Communication in the context of the US-North Korea Summit in Hanoi

Update: 08:41 | 02/03/2019
On the occasion of the second US—North Korea summit in Hanoi, The World & Vietnam Report conducted a conversation with Ms. Nguyen Dieu Cam, General Director of T&A Ogilvy cum Director of Ogilvy Consulting Vietnam, one of the media support units for this historic event.
communication in the context of the us north korea summit in hanoi PM says hosting DPRK-US summit was big success for Vietnam
communication in the context of the us north korea summit in hanoi DPRK Foreign Minister holds press conference

To you, what are the difficulties and challenges when it comes to communications for the 2nd US—North Korea Summit in Hanoi?

Right now, this is the most important event in Hanoi; it serves as an affirmation of Vietnam's role in international peace and security. The event has attracted more than 3,000 reporters from numerous media agencies and major news outlets from all over the world, who have rushed to Vietnam in order to cover this extraordinary meeting. The event brings unprecedented opportunities and challenges for Vietnam's communications.

It should be said first that the complexity of this event is compounded by the fact that we had a preparation time of only 10 days. The extremely large number of participants, as well as the complex and top-secret agendas of high-ranking officials, require Vietnam's communication work to be carried out with the highest level of professionalism and accuracy. In addition, the quality of the communications surrounding the first US-North Korea Summit in Singapore—a country used to holding major international events—added enormous pressure for Vietnamese communication organizations.

Being chosen as the venue for a summit between two countries with tense relations, an equally important challenge is how to convey the image of Vietnam itself: it’s important that we highlight our peace-loving spirit, and our outstanding developments in becoming more globally integrated, economically, culturally and socially. Furthermore, after the event, it’s vital that we continue to maintain excellent relations with international news channels, so that we can continue to have strong communications with the rest of the world, and to continue the process of global integration.

communication in the context of the us north korea summit in hanoi
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh inspected the International Media Center (Photo: ĐK)

As the head of a media company, how do you assess the effectiveness of the media supporting this event?

It must be said once more that, given that there was just over a week to prepare for the Summit— much shorter than the nearly two-month preparation time for the Singapore event in June 2018 — Vietnamese Government was still able to provide optimal conditions for the press. The International Media Center (IMC) at the Cultural Friendship Palace has being used to full capacity, serving more than 3,000 international reporters and receiving extremely positive feedback regarding its facilities and modern utilities.

I think the communication work of the event has been done in a holistic and positive way. The media have been offered the right conditions in order to be able to report on the event in a timely and thorough manner, and so Vietnamese and international audiences have had access to the most up-to-date information about the summit. Domestic and international press have been facilitated to maximize their creativity and professional capabilities, and have done things such as setting up studios on the rooves of buildings in the city, or reporters have worked consecutively in key locations from Lang Son to Hanoi.

Due to the many political factors and the urgent nature of the preparations, the promotional activities for Vietnam on a national scale are not yet as diverse as that of international and domestic enterprises. However, I hope we will continue with destination promotion activities, both economic and tourism related, in the near future.

communication in the context of the us north korea summit in hanoi
Ms. Nguyen Dieu Cam.

In that context, what activities did T&A Ogilvy do to support the communication of this event?

Recognizing this as a major international event to build Vietnam’s national image, T&A Ogilvy has been pleased to work hand-in-hand with the business community and the communications industry, contributing a small part to support the communication logistics of the event.

In particular, with the trust of the Press and Information Department, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, T&A Ogilvy assumed the role of an adviser, assessing the communication implications of the 2nd US—North Korea Summit for Vietnam.

In addition, we also supported the production of a number of media products, including a short introductory video and related articles to promote Vietnam as a peace-loving country and an ideal destination for diplomatic and strategic cooperation.

With the expertise and experience of many years cooperating with several important forums and conferences such as the Asia Society, the Global Women Summit, The Economists Conference, APEC 2017, and most recently, the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Vietnam 2018, T&A Ogilvy has been focused on enhancing the professional level of communication to an international standard.

Understanding the importance of the event, T&A Ogilvy also actively implemented side-event activities, like a signing ceremony for the purchase of Boeing aircraft by Bamboo Airlines and Vietjet Air. These activities not only attracted media attention but also generated positive coverage about economic development and trade growth between the US and Vietnam. We also accompanied Saigon Beer with its Peace Celebration program. These communication activities demonstrate the deep concern of the Government and large corporations in Vietnam towards internationally significant events such as this.

Finally, as a Vietnamese, how do you feel about the second US—North Korean Summit in Hanoi?

Firstly, I believe that not only me, but any Vietnamese, would be so proud with Vietnam being chosen as the destination for the 2nd US—North Korea Summit, given its importance to global security and cooperation. Also, this helps to foster a positive view of Vietnam with the international community on Vietnam; that we are a developing country that values humanity, harmony and friendship.

I always update myself on international events and truly look forward to further progress in US—North Korea relations after this conference. The summit not only brings opportunities for the two countries, but also has a great impact on global peace, especially when the world is in the process of nuclear non-proliferation and the reduction of hostilities on a large scale.

Vietnam is a peace-loving nation. We can show this through activities that contribute to integration and cooperation, and we can also promote Vietnam and Vietnamese people through professional and creative communications.

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