Brazil on the world stage: growing its PR market

With the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 accelerating investments and infrastructure building in Brazil, now, more than ever, the country needs to position itself on the world stage with an excellent PR campaign.

With the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 accelerating investments and infrastructure building in Brazil, now, more than ever, the country needs to position itself on the world stage with an excellent PR campaign.

For the past few years, Brazil has been in the international news both for its success in maintaining a stable economy, accelerated by the discovery of offshore oil, and for the scandals involving some of its politicians.

To position itself internally and abroad, Brazil depends on strategic campaigns that recognize its diversity and potential for continuous growth. The Brazilian Association of Communications Agencies (ABRACOM), with more than 345 associated members, is a good resource for those who are willing to understand the Brazilian market and be familiar with the pool of agencies doing business in communications in Brazil.

It is expected that Brazil will have more than 1,100 agencies nationwide in 2012, generating revenues close to $1 billion. Such growth is due to new investments in communications, as well as the result of strong demand of real estate, energy, and tourism. Following the diversification of the market, existing agencies are expanding and exploring new opportunities, while new ones are being created to supply the internal demand.

Different sectors of the economy are recognizing the importance of the work provided by communication agencies, their knowledge in the use of social media networks, and their capacity in reaching out to a growing number of consumers, especially through Orkut, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Brazil has great communication schools such as Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM) — School of Higher Education in Marketing and Communication Management — and Escola de Comunicações e Artes (School of Communications and Arts at the University of São Paulo), but it has been observed that one of the challenges in the communications market in Brazil is finding and keeping talent.

The majority of work done in PR concentrates in the Southeast region, mainly in São Paulo, where major national and multinational agencies are located. This concentration tends to stabilize and elevate salaries as agencies compete among themselves to attract and secure talented professionals.

Although the trend of concentrating PR agencies in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro persists, there is an increase in the number of agencies in other regions and states such as Pernambuco, Bahia, Brasilia, Espírito Santo, and Rio Grande do Sul.

In preparing for the World Cup and Olympic Games, strategic plans that take into consideration regional differences will certainly lead to a more integrated and cohesive representation of Brazil abroad. Taping on Brazilian communications agencies and their local and regional knowledge may be a way of entering this market through an insider's perspective.

The shear number of agencies doing work in Brazil is an example of the growing need for communications expertise that can both elevate the country's image internally and abroad. 

Paulo Lima is senior adviser for the Hispanic practice at Lagrant Communications.

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