In part 1 of out Finland interview Jukka Laikari explained why Finnish editors are practically rooted at their desks these days and how creative PR agencies can work with and profit from this situation and other current trends. Today we learn more about the Finnish media landscape and some general practices companies should adopt for successful PR in Finland.
*This series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.
1. Are there PR practices in which you think your region differs from PR in other part of the world?
Jukka Laikari: When it comes to Finland, I would answer no – I suppose the practices are very similar to other European countries, except that web is maybe more used than in some parts of Europe.
I have heard many people and companies think it is difficult to get media coverage in Finland. The explanation is: There are 3-4 main national or regional newspapers, 3-4 additional business focused dailies, weeklies or monthlies and for IT and tech another 3-5. It can be hard to get coverage in the national or regional dailies business sections, but it’s also hard to get coverage in the main IT titles because the vast area they have to cover. These magazines cover the entire range of IT, Internet and technology solutions – there is no specialist IT media in Finland.
Is there any point doing PR at all? We recommend to aim for quality instead of quantity. Stories with local angles rather than universal product releases, for example.
2. Can you describe common mistakes foreign companies make?
Jukka Laikari: Even though most Finns in business positions and all of the journalists speak reasonably fluent English, it is a major mistake to try to make PR in English. The journalists need to produce their output in Finnish or in some cases in Swedish – therefore PR professional should do their job in those 2 languages as well to make sure that their message will be delivered.
3. What do clients from other markets need to keep in mind when they plan to do PR in your region?
Jukka Laikari: A typical Finnish business journalist receives more than 100 email releases a day. He can’t possibly read all of them. Guess which one will be opened – the one with a relevant Finnish title or the international corporate release in English? And like I told before – as journalist are nowadays busier than ever – which one ends up to the news. Try to make it as local and locally relevant as possible, something that falls within the realm of international PR.
Learn how the financial crisis influenced PR practices in Latvia in the next part of our PR series.
Jukka Laikari is a founding partner of IFPR Finland , partner of the GlobalCom PR-Network, a Espoo based agency that is located next to the Nokia, Microsoft and Angry Birds offices and Aalto University campus. Besides Finland IFPR operates also in Ukraine , a 45 million people market, which is located only 2 hours flight from Helsinki.