We had a fantastic, informative, and very insightful webinar session with Irina Marciano of Payoneer last night. The topic was ‘How to Run a Global PR Programme’.
Irina has been with Payoneer for five-and-a-half years and now heads their PR and communications. Payoneer and Wizikey have worked closely for a while now, and Irina mentioned that “the kind of metrics and insights that Wizikey offers are unique and it really helps to have data-driven PR.”
Irina drives PR globally now for Payoneer and delighted our webinar viewers with her on-point statements and perceptions. Here are a few takeaways.
Key Challenges of PR regardless of where you are:
“Today’s audiences are very savvy and people now look at PR with a different perspective. They are as wary as they are engaged.”
“Storytelling has always been the key ingredient to effective communication.”
Archit Mahajan (webinar host) added, “Content is King and now Storytelling is queen.”
Expanding globally is about making your communication easy to understand. Communication has never been so important.
Going Public with an IPO is challenging and Interesting – compliances, legalities, and mountains of red tape make it so!
How important is it to understand media sensibilities in diff countries?
It is critical to understand the media in any geography you consider entering. And you need to be aware that what one country celebrates, another may find offensive. It is so important to have a local representative and someone you can trust.
You also have to be sensitive to the political and cultural climate and pay attention to people’s feelings. For example, when talking about diversity and inclusion in an expanding organization, you need to understand what the new country considers as pertinent to this very broad subject. To some countries, the subject may only mean gender diversity, whereas in others it may imply a variety of diverse populations and communities: queer, straight, religious, cultural, racial, etc.
You also have to be careful in your handling of a relationship with a journalist. “Once you damage a relationship with a journalist, it is burned,” says Irina.
There is such a thing as Bad PR
You have to be careful not to be “salesy”. PR is not a lead-generating activity!
That said, Irina was vehement in decrying the old belief that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. There is, and it’s not a good thing. Messaging is critical when you tell a story, and that much more so when it involves the sentiment of your media and audience. You have to be sensitive about how you reach out. At the end of the day you are dealing with human beings and everyone is just as vulnerable as the next person, regardless of whether they are the media or the customer.
You aim to be seen in a certain light and work towards making that happen – adapting as you go to cultural influences.
A bit about cross-border crisis management
Managing a crisis across geographies and in a public company is very similar.
Stop using formal channels and get on channels and get your answer figured out asap and present a unified answer and front in communicating your response.
Summing it up
The scope of public relations has grown and constantly changes. Taking a brand international has its challenges but none are insurmountable. Data-driven PR, while it cannot account for the personal aspect, is definitely invaluable when it comes to understanding the journey and accounting for how we get where we are going.
Yes, if you are a public company, you will deal with bureaucracy – but that is anywhere. The more pertinent challenges are those of understanding people, cultures, and sentiment.