Global public relations initiatives are vital for companies seeking to expand their reach in international markets. With different cultural, economic and political landscapes in each target market, it’s crucial to establish a well-designed and comprehensive public relations strategy that takes into account the nuances of each market. Ultimately, this will lead to greater awareness, enhanced reputation, stronger employee relations, and increased leads and sales.
Here are six best practices to consider when developing a global public relations strategy:
1. Conduct Country-Specific Research & Analysis
A global public relations strategy should begin with extensive research of the cultural, economic and political landscape of each target market. This research should include an analysis of the targeted media outlets and key influencers, as well as an understanding of the target audience, their motivations and their communication preferences.
In some cases, there are English-language trade media outlets that are accepted and read worldwide. In other instances, there are country-specific media that only publish in their native languages. Similarly, some social media platforms are more widely used in some countries over others. While Facebook is the most popular in the U.S., WeChat is widely used in Asia and Whatsapp in Brazil.
2. Tailor Your Global Messaging to Local Markets
While it’s important to have consistent messaging across different markets, it’s also important to tailor your messaging to each specific market to ensure that it resonates with local audiences. This can involve adapting your language, tone and cultural references to better connect with target audiences.
One well-known example of where localized messaging was overlooked was the introduction of the Chevy Nova automobile to citizens of Spanish-speaking countries. In English, the word “nova” evokes thoughts of something bright, new and cosmic. However, in Spanish, “no va” means “doesn’t go”—which is a poor name for a car. Needless to say, sales suffered as a result.
3. Forge Relationships with Key Stakeholders
Building relationships with key media outlets, influencers and stakeholders in each target market is also crucial for success. It’s a good idea to start with introductory meetings that focus on understanding their needs, desires and concerns.
With that information in hand, you can start to build a reputation as a good corporate citizen in the community and as a helpful news source to the media. This will enable you to build trust and establish your business as a respected entity in the market.
4. Understand Cultural Trends & Nuances
It is also important to recognize cultural trends and nuances in each target market. Be sure to stay abreast of local news and events, and keep a pulse on both mainstream and social media conversations to ensure that your messaging is relevant and resonant with local audiences in your target market.
In one instance, we had a U.S.-based client that was planning to make a major announcement in Germany. We learned that the scheduled date for the announcement was the same day of a significant soccer/fußball match that would dominate the country’s attention. As a result, we delayed the announcement for a few days and were able to secure significant media coverage as a result.
5. Leverage the Power of Local Resources
Managing and executing your public relations strategy in markets outside your own is challenging because of the complexities and nuances of language, cultural and time zone differences. That’s why having local representation is invaluable. Tapping the power of your company’s employees, as well as external sales representatives and distributors, in that market is key.
The best option is a local public relations agency because its professionals will know the language, culture and community. Plus, the agency will have the communications expertise to successfully execute your strategy. If you need public relations support in multiple countries, consider agencies that have global connections, such as those that we have through the Public Relations Global Network. PRGN has more than 50 agencies around the world, and we have collaborated with many of them to help our clients.
6. Evaluate the Results of Your PR Strategy
Regularly evaluating the effectiveness of your PR strategy is important to ensure that your messaging remains effective and resonant with target audiences across different markets. This evaluation should include country-specific metrics for measuring the impact of the PR efforts, such as media coverage, social media engagement and brand awareness. By regularly evaluating your PR strategy, you can continually refine your approach over time and ensure that you’re meeting your business objectives.
Launching a Global PR Strategy?
If you’re launching a global PR strategy and need support, contact our team. With the backing of our fellow PRGN agencies, we can ensure that your PR initiative is a success in every market you target.
Below are the 50+ agencies that are part of the Public Relations Global Network. PRGN agencies offer the “boots-on-the-ground” savvy of a local public relations agency, yet on a global scale. Each PR agency knows its local community and how to help clients connect with their audiences in those regions.
- Adverum – Vilnius, Lithuania
- accelent communications – Vienna, Austria
- Alexander PR – Auckland, New Zealand
- Aristo Communications – Istanbul, Turkey
- Athenora Consulting – Brussels, Belgium
- Bianchi Public Relations, Inc. – Detroit, Michigan (USA)
- Buchanan Public Relations – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
- Cabinet Privé de Conseils, S.A. – Geneva & Bern, Switzerland
- The Castle Group – Atlanta, Georgia & Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
- Coast Communications – Stockholm, Sweden
- cometis AG – Wiesbaden, Germany
- Cullen Communications – Dublin, Ireland
- Currie – Melbourne, Australia
- Eje Comunicación – Mexico City, Mexico
- Evident P.R. – Amersfoort, Netherlands
- Fearey – Seattle, Washington (USA)
- Free Communication – Bucharest, Romania
- Ghidotti – Little Rock, Arkansas (USA)
- Global. – Lisbon, Portugal
- Goodwill Communications – Budapest, Hungary
- HMA Public Relations – Phoenix, Arizona (USA)
- The Hoyt Organization, Inc. – Greater Los Angeles Area, California (USA)
- HWB Communications – Cape Town, South Africa
- IDENTIA / PR – Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Industrie-Contact – Hamburg, Germany
- WE agency – Paris, France
- Three Box Strategic Communications – Dallas, Texas (USA)
- Integrate Communications – Tokyo, Japan
- KAMIR – Tel Aviv, Israel
- Kreps PR & Marketing – Fort Lauderdale, Miami & West Palm Beach, Florida (USA)
- L.C. Williams & Associates – Chicago, Illinois (USA)
- Landis Communications Inc. (LCI) – San Francisco & Silicon Valley, California (USA)
- LBS Communications Consulting Ltd – Hong Kong, China
- Mileage Communications – Singapore
- NettResults Middle East – Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Jeddah & Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Novitas Communications – Denver, Colorado (USA)
- OneMulti – Warsaw, Poland
- Peritus PR – Birmingham, Alabama (USA)
- Perspective Strategies – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- PRGarage – Madrid, Spain
- Prichard Communications – Portland, Oregon (USA)
- Race Communications – Goiás, Rio de Janeiro & São Paulo, Brazil
- REED Public Relations – Nashville, Tennessee (USA)
- Roop & Co. – Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
- RumboCierto Comunicaciones – Santiago de Chile, Chile
- S&A Communications – Raleigh Durham, North Carolina (USA)
- Scandinavian Communications – Copenhagen, Denmark
- Sound Public Relations – Milan, Italy
- Southard Communications – New York City, New York (USA)
- Spider – London, UK
- Two Cents – Brussels, Belgium
- Xenophon Strategies, Inc. – Washington, DC (USA)