growth and strong positive recognition from clients, who consistently find that we can help them develop new ways of thinking while delivering swift execution, excellent content and strong media relations. These are the areas we plan to continue focusing on.

All too often, the PR industry suffers from a combination of extended periods of talent cultivation and high staff turnover. China Advocate believes in nurturing our teams from within, with the ultimate goal of providing opportunities for staff to grow and take their place as our next generation of advisors.

We hope to learn from tech companies' business and innovation models by treating our services like products that are constantly honed and upgraded through R&D and implementing SOPs in operations and service delivery.

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