Three rules of international PR

January 30, 2007 at 12:51 pm 1 comment

I did PR in Europe for many years before I moved to the U.S. so I smiled with recognition when I read the blog by John Welton of Voce Communications featuring tips from his international colleagues on how to do international PR effectively.

In particular, the following sent shivers down my spine: “Just because a CEO is coming to Europe that does not mean a press tour should be arranged and perhaps even more important that local media should write about it.” I’ve lost count of the number of times our international clients would give us last-minute notice that a U.S. executive was vitising and expect press meetings to be set up – without supplying any information on what that executive could or would talk about.

The assumption that international media will automatically be interested in meeting with an executive from HQ is just plain wrong. As ever in PR, content is king. If that visiting exec has a new vision or insightful views on industry trends, then local media might be interested.

Even better, though, would be for HQ to develop interesting content (research, viewpoints, statistics, etc.) that could be shared with local executives, who in turn could use it in their conversations with media. One of the biggest frustrations for local PR people is lack of content: they don’t always have the resources to develop original content and they don’t get enough insight into the latest thinking from HQ.

So, here’s the first rule of international PR: Develop and share content.

Closely followed by the second: Don’t assume that what works in your country will work anywhere else. HQ should focus on the content and overall strategy and leave it to the people on the ground to decide on the best tactics for their market.

And, for good measure, here’s a third: You get what you pay for. If you want creative, strategic, proactive PR internationally, don’t skimp on the budget.

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Entry filed under: PR.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Chris Hoskin  |  January 30, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Excellent post.

    I once arranged a CEO and CTO roadshow for a high tech company. It was for a product launch – and was relatively successful.

    Successful enough that the powers that be wanted to do it every year, at roughly the same of year……irrespective of content.

    WOW we had some painful conference calls.

    Chris from


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