With globalization, corporate public relations professionals—especially those in multinational firms—are finding their communications work must cross borders. Local customs and culture can wreak havoc upon U.S.-based PR plans.
What works in one location may fail in another. Differing practices can result in misunderstandings and, worse, miscommunication. I can tell you firsthand that I was taken aback to learn that it is customary to give a tip to a reporter in some Asian countries. Back at home, doing so would be considered unethical. Yet in certain locales, where compensation and advertising revenue models differ from the United States, it’s accepted and even expected to help defray a journalist’s expenses.
Fair enough, but how do you learn about these differences? The sage advice is to hire locally. When time, budget or simply “the need to know” becomes a factor, you’ll have to go it alone to discover the lay of the land. How?