By Caroline Cohen
Many companies seriously underestimate the power of international PR. Relying on local media outlets such as The Marker and Globes is a fine way of reaching local investors and maintaining a company’s domestic image – but ineffective if the company is seeking international expansion. A quality English print technology publication is read by international audiences – and its online site reaches millions of people.
Take for example Information Week: The domestic publication rightly lands in the laps of Israeli technology stakeholders, but the Hebrew element alienates the English speaking community. Information Week in the US, on the other hand, truly reaches the mass market – a large potential client base of IT managers, Systems Integrators and best breed technology companies.
For a wireless company, exhibiting at conferences such as 3GSM or CTIA is an industry standard. However, they are costly affairs – and without the support of a solid media relations effort, this is an opportunity lost in terms of profile raising initiatives - particularly when your competitors succeed in demonstrating their product to a journalist or getting a picture story in a relevant trade magazine.
For smaller companies, conferences like these provide the perfect springboard for new business. Couple a meeting with a potential partner with news coverage on Reuters about a recent industry contract – and half the hard work is already done. A company that might attract extensive attention from the Hebrew press at a local event can easily fade into the background against the likes of Apple, Microsoft and HP at international events. However, a company that does have a uniquely innovative product or technology – and communicates this effectively to the media, still has a chance of gaining some column inches.
Having an international profile provides a backbone for sales and revenue growth. Developing relationships with the relevant journalists abroad, regularly communicating new product innovations to analysts from leading research firms such as Jupiter, Ovum, IDC etc, and making a splash at conferences - all help deliver messages to target audiences.
International PR can build these vital bridges and create messages that differentiate a company from its competitors. A company that might be the only provider of its service in Israel may well have a dozen or more competitors on the global stage. Companies that can determine their market differentiation – and more importantly, develop this into a solid market brand, will be the winners.
Communicating with the foreign media provides a ladder to reaching potential clients, investors and securing important contracts. One carefully-placed article in an industry relevant publication can open many new doors to additional business. Spreading the word is the name of the game in such a competitive international environment.
Marketing, advertising and search optimization are also methods of communicating a company’s messages. But the media will always remain a formidable engine in determining the movers and shakers, a neutral and unbiased channel that can really influence decision makers.