For a die-hard monarchist, this weekend has been splendid: Grand flotillas, interviews, fly-bys, concerts, all in honour (be sure to spell that with a “u”) of a woman who, yes, inherited her throne, but has made the most of the task life has handed her. In watching the panorama celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee of service, I am reminded just how international her role and indeed life has become. The BBC offers a quick test so that you can see how your international travels measure up in comparison: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17826107. She’s hit 116 countries, excluding the UK, while this Canadian has merely travelled to 8 countries, even when you include airport touch downs.
Hughes Communications ranks slightly better when you survey the international embedded PR clients served over the years. Starting with the countries closest to home, the list includes:
- Canada: Wolf Industrial Systems
- US: Express Logic, Real Time Logic, PolyCore Software
- UK: LDRA
- France: Aonix
- Spain: Visure Solutions
- Germany: Fast Objects
- Netherlands: TASKING
- Israel: Connect One
- Australia: Altium
And, if you add the plethora of embedded and engineering editors to the mix, HughesCom site maps out the international breadth of relationships. By far the majority of editors we’re in touch with daily are American, but many technical PR interviews and articles have been placed in technical and engineering magazines throughout Germany, UK, Sweden, India, Poland, Japan, China, Brazil, and the list goes on.
In truth, the global community is what business is today whether you’re a monarch, company, or world citizen. Even if you don’t travel, your products and services do. Companies get public relations agencies to take press releases, articles, tweets, branding, Google+ and Facebook pages throughout the world…this is today’s reality. Obviously, the more internationally savvy and connected the public relations agency is, the more effective it will be in brokering goodwill with international editors and establishing your voice in their international embedded and engineering publications/sites.
How to reach international embedded editors?
Succeeding internationally involves more than just knowing the technology. In addition to knowing the technical bits, HughesCom strives to implement a number of international fundamentals. If you’re trying to gain coverage in the international technical publications, check your PR outreach to ensure the messaging and people are:
1) Political tolerance—How internationally apolitical is your message and messengers? Can your PR agency set aside their personal prejudices and let others be republican, monarchist, socialist or some other higgledy-piggledy mix without needing to comment about how they do it (implication—better)? To resonate with international editors, curiosity and enjoyment of difference works best.
2) English-as-Second-Language (ESL) awareness—International PR for embedded and engineering magazines is infinitely easier since English is universally embraced by the computing industry. But, if your target editors are ESL, then keep your subordinate clauses to a minimum and verb tenses easier (no would/should have been). When you pitch topics to editors and the conversation and notes extend beyond the technical vocabulary, make life easy for the ESL editor. Avoid chatting about it “raining cats and dogs” and stick to non-idiomatic dialog.
3) Time-zone flexibility—is your account manager an “early bird” who starts work at 6 a.m. or a “night owl” who prefers to work late into the night and hit the office late? The first is a necessary evil if you’d like to reach Europe and they live on the West Coast, but if you’re really after Asian editors, the latter is ideal. Know your target audience and pay attention to what time of the day/night your prospective agency works.
4) Multicultural ease—Since relationships make a difference, how comfortable is your PR agent with accents, international food (assuming no allergies), travel? If they were abroad, would they try a game of cricket, soccer, Tai chi or do they look bored if the casual chat goes to Manchester and not the Yankees or Pirates.
In all that you do, strive to be ever-aware that the dynamic is international. We cannot assume our audience has a similar understanding or background. We need to steer clear of idioms and do our best to pay attention to local sport, disasters, news. They say the Queen has perfected the ability to connect with her guests, asking questions about their lives, hopes, involvement. She is real, warm and gracious—invaluable assets anytime, but particularly when you’re entering into the international community.