Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has been urged to bolster public support for his leadership through achievements based on concrete policy issues. Li Pang-kwong, who heads a centre on governance at Lingnan University, said Mr Tsang had intensified his public relations and image-building work in the past year to help boost his governance. 'To maintain high popularity, he ought to increase his visibility and keep the feel-good image among the people,' Dr Li said. He cautioned, however, that Mr Tsang, whose popularity has fallen slightly in recent polls, could no longer rely on public perception to score points in his rating. 'Without solid organisational support for his policies, he will also find it difficult to sustain his high popularity and that of the administration,' he said. Political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said maintaining high popularity was crucial for Mr Tsang to secure Beijing's support. 'Beijing leaders take a more realistic and practical view towards Mr Tsang. They will take note of the general perception that Mr Tsang is more capable in commanding the civil service and handling crises such as the KCRC leadership mutiny,' Mr Choy said. Expounding his thoughts about 'pragmatic politics' at Chinese University last Friday, Mr Tsang underlined the importance of political communication. 'Public policies are not only about charts, figures and dry scientific arguments - they are also about social beliefs and values,' he said. 'Political communication works to combine them.' Public affairs consultant Lo Chi-kin attributed the success of government public relations to its intensified efforts, the overall improved environment, and, importantly, a change among the media. Unlike Tung Chee-hwa's era, Dr Lo said most media organisations had taken a softer stance towards Mr Tsang's administration. 'When the overall environment is favourable, it is easier for the government to fight the PR battle,' Dr Lo said. 'There has been no major crisis such as Sars [severe acute respiratory syndrome], which would put the government and its public relations machinery to a real test.'