Jerry Zhu is partner and managing director of Allison+Partners in China. He is a recognized expert in corporate communications, with broad experience in crisis and issues management, public affairs, B2B and technology communications. Jerry consults key clients in the region including Schneider Electric, Trina Solar and I-Robot while also overseeing the business operations, growth and client service for our three offices in China. Prior to joining Allison+Partners, Jerry founded and was the general manager of Century PR, a boutique public relations agency. focused on corporate communications. Clients included Honeywell, Zynga, Happy Life and CITIC group. Before Century PR, Jerry held senior positions at PPR, FleishmanHillard, Hill & Knowlton, Manning Selvage & Lee and Burson-Marsteller. Jerry served as one of the core team members for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, providing counseling and crisis management for the government agency. Before entering the public relations industry, he was a diplomat for seven years.
Beijing, located in the Northeast of China, is one of the most populous capital cities. Sitting snugly in a basin near the meeting point of the Xishan and Yanshan mountain ranges, it acts as the political, cultural and educational center for China, as well as its primary media hub. Beijing has been the political center of the country for the majority of China’s history from before the Song Dynasty, more than eight centuries ago, an achievement only attained by a few cities in history. As the media hub and cultural center of China, Beijing often acts as a first stop for companies branching out from or delving into East Asia. The challenges facing both Western companies venturing to China and globalizing Chinese firms are markedly similar. Whichever way you are leaping across the Pacific, success begins with PR campaigns designed to make your company appealing and trustworthy to all of your audiences - both at home and abroad. At the Beijing office, our largest branch in Greater China, we’ve had great success in leaving lasting positive impressions on target audiences for Fortune 500 companies and leading domestic enterprises. As Beijing is also the political center of China, the Beijing team has a keen grasp on public affairs and a deep understanding of government regulators, helping clients traverse the often perplexing Chinese political landscape.
Twenty-four hours in the capital of the planet's oldest continuous civilization means you will have to start your day off quickly. Put on your walking shoes and stop at a street vendor or convenience store for a quick breakfast of Beijing's legendary jian bing, savory egg crepes made with cilantro, spring onions, spicy sauce, and Chinese-style flour tortilla chips. Then jump into a cab and have your driver rush you past the inbound commuters to the wilds of Huairou county north of the city, where you will climb The Great Wall at Mutianyu just in time to beat the daily crowds. Enjoy the views, and stop for a moment to contemplate what it must have been like to attack the best fortified ramparts in the history of the world.
After getting your picture taken on the Wall and riding a slide back to the bottom, head back to town. Once there, head to the Tianan'men Gate of the Imperial Palace Museum, a world heritage site and the largest wooden structure in the world. Take leave of the crowds ogling the great halls of the Outer Court, and follow your feet to the left into the less-crowded environs hiding behind the Gate of Western Peace. Here, you will find a more tranquil, intimate look at the life of China's royal families. Explore the rooms and courtyards of the Hall of Military Prowess, The Garden of Peace and Tranquility, The Hall of Benevolent Peace, The Hall of Mental Cultivation, and the gardens and courtyards of China's most-favored empresses and concubines.
Leave the Palace through the Gate of Divine Might, carefully cross the road and climb the 150-foot Coal Hill that caps Jingshan Park. Sit in the shade of the pagoda and look south. From here, you will see the Palace in its full glory, along with the halls of state housing the government of the People's Republic. Duly awed by thoughts of power both ancient and modern, hike back down the western side of the hill, facing the afternoon sun as you stroll through the ancient alleyways (called hutongs) of the Beihai district.
When the sun sets, have a taxi take you the short trip to the districts just west of the Yonghegong Lamma Temple. Here, along a street of courtyard houses you will find a remarkable variety of dinner choices, including some of the best vegetarian food in China. Post-dinner, finish off your day with a foot massage from a blind masseuse then late aperitif at Atmosphere, an elegant bar on the top floor of the 70-story China World Tower III.
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