“I thought I had to do this work that nobody was trying to do but someone had to do.” This is the story of Seo Kyoung-duk, a professor at Sungshin Woman’s University. He is known as Korea’s PR expert, a title he received during his time at university. While traveling in New York as a university student, he visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum did not have a Korean language service, although it had services for Japanese and Chinese. Despite being just a student, he called the museum to demand they install a Korean service. It was something he felt he had to do, and the museum has had a Korean language service ever since. That was when he began his work as Korea’s PR expert.
Prof. Seo emphasizes “know-who” rather than know-how. He says that his achievements have been possible due to cooperative work. “Though I started Korean public relations alone, the number of contributors grew, and the projects were completed one by one. It’s just like the butterfly effect,” he explained at Culture Date (서문밤 데이트), a monthly meeting with influential figures. Prof. Seo’s know-how was nothing less than knowing who has the same goals.
His goal for this year is to give lectures on Dokdo in 20 cities around the world. He already gave a lecture on the subject of Dokdo in Shanghai earlier this year. He explains the importance and symbolic meaning of Dokdo and why it is Korean territory. Prof. Seo has also started working on promoting makgeolli (막걸리) with a Korean wave star in New York’s Times Square. (At the time of this writing, the identity of the Korean wave star is top secret.)
Prof. Seo says we could all be Korea PR experts if we simply show interest, support, and love for our country. His ultimate goal is to help cultivate an emotional attachment to Korea. In the meantime, Korea’s PR expert Seo Kyoung-duk will continue to promote the country he loves around the world.