Media strategy, content creation, social media, relationships with U.S. media, Korean economics and politics
Media, Automotive, International
The Washington Post, Hyundai Motor Co.
Frank Ahrens joined BGR Public Relations in January 2014. He uses his many years of experience in Washington and overseas to guide clients through the challenges they face online and in dealing with major media outlets. He helps BGR’s domestic and international clients avoid the pitfalls of cross-cultural communications and business customs. Frank has designed attention-getting digital media products for BGR clients and arranged interviews with top-tier media.
Frank has designed and delivered corporate training seminars for industry-leading companies to help them bridge the East-West culture gap, for both U.S. businesses entering the Korean market and Korean businesses operating in the U.S.
Before coming to BGR, Frank led Hyundai Motor’s global public relations efforts from company headquarters in Seoul. He became a director at Hyundai Motor in 2010 and was promoted to Vice President of Global Corporate Communications two years later. He created the company’s first English-language corporate media site, including a blog and Twitter feed, and helped establish the company’s first public relations operation in the Middle East in Dubai. He worked closely with Hyundai Motor government affairs offices in Washington and Brussels on breaking and long-range issues including labor, energy and trade. Stories he pitched played prominently in such major media outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age and Bloomberg. During Frank’s tenure, Hyundai was named “Fastest Growing Brand” by Interbrand in 2011 and 2012.
Frank is the author of “Seoul Man: A Memoir of Cars, Culture, Crisis, and Unexpected Hilarity Inside a Korean Corporate Titan,” the story of his three years as the only American at Hyundai Motor headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, and his rules on doing business in Confucian East Asia.
Frank previously worked for 18 years as an editor and reporter at the Washington Post. He covered the global financial crisis of 2008-2010 as well as the media and entertainment industries, tracking media policy on the Hill and at the Federal Communications Commission. As an editor, Frank managed a team of eight reporters with a diverse range of beats. Frank appeared frequently as a media industry expert on CNBC, MSNBC, PBS and other networks.
Frank attended West Virginia University where he received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Frank lives in the Washington, D.C., area with his wife and daughters.