In part 1 of the interview with our PR expert Ricardo Durand we talked about current trends and influences on PR practices in Portugal. Part 2 deals with general regional differences and special requirements for PR in Portugal.
* The 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?
Ricardo Durand: We are entering a decisive moment in Portuguese language with the new Orthographic Agreement (Acordo Ortográfico) that approaches the way we wrote in Portugal to the way Brazilians do. This is a big issue in our country, because some magazines have already adopted the new writing system and others don’t. In our agency we write according to the “old” Orthographic Agreement, so then the journalists that use the new one have to correct some words. Until 2015 Portugal can use the two versions of the Agreement, because the Government established an adaptation period.
2. Can you describe common mistakes foreign companies make?
Ricardo Durand: As our Italian colleague Vilma Bosticco states in her opinion, some foreign enterprises, like Apple, that we represent in Portugal, tend do conference calls with journalists – like it or not, that is a trend, that in my opinion will evolve to video conferences, that are not very usual in this kind of relation journalist/company in Portugal.
A mistake that I can point out is that some expect that some announcements that are of importance in their origin countries will have feedback in Portugal, and that it does not happen. It’s critical that Portugal has to be mentioned in the press release or other PR activities for the journalists take an interest and use the announcement. There are a few exceptions of giants like HP, Cisco, Apple and some others of this restricted group.
3. What do clients from other markets need to keep in mind when they plan to do PR in your region?
Ricardo Durand: First they need to make a strong approach to the Portuguese market. Their products or services have to address Portugal: a product that will be available soon, a PR conference to present the company to Portuguese journalists or case studies related to Portugal. Newsletters and lead generation projects are also crucial to have a good communication in Portugal. We do this with every foreign origin company that we represent, and we can report, as an example, that we have been doing this with Axis Communications with very good results.
Next week our PR series will visit the Netherlands.
Ricardo Durand is Account Manager at EDC – Comunicação, Marketing & Eventos, based in the outskirts of Lisbon and partner of GlobalCom PR Network in Portugal for the IT market. EDC – Executive Decisions Communication is specialized in PR for IT companies with know-how in the areas of media relations, communication, design, commercial consultancy and telemarketing.
Ricardo graduated at the Escola Superior de Comunicação Social in Lisbon and worked as a trainee at Verlag Dashofer, the Communication Department of Fnac stores and SIC (tv network). From 2005 he worked for one of the big three IT magazines in Portugal – BiT – first as a trainee, and then as Coordinator and Editor in Chief. He left BiT in October 2010 and made his debut in the PR in January 2011 as Account Manager in EDC.