The Foote Group helps Chinese and international clients effectively manage their corporate reputation and the impact of specific events that affect their reputation, business and market value. We provide strategic advice, tactical support and stakeholder engagement across a range of communications disciplines.

The Foote Group’s team of bi-lingual/bi-cultural professionals is highly experienced in designing communications strategies that cover traditional, online and social media, investors and analysts, employees, and government influencers – in a manner that takes into account local nuance to manage reputation and build credibility.


Corporate Communications

In China’ fast moving world of online and social media, reputations can be impacted 24/7 and a flexible, robust strategy is required to maintain control of a company’s narrative. Cross-border communications involving China involves parallel, overlapping narratives and audience groups that influence each other in ways both obvious and subtle. To be effective, a company needs to have clear messaging and an ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders – employees, investors, media, and customers – both in China and abroad.

The Foote Group’s advantage lies in our experience working with both Chinese and international companies to craft communications that deliver a compelling narrative, while addressing hot-button topics and sensitivities for both sets of audiences. By providing foundational tools, including messaging, training, outreach strategy, bilingual corporate materials and 24/7 strategic counsel, we help companies bring their stories to life and take control in periods of transition.

Investor Relations

The Foote Group has extensive experience working with both large and small US-listed Chinese companies to implement best-practice investor relations programs. From the IPO onwards, we work closely with senior management to help ensure that the company’s investment story is clearly articulated and investor concerns are promptly addressed.

In addition to providing regular advice and feedback from the capital markets, we help our clients develop outreach strategy and messaging, help manage the quarterly earnings process and company announcements, and support internal teams through training programs and 24/7 support. The Foote Group’s strength in public relations allows us to implement integrated IR / PR strategies that leverage media exposure to substantially increase the power and reach of clients’ investment stories.

The Foote Group has one of the most senior IR teams on the ground in China, including former sell side analysts, investment managers, journalists, and senior IR professionals with a strong understanding of capital markets and all forms of investor communications.

Media Relations

Today, to effectively guide public opinion in China, a robust, long-term approach to media relations is needed. Relationships with reporters and editors of top-tier Chinese & international media are essential to ensure balanced, knowledgeable reporting. And to ensure consistent coverage companies need to develop storylines and content that are both compelling and timely.

Chinese and international media are becoming increasingly cross-influential, with Chinese media – and public opinion –influenced by reports in international top-tier media and international media more attuned to the increasingly independent – and commercially minded – local media. The Foote Group advocates an integrated approach to media relations to maximize impact by seeking to develop nuanced, parallel storylines that appeal to both Chinese and international readers.

In addition to online and traditional media, social media – most notably Wechat and Weibo – is playing an ever more important role in shaping media coverage and public opinion, and is a potent amplifier of media coverage. When considering a media relations campaign, social media strategy – knowing who the key voices are & assessing the opportunities and risks around direct & indirect outreach – is central to our planning.

Our bi-lingual professionals have rich experience working with both the Chinese and international media, and clients benefit from our strong relationships with senior editors, reporters, key social media opinion leaders and our ability to develop clear, concise messages that resonate with audiences.

Transaction Communications

The Foote Group team has experience working on some of the highest-profile transactions involving Chinese and multi-national companies. We have supported dozens of companies as they pursue IPOs in the US, and have advised on landmark cross border deals. For outbound M&A, we coordinate with the deal team – bankers, lawyers and communications firms – to provide the client with solid bi-lingual support which ensures that all parties remain tightly coordinated around a central set of evolving strategies, messages and documents.

When China outbound M&A deals are announced, first impressions are crucial. Media will expect the acquirer to be prepared to answer questions on all aspects of the deal, including rational and path to completion. If a company is unprepared to handle inquiries, the resulting reputational damage can severely impact deal momentum. The Foote Group works with companies to prepare for the inevitable scrutiny that comes along with a high-profile announcement, ensures that all messages are carefully calibrated with local & international audiences in mind, and coordinates outreach with China-based audiences including media, social media, employees, and relevant government bodies as needed.

Crisis Communications & Issues Management

When China-based companies encounter crisis situations, whether related to corporate governance, food safety, IP infringement, litigation or fraud allegations, public judgement can come swiftly and be very difficult to change after the fact. Whether a social media storm set off by a Wechat post, or a story on CCTV that goes viral, for Chinese companies and international companies operating in China, a crisis flashpoint can come from a complicated array of sources, and then spread quickly across the boundaries of language, media and geography. To effectively handle a crisis, companies must weigh the gravity of the situation, the concerns of stakeholders including consumers, government, media and investors as well as cultural factors affecting public opinion – and then be prepared to act fast.

The Foote Group has extensive experience working on the wide range of crisis issues that impact companies in China. We help clients handle sensitive, industry level issues, and when the unexpected happens we work to analyze the situation, and are available 24/7 to provide messaging and strategy recommendations designed to take back control.

Training & Spokesperson Preparation

As Chinese companies play an every larger role on the international stage through expansion into overseas markets, IPOs, and M&A, they are encountering the challenges of communications with new markets and audiences, often with specific requirements and unfamiliar “rules of engagement”. The Foote Group works with clients’ internal teams to provide best-practices trainings in IR and media relations, as well as crisis & transaction communications. Our tailored trainings run the spectrum from IR/PR fundamentals to crisis simulations to highly technical capital market situations.

The Foote Group also regularly provides one-on-one training for senior-level executives to hone messages and delivery in preparation for media interviews. Using a combination of theory, case studies and practical exercises, we focus on developing the skills and techniques required to produce confident spokespeople who can remain ‘on message’ in any interview situation. We conduct training sessions in English or Chinese, and cover both international and Chinese-language media.