Social Media Channels

In Vietnam, social media has become one of the most popular communication platforms. Despite the powerful effect of social media in conditioning a crisis, and the trend to integrate social media into crisis management strategies in many countries, Vietnamese companies have often ignored or underutilized these channels.

As part of my doctoral dissertation, I seek to compare the perception of social media in crisis communication in Vietnam to that in the US. As America has always been considered a role model and main influencer for Vietnam’s PR practice, the comparison can help understand the underlying factors contributed to that perception. I interviewed 12 Vietnamese practitioners and 8 American practitioners from different public relations firms who have two to 25 years experience working in the PR industry in their respective countries. You can find the conclusions summarised below.

But before that, let me point out the fact that despite the differences in perception between US and Vietnam regarding the use of social media in the above mentioned context, both countries (and indeed all cultures around the globe) tend to repond to crises in similar ways. Without adequate preparation and understanding of the issue faced by the organisation and without genuine interest to do things better so to avoid similar future problem (and for the narrative to get out of hand), people who run companies get carried away by personal feelings, they get into endless arguing with ever more details and they invest themselves beyond what’s necessary, effectively doing more harm to the reputation of their companies than good.

PR services can’t save businesses from themselves, but they can certainly educate the decision-makers, the social media managers and spokespeople to adopt a certain tone of voice when attempting to fix a public image crisis and to look for ways to own the narrative regarding their company. No bullet-proof recipe exists in this respect, because every crisis is unique (archive), every context differs and all audience members are, well, people. And people often behave differently behind a computer screen than they would in real life (IRL), as well as when they act as part of group than they are by themselves. Let’s just say that being human is hard work.

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Founding Fathers, Statues, America, Democracy

TomRiceToday Tom Rice answers the three questions about Media and PR impressions in 2013 that we asked our PR consultants around the world from the perspective of a US PR specialist specializing in B2B technology PR and general B2B markets:

1.     How did the global recession affect the demand for PR in the USA in 2013?

BigDataUSAOur agency, with its focus on B2B technology market, saw an uptick in business in 2013 so the recession was not really a factor. We continued to see strong interest from prospects in the technology market and from existing clients looking to do additional work.  Sectors such as big data, analytics and IT security were the fastest growing.  The sequestration crisis in the government did cause some of our government IT clients to pause on some projects. PR needs were strong across the board but the strongest need was more integration with our creative services division. Read more

Denmark - boats and people by the river

LarsJorgensen_DenmarkLars Jørgensen gives his view on the strategic PR. The Danish PR business is on the right track in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, he says. This is a short interview meant to scope out some local views regarding public relations industry in general, the local PR agencies‘ reponse to the global crisis, as well as some insights about the local media.


1. How did the global recession affect the demand for PR in Denmark in 2013?

The financial crisis was hard on many Danish Companies. And of course, this was reflected on their use of consultancy. 2013 was the year in which it began to turn around and move forward – for the Danish companies and therefore also for the consultancy business. Especially the last six months of 2013 have been much more positive than we have seen for a long time and we can watch a growth in the field again. Read more

Bridge in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Marta Dourado_BrazilTime for our our interview series about international PR to take a look to the west of the Atlantic Ocean and visit South America. Marta Dourado of our São Paulo based team at Fundamento PR shares her impressions of the year 2013 in Brazil.

1.     How did the global recession affect the demand for PR in Brazil in 2013?

The Brazilian PR market has been growing in the past years and we expect this trend to continue in the next years. Despite the country’s poor economic performance in 2013 – GDP is expected to grow only by 1 percent this year – we have been watching an increase in companies’ investments in PR projects in Brazil. Many reasons have been attracting eyes, and capital, to the country such as the upcoming international events such as the World Cup, in 2014 and the Olympic Games, in 2016 or the pre-salt layer exploitation scenery. Read more

Dubai skyscrapers

Mohammed_FEKRA_UEAMoving further to the east this week our blog team talked to PR expert Mohammed El Batta of our Dubai based PR team. As before, we ask about the global recession, the portrayal of Dubai in the media and some examples of countries that stand out as either negative or positive examples (and the role of crisis communications expertise).

Here are his answers to our three questions, taking a look at the developments in 2013.

How did the global recession affect the demand for PR in Dubai in 2013?

Demand for PR in 2013 has seen a rise in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), especially with the economy starting to rebound and with the property market seeing a positive recovery. Read more

France flower field in the sun

France_MarineQuillon.AccountDirectorThis week our colleague Marine shares her view of the year 2013 with us and answers the three questions we asked our colleagues around the world. We talk about the global recession, how public relations firms are dealing with the new demand for specific PR services, the country brand and other interesting details. This is a rather short interview meant to get the pulse from a local PR specialist more than anything else.


1. How did the global recession affect the demand for PR in France in 2013?

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Two weeks ago Sergej Trofimenko from Russia reported on trends influencing PR and media in 2013. This week we will take a look on Northern and Northeastern Europe. Jukka Laikari offers a short glance at impressions from Finland.


1.     How did the global recession affect the demand for PR in Finland in 2013?

The way of doing PR has changed dramatically in Finland. There are several reasons for that – not only the recession. Finnish readers have really moved to the digital media during 2012-2013. The traditional media is on the downturn, the circulations are  declining as people have chosen to use tablets and smartphones instead of printed papers, traditional TV and other old-school media.

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The last quarter of the year has already started, therefore we asked our PR consultants around the world to answer three questions on developments in 2013 in their regions. Stay tuned for updates from our teams in Spain, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Finland, China, France, Latvia, the USA, Poland, Israel, the UK, Italy, the Middle East, India and many more — each Thursday on the GCPR blog. Today our Barcelona based colleague Josep M. Iglesias reports on the situation in Spain.

1.  How did the global recession affect the demand for PR in your country in 2013?

It has definitely had an effect in our business here in Spain as consumption has gone down. This means that some brands have cut down their marketing and communication budget for the Spanish market. Having said this, it is also true that PR and communication have probably been less affected than advertising, because the budgets for public relations firms are usually lower and the return on investment can be very high.

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World Map in icons

In our interview series “Tops and Flops in global PR” we asked several PR consultants of our 70 partner agencies of the GlobalCom PR Network which PR topics and methods are especially successful in their respective markets and from which measures they prefer to desist. Furthermore, the PR professionals from all over the world told us about the significance of market expertise in their work and whether international presence is important for their clients.

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Czech Republic

Today our series features Jan Hrabovský from Heretic PR, GlobalCom PR Network partner in the Czech Republic, who gives us some insights into “Tops and Flops” in the Czech market.


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 the PR communication because it supports overall awareness about the client  in the media.


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