Going global: why you need to go beyond borders with your PR

26/05/2021 10:59:40
iPRTeam logoIt’s official. London is no longer the epicentre of European PR. In days of yore, PR agencies in the city would rule the roost for campaigns all over the world, but this is no longer the case.

The pandemic has brought to light the potential of ‘working from anywhere’, while Britain has rather fallen out of favour in recent years thanks to the B-word. Moreover, as the team at PR Week agree, diversity is taking centre stage – putting more impetus on PR agencies to localise their campaigns.

At Partners, we’ve always recognised the benefits of taking a non-centralised campaign approach. That’s why we’ve been members of the iPR Team Network for the past 18 years. This gives us exclusive access to 14 agencies across the world, each of which has a deep understanding of the economic, political and media landscape in their markets. 

The benefits of globalising your website

If you trade internationally, you should also consider the effectiveness of your website in those countries.

Rather than offering a simple translate plug-in, taking the time to localise your website for different cultures offers myriad benefits. For example:
  • You’ll have access to new markets, giving you an opportunity to diversify your product portfolio
  • Your content will rank internationally (auto-translated sites will not rank in your target countries), giving you more organic search engine reach
  • You’ll increase your brand reach throughout the world
  • You’ll gain more trust from your customers, who will see you’ve taken the time to understand not just their target language, but their cultural nuances and preferences.

All of this can lead to brand growth and better profit margins. Better still, it can avoid awkward PR clangers, which have proved a cautionary tale for many marketers over the decades. Take Procter and Gamble Co., for example. 

In the 70s, the company tried taking their Pampers brand over to Japan, using the well-known British imagery of a stork. However – this Western folklore meant nothing to Japanese customers, who instead, tell the story of a ‘giant peach’ delivering babies. An embarrassing misstep for all involved!

What to consider when globalising your campaigns

Whether you’re simply tweaking a website or launching an international campaign, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances of global success. 

Consider both copy and design

Simplicity is always best when it comes to web design. Keep your pages structured and broken up with headings and rich media. Colour plays a hugely important role, too. Red can signify a fall in North American stock markets, whereas it’s a mark of prosperity in East Asian culture – not something to confuse!

Don’t forget to consider the target language and norms around content structure. For example, Portuguese and German tend to favour longer sentences.

Use a professional translator

It’s not enough to use a machine translation – just look at the differences between British and American English! Make sure you employ a native to translate your text and localise it with cultural references.

A native may also be able to help you choose the right images. Pick the wrong one and you could risk offending your audience. A thumbs up is generally positive in Britain and the US, but is considered a far ruder gesture in Western Africa, Russia and Greece!

Align your campaign activity with your target country

Overlooking time zones is easily done when you’re doing 100 things at once. Schedule your campaigns in advance to go live at a reasonable time in your target country, and don’t forget about national holidays.

Check privacy regulations in your target country

Who doesn’t love a good old bit of GDPR? But on a serious note, make sure you’re up to scratch with privacy regulations in your target country, for example, when tracking user data. Use a one-size-fits-all approach at your peril.

Consider technology

We mentioned simplicity earlier. Remember that not all regions are blessed with 4 or 5G just yet, so try not to overload your site with data-sapping media. You should also consider optimisation – use metadata to check the location, not just the language.

For instance, somebody from the UK visiting France may be looking for information on a local hotel. They would prefer their content in English, but the key information to be localised, such as currency, telephone number and location.

Think like a native

Above all, remember that to succeed internationally, you need to think like a native:
•    Keep it simple
•    Target the right audience
•    Use local optimisation techniques to your advantage.


In case you missed it – check out our #ExportExperts webinar

As part of our dedication to globalised campaigns, we recently joined forces with the iPR team on a webinar discussing international profiles for your business website. 

You can catch up on what our senior account executive Joe had to say about building your presence online.

  Watch the video in full here  

Or get in touch with us today to discuss your international PR campaigns!


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