PR across most sectors has spilled over from domestic to international.
Brand managers for products and services have targeted a global audience thanks to advances in technology, and that has resulted in a targeting of journalists on the same worldwide scale.
Let’s lift the lid on how specifically to approach international writers:
1. Research the journalists’ recent work. International journalists are, for obvious reasons, predominately freelance. Sometimes PR pros approach me based on one article I did two years ago for an outlet I no longer write for, and therefore the pitch goes no further. The best thing is to keep updated about what the journalist has been up to and who their focal outlets are; check their website or social media feeds. Most online publications have author pages available for reference.
2. Keep the journalist informed of local launches. If the journalist writes for a publication in Singapore, that doesn’t mean they only want to hear about launches in Singapore. There is a reason they are based in New York, and that is to cover what’s happening in that region—to get content that isn’t within easy reach of their editors and in-house colleagues.
3. For interviews, think about the international angle. Unless you’re offering an interview with Beyoncé, you should think about why an international publication might cover your client. Does a New York chef plan to open a new branch in Tokyo, and so is available for interviews in Manhattan this week? Is the band going to be touring the Middle East and therefore need pre-arrival coverage? Or was this fashion designer born and raised in Australia and in now causing a stir among the industry in London? Unless it’s a straight-up travel guide or a global interest piece, you’ll need a good link to the region you’re pitching for.
4. Consider cultural differences and overseas trends. The Middle East and Asia are key markets for many luxury venues and brands, and it helps when their PR reps tailor pitches for the audience in mind, as recently happened quite successfully for a Boston casino ideal for my Singapore readers. By contrast, reps for alcohol brands in the U.S. and U.K. have sent me bottles of liquor to review for outlets in the Middle East—something I’m just not allowed to do.
James Wong contributes to international editions of Vogue and GQ and other publications. Keep up to date via his website www.boxojames.com