Launching a digital PR campaign in a new global market can be a daunting and tricky task. Not only do different markets respond differently to various forms of media, but what works in one country doesn’t necessarily work in another.
That begs the question, how can you run international PR campaigns that are both far-reaching and successful? How can you build a competitive edge by creating a global PR strategy?
To help you take your first steps into proactive international PR, we’ve pulled together all our favourite pieces of advice that can help you get started on an international marketing strategy.
What is international PR?
In its simplest form, international PR focuses on public relations that go across international boundaries and cultures. Essentially, an international PR piece is any campaign that takes place with the public being in another country to your business.
When it comes to international marketing strategy, a proactive international PR campaign can do wonders for a brand’s reputation and sales by opening up an entirely new customer base.
So, if you’re working with clients who’re looking to expand internationally, you need to know as much as you can about how and why international marketing differs from domestic marketing.
How and why international marketing differs from domestic marketing?
As we mentioned previously, an international marketing strategy can differ substantially from domestic PR, mainly due to the differences in how international audiences consume media.
Many international PR case studies have shown that a fundamental overhaul of your PR marketing strategy might be required in order to deliver a PR campaign that could be deemed successful.
Cultural norms also play a huge role in the potential success of international PR campaigns. What might be funny to someone in the UK could be downright offensive to someone in Greece. There’s also a lot of pop culture that could be relevant in one country but unheard of in another.
Basically, you need to have a total understanding of your audience before you begin any international PR campaigns.
Five top tips on how to run international PR campaigns
With everything we’ve already considered in mind, it’s time to get down to the key things you can do to really bring any proactive international PR campaign to life. Using these tips, you should have no trouble delivering exactly what your client needs.
1. Spend time getting to know your market
This goes without saying for any digital PR campaign, but it’s even more important for international PR campaigns.
When launching an international campaign, understanding the local market should be your first step, even before you hold your first ideation session. As we said, not all topics you could touch on will be spoken about in the media, and what works well in one country may not be suitable in another.
Spend time researching the country in question and specifically the market you’re targeting. Make use of social listening tools to identify relevant conversations, learn about your new audience, and listen to the competition to identify your strategy.
2. Source local data and experts
For a truly proactive international PR campaign, you want to ensure that you use as many national data sources as possible. International PR case studies have shown that data local journalists are familiar with will only strengthen your campaign.
It’s also very important to break this down to a city-scale instead of just by state and country. This will allow you to target regional journalists and secure more coverage, which will ultimately get more out of your international campaign.
As well as sourcing local data, you should also try to get commentary from local industry experts, such as local authority bodies, influencers, and academics to name a few! This will add a layer of credibility to your campaign, and you can use the expert as the news hook to get the journalist to buy in.
3. Gather an understanding of the media landscape
Further international PR case studies show that thoroughly researching the journalists you plan to contact is the most important part of any international marketing strategy.
Getting your story in front of the right journalists ultimately achieves coverage. It can be overwhelming to see the vast number of journalists in an unfamiliar country, but it’s worth the time spent researching journalists who have covered a similar story in the past to find those who will most likely publish your campaign too.
Feel free to reach out to journalists to understand the media landscape. In the long run, this will help both parties and ultimately build good PR and journalist relationships that you can potentially use in the future.
4. Create an outreach strategy
Once you’ve got a thorough understanding of the media landscape under your belt and have a media outreach list in place, it’s important to plan an outreach strategy.
It’s recommended that you pitch to high-authority, top tier publications first. International case studies show that these publications are turned off from covering the story if they can see it’s been covered by a wide range of publications first.
So, identify exactly what you’ll be offering to these publications and when to help your outreach process be seamless.
5. Know your time zones
With the majority of international PR campaigns, chances are you’ll be outreaching to publications in different time zones. The US alone has six time zones!
Ensure you know the correct time in the location you’re targeting for maximum campaign impact because you need to sell in your story before the day’s media agenda has been set – typically around 9am.
You can invest in a platform like Buzzstream that will allow you to schedule emails, but you should also be sure that someone is on hand in case a journalist requires more information out of hours.
Examples of international case studies
Of course, we’d be remised to leave you with these tips and not mention how they’ve helped our clients achieve PR success in a variety of international markets. Here are just three of the international PR campaigns we’ve helped deliver:
For starters, a key client of ours that works in financial trading saw flourishing success in the German financial market in one of their more recent campaigns. After interviewing non-other than José Mourinho on how he deals with pressure, demands, and expectations in football, we used his responses as guidelines to help new traders.
This campaign was picked up by numerous German outlets and was so successful that it even got converted into the basis for a trading course.
Another close client, based in the world of tech, set their sights on breaking into the Italian market. With our help, they managed a brilliant campaign focused on the real-life prices of video game properties, which again featured in several Italian news outlets.
And last but not least, we also work closely with a US kitchen outlet. We’ve helped them deliver numerous PR campaigns, from pieces on thanksgiving food to the most Instagrammed food by state, many of which have gained great traction with US audiences.
And there you have it – our top 5 essential tips for running a global PR campaign! All that’s left is for you to take your next international PR campaign out in the world and absolutely knock it out of the park. Of course, if you want even more PR tips, then head over to the c3 blog for more articles like this one.
We handle far more than digital PR at connective3. With SEO, paid search and CRO services on offer, we can help all areas of your business grow. Contact us today and see how you can make use of our always-on approach.