The conventional agency model maintains an individual office profit/loss (P/L). It rewards general managers based on their individual office P/L.
In other words, the more revenue and profits for a given office, the greater the bonus to the general manager.
While worshipping individual office P/L is good for profits, it’s not-so-good for implementing multimarket campaigns. It motivates GMs to jockey for a larger slice of the budget and handicaps collaboration.
In contrast, we reward our senior leaders based on a regional and global P/L. This way, when it comes to multimarket campaigns, senior leaders regardless of office location are motivated to do what’s best for the client.
Global Communications is a Mentality, Not a Function
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.
Here’s an example that illustrates how this plays out in real life. One of the client’s scientists was 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 mega shop. Because of the emphasis on individual office P/L, such a request in would go from the U.S. office to the Korean office, triggering a cantankerous negotiation:
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 working with us:
This led to the baton being passed to the account person in Seoul who worked with the team to make it happen.
In the grand scheme of any client campaign, one story in a foreign market does not constitute a breakthrough.
Still, it offers an Exhibit A for our global mentality.
Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty
Most of our multimarket clients benefit from a single global lead. This individual has accountability for the program across the target markets. Typically, the global lead is based in the same country as the client’s global head of communications.
The beauty of this approach is the client can manage the international effort through one individual which streamlines processes and saves time.
We have other clients who prefer to directly manage each geography. In these cases, we establish regional leads for Europe, Asia and the U.S. We’re flexible and can adjust our structure to what’s going to work best for you.
As far as developing a statement of work, we work with you to identify the target markets as well as resources, what you’re striving to accomplish in each market and the budget.
We Can’t Let It Go
Every global communications consultancy touts collaboration.
Of course they do. If a prospective client is going to engage with a PR firm for support across multiple markets, it expects the account team members to play nice with each other regardless of location.
The reality is most PR agencies aren’t very good at this global teamwork thing for reasons previously shared.
Because we’ve tuned our organization from the ground up to support multimarket campaigns, collaboration comes naturally to us. We actually enjoy the process.
If you’re interested in checking out multimarket campaigns and/or talking to us, by all means reach out.