When people talk about improving global PR, the discussion typically gravitates toward infrastructure or titles.
But these are supporting pieces.
At the core, the most important factor in the success or failure of an international PR campaign comes down to mentality. Two basic questions go a long way toward revealing the presence of a global mentality:
- Do the account team members collaborate in a way that leverages content and thinking across geographies?
- Do the account team members care about what happens outside their local markets?
Not so simple in executing.
I’d like to rewind the tape to an ask from a U.S. client. One of the client’s scientists would be speaking at a conference in Seoul, Korea, and the client asked if we could leverage his international trek for PR purposes.
This fairly innocuous request would wreak havoc in the typical multinational PR agency.
Before going further, I acknowledge to bringing a bias to the table that our model offers advantages over the mega shops. With that caveat out of the way –
In a mega shop, such a request in would go from the U.S. office to the Korean office, triggering a negotiation along these lines:
Note: In Korea, the term used to describe the “piddly” size of the project would likely be “juikorimahnhahn” (or 쥐꼬리만한 for our Korean readers), which loosely translated means “small as a mouse’s tail.”
At this point, the conclusion depends on whether the U.S. office can work out some type of quid pro quo, sweeten the budget or escalate the issue. They probably end up exhausting more time than it would have taken to handle the project.
Now contrast this scenario with what actually happened in our model:
This led to the baton being passed to the account person in Seoul who worked with the team to make it happen.
You don’t need to read Korean to get the punch line that came in the form of a story in Electronic Times.
In the grand scheme of any client campaign, one story in a foreign market does not constitute a breakthrough.
But it’s symbolic of our global mentality.
Our account team members do care about what happens outside their respective markets.