If you have a product or service that needs to be better-known by customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in Brazil, it is essential that you find a local PR agency as a partner.
Press relations can be a straightforward process for companies that already have experience in the field, but very complex for those who have never before required such specialized support, especially in different countries, where the culture has a strong influence on business.
Roughly speaking, we can view countries around the world as either having high-context cultures or low-context cultures. This refers to the value cultures place on indirect and direct communication. For high context cultures, communications are implicit and rely heavily on context. By contrast, low-context cultures rely on explicit verbal communication, documents, evidence. High-context cultures value interpersonal relationships that are build slowly and dependent upon trust. As Brazil is an example of a high-context culture, issues may arise that make doing business hard if the company has no previous experience with the country.
If you have already decided to partner with a local communications specialist – congratulations, you are on the right path! However, there are more steps required to ensure success, and this is what I want to recommend by listing three vital tips for those looking to work with a Brazilian agency.
Firstly, and most importantly, you need to hire a PR firm that suits your business in terms of expertise. An agency that works with construction clients, for example, cannot perform properly if you want to launch a new TV cookery channel. The firm must have track-record experience and success within your core industry. One obvious benefit here is that the PR firm will already have links to key journalists, influencers, executives, associations and trade events related to your line of business.
Secondly, I would recommend asking for proposals from at least three different agencies, preferably of different sizes. Each one will offer differing benefits and prices and you must assess their value to you, rather than just bargain for a price . Larger agencies naturally tend to employ a bigger workforce, and the person in charge of an account is normally a junior member of the team. Midsize agencies are different. Normally, the account is run by a more experienced professional, so he or she will talk to your company and the journalist, which greatly facilitates the dialogue. Small-sized agencies tend to deal well with companies that needs more brand awareness. They offer a “boutique” service and will not be as interested in expanding their profile with famous clients. Your account matters to the small agency and you will be served by senior staff or the agency owner, which brings a lot of value to your business.
The third and final tip concerns creativity. The creativity of the agency’s attendant and planner is as or more important than the list of contacts she holds, because there’s no point in having anything to sell without having the right arguments to do so. Therefore, ask your prospective partner to talk about their business cases, how they deal with big topics in your field and to describe the creative process in the agency. This can help you to make a decision about their suitability.