Below is an email from Tom Ho, an employee of Edelman, a leading independent global PR firm hired by the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo to provide advice following a request from The Blade to interview Wu Kin Hung and Yuan Xiaohong, the two Chinese investors who have purchased The Docks and the Marina District in Toledo. Mr. Ho is based in China for Edelman.
From: Ho, Tom
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 5:50 AM
To: Dean Monske
Cc: 'Rudolph, Bill'; 'Mark Luetke'
Subject: RE: Toledo/China Media conf call
Firstly I apologize for not responding earlier as I have been tied up on an issue with my client.
I’ve read the questions and am in the opinion that it’s a tough situation. I’m afraid there’s no magic wand in this.
It’s very obvious that the media is going to the direction of investigative journalism about the background of the investors, instead of profiling the investment project. It’s classic – western media is concerned about investor allegedly with Chinese communist background in neighborhood.
I don’t know enough about the background of Wu and Yuan to make a call on whether it’ll make a difference in answering the questions. As a rule of thumb, we need to be prepared to be transparent in interviews (i.e. As a professional PR firm, we can help client to word-smith the answer but we can’t lie. Spokesperson has the right for not disclosing certain personal stuff but you can imagine what the article would look like if you decline to comment on most of the allegations. )
From what we’re presented, it doesn’t look beneficial to take this interview. The only thing we could potentially work on at this stage is a written reply to re-state our key messages and decline the interview. (at least it looks more respectful than just ignoring the request.)
Should you have any more questions, pls let us know. I’d like to propose RGP to set-aside a small fee (like USD5k) for Edelman HK to continue our counseling and support for you (We called this a counseling bucket and it’s like a pre-paid card for you to deploy our service). We will bill you by the time we invested and time report will be provided every month.