As president of the Corea Image Communication Institute, Choi Jung-wha has made it her life’s mission to take whatever steps necessary to promote Korea internationally.
Whether it be by awarding people or entities for their impact on the country’s overall image, or inviting a small group of leading figures in various fields from around the world to come and see Korea for themselves, Choi believes that even the smallest forms of communication can have a big impact.
“Small drops of water can turn a river into an ocean,” Choi said in an interview with The Korea Herald.
|CICI president Choi Jung-wha (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)|
In keeping with CICI’s mission statement, Choi has chosen to conduct annual forums in the hope that the handful of select individuals who participate return to their country and spread the word about Korea, its culture, history, cuisine and even its value as a tourism destination.
“Our goal is to promote Korea in ways that increase Korea’s global image by means of communication,” said Choi. “These people are opinion leaders in their fields and they are capable of having a significant impact on the image of our country. The many cultural experiences that they have learned and shared here will be brought back with them to their home countries.”
Past guests of these forums have not only made return trips to Korea; some have gone on to publish a number of scholarly articles and even produced documentaries on Korean culture.
“We wanted to provide participants with a wide range of opportunities where they can experience the essence of Korea,” she said. “I have personally been to all of the locations that we have selected and I truly enjoy them. I feel these places will allow them to experience a mix of both modern and traditional Korea.”
Choi is a strong advocate of communication as the greatest gateway of cultural understanding and prosperity. By inviting a variety of cultural figures from around the world and engaging them in both Korean cultural experiences as well as hosting CICI’s annual Culture Communication Forum discussion panel ― where the forum’s participants exchange ideas with one another ― Choi stated that even the smallest exposure of Korea overseas can lead to growth over time.
“Although they are not journalists or in the media field, as cultural leaders, when they go home they have many opportunities and outlets through which they can share stories about their experiences here and people will listen,” Choi went on to explain.
“I really believe that communication is the most effective way to promote a country’s identity and image.”
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org