The Flaw in Global PR “Partner” Networks

As U.S. companies increasingly search for revenue overseas, demand for global PR rises as well.

For the vast majority of PR agencies without global capabilities, this poses a quandary. Do they start investing in building out a global infrastructure – a pricy proposition with the ROI years down the road – or establish relationships with PR agencies in other countries?

The answer inevitably ends up being, “establish relationships with other PR agencies,” like the recent Airfoil News.

There’s no question that these partnerships can help when an agency has a particularly strong relationship with a client and that client later decides to expand to other geographies. It enables the agency to scoot business to their overseas “partners” which in turn can keep the global PR agencies out of their sandbox.

It’s also true that these “partnerships” can allow a single-country agency to participate in reviews for global assignments.

But I would argue that the partnership model in global PR reviews gets relegated to the bottom of the food chain where decisions are largely driven by price.

For blue-chip opportunities, the dots on the map (offices in multiple countries) serve as the ante to play the game.

Again, I’m addressing the buying cycle.

When it comes to executing on a multi-country program, it helps to control the “product.” This way, the account members are steeped in the agency’s methodologies, style and expectations on what constitutes a job well done. There’s also something to be said for uniting the team within a common culture, which you can see play out in our recent Instagram campaign called #InsideHA.

The Flaw in Global PR “Partner” Networks image Valentinesday HAglobalphotocollage zps38d2e35fThe Flaw in Global PR “Partner” Networks

With that said (and viewed), the right investments and long-term commitment in a partner can produce like-minded work.

A good case in point is our partner in Australia, PRDeadlines, headed by David Frost, which supplements our own Asian offices in Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. We’ve worked with David and his team for more than 10 years. As a result, when client campaigns need to target Australia, we can bring PRDeadlines into the fold as part of our virtual team and still maintain consistency in our services.

We’ve also teamed with INWIS PR (Thailand), Emerald Communications (Malaysia), Dominguez Marketing Communications (the Philippines) and BMA (Taiwan) for many years, again facilitating a one-face service.

But it’s our core infrastructure of multiple offices through the region that enables us to compete and win these assignments.

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