Saturday, March 23, 2013

How to Resolve the Global versus Local PR Riddle

There are a lot of discussions of whether the PR process should be local or global. Many modern businesses and the media are in fact global. Sometimes, without deep knowledge or understanding. Distances or languages are not effective barriers anymore. On the other hand, communication strategies are mostly local. How can this riddle be solved without ruining the whole system of practices and beliefs?

I suggest a 2 x 2 (two by two) approach. You have context and you have content. By context I mean an essence of all strategic issues a company may encounter on its way. By content I mean an essence of all strategic actions the company will take to address the issues. Consider a table or matrix where context and content are put into combinations of their global and local scale.

Joining global context with global content yields something like a global footprint a company will be leaving as it advances in its strategic development. Global context and local content define a company's local communications strategy.

Joining global content with local context yields a company's response to local market's challenges – the more the response, the higher the local market's priority. This sets the balance for the whole company between thinking globally and acting locally in each market. Last but not least, the combination of local content and local context define local communications tactics.

The resulting table (Global-Local PR Matrix) looks like this:

Global Context

Local Context

Global Content

Company Mission

Local Market's Priority

Local Content

Local Communications Strategy

Local Communications Tactics

The suggested approach applies even to strictly local businesses. It means they had better justify their choice of geographical scale of operation not just to their stakeholders but also global audiences if they want mutual understanding.

UPD: See me talking on the subject after a panel discussion in Moscow.