How to Launch a Successful International PR Campaign
Digital PR is thriving…and not only in the UK. Multinational clients are looking for agencies that have the potential to fulfil their coverage needs, both at a national and international level.
Securing coverage in European markets is not as easy as translating the content into the local language and sending it to journalists in every country. There are unexpected challenges involved in creating content and outreaching it to those journalists located abroad and exposed to a different reality.
At Kaizen, we operate in some of the most important European markets from our head office in London, and today, I will share some of our secrets with you. Below are my top six tips to help you land international coverage from the UK:
Tip 1: Translate the content
It might seem obvious, but to guarantee publication in your target countries, you must offer journalists content in their language. However, we’re not saying you MUST translate the destination backlink; we’ve recently activated some campaigns in Spain and France linking to English pages in the last couple of months. It turns out they proved to be equally successful in getting coverage and links like those pointing to Spanish and French pages. The secret lies in translating the email templates/press releases and using relevant angles for the markets you are outreaching to.
And it’s also important to consider the idiomatic variations of the specific countries. If you outreach to Latin American countries using Spanish from Spain, you will probably get some peals of laughter from the journalist reading your email from the other side of the world. So, don’t underestimate it!
Tip 2: Explore which formats work better
At Kaizen, we are constantly exploring new formats for our campaigns, and all of them tend to work very well in the UK market: interactive pieces, blog posts, statics, listicles and reactive content. But if you want to go abroad, you must be aware of which content is more likely to be appreciated and well-received by journalists. Countries like Italy and Spain, for example, prefer blog posts instead of statics, especially when it comes to tables with statistics.
Formats apply to the way information is presented in the destination link and your email template. In the UK, it’s common to copy and paste the content as part of the body of the email. This mechanism tends to be useful in the majority of the countries. While in some Southern European markets, it’s common to attach a press release in Word format with all the tables or statistical information and a couple of images in JPG ready for download.
Tip 3: Understand the media landscape
One of the secrets to any communication campaign is understanding your audience. And when it comes to PR, journalists are the main target. They are the filters that will decide if your content will make it to their websites or not.
In the UK, we have several types of media. This allows us to explore different kinds of topics, from the last episode of Love Island to the recent developments of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But in most of Europe, tabloids, as we know them in the UK, are scarce or inexistent. In those cases, you will need to use more serious or newsworthy angles to get coverage. Forget about puzzles, brainteasers, or celebrity-related stories and try to find a connection to political-social stories.
Tip 4: Be aware of the news cycle
As you probably already know, each country has its own festivities, bank holidays and awareness days. However, if you live in the UK and are outreaching to another country, you will need to make an extra effort to be aware of what’s going on in the news, their festivities, calendar days, etc. In these instances, Twitter comes to the rescue as it’s an excellent tool that constantly updates with the latest and most important news in a specific region.
Being on the top of the news will help you detect any potential opportunities for reactive PR or newsjacking, one of the best ways to gain coverage these days.
Tip 5: Build trust with the journalist
One of the biggest challenges when outreaching from abroad is creating a relationship of trust with journalists; we have found that they can be suspicious of the data we share with them, just because we’re based in London. It’s not always easy for journalists to receive information about their own countries or cities when it is distributed by someone located in another nation. Sometimes they can think you have a hidden agenda.
There is no easy advice to deal with this, and it’s more a case by case situation, but it’s always important to be 100% honest with the journalist, especially from the beginning, when they don’t know you well yet. Explain to them that you are based in the UK and are outreaching a study conducted by a British firm. In case of doubt, be detailed about the methodology used to develop the results and offer them the chance to interview spokespersons.
Tip 6: Use local angles
One of the basic rules of journalism is to always localise information, and with PR, it is the same. When you are outreaching a study or research with several angles, use the one closer to the journalist and the potential reader. If you are using geographic information, choose a headline that mentions the country you are outreaching to and, if possible, compare cities inside the same country to give you chances for regional angles.
Remove all the information that is not pertinent. If the journalist finds it interesting, they will click on the link and access the rest of it.
How do we do this at Kaizen?
At Kaizen, we have placed international outreach at the centre of our offering. The majority of our campaigns have an international approach that allows us to outreach to different countries.
We have built a team of native speakers covering markets such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain or the Netherlands, obtaining outstanding results for Reebok, Lenstore, CIA Landlord, Audley Villages and more.
Want to find out how the Kaizen team could help your brand secure international coverage? Get in touch.