Welcome to this week's special edition of Tips Corner. Today, we will show how you can improve your public image and win an election along the way. But first, we have received an urgent note from a journalist who was harassed by a senior mainland official in Paris earlier this week that needs immediate attention. He wrote: 'Dear Tips Corner, I am a reporter from a television station and I need urgent advice! 'After I asked Premier Zhu how he felt about a protest by Reporters Without Borders, I was stopped by a Chinese embassy official who said I should not have asked the question and gave me a serious tongue-lashing. 'Then he threatened not to co-operate with us again if we did not watch out. What shall I do should that sort of situation arise again?' Yes, we have all seen the footage of what happened (which was, funnily enough, first broadcast not by your station but another) and thought you reacted reasonably calmly given the circumstances. Of course, we wish you had told the official to shut up and stop embarrassing himself in front of everyone, but he probably would have carried out his threat there and then and had you arrested. Had that incident happened to us, we would probably have just walked away - not because we are rude, but because Tips Corner does not understand much Putonghua. Tips? Well, let's hope these officials are smart enough not to let that sort of situation happen again. Now, back to today's tips on how to improve your public image and persona and win the hearts of millions - something that will come in handy for those of you who have decided to run in the upcoming elections. Since nominations for next month's first SAR Legislative Council polls opened on Thursday, our office has been flooded with letters and faxes asking crucial questions such as: 'Is it too late for me to have a face lift?' Our answer to that is: Yes. But don't panic, there are still about six weeks to election day, so you have enough time to improve your wardrobe, have numerous facial sessions and a quick nose job if you have the dosh. At this point, Tips Corner would like to clarify for readers who are confused what this election business is all about. For instance, what was the 'Election Committee sub-sector poll' that took place last week? What are the 'geographical polls' and the election for the 'functional constituencies'? Well, you can forget about all these technical terms. For us, there are only two types of elections - ones we understand and ones we don't - and the ones we don't understand do not concern us because we have no right to vote in them anyway. The one election that does concern all of us is the same one that politicians throughout Hong Kong are warming up for - the geographical polls. Here, everyone who is enrolled as an elector can cast a vote for their favourite candidates in their constituencies. At least 78 independents and party-backed candidates will be vying for the 20 geographical seats up for grabs in the five multi-seat constituencies. And most of them need to do something to, say, their hair, to improve their chances of success. Let's face it, if pop idols Leon Lai or Aaron Kwok were to run in the elections, they would thrash them all hands down. Elections are all about packaging and selling an image. Look at President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair. Who remembers their campaign pledges? No one? But everyone remembers Mr Clinton playing his sax and Mr Blair his guitar. We are pleased to note some of our local election hopefuls have already taken the initiative to create their own images. One political party, for instance, has chosen the hard-working Robokon to be its mascot. Then there is one independent candidate who chose the slick James Bond image, while another said his voters would not forget his face because he has 'nasty' looks. Well, we suppose a bad image is still an image. There are other examples, such as one former legislative councillor's memorable pop art posters. If you want to run in the elections but have neither good looks nor any feasible campaign platform nor support nor a sense of humour, you still stand a chance. But don't ask us how to do it, because that has to do with the type of elections we don't understand.