International PR: What’s different, what’s not?

By: Kelly Hayes

The world of PR as we Americans see it, is a fast paced world of no sleep and constant runs to Starbucks. But in comparison to the rest of the world, we Americans always seem to be on the go and never stop, especially in the world of Public Relations. When I lived abroad in Germany whenever it was time to go home, work was left at work. There was no staying late or bringing work home, home meant family time and relaxation.

The way we Americans tend to run our lives is by surrounding everything we do around work. Spending late hours at the office getting a media pitch finished, done. Checking up on social media pages over the weekend, no sweat. PR people in the U.S. live in a world of constant tweeting, emails, meetings, and constant communication. Think about the Superbowl. When the blackout happened, social media blew up with tweets and in the case of Oreo cookies, an ad. “You can still dunk in the dark.” PR never sleeps in the U.S. The question is, is it different than other parts of the world?

There are parts of the world where PR is still being framed. Social media is a huge factor in this. According to an article posted on Mashable, Europe has over 223 million Facebook subscribers, that’s the largest amount of subscribers of the seven continents. And in Asia, Facebook is currently the most popular social media website. Facebook is the largest social media website in the U.S. as well, with Twitter slowly creeping itself up to the top spot.

The advancement of social media and how it has been able to reach millions is one thing that does not differ between the U.S. and other countries. Social media is a PR-tool used all around the world. However, in other places than the U.S. the way social media is used for things is still slightly different as it continues to grow on other continents.

A large difference from U.S. agency to its other offices around the world is size. While an agency may have 2,000+ professionals in the U.S., they may only have 1,000 or fewer professionals in their other offices around the world. This is an effect of PR continuing to grow on the global scale. Big agency names such as Ogilvy, Burson Marstellar, Ketchum, Edelman, GolinHarris, APCO Worldwide, etc. are continuing to grow as they establish offices around the world. Especially in major PR hubs such as Buenos Aires, London, Hamburg, Paris, Barcelona, Sydney, Beijing, Hong Kong, and many other cities around the world.

The work ethic of PR professionals may seem rushed to other parts of the world, but Public Relations is the same in every language. Public Relations may still be expanding in other parts of the world, but the way it connects brands to customers is all based on the same principles: Knowing your public, knowing your brand, keeping calm in times of crisis, having a plan, and always being one step ahead of today.

Articles used on Mashable:

http://mashable.com/2012/06/27/social-media-europe-live-hangout/

http://mashable.com/2012/06/18/social-media-asia-google-hangout/

http://mashable.com/2010/01/07/social-media-changed-us/

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