Public Relations Cases: International Perspectives

Public Relations Cases: International Perspectives

Public Relations Cases: International Perspectives

Public Relations Cases: International Perspectives

Synopsis

This is a collection of contemporary international public relations case studies from the UK, Norway, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, Canada and the USA. It offers insights into the development of PR and communication strategies.

Excerpt

It is perhaps an over-used truism that the 'world is becoming smaller place', at least in terms of international travel and communications. Yet while the world is becoming more accessible to us all, it is increasingly apparent that the world remains an extremely diverse place, not only in terms of language and customs, but also in terms of work practices, educational systems, tastes, technological infrastructure, and cultures.

Equally, from a business perspective, there is a strong argument for global convergence - the growing similarity and integration of markets and consumption patterns - driven largely by the ease, low cost and frequency of international communications, transport and travel, and, of course, the Internet. Yet here again, there is a counter-school of thought which has argued that just because people around the world may wear a Rolex or Swatch, eat Big Macs and drink Coca-Cola, it does not mean that global convergence has arrived. While there are a number of products and brands that are more or less standardised around the world, it is questionable as to whether the manufacturers of these products are globalising their operations to meet the needs of increasingly similar worldwide markets, or simply capitalising on the similarities that have always existed between countries. Here it is important to distinguish in what respects countries remain different. For example, people may be drinking the same soft drinks or eating the same type of fast food, but they may be doing so in different places, at different times of the day, and for different reasons. While the product may be standardised, the cultural norms and values that influence its consumption may be quite diverse.

Hence, to operate successfully on a global scale requires acute sensitivity to cultural diversity that may exist even in countries which on the surface appear broadly similar in terms of economic development, consumption patterns, or political systems. Thus within the European Union, countries may be converging in terms of many of the fundamental economic indicators, but remain very different in terms of their cultures and traditional values. For example, there are marked differences among European countries in terms of the foods they consume, attitudes towards family and work, conceptions of time, and patterns of leisure - all of which may have profound implications for anyone seeking to develop a pan-European marketing or public relations programme.

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