Today our series features Mervin Chin of Kyodo PR, GlobalCom PR Network partner in Japan, who gives us some insights into “Tops and Flops” in the Japanese market.

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

We approach the media from different angles, depending on what the client provides. Most of the time, product news is best to attract media, and generate coverage, especially if the product is innovative, new, and attractive.

Topic-setting is generally led by the media when they have an upcoming feature of a particular area/subject they would like to cover. Kyodo PR would then feature our client and their product within the media’s feature article/TV program.

How important is industry expertise in your daily PR work?

It is very important when engaging the media. Most of our employees are university graduates, and learn about the industry during the course of their careers. An initial working knowledge of the industry is certainly very helpful, especially when engaging clients. We can then advise the client on anticipated questions, and topics.

Kyodo PR also has several former reporters/editors working as advisors. They provide guidance to our PR experts on the best ways to engage media.

Are integrated international PR programs beneficial for your work?

Our PR programs are normally a hybrid of both. When a multinational client engages us, they understand that Japan has a very unique PR market, which is very different from the rest of the world. Therefore, even if the client has a global PR program, it is normally localized with Japan – effective PR activities, to ensure media coverage.

Kyodo PR normally consults with the clients on their specific needs, and we provide a localized PR program along with the budget.

A common “mistake” that many multinational clients make is not budgeting specifically for Japan. Clients with no prior experience in running an international PR program Japan, generally lumps Japan within the “Asia budget.” Once receiving quotes from us, they are frequently surprised at the high costs of doing business in Japan. Thus, we need to educate the clients that Japan is the 3rd largest economy, and the business return and benefits generated here, would be on a much larger scale, compared to other markets. Therefore, the costs in Japan of working is reflected in this.

*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.