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Does Global PR dominate the world?

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Good PR is always context and culture specific. The idea of a global PR is anathema.

I started off believing that actually, global PR is not culture specific, and does not have the cultural sensitive aspects that a local PR company would, when say dealing with a campaign targeting a small audience.

The moto is, think local act Global. All PR should read local in order to connect with the specific audience. But what about when recruiting for a new audience? Or, gaining widely sought publicity for a cause considered “local”?

The debates on this team argued whether Global PR is just an anathema and that all pr should be cultural specific.
In the debate, Viola and Filippo argued for Global PR, highlighting the way certain aspects of the global pr practices can be introduced to local pr, to gain a wider audience. Sarah and Stephanie argued that cultural specific PR should always be practised as it mirrors certain aspects of the stakeholders’ interests and views thus not overwhelming them with unfamiliar messages.
In the end both teams agreed that a combination of the two practises should be used.

Hill & Knowlton dominating the world with Global PR

Leaders in the Gloabl PR game, Hill and Knowlton have 43 offices in 79 countries, and over 50 associated offices worldwide. However when scrutinised, it is evident to see that the dominating countries are that of which H& K are able to practise PR in a ‘western’ environment. There are 52 H&K Offices in Europe, United States and Canada combined and 14 associates. In the rest of the world there are 27 H & K offices, and 35 associates. So it goes without saying that however locally H&K act in countries where their brand is not familiar, they cannot act locally without the assistance of an associate company.

In Grunig’s recent article on the paradigms of Global public Relations in a age of digitisation, he attempts to make this point highlighting his four models of public relations: ‘our global theory is a normative theory that argues that public relations will be most effective throughout most parts of the world when it follows the generic principles and applies them with appropriate variations for local cultural, political, social, and economic conditions. Its absence in a country, however, does not serve as evidence that it could not be practiced there.’ Before this, Grunig also highlights that the most used of his models, worldwide, is the least effective: the press agentry model. Perhaps some countries are not responsive to what Grunig would call the Press agentry model, because they’ve been exposed to it far too much, and audiences in these countries are searching for a more interactive PR strategy – that they can respond to?

Google blames China for blocking searches

For example, let’s take China – a country the debate team also used to exemplify politics vs PR. China’s political circumstances are such that the internet and interactive PR has becomes virtually redundant. The China vs Google war continues, and only yesterday (30th march) The Guardian reported that Google’s searches were being blocked by China’s “great firewall”, so how can a country with restrictions of what some people would even argue as being a basic need in the contemporary life be responsive to global pr strategies when they can’t even access the internet?