When economists and business people say the world is flat, they aren’t talking about concerns our ancestors had about sailing off the edge of the earth.
Instead, “the world is flat” in a business context means that, thanks to rapid advances in technology and communication, entrepreneurs and companies are now part of a global marketplace. For many of them competition isn’t just the business across town; it’s businesses a continent or two away.
At News & Experts, we know that this can apply to our clients’ PR and marketing needs as well. For example, we recently arranged interviews on a global scale for a client who discussed the protests happening in Hong Kong and how such demonstrations historically have been reflected in the stock market.
While he and his passport never left the U.S., his image and expert commentary did some serious globetrotting as Bloomberg conducted a live video interview with him from Hong Kong and Beijing. Then there was an added bonus as Yahoo Finance picked up that interview in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Singapore!
Meanwhile, he was also interviewed by a journalist writing for the South China Morning Post, giving his organization’s publicity campaign yet another dash of international flavor.
So, if your business has a global reach your publicity should have one, too. But Miguel Cassellas-Gil, our senior public relations manager (and resident international traveler), cautions that it’s not enough just to have a strong opinion about world affairs. To be taken seriously, you must have a global message that resonates with the different regions of the world you are targeting – and the credentials to show you know what you’re talking about.
With that in mind, I asked Miguel to share some tips that will give you an advantage if you want to go abroad with your publicity campaign.
- Knowledge of the world. For a true global presence you need knowledge of other countries and regions of the world and how world events affect them. For example, Miguel says, a doctor in the United States might have a good grasp of the Ebola virus from a medical standpoint, but the media are unlikely to be interested unless that doctor also has a working knowledge of the African countries where the virus is doing its damage. “When you go global you must have knowledge about the country or region of the world you’ll be discussing,” Miguel says. That’s why the pitch we did for our client on the Hong Kong angle worked so successfully. As an analyst who studies economic trends worldwide for a research organization, he had data on how the markets have reacted in the past to political unrest in Hong Kong, and he could extrapolate on what that might mean with today’s protests. He also had ready-made charts and graphs that he could provide to the media.
- A presence beyond your home country. If you are, for example, a businessman with no business interests beyond your own country, then you will struggle to get much traction pitching to the media in any country other than your home one. The media are unlikely to care what you have to say because there are plenty of more knowledgeable people they can find to answer their questions. But let’s say you do have business ties in foreign lands. That means you likely have a well-informed opinion of the happenings in those lands, and the media are more likely to give you a look.
- A PR representative with global knowledge. If you’ve hired a PR agency to represent you, they also need to have knowledge of and interest in the global market. Your agency needs to understand the news cycle in the region where they are pitching you and be able to grasp what the non-American media might want from you. Remember, you’ll also be working with time zones far out of synch with your own; 3 a.m. EST is 3 p.m. in Taiwan! So, you and your PR person should be prepared to respond to the media all hours of the day and night.
All of this is a good reminder that publicity and the media don’t end where the oceans begin! There’s a whole world out there where you can circulate word about your expertise and/or your company brand.