From left to right: Dr Tom Reichert, head of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Cox International Center.

Associate Director Lectures in China on Corporate Communication

Learning how to communicate in a different culture and how to deal with foreign media is crucial for companies that plan to work in international environments, Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, told a group of 50 Chinese managers in Beijing in March.

Dr. Vlad was speaking at a program hosted by Norinco, a Chinese company that manufactures vehicles, machinery, optical-electronic products, civil and military firearms, and also is involved in domestic civil construction projects.

The visit was organized by the Center for International Trade and Security (CITS) of the University of Georgia. The mission of CITS is to promote peace and prosperity through programs that focus on the protection of nuclear, chemical, and biological materials and strategic trade controls for conventional weapons and for dual-use products.

CITS has developed a partnership with Norinco and other Chinese companies in the last 10 years.

Dr. Vlad joined the program in Beijing at the invitation of CITS. The Cox International Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

“Working with people who have expertise in public affairs, in public relations, in international communication, and in rebranding is a better option than hiring attorneys to manage a crisis and a negative perception of the company,” said Dr. Scott Jones, executive director of CITS, who led the UGA group.

The title of the session was Importance of Effective Communication for Corporations and Organizations. The other presenter was Dr. Tom Reichert, head of the Grady College Department of Advertising and Public Relations.

“The main components of a company’s reputation are the quality of its products and management, the financial soundness and market leadership, the corporate culture and social responsibility, and the ability to communicate with all stakeholders,” Dr. Reichert told the Chinese participants.

The session was followed by a three-hour Q&A roundtable with 12 Chinese managers who are involved in international projects, moderated by Ms. Rongrong Liu, CITS research associate. The main topics were the role of communication in crisis management, media relations, principles of corporate communication and media systems.

“Sometimes we tend to make assumptions about journalism in other countries based either on stereotypes or on what we know about our own media, which is a mistake,” said Dr. Vlad. “There are so many differences in the levels of competition, government control, funding, ownership and cultural heritage.”