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Hill+Knowlton to spread global message for PyeongChang 2018

Global public relations firm Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) has been awarded an 18-month international communications contract for the 2018 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

H+K, which was handed the contract following a competitive pitch, will activate a media and content communications campaign to promote PyeongChang 2018, with the company also assuming responsibility for strategic counsel on crisis and issues preparation and response.

The company signed the contract with the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG). Lorna Campbell, regional director of sports marketing and sponsorship at H+K, will lead the project out of the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters.

H+K previously handled communications for the organising committees of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 summer Games, as well as the Vancouver 2010 winter Games. The PyeongChang 2018 project will commence immediately.

Vivian Lines, global vice-chairman and chairman of H+K Asia-Pacific, said: “As well as an extensive global network, that gives us agility to support POCOG where and when it is needed, we have a strong team in the region who will work closely with POCOG to help us connect with and inspire the world around the excitement of PyeongChang and the winter Olympics.”

POCOG secretary general Yeo Hyung-koo added: “It is important to raise the international profile of PyeongChang 2018 to generate enthusiasm and positively represent the Olympic Games. Securing the right communications partner to work with our in-house team is key to this, and we are confident that H+K brings a fresh approach that will see our Olympic dream brought to life across the globe.”

The appointment comes with PyeongChang 2018 having found itself embroiled in a mounting political scandal in South Korea. President Park Geun-Hye today (Friday) agreed to be questioned in a formal corruption probe, admitting she had dropped her guard with regards her relationship with a close friend arrested for fraud.

In a televised address to the nation, Park said the scandal involving her long-time confidante Choi Soon-Sil, who has been accused of leveraging the relationship for personal gain, was “all my fault.” The scandal is said to have dropped Park’s approval rating to just five per cent – an all-time low for a sitting South Korean president.

Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho yesterday (Thursday) admitted that he was pressured by a former vice-culture minister – an alleged associate of Choi – to step down from the POCOG presidency.

According to the Korea Herald newspaper, Cho told reporters that “90 per cent” of the speculation over the possible influence of Choi over his sudden resignation, was “correct.” Cho stepped down in May to focus on his business interests, with Lee Hee-beom taking on the role.