A new book published this week explains how to adapt PR strategies for different global markets. The title, Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication, by Dr. Kara Alaimo, breaks the world down into ten different cultural groups and explains best public relations practices within each of them. The book, published by Routledge, is based upon Alaimo’s interviews with senior PR pros in over 30 countries as well as her own experience as a global public relations practitioner in the United Nations and in the Obama administration.
“You need to read this book if your business plan involves growth across international markets,” said Rowan Benecke, global technology practice chair at Burson-Marsteller, in a news release. “Today, business success in local or regional markets is increasingly dependent on communications that can scale globally while understanding the importance of cultural nuances. Kara Alaimo has finally cracked the code for how to manage multi-national communications campaigns that drive real business results.”
The book begins by discussing the merits of implementing a single public relations strategy around the world (a global approach) or crafting different strategies for different countries and cultures (an international approach). It then discusses key dimensions on which cultures differ—for example, the difference between individualistic and collectivist countries and the distinction between societies with high and low future orientations—and discusses how to adapt messages and strategies accordingly.
Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street then takes readers on a tour of the world, explaining how to adapt their campaigns for Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa. For example, Alaimo writes that in the United States, spokespeople are expected to remain calm and cool during media interviews. By contrast, in the Arab world, when talking about emotional subjects, spokespeople are expected to visibly display emotion—otherwise, they will not be trusted. She also writes about the expectations of reporters to receive “brown envelopes” (full of cash) in exchange for media coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world. Alaimo writes that one way that practitioners get around paying journalists in places where reporters are truly not compensated by news organizations for their stories is by offering meals at events and press briefings.
The book also includes chapters on how to practice global public relations on behalf of corporations, non-profit organizations, and governments, as well as a chapter on how to effectively utilize major global traditional and social media outlets—from Al Jazeera to the Chinese platforms Weibo and WeChat.
“Alaimo brilliantly captures the zeitgeist of digital nativity and elegantly divines its meaning for contemporary public relations practice across the globe,” said Harlan Loeb, global practice chair, Crisis & Reputation Risk at Edelman, in the release. “This is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the media revolution and how it has radically changed how we consume information.”
Dr. Alaimo is Assistant Professor of Public Relations at Hofstra University. She also consults on global PR campaigns and designs customized employee training programs for companies on how to adapt messages and strategies for different global markets.
Source: Dr. Kara Alaimo; edited by Richard Carufel