4 PR Practices from Around the Globe
Many companies who work with international clients believe they have a grasp on how public relations practices are conducted around the world. However, just because an agency may know how to break a global company into the U.S. market, doesn’t necessarily mean they have an understanding of what strategies capture the media’s attention in that companies’ home country.
Understanding what’s customary for international clients and what they are used to when beginning work together can be integral to building – and maintaining – a relationship. Being able to demonstrate that you understand how things work in their market and concisely explain why there may be differences in yours can eliminate hours of miscommunication.
From culture to culture, people and businesses interact in different ways – while logic and data may resonate more with communities in one country, emotional connection may make more of an impact elsewhere. Whatever the case is, having a diverse knowledge of tactics and messaging will grant a broader perspective both within your own market and outside of it.
As a member of the International PR Network, a group of over 45 agencies from around the globe, we have learned best practices that are prominent in different markets including Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.
Below we have included 4 different PR practices used around the globe that you can incorporate into your own market strategy.
Three-month plans and long-term strategies are the backbone of PR programs. However, no amount of media planning can prevent dry spells or predict exactly when relevant breaking news will surface. That’s where rapid response tactics come in.
Being able to quickly react and respond to reporters writing about relevant news is a practice that not only results in press but can also effectively get your clients’ unique perspectives and messaging out to a wider audience. Whether you are sharing commentary on the news from the company CEO or using it as a gateway into your clients’ own recent announcement, being able to reach out in an efficient, timely manner is key.
Rapid response doesn’t only apply to media response. It also refers to internal practices and communication with clients. Although it can be easy to get swept up in day to day tasks, agencies should never let hours go by before replying to client messages. No matter if a company is contacting you in regards to an immediate crisis or just a question about a meeting, best practice is to reply as soon as possible. Quick response time shows that you are dedicated to the account and establishes trust with your client.
Public relations agencies can sometimes get a bad rep as “spin doctors” or for stretching the truth. While this can sometimes be true – and necessary – in publicity for politicians or celebrities, in corporate public relations – honesty is the best policy.
Most of the time the media and consumers can tell when the truth is being stretched, and refusing to comment when there is a negative claim can come across as defensive. Responding in this manner deteriorates any trust built with clients’ audiences and makes it more difficult to estable a good reputation moving forward. To prevent this, PR agencies should help clients practice radical transparency.
For example, ESG practices are becoming an increasing focus for investors and therefore for businesses. To attract shareholders’ and investors’ interest, it can be tempting for businesses to over exaggerate the ESG practices in place at their organization. However, lying about what a business offers becomes obvious the closer people get to the organization and kills credibility. Especially in Europe, stretching the truth about the extent of sustainability can result in companies getting into a lot of trouble.
Instead, businesses can use PR to transparently communicate what is going on internally – whether it is good or bad – and off of that, show other efforts that are being made. Being open with the media establishes trust and creates long-lasting relationships.
Above, we touched on how you can capitalize on relevant breaking news as it goes live to get clients’ messages into the market. Another practice that agencies around the world use to capture audiences’ attention is establishing an emotional connection.
Across industries from health-care to sports, an incredibly effective way to get consumers to pay attention to new products or initiatives is to pull on the heartstrings of audiences. This can be through visual storytelling, partnerships with sympathetic figures, or educating consumers on a challenge that affects millions. Whichever method is used, establishing an emotional tie not only makes audiences pay attention – it makes them care.
For example, in Latin America, the Hispanic community is more family oriented than other demographics. Because of this, media engagements, influencer campaigns, and TV advertisements that tie in elements and underlying messages related to familial bonds – whether it be about a small child and their mother or a grandparent’s relationship with their grandchild – will make a more lasting impression than they would have otherwise.
People like to feel connected to something and they like the brands and companies they engage with to include their values. Connecting emotionally through messaging in the media will ensure that your clients’ consumers stay loyal to the brand.
On the other side of the spectrum, data-driven messaging can be just as effective as emotionally targeted ones. While appealing to emotions may work to capture and retain some people’s attention – other individuals are more logic oriented.
This is where the use of data and facts in messaging comes in. A popular PR strategy in the U.S., as well as in other countries is the use of data reports to validate messages that a client is putting out. These reports can be external or commissioned by the company itself but either way the stats and information are used to back up a message that the client wants in the market.
Using graphs and data is a way to show target audiences that companies can put their money where their mouth is. That they can back up what they’ve been saying with cold, hard facts. Where emotional plays can make audiences feel connected to a company, data can make audiences feel sure of a company. It’s both educational and a way to continue building trust.
These four PR practices are universally used and have a global success rate. There are many other additional PR strategies and tactics from different cultures, but the above practices can be incorporated into any market to drive results. Whether you are looking to break your global company into the U.S., or expand your American company into international markets – these strategies will help reach new audiences.