While objectives vary from business to business, reaching beyond a local market helps to diversify and grow businesses. International exposure can boost a company’s recruiting efforts, identify more potential customers, and grow its partner base.
Developing a more strategic international PR plan utilizes similar principles of a national strategy, such as defining objectives, competitive analysis, media outreach, etc.; however, brands may need to employ these principles differently based on cultural or business differences. Here are the three questions a company should ask itself before launching international PR efforts:
Do we have an international business objective?
Before launching an international campaign, your company must first have a deep understanding of which countries have an imminent need for your products or services. Identifying these opportunities will help in deciding where you should – or shouldn’t – invest and ultimately inform the campaign strategy.
Are we prepared to tackle a global landscape?
Consider the country and its native language, culture, and media. If you’re headquartered in the U.S., merely contacting Chinese media, for example, in the way you approach U.S. media won’t be sufficient. Similarly, French media most often prefer to be contacted in French. And no, Google Translate isn’t a quick fix. You need a team for translation but also for true localization. Use a hub-and-spoke model – ensuring your home base team remains in their home country, while you’re engaging on-the-ground folks to execute elsewhere. This model isn’t the case for every country – so again, know your audience.
Do we have resources and budget to stay consistent in our campaigning?
If you launch a successful campaign, you need to keep it going! When consumers respond and sales uptick, consistent engagement is vital to ensure they see you committed to market engagement. Being vocal and then going silent can cause the media, along with your customers and prospects, to worry about your business and lose brand affinity. Building on success is key.
Measuring Campaign Success:
From a PR perspective, there are a few ways to measure campaign success. These also depend on the size of a company and its business objectives. Consider these KPIs:
Audience awareness benchmark — No, this isn’t the fluffy stuff. Establish a baseline on what your target audiences in a new geographical market know and don’t know about your industry, product/solution, company, and brand narrative.
Volume, cadence, and sentiment — If you’re expanding internationally, you likely already have measurement and analytics in place. What’s important to remember for international markets is their varying media landscapes, so it’s critical to set realistic market-by-market expectations. Focus first on message and sentiment to ensure you’re communicating most effectively and among the right, intended audiences. Cadence and volume are important, too, aiming for a steady incline over time.
Knowing the answers to these questions will help an organization prepare to tackle an overseas market before launching a new campaign. Ready to get started? Let us know a bit about your company and we’ll see how we can help tell your story.