As companies operate and market their products globally, they need to be sensitive to political, and economical differences among nations and regions. In fact, wide variations in culture can also exist between regions within individual countries. Having a strong international public relations strategy helps you to develop an understanding of other countries and get your messaging right in all markets. Every country has its own media landscape, its own PR rules and set of laws. If you are planning an international PR campaign, you should work with local agencies if possible, as they are intimately familiar with the local cultural norms, legislation and standards.
Style of press information
Many companies are still trying the simplest way to expand their Public Relations work internationally. We often see foreign one-to-one translations of China, Europe or Asian press releases that simply do not work in the respective local media. The companies usually have two reasons for this: either there is no one who can adequately adapt the topic to the local media landscape, or the people in charge believe that a literal translation of press texts is sufficient. But countries do not differ solely in their language; the mentality of the people and thus the reader, as well as the way in which the media and journalists tick differs depending on the nation. In a multi-cultural country like Malaysia, the different nations and religions play a very important role – accordingly you should be sensitive to the choice of topics and expressions.
Importance of local experts
While international PR experts are considered particularly competent in countries such as American, most French journalists prefer French-speaking company representatives. The interest in international and global PR topics is comparatively small in France. In general, the language barrier for expert interviews differs greatly depending on the country. We understand this.
Developing positive relationships with journalists
The relationship of PR agencies with journalists also varies significantly from country to country; while in some cultures offering gifts may be considered normal, in others this would elicit criticism and risk being catalogued as unprofessional.
Developing positive relationships with journalists in order to fully engage with the local media as part of an international PR campaign involves understanding the specifics of the culture, and skilfully navigating the social norms – something local PR agencies can normally do with excellent results.
Significance of individual channels
Social media is now part of the public relations remit in most nations, though its status varies from country to country. A worldwide trend is the shift to online channels. However, traditional media still have a trust advantage in some countries and circulation of newspapers and TV ratings is still very high. The mix of traditional and digital media should therefore be carefully considered in each country.
The different PR practices are often shaped by political conditions. There is simply no general approach and recipe for a successful global PR campaign as the media landscapes in each country can be different and as individual as a fingerprint.
Why do I need international PR？
There are many reasons why a company would want to embark on an international PR campaign, and what is most important depends on what your company needs to accomplish. Is your company planning to approach new sales markets? Do you have a new office in a new locale where you want your company’s business presence to be felt? Do you want your company fully associated with a new, international locale? Any of these reasons would be important enough for the company to begin an international PR campaign.
More importantly, an international PR campaign is valuable to consider as the global nature of PR continues to develop and expand. Companies often have offices all over the world and employees simultaneously working from various time zones. International PR in this context means embarking on a PR campaign that is geographically far reaching and is inclusive of the potential markets and end users with whom your business wants to connect.
Why is international public relations important?
As companies operate and market their products globally, they need to be sensitive to political, and economical differences among nations and regions. In fact, wide variations in culture can also exist between regions within individual countries. Having a strong international public relations strategy helps you to develop an understanding of other countries and get your messaging right in all markets.
What are some of the important aspect for an international PR campaign that we may not have considered?
If we spend enough time in our own personal silos, we tend to think what we see is what everyone else sees. One of the greatest missteps we can make is to think that our personal way of thinking and doing is the same in a European, Middle or Far Eastern or African market. International PR provides perspective into how the world is, and how that may be different from how you and your company perceive the world. Press releases disseminated on a wire service are often an important part of a media campaign in the US.
This is not the case in some European markets, where press releases on the wire are reserved for particular circumstances. There are also likely cultural differences in how and when to approach a journalist, given their locale. Engaging in international PR assures you that you are taking into account the particular considerations of a culture. Working with an international PR organization, that is to say, a PR organization out of your geography, can be a valuable culture lesson in how to conduct business away from home.
Are the some international markets that are more important than others?
Again, this is a question that is unique to your business. Are you manufacturing mountain climbing gear? It is likely that in your initial outreach, you may wish to target places where mountain climbing is more the norm than sunbathing. Want to reach a Spanish audience about your new world headquarters in Madrid? You’d want a PR company on the ground in Spain familiar with the media who can best disseminate your news. All international markets are important; targeting the market that is important to your business is the key.
Frequently Asked Questions