Crossing borders? Read this before you embark on an international PR campaign

Drafting press content, maintaining distribution lists, disseminating releases with the click of a button… local PR can become an all-too-comfortable groove when you’re used to executing campaigns in your hometown.

But what happens when your startup or small business starts to cross borders? What if you’ve decided to expand into an international market, launch a product overseas, or you’re receiving more public interest from afar?

Well, things inevitably become a little trickier. Unlike local PR, a company’s approach to seeking global coverage can’t rely on ‘set-and-forget’ methods that have worked in the past.

Public relations for startups and small business in international markets is entirely different from executing a local media campaign. The services, solutions and channels can be much harder to successfully navigate.

So, I’ve put together my 'Top Four International PR Tips' that I believe every startup and small business should know (wherever you are in the world), before launching a campaign across global markets.

Do your research

Perhaps this seems an obvious point – but you would be surprised at how many media campaigns (even locally) are executed without sufficient research. For international markets, you’ll want to double-down on researching everything from media law to languages and cultural nuances, mainstream media, journalists in your select industry and spend time reviewing the market’s news cycle. This will help ensure you pitch to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Be available

When sending stories internationally, the same advice applies (although in a different way) to local campaigns: be available. Know the timezone you’re sending stories to, and ensure you always have a spokesperson ready to take a media call. The globalisation of our industry means it’s less important where that spokesperson is based – they just need to be ready to pick up their phone and respond when a journalist calls.

Harness the power of the online story

One of the best ways to achieve international media coverage for your startup or small business quickly is to pitch online stories. Interviews, articles and media releases repurposed online helps you cross borders quicker, boosting SEO returns and ensuring your content is available globally. If a potential customer in an overseas market wants to find out more about your company – they will Google it. And no matter where they are in the world, your global content will be served up. So, capitalise on that opportunity.

Pay attention to the small details

Again, this may seem an obvious point, but ensure you do your homework when it comes to grammar, punctuation, spelling, cultural and language differences in the market you’re pitching to. Journalists appreciate the time and attention being given to the small details – ‘colour’ in Australia becomes ‘color’ in the US, for example. When it comes to measurements, if you’re sending a copy to the US, don’t refer to ‘mm’ or ‘km’, instead, change to US measurements, or include both. Journalists will know you’re pitching to their market if you get these small details right, and they will reward you for it.

These are four simple tips that be implemented by any startup or small business, anywhere in the world, needing international media coverage. Of course, running ongoing campaigns can get a little more complicated – but this advice is a great place to start!

Katie Clift is Director of Katie Clift Consulting Pty Ltd. Follow her at katieclift.com or on socials, via @katieclift.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.

Come on in, it’s free.

This isn’t a paywall. It’s a freewall. We don’t want to get in the way of what you came here for, so this will only take a few seconds.