Ailene Barr, client director at Milk & Honey PR
Growing a business from one market to an international powerhouse is no mean feat. On top of language barriers, different time zones and new regulations, every country has its own unique way of doing business. It’s largely because of these nuances that brands are turning to PR to help break into new markets and new countries.
PR can help brands tell their stories to an engaged audience in a hyper–localised way. This can lay the foundation for a new country launch and give commercial teams the proof points they need to have conversations with ‘warmed up’ decision makers.
Every media landscape is different. Just as in the UK, York is different to Manchester. And in Germany, Berlin is different to Frankfurt. It’s nearly impossible for one PR person to have meaningful media relationships across multiple countries. This is why here at Milk & Honey PR, we employ an ‘international orchestra’ model.
The international PR orchestra
The international orchestra model gives brands the best of both worlds. They benefit from local, in-market, media expertise, but only manage one ‘home’ agency.
This model is arguably the most efficient both in terms of time and resource. Our local teams around the world are already investing in their media relationships which we can tap into for specific moments, like big launches, crisis comms, or ongoing media outreach, to build a drumbeat of awareness.
By using one central agency for market coordination, companies avoid the time and resource–intensive process of agreeing multiple contracts and managing a separate PR agency in each territory.
The importance of localisation
Particularly when launching in a new territory, first impressions matter. The media and customers will know if a US release has simply been translated and emailed over. Localisation means more than just translation. But investing in high-quality local language translation is also a must.
True localisation involves a local spokesperson who is a native speaker and has local market insights. This is where the international orchestra model comes into its own. An organisation can set key messages and core offerings at its headquarters. A central PR agency can develop stories, assets and distribution strategy. This central agency can then work with each local PR representative to shape that story into something that feels local to each market.
The result is authentic communications that resonate with your audience and drives business results. Multi-market communications needn’t be complicated, but they do require excellent conducting. A PR partner with the right relationships and an understanding of cultural nuances, is a must.