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 created attention-getting digital media products for BGR clients, run digital campaigns and arranged interviews with top-tier media, including Fox News, The Washington Post and major wire services. Op-eds by clients have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
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, South Korea. 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. It was named a Best Book of 2016 by the New York Post.
Prior to Hyundai, Frank 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. Frank appeared frequently as a media industry expert on CNBC, MSNBC, PBS and other networks.
Frank still writes in his free time. His articles have appeared in Foreign Policy, Forbes, Automotive News, PR News and The Diplomat.
He attended West Virginia University where he received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area with his wife and daughters.