You’re looking for a PR firm to help out with your international PR efforts and come across a firm that states “we have offices based in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Berlin, in order to penetrate our key markets in the most effective way possible”.
Sounds like an impressive company, who really have their finger on the pulse in these key international markets, doesn’t it?
But, are international offices really needed for a PR firm to gain good quality coverage for its clients across a variety of different countries?
I understand some of the advantages that having numerous offices based around the world can have. It can allow you to meet clients in these countries easily and regularly, without having to take a few hours out of your schedule to fly to meet them. And it does also allow you to meet face-to-face with local journalists to discuss topic ideas and potential stories.
But aren’t these really just activities that, in today’s world with technology such as skype or even just a phone at our fingertips, are simply not a necessity when it comes to making global connections.
When it comes to actually gaining good quality international coverage for clients, you simply do not need to be meeting with journalists face-to face every single week.
In fact, to deliver excellent international coverage for your clients, in a whole host of international markets, only one thing is needed. And no that isn’t a bunch of international offices dotted around the world.
All it takes to deliver this is for a PR firm to have the capacity and knowledge to conduct quality, in-depth research into their key international markets.
Being able to do this is not something that just any PR firm can offer, and is certainly not something that is guaranteed if you just plonk an office in a few locations around the world.
PR firms that take the time and effort to conduct thorough, in-depth research into their client’s target markets to find the right publications and journalists to work with, will be the most successful at conducting international PR.
And with the wonders of modern technology, you can conduct this research from anywhere in the world – numerous international offices are simply needless.
The most important piece of research a PR professional can conduct, regardless of their location, is to read the publications relevant to their client in these countries, find the journalists that write for them, and identify exactly what they write about.
In fact, it is vital for PRs, no matter what country they are in, to find and identify the journalist who is most relevant to the story that their client wants to tell. By reading and researching these publications thoroughly with the use of modern technology, PRs can to identify, contact and build relationships with journalists without ever having to meet them face-to-face.
A typical PR stereotype is that the best way to build connections with journalists is to wine and dine – and that may be true for some. However, the greatest way to really build a strong relationship with a journalist is to consistently provide them with relevant and interesting content – and you don’t need an office nearby them to do this.
In fact, BlueSky PR acts as a brilliant case study for this. We are based at an office in St Albans, a small city just twenty minutes north of London, yet not only work with clients across ten different countries, but have great working relationships with journalists dotted all around the world.
In fact, here are just a few examples of our great relationships with international journalists coming to fruition in the form of quality coverage for our clients around the globe;
- Australia – An article in the Australian Financial Review including a profile of a student from one of our clients
- Canada – An article in Business Chief Canada which was a Q+A with a professor at one of our clients
- China – An article in the Global Times interviewing a professor at one of our clients
- Germany – An article in Handelsblatt on the decline of applications to US MBAs, featuring comment from four different clients
- Ghana – An article in the Business Ghana on the use of holograms lecturers used by one of our clients
- India – An article in the Times of India profiling of a student at one of our clients
- Indonesia – An article in Republika covering hologram lecturers used by one of our clients
- Italy – An article in Correire della serra on business school MOOC’s featuring two different clients
- South Africa – An article on Business Live on business ethics, featuring comments from one of our clients
- USA – An article on Forbes discussing research conducted by a professor at one of our clients
Do you find it difficult to promote your business school, or university, to a wider, international audience? If you would be interested in international PR services, please get in touch with BlueSky Education PR.
Alternatively, if you would like some tips on how to develop an international PR strategy, follow this link to a previous BlueSky PR blog post.