Globalizing Your Message

    If you’re going to be practicing PR on a global scale, it is imperative you get acquainted with how public relations is practiced in different countries. Following are some tips culled from PR Landscapes, which will help you translate your pitching/messaging to each country's divergent PR vernacular. (PR Landscapes was put together by the Global Alliance, a consortium of organizations that include members from PRSA, CPRS and IABC; its mission is “to help the global PR industry…understand the unique aspects of each culture in which practitioners operate.”)

Argentina: You may want to tailor your pitch to radio because according to PR Landscapes, “Radio has the highest media reach at 595 per 1,000 persons" Also, the country’s PR industry underwent a “dramatic downturn” following the economic ills that befell Argentina in 2000-2001. Yet despite this, Argentina still reigns as one of South America’s foremost leading markets.

Australia: People here love the outdoors and the beach so maybe before, during and after you engage them with your pitch, you might want to talk about…surfing or other recreations that combine the beach and the outdoors. As for the industry itself, it seems to be growing exponentially every day. However, the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) regulates the profession, mandating practitioners to adhere to a strict code of ethics. And because newspaper readership is declining, you might want to consider other media channels.

South Africa: Despite the precariousness of its government and economy, the country's media is a dichotomy—one of the freest press in the continent. Like Argentina, radio is a dominant media here so you may want to design your campaign exclusively for it.

Japan: Before you start pitching, please be advised to learn about the business protocol practiced in this country. Political organizations and large corporations are said to exercise stringent control of press access, making it especially hard for Westerners to break though with their pitching/messaging.

China: Mass media is government-dominated for the most part. Also, “payment to a reporter is customary, and they will expect to talk directly to senior executives.” But the public relations sector is booming.

Lithuania: This tiny Baltic country may not have a professional PR association yet, however, the industry is on the rise. Unfortunately, “most influential and powerful media channels depend on their owners, chiefly Lithuanian businessman, using media to manipulate with mass-opinion…[Yet] “magazines, newspapers, and privately owned television continue to be an important part of Lithuanian society.”

PR Landscapes currently profiles 18 countries, with more to come. To download PR Landscapes pdf files, visit the Web site at

Contact: Charles Pizzo, [email protected]