The debate about “Think globally - act locally” has been a well-discussed topic in PR world. Should you consider local customs in global campaigning or not? The technological communication tools have enabled us to communicate globally. Companies now need to be global and their communication strategies have to involve global PR. However the cultural differences matter. When operating in a particular country, the nations political systems and culture shapes the PR practice.
The principles of balancing global operations with respect for local culture extend to managing communications, in which cross-cultural understanding can make a significant difference in the effectiveness and success of a global campaign.
Cross-cultural communication came into its own in the mid-1940s. During the “Cold War,” the U.S. established the Foreign Service Institute, bringing together linguists and sociologists, among others, to help the corps develop language competency as well as an understanding of and sensitivity to distinct cultures.
Effective global communications has to take into consideration how local attitudes and behaviors differ from the global communication strategy. When building a campaign, it is essential to have a clear message and a defined audience, considering who the audiences are and where they are, and what local factors might influence the result of that campaign. Something as simple as observing local seasonal or religious holidays when timing the launch of a new campaign can have a direct impact on the success or failure of the campaign.
When setting up local communication team, a good idea will be to employ locals for the campaign as they have a better knowledge about the audience you are trying to reach. When PR companies run campaigns they need to take the local needs into consideration, otherwise the results might turn to the worse. International companies should first act locally, and then in order to sell their products, act globally.