News that's fit for a worldwide audience

Dealing with global media can be difficult, but if done correctly brings numerous rewards.

The challenges of dealing with global media – mastering local markets, translating, cultural sensitivities – are numerous, but can be met with the right partner.

The networks of offices, partners, and affiliates that newswire companies offer provide solid international distribution expertise.

It's important to make the news release specific to the local audience, according to Colleen Pizarev, VP of international distribution at PR Newswire, which has offices in 14 countries, servicing more than 170 countries, in more than 40 languages.

“Sending a release about a major new client or product release in South Korea isn't necessarily news in South America,” she says. “Unless, the release has been written to address the reasons why this product... could be equally important in the local market.”

New product releases, enhancements, and industry awards in one country usually only interest another country's trade media, though some papers do have tech and health sections, she says. Rather, local media are more interested in openings of offices, plants, deals with manufacturing reps – anything tied to employees and consumers in the target country.

In several markets, visuals are important.

“Photos and multimedia video are increasingly popular in Europe, Asia, and Latin America,” Pizarev says, noting that messaging supported by still images and short flash videos are in demand for online versions of general media and trade publications.

Business Wire touts a news distribution network spanning 150 countries and 45 languages, with 31 bureaus worldwide.

Neil Hershberg, SVP of global media at BW, says translation remains one of the largest challenges for global campaigns.

“Many folks have unrealistic expectations as to the amount of time it takes to do a proper translation,” he says. “Professional translation services have a multistep, quality control workflow, and... attempts to compress the time frame will... be reflected in the translation quality.”

PR pros need to be sensitive to time zones and holiday schedules, Hershberg says. He recommends sites such as timeanddate.com and bank-holidays.com.

Rudi DeCeuster, BW's Brussels-based senior director of business development, says to be aware of local vocabulary and cultural nuances. These include switching to the euro or pound in Europe or signing messages by their European or Asian contacts, rather than US ones.

Marketwire provides its customers with news distribution to 155 countries in 40 languages, through its 20 bureaus worldwide.

Thom Brodeur, SVP of global strategy and development at Marketwire, says new campaign technologies are particularly well-suited to extend to overseas audiences because they know no geographic boundaries.

“These tools have become a real leveler,” he says. “No longer can you segregate social media and SEO enhancement of your news to just North America.”

Brodeur expects that monitoring is dramatically shifting to a more real-time online media monitoring paradigm, where your reaction time can be make or break outcomes for your brand.

“Shotgun blanket approaches to news distribution overseas will render the same non-optimal result as they do here in North America,” he says.
 
 Above all, it is important to have a single point of oversight for your global communication efforts.

“If you have too many individuals or groups coordinating on-the-ground efforts around the world... without a single point of oversight, you are likely missing out on important synergies or opportunities for streamlining, efficiency, and maximum return on invested efforts,” Brodeur says.

Technique Tips

Do

  • Tailor your message to appeal to audiences in the local market
  • Focus first on core messaging, then think about global distribution
  • Assign a single point of oversight

Don't
  • Try to go it alone, even if you do have a local presence
  • Expect the same story to play well in different countries
  • Forget visuals that support messaging

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