The phrase “think global, act local” is crucial for brands picking the right PR agency for the region it wants to operate in.
A local presence in the UK carries extra clout as a key territory punching above its weight globally, especially if you consider the English language and culturally important locations such as London really are our crown jewels.
It’s a strategy adopted by some of the biggest names in the business. The likes of Nike, McDonald’s and Apple may appear to communicate with a one vision, one logo outlook, but these companies won’t launch a charm offensive on foreign soil without carefully weighing up the impact on local culture, and its impact on them.
Organisations can spend their entire marketing budget on a beautifully crafted global campaign only to discover it means something quite different in another language because they overlooked cultural differences a local agency would surely have identified.
Research by California State University found it would take 83 languages to reach 80% of people around the world, and over 7,000 to reach everyone. While 56% of consumers said obtaining information in their own language was more important than price.
This becomes especially important in an increasingly global market where brands can’t rely on a network of local retailers and high street stores to effectively carry its message to consumers.
“It’s easy to talk up the idea of a global marketplace in terms of selling and shipping products, but when it comes to promotion and PR being local can make all the difference to a successful launch,” says freelance technology and lifestyle journalist, Chris Haslam.
“Sure, global launches have their place with Samsung etc., but when it comes to getting beyond the names on the magazine masthead and appreciating how the media landscape works it will save so much miscommunication and time wasting – from both sides.”
This is one example where Little Red Rooster can step in. We’ve always been a boutique agency with a big picture mentality. By that we mean we consider brands on a local level first and foremost, but never without taking our eye off the global picture.
As our clients have grown and we have expanded as an agency, we’ve been careful to keep that magic going and not lose sight of where we all came from in the first place – never forget your roots, as they say.
Our home-grown clients understand this and have one thing in common: British pride, whether that’s in design, manufacturing, its personality or workforce. A PR agency should be a seamless extension of that operation and based in the same country.
As stated earlier, it’s important to note operating in the UK has distinct advantages from a media reach point of view. The English language has a huge impact when it comes to plenty of our greatest publications being syndicated and distributed internationally.
Several others with huge sway on both sides of the Atlantic, such as The Verge and Tech Radar, are based here and Forbes has just established a new European base in London. We’re home to the world’s luxury and in-flight press too.
Now think about how valuable authentic knowledge about a destination can be when you go on holiday, or visit a city for the first time. Getting a restaurant recommendation from somebody who lives there and knows the area is worth its weight in gold.
It’s one reason why we also attract overseas brands like Smeg, Loewe, Steel, Silhouette, neubau and LPG endermologie, all diligently looking to launch themselves in the UK and Ireland, or improve existing awareness.
The disjointed alternative is hiring a global agency that struggles to grasp the difference between markets, doesn’t get to know teams in each country and fails to forge close ties with its media.
Personal relationships are key in PR and the problem with pan-European agencies or larger is they lack the local presence and senior staff to meet journalists face-to-face. Very often junior team members are pushed under the bus with media relations low on the list of priorities.
This is something another of our overseas clients – B&O PLAY – found out to its cost and since taking over the account in 2016 it’s no secret we’ve been able to assist with incredible growth for the brand here in the UK.
We’ve been begged by clients new, old and prospective to open offices in France, Italy and America and handle PR operations in those territories. It’s certainly something we would consider, but the crucial part from our perspective would be market experience as well as boots on the ground.
“I was speaking to the chief sales and marketing officer of a Swedish audio company who told me partners that know the local market they wish to operate in are vital,” says James Day, technology editor at large at Enki magazine.
“He went on to say that even though we’re from Europe, we are not the same and that despite being from Sweden he’s never even succeeded with a Nordic campaign that works, because the Norwegians, Danes and Finnish are so different.
“I’ve dealt with hugely respected brands who have culled local press and PR operation in favour of a pan-European or global agency approach and it never works, to such an extent that in some cases ties have been totally severed.
“I might be a bit biased about my affection for Little Red Rooster because they’re based just down the road from me, but actually that just goes to extenuate the very point I’m trying to make about the importance of being local.”
Little Red Rooster is based in the tiny village of Twyford, Berkshire, while our London office has an established, experienced team knowledgeable about the capital and its unique ways.
Whether you’re a British brand looking to build your customer base here or an overseas client looking for a foothold in the UK market get in touch, because we’ve got our house in order.