France flower field in the sun

Today our series features Sophie Bernard, CEO of Point Virgule, GlobalCom PR Network partner in France, who gives us some insights into “Tops and Flops” in the French market.

PR topics: tops and flops –what works best in your market ?

We believe that no topic is a bad topic as long as it’s applied to the appropriate client, because everything depends on the type of client and on its activity sector. For a listed company, press releases about products or partnerships are those that work the best with the press. On the other hand, a reaction to economic news is the best for industry actors. For all other types of clients, opinion columns or market expertise remain the most popular actions.

In every case, no matter if we are working for B2B or B2C companies, various strategies of content marketing are growing to fuel the media today. Although we are just in the beginning of this new tendency, it is drawing more and more of our clients’ interest.

How important is industry expertise in your daily PR work?

The industry expertise is essential to understanding a client’s characteristics. It’s reassuring for our clients to know that the person that they will work with knows their activity sector. Therefore the PR agent is also a consultant, who knows well which target media must be reached and what kind of topics would work the best. However, we mustn’t forget that it is the client who is an expert in the field and our role is to deliver his message through interviews and opinion columns.

Are integrated international PR programs beneficial for your work?

Point Virgule rather regularly integrates international PR programs. It’s a very rewarding collaboration for us, seen from both points of view. Our clients find it reassuring to have a public relations agency that works in a network and also to have proof of our ability to work in English and understand foreign requirements. On the other hand, it is a great opportunity for us to see the way other agencies work, but also to adapt an international strategy to the requirements of our own country. In some cases it’s a very pyramidal system: the leading agency disseminates the press release which will be translated and localized by the other agencies, integrating the opinion of the local speaker who has a specific view for the country.

We like to add to that a local approach, writing a press release or opinion column signed by a national expert, which we find is a good way to be reactive to the news of the country. The good coordination between the participants in the program is essential, so that we can function together as one team. This kind of collaboration is very rewarding for our agency and for our clients.