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  • Deconstructing (and Reconstructing) European Public Relations
    Years ago, as a young PR pro, I met a senior executive from one of the world’s largest technology companies who told me that his job was to invest his budget not in those markets where they were established today, but in those which showed greatest future potential. That made a lot of sense. Logically there should be less need to invest in marketing in a country where a company is already well-established, and more upside from those where it isn’t. He also explained, however, that the trickiest part of his job was explaining to the general managers of the larger subsidiaries why they weren’t being allocated budget commensurate with their size … It can often be the same with European PR budgets, with the vast majority absorbed by one or two of the region’s biggest markets. I can understand why this happens. A sense that consolidating resources into a single market will deliver better ‘bang for buck.’ There’s ease, too – it’s less complex to manage a single country PR agency account team. But there are obvious downsides, primarily being unable to support markets with communications that might benefit from increased awareness, even if on an ad hoc basis (around, for instance, a key trade show). A decision to concentrate activity into one or two markets can also be driven by available budget. Again, if clients allocate budget where business is today rather than where it might be tomorrow, this can reduce the budget available for international PR, which then puts pressure on where activity can take place. The challenges of traditional models for European public relations Take the hypothetical (but not unusual) example of a US-based tech company, which sees 60% of its global revenue generated in its domestic market and, say, 20% coming from Europe. Say that same company as an annual global PR budget of $500k. Again, it wouldn’t be unusual to see that PR budget allocated against revenue, so $300k for the U.S. and $100k for Europe. This raises a number of issues. As those of us who live here know, ‘Europe’ isn’t a single entity (any more than ‘Asia’ is). Multiple markets, multiple cultures, multiple languages. $100k isn’t easy to split across more than one market for an ‘always on’ campaign, let alone three or four. And is $100k enough in any case? Again, looking at the organisation’s objectives, markets outside the U.S. might offer greater potential for growth, so would surely deserve a greater proportion of the global PR budget? But then I would say that, right? While larger, better-resourced organisations might be able to afford to hire PR agencies in several key European markets – either best-of-breed in each country or a single PR agency network – this can come with its own problems. In addition to the budget needed to spin up separate PR agencies in multiple markets, there’s the additional time and cost in multi-agency management, duplication of work, inconsistency in approach or quality, and difficulty in accommodating the inevitable ebb and flow of activity across different locations. And let’s be honest, the GM of every agency office in a regional network will be keen to maximise their own subsidiary’s revenue. Rethinking the communications approach for Europe We’ve created a different model here at The Hoffman Agency in Europe, which helps iron out some of the creases of the traditional model. It’s ideally suited to those clients who would benefit from support in multi-markets – sometimes ongoing, sometimes ad hoc — but which don’t always have the resources to appoint and manage PR agencies in multiple countries. At the core… Read more »

Chicken Rice for the Soul more

  • Taking a Minute to Smell the Cherry Blossoms
    We have a program in the Agency called HAMoment that encourages the general manager or office head to take everyone away from work for a half day of fun. Our Japan team recently experienced a HAMoment, spending an afternoon in Ueno Park (上野公園) during the height of Cherry Blossom season. Even though there weren’t exactly […] The post Taking a Minute to Smell the Cherry Blossoms appeared first on Chicken Rice for the Soul. Read more »

Ishmael’s Corner more

  • Throne Madness Reveals the Best Backstory from Game of Thrones
    The Art Of Storytelling In Business Communications And Public Relations. Techniques For Effective Business Communications. Reporting on the storylines in a given Game of Thrones episode doesn’t require much creativity. Littlefinger overplays his hand and gets his due Daenerys Targaryen impersonates Abe Lincoln and frees the slaves The White Walkers were this close to taking over when the Night King makes a tactical error. Instead, the real storytelling comes through ...more The post Throne Madness Reveals the Best Backstory from Game of Thrones appeared first on Ishmael's Corner ~ Storytelling Techniques For Business Communications. Read more »

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