03/19/2014 05:27 EDT | Updated 05/19/2014 05:59 EDT

Ni Hao! Speaking Chinese In Your PR Campaign

If you aren't communicating in Chinese, you're missing an important audience in Metro Vancouver. If you're only communicating via traditional Chinese media like Sing Tao and Fairchild TV, you're also missing an ever-growing list of magazines and blogs. And if you don't have a team member or members that speak Mandarin and Cantonese, you aren't getting a complete picture of the myriad and evolving ways to talk to Chinese-speaking Vancouverites.

Here's a quick overview of what you need to know and do in 2014:

Sina Weibo - Sina Weibo, aka the Chinese Twitter, is currently one of the largest Chinese social media platforms. Connect with the local Chinese community via Weibo, take an interest in what this group is saying online and start publishing your own Weibo posts to build your brand image.

WeChat - WeChat is an increasingly popular mobile social networking app with 272 million monthly active users worldwide. It is not only a messaging app, but also a news and information platform. At Chinese social and business occasions, adding another's WeChat account is quickly becoming the second step, after exchanging business cards.

Translation - Translate your news releases and materials into Cantonese and Mandarin, so your messages and information is sent out in an appropriate Chinese context. Not only do you increase your chances of getting picked up -- your messages will be also be more accurately picked up.

Chinese-speaking spokesperson and PR manager - If you don't have a person who can both monitor and conduct interviews in Cantonese and Mandarin, you don't know what media are saying about you -- and what you could be saying to them.

When you have a Chinese speaking PR manager on your team, you are able to monitor Chinese media and blogs for opportunities where your client can build their profile. Just as with English-language media and bloggers, relationships are vital.

Blogs - Chinese collect information differently, especially when they are recent immigrants. There is a strong demand for one-stop Chinese portals of information, with local advice about what it means to live like a "Canadian." This demand has led to a blossoming of Chinese lifestyle blogs and information websites. These online platforms have a major influence on Chinese people living in Vancouver.

We're all aware that we're living in a rapidly evolving city -- now's the time to take steps to ensure that your communications are keeping up with this important and diverse community.


  • Good work will pay off down the line
    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
  • Get the right people
    “If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people.”
  • Be open to new things
    “A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood.”
  • Mug up
    “A jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated.”
  • Optimists win
    “A person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it.”
  • Asking experts can help
    “A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.”
  • You want that fish? Go for it!
    “All cats love fish but fear to wet their paws.”
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket?
    “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.”
  • Be proactive
    “Don’t stand by the water and long for fish; go home and weave a net.”
  • Starting a business is easy, the skill is growing it
    “To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art.”