Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Fat American comes to Lijiang" My favorite headline

I wasn't happy with the title that showed up in China. This was not the title for the original article in the Chicago Tribune. Still it reminds me to stay fit.

Fat American comes to Lijiang
Lijiang, China
Flag of China
Monday, Jun 09, 2008 23:07

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Good to see the Olympic sponsors getting some leverage with their marketing.,0,3796738.story
Northwestern professor to carry university name during run with Olympic torch in China

By Jodi S. Cohen

Tribune reporter

7:22 PM CDT, June 9, 2008

As a Northwestern University communications professor, Clarke Caywood knows something about effective marketing.

So when he carries the Olympic torch Tuesday in China, he isn't going to miss an opportunity to promote the Northwestern brand. Though Olympic officials rejected his idea to hold a Medill School of Journalism banner, Caywood still plans to carry something with the Northwestern name.

He also plans to use the experience as a marketing opportunity when he returns to the United States, perhaps by starting his classes and corporate lectures with pictures of him running with the torch.

"What professor wouldn't like Olympic background music when they open their lectures?" said Caywood, who teaches in the integrated marketing communications program.

"When I give talks to industry and professional organizations, I will certainly put some of this in there as a metaphor for high achievement," he said from Lijiang, China.

Caywood, who has been a visiting professor at several Chinese universities, was invited to be a torchbearer by Samsung Corp., one of the relay sponsors. There will be more than 2,300 torchbearers during the flame's remaining 41/2-month journey to the August Olympics in Beijing, according to Samsung.

The relay has not been the "Journey of Harmony" that Chinese officials envisioned. In San Francisco, London, Paris and elsewhere, the relay was marked by pro-Tibet demonstrations and protests over China's human rights record. The relay also was suspended to mourn China's earthquake victims.

Caywood views the protests as a shrewd communications technique.

"The people involved with the Tibetan issue have a right to find an ongoing event and try to use it as a way to get their story told," he said. "In marketing, we sometimes recommend that, a co-branding."

Northwestern professor Tom Collinger, chairman of integrated marketing communications, said the school has been developing relationships with Chinese universities and businesses. Twenty students are working at companies there this summer, he said, and about 50 percent of the program's students are international, many from Asian countries.

While in China last week, Caywood lectured for the fifth time at Sun Yat-sen University, speaking to the business school's graduate students about crisis and risk management. He also participated in a seminar on building environmental awareness.

Collinger said Caywood has been instrumental in developing Medill's programs in public and media relations, and crisis communications.

"He has really been very much the leader of that area of our curricula," Collinger said.

On Tuesday, Caywood said he expects to run about 200 meters, or about half the length of a standard high school track. Though not a far distance, he said he has worried about getting winded or falling.

"My students will read this and they'll say, 'Clark is OK, but he is a little overweight,' " he said. "At one point, they were talking about running on cobblestone streets, and I thought, 'Oh great, I'll be the guy who falls.' "

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