Global Communication: Factors to Consider
Debra Davenport, Faculty
Global communication can present significant challenges. While messages may be readily understood in one culture, they may be interpreted very differently in other cultures, causing potential crises and audience misperceptions.
In our profession, we can never be too knowledgeable about people; that's why today’s Public Relations (PR) practitioners are as
When looking at strategic communications through a global lens, attention to cultural differences, language, culture, customs, mores, protocols, and colloquialisms is absolutely critical. To ensure accuracy and positive public response, CEOs and their communications teams should always engage local experts to help hone and adapt organizational messages to specific locales.
In my own firm, I would never commence a PR campaign in a foreign country without first gathering detailed information about the audiences with whom we plan to communicate. The next step involves culling that cadre of local experts. This process begins with the subcontracting of a seasoned local PR firm that can be at the ready for consultation and advice - both of which can be instrumental in opening doors and paving the way for a smooth campaign. And, depending on the region, size of the client, and scope of the campaign, I also advise engaging the services of other professionals, including:
- a reputable corporate law firm
- a protocol and etiquette specialist
- an experienced media consultant
- a human
resources / laborlaw expert
- a management consulting firm
- a corporate anthropologist
- a market research firm
Working with experienced locals in these disciplines can provide the level and scope of guidance needed to successfully avoid missteps, liability, and crises. Careful planning, including crisis, contingency, and scenario planning is also necessary to minimize risk. Remember, your client’s brand and reputation are at stake, so every possible effort must be made to ensure that positive global relationships are built and maintained.
If you want to develop and expand your global communication skills, you will enjoy COM 60211, Seminar in Global Strategic Communication. This course provides students with a global perspective
Debra Davenport Ph.D. is a member of the online faculty of Purdue’s online Master of Science in
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.