When conducting PR abroad it is essentially important to understand the media market of one’s host country. Sriramesh said most public relations practitioners would agree that media relations are a significant focus on an organizations efforts and strategies. In order to understand the media market in South Korea, I interviewed my intercultural partner Heny and her friend Jenny. Heny said the main media sources in South Korea are the same as in the United States. For instance, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet are all ways that Koreans stay informed and updated with all current events. However, the more frequently used outlets are television and online media. In today’s world, most of the information gathered comes from Internet resources. For example, Heny said that most newspapers in South Korea have recently become available online. The use of paper form newspapers is no longer common.
According to Heny and Jenny, one of the most popular television shows in South Korea is called Muhandojun. Muhandojun is a comedy show in which contestants face “unlimited challenges.” Heny mentioned some characteristics of television shows in Korea, which are cartoons, comedy, and reality shows. However, she said that her personal favorite television show is Korea’s Next Top Model. There are three prime television networks in South Korea, which include NBC, SBS, and KBS. NBS and SBS are privately owned stations, but the government runs KBS. Sriramesh said it is extremely important that “a public relations professional understands who controls media content in a given country” in order to “maintain effective media relations demands.” In the past, South Korea experienced heavy governmental control and censorship over the media and it’s outlets. In the more recent years, Korea has leaned towards freedom of the press where journalists strive to be independent and protest against any form of governmental censorship. However, the Korean government does still have some authority over the media market and therefore require organizations and individual business owners to follow the basic rules and regulations.
One of my favorite television shows is America’s Next Top Model. I found it very interesting that Heny and I both like the same show. I decided to watch one of the episodes of Korea’s Next Top Model. I found that Korea’s Next Top Model is based off America’s Next Top Model and follows the exact same format. I did not find any differences between the two television shows.
These past seven weeks have been such a blessing to be able to meet with Heny and learn about her culture. It has been such an eye-opening experience for me and I am proud to say that I have become more culturally aware and sensitive to the differences of others. My relationship with Heny has grown tremendously since the start of the semester. I look forward to meeting new friends from other cultures in the future and will take the extra step out of my comfort zone to do so. Overall, I really enjoyed this project and it has given me hands on experience and knowledge on how to interact and communicate with people from different cultures. This is definitely a step in the right direction for me as I am interested in working abroad one day!
Episode can be found here:
Korea’s Next Top Model: Cycle 3. Episode 1.