15 June 2018

Managing international PR and social media: our top tips

We’re seeing it become an increasingly rare luxury for each individual country to have its own PR and digital teams to cater to their local market. Wherever possible, companies are looking to consolidate their teams by region; one central hub managing campaigns for the whole of Europe, for example.

While this has great benefits for consistency and economy of scale, it can be tricky to run campaigns in markets which aren’t local to you. Here, we share our top things to look out for when tailoring your PR and marketing to the UK.

Media relations

• Work with local people, local teams, they know the culture, contacts far better than you can from another country.
• Despite Brexit, we are still a good stepping stone into Europe and often still a hub for Europe due to English language and European focus of some media outlets.
• A one-off product announcement will not make an impact. You need a bigger and longer-term strategy and story.
• A US press release invariably struggles to get press coverage, listen to the locals, a sell in paragraph with the actual news hook could work much better.
• A European event is not enough to be worthy of holding a press conference unless you are Facebook of course. Press briefings can work but don’t expect lots of journalists – many now avoid exhibitions.
• If you have announced something in US, it will reach our shores and so you can’t announce again here (usually).
• The press are time short and usually prefer phone briefings to face to face ones so don’t promise your CEO hundreds of face to face meetings.
• The media love content in written form from opinion articles to carefully crafted quotes written by us for your spokespeople.
• It’s good to have local spokespeople, but not essential in these global times. A written quote will often replace the 4am phone interview.
• The media tend not to like early morning breakfast or evening events that eat into their personal time.
• Product news is rarely covered on the main news pages. Find a local issue and use that as a hook and write a canned comment that can be sold in and links back to your messages.

Social media

• If you are large enough in Europe, you should have your own European local social media platforms. You need to decide which countries based on size and resources in the local country. However, don’t do if you haven’t had enough bandwidth and resources at local level to be able to keep them very activated.
• A smaller step is for your European PR agency to submit content on to your US originated platforms, it provides a strong global feel to your content. It also means you are ‘on’ as a 24 7 facility when you go home at the end of the day.
• On a global platform, don’t do in different languages as it just confuses people and doesn’t look substantial enough, save that for when you have resources to do in a local country – unless its LinkedIn where you can geotarget.
• Don’t forget about the time difference when scheduling content from the US – 7pm your time is night-time our time!
• Culture comes across even more acutely in fewer characters – you need someone local who can remind you to change ‘sidewalk’ to ‘pavement’.
• Remember that different countries use social in different ways – Xing is bigger than LinkedIn in Germany for example.
• Engage a local agency to LISTEN to social before you start creating content. What is being said on social media here about your key verticals? Who are the influencers? How does the conversation ebb and flow? Invest resources into a quarter of active social listening and content testing rather than jumping in blind.

Our hot spot recommendation for a drink or a bite to eat in London

Charlotte Street Hotel’s Oscar bar and restaurant – 020 7980 1007.