Anyone who has recently traveled internationally will no doubt have noticed a well-placed McDonald’s restaurant, no matter the country. Iconic US brands are expanding rapidly around the world, some experiencing more success abroad than at home. To ensure the success of these expansion efforts, US-based marketing and PR teams need to work with their local counterparts as much as possible to tap into their expertise, knowledge and familiarity with that particular environment.
One size does not fit all in foreign markets. Some tweaking may be required in different regions, due to language barriers, cultural sensitivities or, with regards to McDonald’s, culinary preferences.
A well thought-out communication strategy is a key component to the success of foreign-based growth. Distributing news releases is a good first-step when reaching out to foreign media. But, proceed with greater caution than you normally would. When expanding your news release coverage to global markets, consider these five tips:
- Define where and when you want your news to go.
Market research is the first step towards identifying the appropriate publications and target audiences that will garner you the most coverage with your press release. What publications would be interested in your company? What “beat” would you fall under – and which reporters cover it? Also, make sure your timing is right. You can send your news to any place in the world virtually in seconds, but you should also be mindful of the time and day to get pick-up from as many publications as possible. Is 12 noon on Wednesdays reserved for two-hour siestas in Barcelona? Is Good Friday observed in Japan?
- Ask for help.
Distribution services have established relationships with the media and other downstream partners that can help you get the word out about your company. They can also help you become more familiar with the entire process – from writing the release to distributing it — so that you have a full understanding of the nature of the press release and how to target it by geographic location, industry or any specialty markets in order to increase visibility and generate buzz.
- Tap into a media database to access local journalists.
It is very important to have an updated list of journalists in order to communicate with them directly. Once you establish a rapport and development a relationship with them, they can be an essential element in helping you spread your announcement and generate dialog for other outlets and types of media.
- Stay keen to local sensitivities.
Use the appropriate language and/or dialect so that you speak to the people in that region effectively while remaining sensitive to cultural and linguistic differences. Chances are, if you put this into practice, they are going to look to your company for information, particularly if your news is industry-specific.
- Translate your message into the local language.
For branding purposes, it’s always best to work with a translator to help you tailor your messaging to your target audience. Colors, gestures and symbols can evoke very different feelings in foreign markets, so you may want to consult with someone who is familiar with that culture and region. A full-service communications partner can provide you with the appropriate translator to ensure that your message is understood and well-received.
Expanding your press release coverage in global markets requires a great deal of common sense more than anything. However, the more you know about digital media, the more you will be able to boost your traditional and online communications even further.
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