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April 30th, 2007

International Communications: Getting your Message Across Geopolitical and Cultural Boundaries

These days you can’t go 24 hours without hearing the term “global marketplace”. At times, it seems as if the world is truly shrinking when everyone is just a click of the mouse or Skype call away. America has produced some of the most innovative brands, exporting them across the globe. Of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, 62 are American, according to consulting group, Interbrand. For American marketing and PR professionals, one of the dangers of the “global marketplace” is the urge to treat all regional markets as American.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Business Wire’s “Communicating to an International Audience both Here and Abroad” breakfast panel moderated by David Miller, Director of WW Media Relations at Applied Materials. Speakers included Andrew Ross, Foreign-National Editor, SF Chronicle, Robert McMillan, Senior Writer, IDG News, Sandy Close, Exec. Editor & Director, New America Media, Michael Fitzhugh, Technology & Biotech Reporter, East Bay Business Times.

The panelists shared advice on how to be more globally aware when pitching news for distribution to a foreign market. Some key takeaways for anyone engaging in global communications:

–Understand time zones. The newsday is 24 hours because of them – abandon your notion of the 9 to 5 business day. –Although English is the de facto lingua franca of the business and technology communities worldwide, PR professionals and journalists need command of other languages. There is a certain inherent danger of something becoming lost in translation otherwise. –In order to have a successful international corporate communications or public relations program, professionals must have an interest and enjoy interaction with international audiences and cultures. –Be respectful of cultural differences. –Don’t be afraid to target alternative contacts such as citizen journalists and international media outlets both in the US and abroad. –When pitching a story, be mindful of reporter’s readership, even a local story can have a compelling global angle.

/AMW

About the Author
Michael Moeschler is one of Voce Connect's Supervisors, acting as product PR liaison for one of our clients, a large enterprise technology firm and focusing on driving their social media efforts. You can follow him on Twitter where he's @moesch.

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