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MCST to Expand Awareness of Korea beyond K-pop in All Aspects, including Correct Information in Related Wikipedia Entries
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

- On May 28, the MCST announced the “Global Public Relations Plan for the Era of Digital Transformation (2024–2027)”

- The plan aims to deliver “more abundant, more accurate and more positive” information about Korea through three strategies and 11 key tasks

[Main Strategies and Tasks]
□ [Integrity] Global PR activities centered on core values
- ▴Define unified PR concepts for Korea by establishing a Global Public Relations Strategy Committee, ▴Identify PR agendas that resonate with the world, ▴Send consistent messages outside Korea at the government level

□ [Openness] Free circulation of credible information
- ▴Build an automated, AI-based system to analyze global media data, ▴Build “K-Info Hub,” an integrated system to provide digital information about Korea, ▴Promote the systematic provision of information about Korea in leading websites, ▴Appoint editors dedicated to multilingual government news channels, ▴ Provide source materials for PR activities free of charge (videos, images, texts, etc.)

□ [Connectivity] Various content based on new partnerships
- ▴Provide information promptly with no time gap between domestic and international media, ▴Expand cooperation with nontraditional new media, ▴Enhance cooperation with foreigners residing in and visiting Korea, ▴Strengthen the role of national PR through international broadcasting

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister YU In Chon, MCST) announced the “Global Public Relations Plan for the Era of Digital Transformation (2024–2027)” at a Cabinet meeting on May 28 (Tue). After establishing the International Cultural Affairs and Public Relations Office on February 6 to strengthen international cultural exchanges and promote Korean culture abroad, the MCST has held more than 30 meetings with industry and academic experts in the fields of global media cooperation, analysis and public relations (PR) content production to gather their opinions and prepare the plan.

On average over the past five years, a large number of foreigners have expressed a positive and favorable image of Korea (78.4% in the National Image Survey 2019–2023). K-content also achieved a record export volume of US$13.2 billion in 2022, decisively contributing to the country’s positive reception. Moreover, after Korea’s status was changed to a “developed country” at the 2021 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the country now needs to deliver responsible messages on issues requiring global cooperation, such as health and the environment. Therefore, PR strategies and directions to promote the country on the international stage have become more crucial.

Previously, Korea promoted its values and national image in ways that lacked an overall guiding principle; the country focused on individual events or sporadic media articles. Against this backdrop, as part of the efforts to help people worldwide see Korea in a new light – as a Global Pivotal State Sharing with the World – the MCST formulated the Global Public Relations Plan for the Era of Digital Transformation (2024–2027) to spread “more abundant, more accurate and more positive” information about the country. With more strategic and efficient PR strategies, the ministry plans to respond to the quickening pace of digital transformation and the reorganization of the media ecosystem based on new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). The plan also includes enhancing the quality of information about Korea available online as that is how a great deal of people abroad learn about the country. A more detailed account of the three major implementation strategies and eleven key implementation tasks follows:

[1] Promote Korea with concepts that resonate with both Koreans and the world

First, the MCST has developed comprehensive PR concepts that apply to related agencies, content and messages on a global scale. Based on the overarching vision – Global Pivotal State Sharing with the World – and six supplementary descriptions derived from objective data analysis that showed Korea to be “Innovative,” “Creative,” “Friendly,” “Trustworthy,” “Growing” and “Safe,” specific PR messages and stories about Korea will be developed. Members of the Global Public Relations Strategy Committee will come from all walks of life, and the MCST plans to use the Committee to discover PR concepts that reflect Korea’s core values on a continual basis and utilize them in all aspects of global PR activities with government policy announcements, international events and the activities of tourism and export businesses.

The MCST will also identify and support agendas and leading discourses that resonate with the international community. To this end, the scope of agenda analysis will be expanded not only to foreign media but also to data distributed through overseas research institutes, international organizations, social media and elsewhere while identifying general interests and pending issues within the global community.

The MCST plans to manage the external messages provided by the Korean government systematically. The ministry will strengthen the government-wide cooperation system to refine messages and build a system that ensures consistency. The plan will include supporting the gradual expansion of staff dealing  with foreign media in each ministry and establishing a permanent pan-government cooperative system to share current issues of global interest.

[2] Provide “proper information about Korea” on Wikipedia, tourism websites and elsewhere

The MCST will build a data analysis platform based on AI and distribute credible information about Korea to respond to the rapidly increasing demand for information about the country. Through a data analysis platform, the MCST plans to automate the analysis of massive data, objectively understand the international community’s perception of Korea and provide customized analysis reports from 2025 to help policymakers in each ministry formulate policies with a global perspective.

To provide international readers with trustworthy, quality information about Korea, the MCST will implement PR measures for various information access channels. They plan to accurately assess how Korea-related information is distributed through prominent media such as English-language Wikipedia pages, which usually top search results for information about Korea, as well as other channels of interest to consumers such as official websites of foreign governments, international organizations, travel guides, tourism websites, textbooks and online dictionaries. The MCST will work with the relevant institutions to establish a foundation for providing quality information.

They will also provide information about Korea customized to the needs of foreigners and establish the “K-Info Hub,” a platform optimized for overseas search engines. It will be operated as a collaborative system among institutions that produce national intellectual properties as well as overseas institutions to make it easier to access information about Korea from abroad. In addition, in line with the advent of the age of independent media, the MCST will produce and share free source materials (videos, images, texts, etc.) to promote Korea, so anyone can easily reproduce and actively distribute content that is aligned with the PR concepts outlined here.

[3] Partner with foreign media and global influencers as “Reliable Allies” to promote Korea

Global PR approaches, which have been centered around government agencies, will be transformed into flexible and open approaches based on various cooperative relationships with the private sector, including global citizens, experts and foreigners in Korea. In the media sector, the MCST will expand the scope of cooperation by supporting global “influencers” in each field as well as specialized digital media that function as alternative media through event invitations, the provisions of information and assistance with media coverage. The ministry will build a global PR network with foreign residents who have first-hand, in-country experiences and who can contribute to the dissemination of Korea’s image such as immigrant spouses, migrant workers, international students and expatriates hired by foreign-owned businesses operating in Korea. In addition, more traditional targets of communication – the diplomatic corps and foreign media – will also be engaged. The ministry plans to participate in overseas PR consultation and activities, for example, by jointly producing customized Korea-related content for consumers, such as the (tentatively named) “Guide for Living in Korea.”

Furthermore, the functions of the Korea International Broadcasting Foundation will be re-established, enabling Arirang TV to serve as Korea’s leading international broadcasting network and a global PR platform.

During the Cabinet meeting, Minister Yu said, “It is my hope that this Global Public Relations Plan will serve as a central pillar in Korea’s effort to both establish itself as a ‘Global Pivotal State’ on the basis of other countries’ keen interest in K-culture and grow together with the world based on trust.” He added, “We will support the overseas expansion of operations across various fields such as art, content and tourism and actively promote overseas PR activities, so the respective policies come together to improve Korea’s national image and create a virtuous cycle.”

Global Public Relations Plan attachment.pptx