How to avoid zero points for international PR

Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest brought a colourful celebration of the weird and wonderful. Unfortunately, the UK’s entry — Olly Alexander’s song  Dizzy — didn’t do well with international audiences, resulting in the UK receiving zero points in the public vote. To avoid the same happening in an international public relations campaign, account manager Ian Bolland asked international PR specialists at Stone Junction for their advice.

PR specialist: Georgiana Marian, account manager

Country: Romania, withdrew

What are your top tips for targeting Romania? “It’s important to thoroughly research the local market and what ideas play well into the country’s traditions and customs. Romania is a diverse country with various ethnic groups and regional differences. You need to be culturally sensitive and avoid stereotypes in your PR messaging — and most importantly, know the difference between Bucharest and Budapest!

“While English is widely spoken, translating your content in Romanian is a big plus. If your content is informal, working with a native speaker will help you make use of local expressions and jokes.

“Trust is paramount in Romanian business culture. Building long-term relationships based on trust and credibility can significantly enhance the success of PR campaigns.”

PR specialist: Marco Giudici, account director

Country: Italy, finished in 7th place

What are your top tips for targeting Italy? “Italy is a world leader in industrial automation and is a very competitive marketplace, with many small-to-medium sized enterprises. In this sector, securing government incentives aimed at sustainability or digitalisation is what many businesses strive for, but can be challenging. Content that helps businesses navigate this complex regulatory landscape like whitepapers, long form articles, live webinars or in-person events often performs well.

“Live or in-person events are an all-time favourite in the Italian B2B space. So, webinars or in-person seminars should be part of the marketing mix. Events that enable attendees to obtain industry accreditations are popular and can be an effective way of engaging your customers/prospects, alongside trade shows and conferences.”

PR specialist: Ahngeli Shivam, senior account executive

Country: Germany, finished in 12th place

What are your top tips for targeting DACH? “The DACH region is renowned for being technologically advanced — so where you target depending on your specialism is crucial. It could be life sciences or cleantech in Zurich, the automotive industry in Munich or Stuttgart or mechanical engineering in Austria.

“Although storytelling may seem compelling, ensure your audience is receptive to it, as hard facts are valued a lot more than beating around the bush. The culture in DACH is highly formal with new business to start with, both in language and professional settings, so be sure to adapt your tone. This can shift once you get to know your clients. Personal relationships are highly valued, so it’s important to know when and where to talk business.”

If targeting international regions makes you feel as dizzy as Olly Alexander, we might be able to help. With offices in the UK, Germany and Romania and a team that speaks 12 languages, we can help ensure your international PR campaign is well received.

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