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LCQ9: "Relaunch Hong Kong" publicity campaign
     Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Regina Ip and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Caspar Tsui, in the Legislative Council today (August 18):
     The Government announced on June 29, 2020 that it had awarded a one-year public relations contract valued at US$6,289,215 to Consulum FZ LLC (Consulum), a global strategy and communications consultancy firm, for providing services under the theme of "Relaunch Hong Kong". According to the contract, Consulum was required to develop for the theme (i) a communications strategy as well as (ii) a marketing and advertising plan to highlight Hong Kong's economic recovery and help rebuild confidence in Hong Kong as a place to invest, do business, work and live. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the details of the communications strategy as well as the marketing and advertising plan developed by Consulum, and the implementation progress of that plan;
(2) whether it has formulated performance indicators for the various tasks under the theme; if so, of the details and whether such indicators have been met; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) of a breakdown of the estimated expenditure on the various tasks under the theme; and
(4) given that the aforesaid contract expired in June this year, whether the Government has plans to award new contracts for the follow-up plans for the theme; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

     Having consulted the Information Services Department (ISD), I provide a reply to the Hon Mrs Regina Ip's question as follows:
     In order to help Hong Kong reopen to overseas visitors in a safe and orderly manner and reconnect with the world amid the fight against COVID-19, the ISD awarded a public relations service contract for the "Relaunch Hong Kong" campaign to Consulum FZ LLC through an open tender in June 2020. The contract already expired on July 30 this year. 
(1) During the contract period, the contractor conducted local and international baseline research to help us better understand perceptions about Hong Kong in key markets. The research found varying degrees of receptiveness to positive messages about Hong Kong in selected target markets. Market responses were favourable towards Brand Hong Kong attributes such as cosmopolitan, diverse, dynamic and connected. Hong Kong's lifestyle also tracked very well as a city for dining at quality restaurants, attending world-class events, and visiting theatres or museums. The research showed that Hong Kong had unique advantages over other competing cities in Asia. Hong Kong was the only Asian city that possessed three important attributes, namely, access to markets in Mainland China and Asia; provision of a sophisticated and secure pro-business platform; and a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
     Based on the aforesaid research findings, a communications strategy, phased plans and messaging, a marketing and advertising plan, and advertising collaterals were developed and delivered by the contractor in accordance with the requirements stated in the contract. The contractor also tested the publicity messages and confirmed that they would help improve perceptions of Hong Kong among audiences.
     The tested core message is: "Hong Kong is the only city in the world that offers a secure, dynamic environment for business, an exciting, cosmopolitan lifestyle and direct access to the Mainland market". The four supporting messages are: "Hong Kong is a safe, growing market with considerable potential"; "Hong Kong is the ideal springboard to the Mainland and Asian markets"; "Hong Kong has a reputation for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit"; and "Hong Kong's cosmopolitan character and cultural richness makes it a great place to live in".
     Due to lingering uncertainties about the COVID-19 situation, we will take a phased approach for the rollout of our publicity plans. We will adopt the aforementioned advertising and publicity messages to launch a business confidence campaign overseas later this year to reinforce Hong Kong's image as the best place in Asia to live, work and invest in, and pave the way for the "Relaunch Hong Kong" campaign tentatively scheduled for next year.
(2) Pursuant to the contract, the contractor was required to deliver a range of services within the contract period, including devising the overall strategy, publicity plans, a messaging book, media list in target markets, a crisis management plan, a marketing and media buying plan and creative designs. All of these services were delivered on schedule based on the requirements stipulated in the contract.
(3) The total value of the one-year contract was about US$6.4 million. Since there was a change in the promotion strategy and implementation timeline during the contract period, the contractor was no longer required to monitor and conduct an impact assessment of the campaign. This resulted in a saving of about US$730,000. As such, the final contract sum payable to the contractor was about US$5.7 million. Due to commercially-sensitive price information, we are unable to provide a breakdown of individual items. 
(4) The actual implementation timeline, scope and scale of the "Relaunch Hong Kong" campaign will largely hinge on the global COVID-19 development and the recovery of business activities. The ISD has no plans at this stage to engage new public relations consultancy services.
Ends/Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Issued at HKT 12:00
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