Thursday, March 23, 2006

Work?!!

The posts have been coming more slowly because, shockingly, I actually have to do some work on this trip. And, I've got to tell you, the Koreans really put you to work. Gawd, I haven't had a minute to breath. Talk about an Asian Tiger. But, back to Beijing.

We did have a concluding session for the PA meeting in Beijing that was lightly attended. Mickey Kantor showed up and here you can see him deep in conversation with Paul Johnson.

Then Paul and I boarded a plane for Seoul, Korea. We were scheduled to present to a symposium entitled, "Public Affairs in the Era of Legitimizing Lobbying." It would seem that lobbying has a bad reputation in Korea. Just a couple of days ago the Prime Minister had to resign because he was playing golf with lobbyists during a paralyzing rail strike. The challenge for our Seoul office is to try to generate public affairs business without getting tainted by the lobbying scandals that are pervasive in the country. We gave a very insightful presentation advising them to stop calling it "lobbying." Broaden their definition of advocacy and confine lobbying to a smaller piece of larger communications programs. Here are some pix of us speaking to the group.















Paul gave me the hook when I began to drift into "Delay bashing." Seemed appropriate to me, given the topic. But I recovered with a story about how my mother is schocked that I might associate with lobbyists. The people in the room seemed to identify with that problem.

The presentations seemed to be well received, but the consecutive translation was difficult to get use to. You couldn't really get a rhythm going because you had to stop periodically to wait for a lengthy, incomprehensible translation to occur. It seemed the translations took longer than it took to make my point.

I wonder what she was saying?

Not that I'm paranoid or anything.

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