He talks about the primary role of communications being to get the truth out, to erase misperceptions and sometimes to let the media know why you can’t talk, such as in times like these when General Motors is in discussions with the government.
He also talked about the importance of social media channels, like the GM Fastlane Blog, where the company can get out an unfiltered message. Moreover, they can explain the truth and why that the company believes it is the truth.
Helen Wagner, manager of public relations for 3M, in Minnesota, talks about how 3M executes campaigns on a global scale.
Some of the takeaways from this session:
- Truly global launches are rare
- Regional and country launches, grown organically, are more common
- Give your staff in other countries the creative freedom to innovate, give up some of the control, not all of the programs should be US centric or controlled
- Think more about long-range programs that build over time. One example is 3Ms Most Gifted Wrapper program for Scotch tape
- Take a program and replicate (not duplicate) a campaign started in one country to another country
- You can fund a global launch by reallocating existing PR budgets
Constraints in Global Marketing
When considering public relations programs in multiple markets, the communication team needs to consider three realities:
- Political: Type of government, political ideologies, activism
- Economic: Class structure, poverty, literacy rates, legal system
- Social: Value system, cultural influences, gender based roles, respect to authority
One of the most interesting part of the session concerned the freedom of the press around the world and how that impacts the public relations function in global companies. She shared some resources offered by Freedom House, an organization dedicated to freedom around the world. According its statistics of freedom of the press around the world:
Putting together a message about your company, idea, product or brand that rises above the clutter is getting harder all of the time.
Andrew Gilman is president and CEO for CommCore Consulting Group took on the task of teaching communicators at the PRSA International Conference how to create memorable quotes and sound bites. He outlined a process that will help pitches and interviews be more believable and “sticky.”
Three Steps to Building a Sticky Sound Bite
- Relay the claim or Headline: We care about the voice of the customer
We had an opportunity to interview Craig Newmark and get some insight about how Craigslist works with the community, the key takeaway was that “people (Craigslist users) are trustworthy.”
Craig gave his three-part strategy for the success of Craigslist:
Technology: We have open source, lots of servers and keep it simple
- Corporate: We keep the structure as small as possible so that management doesn’t lose touch
Community: We give lots of power over our site to the commmunity, we trust them and allow them to police the service
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