Views: How PR differs abroad

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WOULD you like foreign media to cover the brand you work for? It’s tricky, but doable, writes Magdalena Górak, founder of international PR network Enterie.

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Each country has specific economic and geopolitical conditions that affect the quality of doing business and the way you communicate with customers. Also, the media landscape in each market can differ significantly. In some countries, you have to assume a substantial budget for paid activities – sponsored articles, natives or advertorials, in others you bet on frequent press releases or cooperation with influencers. There are countries where the printed press still dominates the market and those, where online portals lead the way. In some, the market is dominated by state media, while in others the cards are dealt by commercial publishers or international news corporations. All these differences must be taken into account in the planned communication activities.

In my 10+ years of running a local PR agency, I realized it’s a breakneck task to perform PR activities in different countries run from one office, in a centralised way. 

The solution is to engage a local consultant or a PR agency. The specialists employed on-site have the necessary experience, knowledge of the local media, and an established network of contacts with key journalists. Without these assets, effective communication is difficult.

So what should you consider when choosing a PR agency?

It is best to cooperate with an agency that specializes in a narrow field, consistent with the client’s business profile. So, if your company operates in the field of technology, look for agencies that deal with PR for tech.

Be sure to analyze the agency’s past portfolio, its past projects, achievements, and results of previous campaigns. This will allow you to see how the chosen PR agency handles clients in your sector.

If possible, ask for references from the agency’s other clients. Let the portfolio be supported by testimonials.

Consider whether it would be a better option for your company to work with an intimate, boutique PR agency, or whether you prefer a large organization. It is also worth noting in this case whether the agency is part of a larger – national or international – network of PR agencies.

Another indicator of a PR agency’s effectiveness is the length of time it has been working with clients – the longer, the greater the chance that the agency achieves its goals. Research how long the agency you are considering has been working with its clients.

Before establishing cooperation, it is good to know the team that will be assigned to handle your project (this will help avoid working with inexperienced people or those who do not have the necessary competence.)

You can establish cooperation with a local PR agency on your own, but this is a time-consuming process and is fraught with the risk of ending up with an unreliable partner. Another option is to use the services of one of the large, global PR agencies, but with this solution, you must expect high costs. The cheaper and most optimal scenario for most companies is to contact a network of independent PR agencies.

However, regardless of whether you choose to deal directly with a local agency or use the services of an international network, it’s a good idea to learn about the specifics of the media in the country you’re interested in before you begin. Here are some examples:

PR in Germany   

Traditional media and high-circulation print press (local and regional) still dominate in Germany. In addition to Germany itself, they also reach German-speaking audience in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg. This brings the total to around 100 million potential recipients. Learn more about PR in Germany.

PR in France  

In France, online portals and print titles are the most popular, among which we find a large number of premium luxury magazines. French media are concentrated in the hands of the state and a small group of wealthy owners, making individual editorial offices characterized by clear political and ideological preferences. Learn more about PR in France.

PR in the UK

Political divisions are also characteristic of the British media, and this is particularly evident in the case of readers of the printed press, who differ mainly in their affiliation with a particular social stratum. Radio and television, as well as electronic media, which are gaining in popularity, are more neutral. Learn more about PR in the UK.

PR in the US

The United States is a country with a very diverse media landscape. There are national, state and local media, representing a wide range of opinions and political sympathies. Despite the great diversity, global technology giants such as Google and Facebook have a major influence on the US media business. Learn more about PR in the US.

PR in Poland

With 38M inhabitants, Poland is the biggest EU member in Central-Eastern Europe. The press is losing its popularity. Online media are more popular, and gather really respected journalists, previously working for the printed press or TV. Local media are in crisis – many are owned by the state and are considered pro-government as a result. Learn more about PR in Poland or download a free e-book “How to enter Poland? Practical guide for entrepreneurs”

Read the extended version of Magda’s perspective here

Magda Górak is founder of Enterie, a global network of tech-focused, independent PR agencies that support brand communication in 80+ markets, including the US and the EMEA region. She is also the CEO of the boutique communications and PR agency, Profeina.