PR topics: tops and flops – what works best in your market?
When communicating with the media, PR professionals in the Czech Republic struggle with one problem: journalists are very cautious about any efforts to gain publicity for brands and commercial subjects in general. Therefore communication strategies often have to be based on topics which are not primarily targeted towards brand promotion and are at the same time considered newsworthy by the media. It is a good idea to include your own, unique and objective information as it makes some kind of sourcing leading to the client’s publicity. This approach is turning out to be much more effective than relying solely on corporate and product press releases, although their distribution is still crucial part of PR communication because it supports overall awareness about the client in the media.
Having the possibility to use a member of top management as an expert speaker capable of providing analytic information to the media also helps. But again, one has to be cautious about self-promotion and willing to comment also on topics which are not directly linked to the company’s business.
It is a substantial part of daily PR work. Not regarding several exceptions, Czech PR agencies are not usually specialized towards a particular industry. The high demands on topic quality, however, mean that the ability of PR professionals to get familiar with any branch of business up to a level allowing them to seriously discuss client’s topics with media representatives is critical. At any rate, there is no doubt that, when pitching for a client, proving expertise in his line of industry is always big plus as it provides a guarantee of already established relationships with relevant media, promising a more effective cooperation on the account.
Are integrated international PR programs beneficial for your work?
This really depends on the organizational character of the client. Local companies with only local based business have no reason to prefer agencies with a global background unless they believe that the name of a big network is somehow a guarantee of better services. On the other hand it is not unusual for local subsidiaries of globally active companies to be ordered to cooperate with a PR network chosen by the global headquarters. Finally there are cases of clients originating from the Czech market but focusing mainly on export. Those prefer cooperation with Czech agencies as it is easier and more effective regarding process management, but international background is a must for an agency to guarantee the ability to secure PR services abroad.
In case of our agency, the number of local accounts is higher than that of global ones. However, especially during the last two years, we saw an increase in demand for ability to secure international PR, mainly in the CEE region, but also Western Europe and the BRIC countries as those regions are becoming more and more important for the Czech economy in general. This is relevant mainly for IT and healthcare segments.
We have only been a part of the GlobalCom network for a very short time. Nevertheless, immediately after joining the group we gained an opportunity to take part in an international PR project for one of our clients.