International PR expert Dick Pirozzolo on deepening US-Vietnam ties
|July 27, 2015||Posted by Anharris under Communications, Economics, Events, Presentation|
Harris Communications Group member and PR expert Dick Pirozzolo, recently served on a panel in Ho Chi Minh City at the Vietnam CEO Summit 2015 where more than 100 Vietnam’s top executives and business owners came to learn about American marketing principles and how to penetrate markets in the US. Speakers and panelists included Harvard professors, journalists and marketing experts. Prof. John Quelch of Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration led the all-day discussion, reviewing Harvard case studies covering The New York Times transition to the digital age and Amazon’s phenomenal success as an online marketer. The event was organized by Boston Global Forum, a Boston think tank, founded by former Governor Michael Dukakis and Tuan Anh Nguyen, and Richard Moore Associates, a Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City marketing firm. Pirozzolo told the group, “North Americans positively embrace Vietnam and Vietnam’s culture is more fully integrated into our society than that of any other Asian nation.” During the panel discussion, he urged the executives to rely on cultural events—including both Vietnamese and Western classical music performances—and celebrity to promote Vietnam. He noted that President Clinton’s recent visit to Hanoi was big news in the US and had enormous impact by placing Vietnam in the front of Americans’ minds. The bond between Americans and Vietnamese has grown tighter since the US opened up trade with Vietnam two decades ago.”
In a later interview Pirozzolo said, “You know Vietnam is integrated into our popular culture when you see Modern Family character Cam Tucker pulling off a comical bit on how American’s can’t pronounce Pho, the traditional Vietnamese breakfast soup. Cam tries a couple of pronunciations on an Asian doctor who finally quips, ‘I wouldn’t know, I’m Japanese.’ Modern Family is the most popular show on American television, drawing an audience of 10 million—that means the writers expect a huge cross section of Americans to have enough awareness of Vietnam to get the joke. And, when you can comfortably bring in humor, that’s a big deal in terms of the relationship.”
Since Pirozzolo began promoting U.S. recognition of Vietnam, its most-favored-nation status, and US-Vietnam trade in the mid-1990s, this nation of 90 million has become an important business and trading partner, travel destination and major ally in maintaining the peace Southeast Asia. The July conference coincided with the 20th anniversary of US recognition of Vietnam and the granting of Most Favored Nation status. About 400,000 Americans and 100,000 Canadians are expected to visit Vietnam in 2015 according to Vietnamese government statistics. Vietnam is very welcoming, “I never felt any residual animosity during my involvement with Vietnam over the years. Notably over 60 percent of the populations was born after the American War ended in April of 1975—40 years ago. A prominent Vietnamese leader who was a child at the time said of those years, we just wanted the war to end.
“To put that 40-year time span into sharper focus, 1985 marked the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II and Americans were driving BMWs and Toyotas with nary a thought and the Japanese were listening to Phil Collins.” Panelists are from left Moderator Nguyen Duc Son, brand manager, Richard Moore Associates, Michael Morris, journalists and author, Prof. Thomas Patterson, Harvard University, Tuan Anh Nguyen, chairman and co-founder of Boston Global Forum, Nguyen Van Tuong, president Tram Huong Khanh Hoa, a major agar wood supplier, Dick Pirozzolo, Pirozzolo Company Public Relations and editorial board of Boston Global Forum and Llewelyn King, host, White House Chronicles airing on PBS. For additional details and photos of Vietnam during the 90s visit: http://wellesley.wickedlocal.com/article/20150709/NEWS/150706851/?Start=1
Dick Pirozzolo is an international PR expert based in the Boston area.