by Amanda Mohar
December 12th, 2013

Weber Shandwick today announced that its China operations have entered into an agreement with the City Image and Branding Research Base of the Communications University of China, the country’s leading communications institution.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlines plans for a strategic partnership to encourage exchange between the academic and professional communications sectors, particularly focusing on city branding. Initial activities between Weber Shandwick and the research base will include providing council on global visibility for Chinese cities, co-hosting city branding seminars, creating a base for nurturing future talents through internship opportunities, and exploring the possibility of a jointly-organised global city branding index in the future.

“As China has moved from being a manufacturing hub to a destination for diverse business interests and greater international tourism, the importance of city branding has become incredibly important,” commented Lydia Lee, chief strategy officer, China, and Emergent China practice lead at Weber Shandwick. “Weber Shandwick already supports Chinese companies going global under our Emergent China practice, so it is a very natural step for us to bring these offerings to Chinese cities, as well.”

“Partnering with the Communications University of China on this initiative enables us to deliver an impressive offering to Chinese cities going global, by tapping into the strengths of both organisations – the university’s expert research and analysis and domestic influence, and Weber Shandwick’s leading capabilities in integrated marketing, international communications and brand building across sectors. At the same time, the collaboration allows Weber Shandwick to provide specialised practical training, insights and resources to China’s next generation of communications experts, which is something we’re very proud to be doing.”

Weber Shandwick has a history in China stretching back to 1993, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The firm was voted the top PR agency in China for original creative thinking and strong strategic capabilities, according to the R3 China PR Scope industry survey, among other accolades awarded at a local, regional and global level across all practices.

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