Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

Convince Hongkongers that the city is back, and the world will follow

Convince Hongkongers that the city is back, and the world will follow

If Hong Kong’s new campaign to lure back visitors appears to say nothing new, that’s because residents already know what makes the city great. So why doesn’t the government focus on uplifting and engaging its people to sell Hong Kong to the world? After all, no one else could do it better.

It’s been quite some time since our film industry’s heyday, when Hong Kong movies enjoyed a cult following around the world. But seeing Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu star in a promotional video for the city’s latest “Hello Hong Kong” campaign – which is basically a mishmash of really tired and uninspiring words strung together – is a real rude awakening. The lower half of the chief executive’s body was cropped out.

After the previous administration’s botched “Relaunch Hong Kong” campaign, which cost the public purse more than HK$44 million (US$5.7 million), brought on the wrath of pro-establishment lawmakers like the now Home and Youth Affairs chief for being a colossal waste of money, the government has got to be careful with these PR blitzes.

When she was still in the legislative council, Alice Mak Mei-kuen was fierce in her criticism of the government hiring of public relations firm Consulum to run the multimillion-dollar campaign after the 2019 anti-government protests.

For what the PR firm found to be Hong Kong’s uniqueness as the only city in the world that offers direct access to the mainland market while boasting a creative and entrepreneurial spirit and being a great place to live, Mak said she could’ve told our government for free. Abraham Razack went as far as suggesting that the officials let the Audit Commission scrutinise the campaign and budget.

So at least we know that most of the HK$2 billion for the Hello Hong Kong campaign is not being spent on production. But cropping out the lower half of our chief executive’s body is just sloppy and unprofessional, even for low-budget amateur work.

Perhaps there’s a long way to go before we can truly claim to have an edge in key creative sectors or in leading the creative industry of the Greater Bay Area.

A still from the Hello Hong Kong Campaign video, featuring Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu.

Mak was both right and wrong. It’s true that we didn’t need to pay a PR company to tell us where our strengths and weaknesses are. Our problem, then and now, is credibility; hence the need to convince people of what seems to us to be obvious. We shut ourselves off from the rest of the world and in doing so, allowed ourselves be misunderstood.

And we face the same challenges as we did in the wake of the protests, feeling the need to explain ourselves to a world that has misunderstood us – more so, in fact, because we have to play catch-up and counter the very negative message sent by the exodus of people over the past few years.

We are riding on a fresh wave of optimism, brought on by the relaxing of pandemic measures and the Lunar New Year, and the government is right to act quickly to get this campaign off the ground. For that reason, it can be excused for being short on details, for now.

The buzz-generating giveaway of 700,000 air tickets is a smart move. The tourism board’s “Goodies” bag – it’s also short on details but it looks like there will be consumption vouchers and welcome drinks – is a nice gesture. But do these amount to the “world’s biggest welcome ever”, as the chief executive wishfully proclaimed at the campaign launch last week?

In his own promo clip, the chief executive was selling our “new opportunities, new facilities, new experiences and so much more”, with images of The Peak (of course), amusement parks, and new buildings. Sure, great facilities make a city more liveable. Amusement parks exist fundamentally to amuse and entertain. But it seems like even our chief executive has forgotten what truly makes a city: its inhabitants.

He spoke of the opportunity for travellers to enjoy the “hustle and bustle of Asia’s world city”, which I’m not too sure has been revived yet. Even then, the campaign undersells the people of this city.

At the heart of any great city is the people. New facilities and events can’t “tell the good stories of Hong Kong”. So while freebies are great and we welcome visitors with open arms, the government needs to also convince its own people what a great place Hong Kong is. After all, we’re the ones who can tell its story best.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.