Walking the Line Between Global and Local Public Relations

September 3, 2015 AJ Bruno: Founder, President

global public relations

You probably don’t think of the movie Pulp Fiction as a source for public relations wisdom, but I find that one conversation between hit men, Vincent and Jules, nicely sums up the challenge of developing a public relations strategy in a globally connected world.

Vincent: You know what the funniest thing about Europe is?
Jules: What?
Vincent: It's the little differences. A lot of the same [stuff] we got here, they got there, but there they're a little different.
Jules: Examples?
Vincent: Well, in Amsterdam, you can buy beer in a movie theater. And I don't mean in a paper cup either. They give you a glass of beer, like in a bar. In Paris, you can buy beer at McDonald's. Also, you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the [heck] a Quarter Pounder is.

 Vincent is right, it’s the little differences.

With information globally accessible, promotable, discoverable and, all public relations is essentially global public relations. But if you really want to have PR success in a particular country, it makes sense to localize.

Select Targets Carefully

Few PR teams have the resources to localize their pitches and content for every country, so you’ll want to select your targets carefully. Take into account the potential size of the audience for your brand in each country that you consider. Make sure you understand the challenges associated with language translation, if necessary. It is extremely helpful if you have local brand representatives who can be available for interviews and speaking opportunities, so keep in mind the availability of these resources when choosing your targets.

Understand the Landscape

The way audiences consume news varies from place to place. You’ll need to create a cultural profile of each country you want to pursue. Use media monitoring to identify the most relevant and reputable news sources and their audiences. Be sure to include local blogs and other social media influencers and channels. In order to effectively pitch local journalists, you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with their work.

Sweat the Details

If you are going to localize a press release, for example, it is important to get the details right and make it as relevant to your target audience as possible. Consider:

  • Adding local price and availability information
  • Quoting local customers, partners and analysts
  • Make sure the release fits the style
  • Mention local events or country specific online resources

Localizing for the little differences can make all the difference in the success of your global PR strategy. It’s certainly worth doing if you have a significant number of reachable prospects anywhere on the globe.

In case you are still wondering, in Paris, a Quarter Pounder with cheese is a “Royale with cheese,” but a Big Mac’s a Big Mac. (No word on the Whopper. Vincent didn’t make it to Burger King.)

Author's Note: Conversation between Vincent and Jules contains a few edits to keep me from getting fired.


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