Kevin Xu, Executive Director at O-PLUS Marketing & PR in Shanghai, takes the Telum spotlight. He shares with us the importance of upskilling comms teams, thoughts on positioning theory and 2023 comms trends in Mainland China.
By way of introduction
As an enthusiast in marketing, I have worked in the PR industry for 21 years. I started my PR career at China Global PR (a subsidiary of Xinhua News Agency), and joined Ruder Finn afterwards, mainly serving clients in hospitality industry, including Emirates, Marianas Visitors Authority and Tourist Board of Torino. I was in charge of marketing for Saipan tourism in Mainland China for three years and built awareness and reputation for this Pacific island among Chinese tourists.
I have run independent PR agency O-PLUS Marketing & PR for 11 years, and we currently provide PR services for global and local brands such as Skechers, Club Med, Moen and Ping An Group. I specialise in branding and marketing strategy, overseeing marketing activities, PR and crisis management.
China Global PR (a subsidiary of Xinhua News Agency).
Schedule of a typical workday
Top 3 daily reads
- One nice coffee or tea to start the workday;
- In the morning, check emails and internal meetings with team members;
- Normally, I have client meetings (online or face-to-face) from 2pm to 5pm;
- Paperwork at desk, planning, writing and learning;
- Go home at around 8pm.
Xinhua News, Campaign Asia, Sina and Toutiao Hot Search List.
A secret fun fact about yourself
I am a fan of Lego.
Notable changes in the Mainland Chinese comms industry
With the fast development of social media communication, now every individual person can be a content developer and a channel to release content.
Most admired person in the media / comms industry
Jack Trout, the father of positioning theory.
He shared a straightforward solution for brand building among target consumers through making differentiation with competitors.
Positioning theory can be adapted into PR and comms from a strategic thinking aspect.
Advice to anyone looking to set up their own agency
One thing you would improve about the comms industry
- No need for a five-year plan. You just need an action plan for the upcoming year and do it right now.
- Keep learning and understand trends.
- Build the network, especially to find a reliable partner, for your business.
Focus on strengthening team abilities. Boosting the team’s industry knowledge and delivering new marketing trends to the team so as to upgrade the team’s working capability to serve clients better.
Comms trend in Mainland China to look out for in 2023
- Economic recovery and more marketing / PR needs in Mainland China.
- Traffic-driven will be replaced by content-driven.
- National government authority media is still the mainstream PR channel, which is good for building up brand reputation, especially for global brands.