|Going Global -- International PR
In his international PR role, Nick is somewhat of a globetrotter and throughout his career has orchestrated many successful overseas PR programs. Nick explained to me some of the pitfalls companies encounter when going global. For instance, many American companies enjoy a high profile and substantial market share in the US and automatically expect the same type of profile in a foreign market. Yet, like any new entrant, the company needs to build its reputation through hard work and establishing new relationships. It takes time for a company to build a strong image in the US and the same is true for international markets.
Here are a few tips for International PR, courtesy of Nick:
Some think that having a high profile in the U.S. market guarantees great coverage internationally. Not so. Unfortunately, such an attitude leads to thinking that the same PR tactics and strategies that work so well in the US can be implemented in other countries. That would be nice - but in reality, each and every country has its own market characteristics, culture, language, society beliefs, etc., which must be taken into account.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Becoming Lost in Translation
Efforts are wasted and the message is lost if the translation of the press materials is not handled accurately. Not only do materials need to be translated, they also need to be re-written in the local language by PR professionals (not the sales team) to truly localize.
The power of PR comes from relationships with the local influencers, government officials and media as well as having a deep understanding of the nuances of the local market. This can only be achieved with local feet on the street. Hence, manage globally - implement locally.
Enlist Local Spokespeople
Companies often operate what amounts to a sales office in an overseas market. The top executive in such an office focuses on sales. Deploying this person as a company spokesperson can be a challenge, since they are rewarded based on the quarter's sales results, not building a long-term image. And leveraging executives from outside a given country often means sacrificing local market knowledge (not to mention the language issue).
Don't Go It Alone
When you have a successful PR agency in the domestic market - work with them to reach international markets - don't go it alone. Save yourself time, resources and money by working with the experience of your domestic agency to set a strategy and help you implement the global reach. Agencies like Lages have international experts. That's what we're here for.
|Think Local -- It's the Country not the Region
The overriding key for success is acting locally and that means customizing your communications and programs to the country not the region. While Germany is a part of Europe it has different needs than that of France. Just like Singapore and Japan are part of Asia but they are culturally very different.
Nick emphasizes that, "Localizing content does not mean translation of materials. Look at the daily newspapers from Dubai, London and Hong Kong on any given day. The headlines will be different with the exception of major world news events. Naturally, the business issues vary from country to country. Yet, most companies aren't willing to put in the time to localize content and messages for each target country."
The more effort a company puts into shaping content to the specific characteristics of a particular market, the stronger the content becomes for the targeted audience.