Learning PR in Japan

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The fist blog I ever published was about research I found in relation to the public relations industry in Japan. Now I’ve had a firsthand learning experience of how PR works from actual Japanese professionals. As a PR student, I’m always analyzing the communications strategies that companies and organizations use. I felt honored to be able to learn the strategies that such big companies such as Sanrio Co. and FleishmanHillard use. From Inoue Public Relations I learned that in Japan, telephone or video interviews are very uncommon. Face-to-face interviews are what’s expected. In the United States, people will do what is most convenient for them and video interviews aren’t out of the norm. The United States has such a way of doing public relations that many foreign practitioners don’t have transferable skills. Japanese companies don’t outsource public relations on an ongoing basis. Press events have a high level of credibility in Japan that journalists attend. Main media relations in Japan include setting up interviews, PR releases, crisis communication, government relations, investor relations, employee relations and marketing communications. In regards to media, both the U.S. and Japan face the difficulty of everything going digital. From Sanrio, we learned that for new product releases, they don’t typically put out press releases and instead just release the information all at once. This comes as a surprise and raises publicity online. When they do create press releases, they are very informative and fact-heavy. They use a lot of joint news releases. It’s rare for a news release to contain comments by CEOs.

I was so impressed by the lecture that the CEO of FleishmanHillard gave us. He taught us that changing people’s mindsets is the biggest obstacle for PR practitioners. He taught us about the tactic of issue branding, which is when you raise awareness of an issue that consumers did not know they had. By offering a solution to the issue, it’s more likely that you can change the consumer’s mind. I’m so grateful I got to learn new information about my major from another culture!


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