Today our series features Jack Jacob of Pro Media (http://www.promedia.com.tr/en/index.php), GlobalCom PR Network partner in Turkey, who gives us some insights into “Tops and Flops” in the Turkish market.

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

The common mistake in Turkey is to build relations with Turkish media using the same methods they generally use in foreign countries. Since communication and personal relations are essential, many practices in PR and media relations in different countries show similarities for sure. However, it should be noted that Turkey’s cultural, religious and traditional characteristics are determinant in communications.

Media relations in Turkey are based on close and personal friendships, rather than corporate and standardized practices as in the EU and the USA. It would be too optimistic to e-mail press releases to Turkish media and expect them to be published, because the desired result can only be achieved with a media pitch via telephone or visits.

Another common mistake is media communication attempts that focus solely on marketing. However, what the media want to hear from foreign companies are global developments or trends and related information as well as product or service presentations.

How important is industry expertise in your daily PR work?

Promedia has over 20 years working experience with clients in different sectors from IT to agriculture. Nowadays 60% of our clients are from the IT industry and 40% are from other sectors as a result of a strong company culture founded on teamwork, integrity and personal commitment. We believe that future expectations of the public relations industry in Turkey will rely on global trends as well as local expertise. When we look at the future of public relations and social media, we can see the industry has a new opportunity to expand. Social media with all its features enabling the public and the company to communicate freely and easily will provide a big lift to the industry. Promedia is using some aspects of social media in relation to public relations in order to maintain a better communication overall.

When we take a local approach, we can see that Turkey is seen as an emerging market in the world and this grants a good future for the PR industry as well. At Promedia we see Turkey as a more interesting market the closer it gets to EU accession, indicating the location as a strategic one in marketing. As the demographic of the country is mostly Muslim, in general it will require a different approach to marketing and PR.

Are integrated international PR programs beneficial for your work?

We believe that integrated PR programs – whether we’re talking about local PR or international PR – are a wake-up call for public relations firms. At Promedia Public Relations, 80% of our clients are multinational and have regional accounts. We are required to meet and coordinate with other agencies in MENA countries sharing ideas, best strategies, what worked well and what didn’t and messages, as so to have the same voice and to create synergy. For clients it is essential that the entire communication program is integrated. Integration of programs and messages isn’t an option but rather a requirement for many communication managers dealing with clients and management who insist on communication coordination.

In other words, we feel that public relations has much to gain from the evolving of integrated thinking in terms of ways to develop more effective strategic planning, as well as more efficient execution of those PR programs.